While it is tempting to exploit technological tools to improve the aesthetics of digital platforms, many retailers still fall down on features required to deliver ease of use.
While it is tempting to exploit technological tools to improve the aesthetics of digital platforms, many retailers still fall down on features required to deliver ease of use. If organisations want to boost conversion rates and improve customer loyalty, they must consider some key steps.
Mobile commerce continues to grow extraordinarily – accounting for 5.3% of etail sales in the last quarter of 2011, a 1,320% rise in two years. However, mobile conversions are still much lower than on traditional PCs. One of the key issues is the ease of use of m-commerce sites.
Retailers are investing in Quick Response (QR) code technology to simplify visits to websites while on the move. However, having loaded and navigated the site easily, consumers are often forced to awkwardly enter address details. Effective and rapid data entry is critical if organisations are to improve conversion rates and avoid abandoned baskets.
Click and collect
Companies are increasingly opting for the click and collect model, offering customers the chance to order online and collect in store - click and collect accounted for 10.4% of sales in the third quarter of 2011.
Effectiveness relies on the ability to provide fast access to the location of the nearest store and its opening hours. By integrating ‘find my nearest’ technology, companies can offer customers a number of search options – by postcode, for instance – and display results in order of proximity.
Getting the right customer address is critical for successful ecommerce but the issue is not simply ensuring delivery success. Retailers need to consider the way address information is collected to minimise the amount of re-keying required and to avoid inaccuracies.
It is also important to consider the international customer. This requires more than the ability to support multiple languages. The challenges posed by multiple different postal address formats, preferred postal methods, and even character sets can appear daunting. An easy-to-use international address look-up via postcode or zip code can provide the full address as used in each specific country.
Tokenisation - the process of protecting sensitive data by replacing it with alias values or tokens that are meaningless to someone who gains unauthorised access to data - removes the need to enter sensitive data at each visit while maintaining security. The most frequently delivered to address, invoice address and delivery information can also be remembered. Tokenisation speeds up the purchase process, driving customer loyalty and repeat purchase while minimising the cost and compliance with industry standards.
Services such as click and collect cannot be provided if the retailer does not offer a real-time view of stock available in stores, yet today, websites are still unintegrated. With customers increasingly looking at online reviews before purchasing, this lack of integrated solutions is an issue that no serious ecommerce operation can afford to ignore.
- Emma Gooderham, CEO of WorldAddresses.com
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