With the vast amount of choice that consumers have online, if you’re really going to click with them you need to be sure you’re delivering exactly what they’re looking for. And too many businesses aren’t.
Take customer experience. This is crucial for shoppers, and our poll at the end of this article aims to gauge how businesses regard their own customer service levels.
“The way to overcome this is to actually talk to your customers,” says Paul. “A lot of businesses do the ‘customer experience work’ by numbers, but they don’t really spend enough time understanding if they’re delivering what their customers actually want.”
Do you help or hinder?
Successful online retailers also know that consumers want them to take the pain away. They want an omnichannel experience – including payment systems – that lets them browse, buy, receive and return goods in a variety of ways with minimum hassle.
“If I’m a customer, I need it all to sync up because that delivers a great experience for me and makes me more likely to buy from your company,” says Paul.
But again, to be as successful as you can means marrying the technical capabilities with a deeper understanding of customer behaviour.
For example, shopping cart abandonment in mobile is uncomfortably steep. And with smartphones and tablets accounting for 51% of online retail sales in the UK in Q4 2015/161 (and two-thirds of all visits to retail websites), retailers could be forgiven for thinking that investing heavily in reducing this would pay off in spades.
But Paul says that’s not necessarily the case. While those abandonments might be down to a terrible checkout experience, they could also be because those consumers prefer to browse on mobile and then buy another way.
“Understanding how people buy is important, because you could spend a multimillion pound budget trying to improve the conversion rates yet never achieve it because that’s not how people behave.”
How safe are your shoppers?
Security is another major consideration for customers that many businesses appear not to have picked up on. And the problem of cyber crime is getting bigger.
Figures from a government survey, conducted by PWC and published in 2015, show that 74% of SMEs suffered a data breach in the prior 12 months2, up from 60% the year before. But perhaps even more alarming is that 32% of respondents hadn’t carried out any form of security risk assessment.
Paul says that for many companies, the issue isn’t high enough on the agenda. But with higher fines for data breaches coming into force he says that’s likely to change.
“Businesses need to take this more seriously than they have been,” he says. “This is going to be an area of your business that will become increasingly important and if you’re not focused on it you could come a cropper.”
Where can you find help?
There’s a lot for retailers to think about, but this is where having a strong payments partner can come in. That’s one that supplies the technical capabilities you need with the added value that true market understanding brings.
“Barclaycard sees a third of the UK’s e-commerce transactions every year,” says Paul. “That doesn’t give us a divine right to know everything, but it does give us a huge amount of experience. We understand the issues, what’s important and how you might overcome them.
“The world we operate in today is really complicated. You don’t just sell stuff, you have to think about customer experience, security, mobile, basket abandonment, and when you layer in legislation and regulation it gets very hard. But when you plug into a Barclaycard product it takes away significant amounts of that complexity because we manage it for you. You don’t have to worry about it.”
Speak to us today to find out how we can help your business – 0800 0466814 *
Please note that the views expressed in this article are personal opinions. Barclaycard cannot accept any responsibility or liability for reliance by any person on this article or any of the information set out in it.
*Calls to 0800 numbers are free from UK landlines and personal mobiles, otherwise call charges may apply. Please check with your service provider. Calls may be monitored or recorded in order to maintain high levels of security and quality of service.