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Inside the Heads (and Hearts) of Digital Customers in 2022

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By Published On: January 24, 20220 Comments

BigCommerce’s latest Customer Centricity Report offers detailed insights to better understand and capture the heartbeat of the digital customer. We sat down with Shannon Ingrey - Vice President & General Manager, APAC, BigCommerce, to discuss the report in more detail.

All retailers know that the customer is the main priority for creating a seamless and unforgettable shopping experience. However, understanding what makes a shopper tick in the ever-changing landscape has become increasingly more important. Competition is fierce, and if retailers don’t make swift changes to adapt to the changing landscape, they risk getting left behind. 

BigCommerce’s recently released Customer Centricity Report surveyed more than 3,900 ANZ shoppers to better understand what drives them to click, buy and return to retailers in 2022. The report spans and explores three key areas, including Automation & Cart Abandonment, Cart Intelligence and Loyalty & Retention. 

In a pre-pandemic world, it was safe to say that customers were primarily driven where the lowest prices were. And while this sentiment remains true today, digital shoppers in 2022 now consider several other factors before committing to purchase, including convenience, delivery costs, and flexibility of payment options. “With so many now shopping online and with a broadening range of options, retailers are fighting on multiple fronts to hold onto their share of the market and engage meaningfully with consumers,” shares Ingrey. 

According to Ingrey, retailers need to make sure they’re not doing the bare minimum, especially in the context of customer retention. “Moving forward, success will be hinged around a retailer’s ability to not only keep up with consumer demands and sharpen their costs but also stay true to their brand and pivot quickly in line with the needs of Australian consumers,” he says. 

The Curious Case of Cart Abandonment – And How to Fix It

BigCommerce’s Customer Centricity Report examines and underpins the importance of adapting to changes in customer behaviour. If retailers fail to meet expectations, they run the risk of increasing cart abandonment. 

While a single factor can sometimes drive this issue, more often than not, it’s due to numerous issues that accumulate, causing shoppers to leave before they’re committed to purchasing. 

“Historically, this has always been during the final stages of a transaction when the consumer is hit by ‘sticker shock’ such as unexpected additional costs which almost always relate to shipping or delivery,” says Ingrey. “These can be quite confronting and cause the customer to abandon their cart straight away in search of a cheaper option.” 

Customers are now, more than before, expecting flexibility when it comes to shipping and delivery options. Ninety-three perfect of shoppers indicated that they would shop again with a retailer that offered free shopping. On the flip side, 93 percent said that higher delivery fees would drive them to abandon their purchase altogether. 

While providing flexibility is crucial to retaining shoppers, it may not be all that’s required for preventing abandonment. Retailers must put themselves in their customer’s shoes. Providing communication and transparency about delivery times, costs and availability are three of the fundamental ways to keep customers coming back. Retailers need to constantly be on the front foot, Ingrey tells Power Retail

What may come as no surprise is that a lack of communication or delayed information can heavily influence consumer behaviour. The BigCommerce Customer Centricity Report also found that a whopping 86 percent of shoppers will abandon their cart if delivery costs are declared too late. “It’s crucial for retailers to keep user experience top of mind and ensure key information like this is communicated as early as possible with shoppers,” says Ingrey. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s not just about a lack of communication on the checkout page. 

There are contributing factors to cart abandonment even before customers can get to the final purchasing stage. Such factors include slow loading times and the general clunkiness of a website. “From the moment a prospective buyer lands on the storefront, through to adding items to the cart and every step in the check-out process, all needs to flow seamlessly,” says Ingrey. 

“Retailers must make sure they first have the infrastructure in place to be able to easily change the checkout process of their sites. Customers don’t like being directed to click through numerous pages, and one way that retailers can create a more seamless checkout process is by keeping this in mind.” 

With this in mind, how can retailers create a better customer experience? According to BigCommerce, having a streamlined infrastructure to create a single page checkout is more than just an aesthetically pleasing feature. Allowing customers to review their order input all of their details and payment information on a single screen can dramatically decrease the risk of cart abandonment. 

via BigCommerce

Want to listen to the heartbeat of your digital customers? Download the Customer Centricity Report here for Australian consumer insights, advice and trends for e-commerce in 2022 and beyond.

Making the Most of BNPL

It should be no surprise that BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) is a cornerstone of all payment options. Having various payment options can majorly influence a shopper if they want to purchase from a retailer, and BigCommerce expects BNPL to remain a popular choice in 2022 and beyond. “Almost three-quarters of the report respondents indicated they will spend more on a single online purchase if a website offers BNPL at checkout. They are also more likely to spend more if BNPL is offered as a payment method,” he tells Power Retail

The current spotlight on federal regulation into BNPL should strengthen retailers’ needs for implementing proper UX, especially as purchases using the platform increase. “Retailers will need to ensure that consumers have all the information needed to make an informed BNPL purchasing decision,” Ingrey explains. 

The Fundamentals of Loyalty (Programs)

It seems that every retailer is introducing a loyalty program, but is it worth it? According to BigCommerce’s Customer Centricity Report, it only counts if the rewards actually matter to the customer. 

“A loyalty program that provides customers with freebies they have no use for won’t cut it,” Ingrey explains. “This has been illustrated well in the report, with 78 percent of respondents indicating free shipping is a favourite when it comes to rewarding types for loyalty programs.” 

What does ‘meaningful rewards’ look like in reality? Free shipping opportunities, gift cards and other perks can drive a distinction from others in the market and thus enhance a customer’s shopping experience and keep them engaged with the service in the future. 

What the Future Holds

In 2022, BigCommerce is expecting to see many changes in the e-commerce landscape. “Our recent annual Cyber Week Report, which analysed BigCommerce merchant trends across the 2021 holiday shopping season at large, found that mobile orders remained strong in 2021, and retailers will need to ensure consistent experiences are delivered across different online platforms over the next 12 months as part of their resilience planning,” says Ingrey. 

Other initiatives such as BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store) will be major in 2022, Ingrey forecasts. As the industry adapts to the ongoing pandemic, retailers must pay attention to what is more convenient for shoppers and work their way around it.  

“Retailers must continue being nimble and able to pivot their services as the COVID-19 landscape continues to evolve,” Ingey tells us. “Consumers are more purpose-driven than ever before, and customer retention must be top of mind for retailers in 2022 and beyond. Resilience planning and flexibility in 2022 will be expected from retailers.” 

If a retailer wants to attract attention, Ingrey provides some key advice. “For these services to stand out in the eyes of shoppers in 2022 and beyond, retailers will need to spend more time looking into the specific rewards they offer customers as part of this, whether it’s free shipping or exclusive discounts, to ensure they address their needs and make it worth their time to use the platform,” he says. 

Retailers that fail to adapt to the changes in an ever-transforming landscape may begin the year on the backfoot. “With consumers jumping between a number of services on any given day, they will prioritise the online experiences that meet their needs best, whether that’s a concise check-out system or upfront communication on delivery timings for the products they’re interested in,” Ingrey tells us. 

“Retailers should always be adopting an outlook of never settling, and striving to always find new ways to update their sites and the services they provide to ensure customers see them as leading the pack.” 

Want to listen to the heartbeat of your digital customers? Download the Customer Centricity Report here for Australian consumer insights, advice and trends for e-commerce in 2022 and beyond.

About the Author: Ally Feiam

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