The Case of the Abandoned Shopping Cart

Date: 2013-10-28 21:20:25 // Categories: Retail,
By: Michael Fountain
Date: 2013-10-28 21:20:25 // Categories: Retail,

Frictionless eCommerce and Greater Engagement

Let’s say you want to get a new case for your smartphone. You ask some friends about the case they use, you do a little research online and you arrive at a decision. Your preference isn’t to make a special trip to a retailer, so you go online to make your purchase. You find the case you want, add it to your shopping cart and, before you can checkout, you’re prompted to create an account; but you’ve got things to do, so the registration prerequisite provides just enough “friction” that you’re moving on to something else. You’ll still get that case for your phone, you’ll just get it some place else.

That’s a hypothetical situation, but the specifics are real for many online consumers. In separate studies, ComScore and Forrester each found that, on average, 75% of transactions don’t occur online because consumers abandon their shopping carts; the study found the main reason was the requirement to register before purchase.

In 2012, Sociable Labs released a study illustrating the relatively slow adoption of social login among the top 500 online retailers. Specifically, the study looked at how online retailers integrated social login as an alternative to account creation, site registration and site login processes. While Facebook led the pack, in terms of how consumers “connect” with a brand online, many other social tools were left unused (e.g. Twitter, Google+, etc.)

The study found limited adoption of the social sign-in with only 30 of 500 online retailers having adopted the process. Huh? Only 6% adoption? You can bet that number is higher today, but the larger question is, what advantages are missed by brands that don’t utilize social login?

While social login could help reduce friction in the online purchase path, it has the added benefit of deepening engagement with your online consumers.

We are working with brands everyday to help broaden and, in some cases, redefine what it is to be “engaged” with consumers. You see, before the rise of social media, many brands viewed registering with their website – prior to purchase – as a form of engagement with consumers.

With the advent of the social login, many brands have found that consumers are eager not only to “sign in,” but also to spend additional time “sharing” and “commenting” on products and services. In fact, Nielsen recently found that “average time on site” increased between 5-15 minutes for websites that featured social login. The same report also found that “average page views” increased between 4-11 pages, again for websites that featured social login.

By reducing the “friction” in your purchase path and making it easier for people to engage with your website, you may find an increase in online sales easier to achieve and a lot more shopping carts that fulfill their destiny.

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