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What customers want: Behaviour in the online shopping cart

By Angelica Wolf

Shopping has changed dramatically over the past decades. Before online shopping carts, the customer was limited to the products in their local region. They were restricted to a single market and knew nothing else. Now the whole world is at our fingertips. All a shopper needs is a laptop and a credit card and all of their shopping can be completed from the comfort of their couch. Not only can we shop from the convenience of our homes, but the options are also limitless.

Naturally, the attitudes of the shopper have changed in line with technological advances. In an instantaneous world, there is a certain amount of expectation surrounding online retail.

Read on to discover the aspects of the online shopping cart which customers place on a pedestal.

Convenience

This development has changed the market in a very significant way. For one, convenience is becoming much more important for the customer than brand loyalty. When there were fewer options to choose from, people went with the name they heard more often and hence were more comfortable with.

Take active wear as an example. Nike has been the dominant company in the industry for decades now. They were established in 1964 and through marketing techniques in the 70s were able to obtain 50% of the market share of US athletic wear by 1980. Their marketing created the iconic swoosh logo and “Just Do It” slogan. They became an extremely trusted and well-known brand.

Tying trainers

However, recently, Nike has been ceding ground to smaller brands like Supreme and Lulu Lemon. Nike’s share in apparel fell from 29% to 23% just last year. Through online shopping and social media, customers are being introduced to more variety and cheaper prices. This is splendid for the market as Nike and Under Armour are having their oligopolistic positions threatened and smaller companies are getting their chance at success.

Decrease in the importance of brand loyalty isn’t the only thing that companies must consider. Customers desire more personalisation. Today you can personalise any product, from t-shirts, to Converses, to automobiles. Businesses that don’t start offering personalisation are at a disadvantage to their competitors.

The easiest way to do this is offer the process online. This gives the customer the time to determine what they want at their own leisure rather than feeling rushed during a single visit to the store. This convenient addition to your website can increase sales dramatically.

Converse trainers out of car window

Delayed Gratification

But how is waiting days, and sometimes weeks, for your item to arrive a convenience? If convenience is truly one of the largest factors benefitting online shopping, how do you explain why people are willing to struggle through delayed gratification?

Ironically enough, psychology says that delayed gratification may actually be a reason why online shopping can be so addictive. Waiting is scientifically proven to increase satisfaction when the prize is finally received. Anticipating its arrival keeps the product constantly in the back of your mind.

Neurologically, a burst of dopamine is released when you make a purchase online and then a continual release of dopamine continues as you wait for its arrival. So, in a way, anticipation is half of the fun. It makes online orders a thrill to complete. Instead of there only being one dopamine release in the store checkout line, there are instead two when shopping online and receiving the package.

Psychological state of mind

Checkout the Facts

But a company can’t just depend on the release of dopamine to bring online shoppers’ credit cards out of their wallets. There are many factors that contribute to the buyers actually completing a purchase and there are many that deter a purchase. Below are the factors that deter a purchase.

High shipping costs, or unclear shipping costs, tend to be the largest reason why a customer abandons their cart. If a shipping cost is going to be half the price of the product then is it even worth the money? In this situation, it would be more convenient to either physically shop or revert to a company that can deliver at a lower price.  

A close second is bad timing for the customer, but a company can’t do much to fix this factor. This is especially true for larger purchases like vehicles or homes. It takes much deliberation and searching for buyers to commit. Although all of these are valid reasons, one of the most overlooked factors is the Payment Method.

AsiaPay data

Payment Method

A confusing checkout process leads to as much as 11% of abandoned carts. That, combined with not having enough payment options, accounts for almost 20% of all abandoned carts. In order to counter this, the business needs to provide a secure, clean, and flexible checkout.

Research conducted by AsiaPay and other payment service providers has shown that payment coverage, user experience, reliability, and security are all important factors in the checkout process.

These statistics show that the payment page must be as clean as possible with clear payment instructions and little loading time. It’s also very important for a potential buyer to see online trust badges when entering their credit card information. A remarkable six out of ten online shoppers abandoned the cart when the payment page did not have them. The most well-known are the Visa MasterCard Logo and the Norton Secured logo. Along with these badge features, showing your company’s logo on the page assures the customer that the money is being delivered to the correct entity.

Shopping complex

Ultimately

The market is changing. With the power of online shopping, shoppers aren’t restricted anymore by location or lack of variety. They want the comfort of being in their own homes and the freedom of perusing all the stores of the world. The main ways that a company facilitates this is by giving customers the variety that they desire and a website that allows them to easily wander.

When it comes to checkout, provide a clean, safe page with reliable payment methods. Simplicity is key when directing a customer to the checkout page. Any questions about security will lead to a hesitant customer and perhaps an abandoned cart. Customers are demanding convenience and trust and it’s the company’s job to either provide, or risk customers going elsewhere.

Angelica Wolf, AsiaPay Marketing, AsiaPay

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