Summit recently published a report on eCommerce performance and how website performance and features impact customers’ purchases. The release of Summit’s scorecard report highlights how UK retailers need to improve online practices in order to remain competitive within the industry.
The top 50 UK retailers were assessed and scored on nearly 200 elements that branched across four main categories of eCommerce performance. These were: 1) eCommerce technology 2) online marketing 3) digital trading and 4) logistics and customer service. Skywire identified some of the most important features and practices to include in your eCommerce shop with examples of our own client work.
Page speed is one of the biggest issues found across retailers’ eCommerce performance. The average page load speed across the the brands was 7 seconds, more than twice the recommend 3 seconds. Those seconds add up quickly – every extra second in site load time costs retailers 7 per cent in converted sales. As a result, UK retailers lose £1bn in revenue per year.
Guest checkout is another feature that can cost a retailer big. A quick and simple guest checkout function with tools such as auto-complete and address lookup creates a smooth journey for customers. However, a quarter of shoppers abandon their basket if a guest checkout is not an option. Of the top 50 UK retailers, 38% were missing this feature, costing them another £1bn in sales.
Email marketing generates over 10% of business revenues which is why it is so important to include an email sign up on the homepage. Email topics should always be creative, relevant and on brand in order to build loyalty and customer retention. Potential email topics include, but are not limited to, communications about sales, relevant content, abandoned baskets, and member perks.
While social media does not account for a high percentage of total online sales, it can have significant impact on your customers buying behaviour. It can be a powerful tool for digital marketing and a means for building both brand awareness and a relationship with your customer. High Facebook engagement comes down to interacting with the customer through timely comment responses and relevant yet varied content including images and video. Skywire recently built a Facebook social media competition which resulted in a high user engagement for luxury skin care brand NUXE. Read more about it here.
Product recommendations and online cross selling for relevant or complimentary products are a simple feature to implement that can increase sales by up to 10%. Using copy such as “Complete the Look” or “You May Also Like” are helpful for the customer, drive conversion rates, and increase basket size.
Product reviews can be crucial to an online experience since the customer does not have that in-person experience of trying the product. Product reviews help the customer build confidence in their ability to purchase. Customers are 12x more like to trust a consumer review rather than a brand’s product description. Honest customer feedback makes the customer feel more informed, helping to reduce returns and increase margins.
Logistics and Customer Service
Customer enquiries are a common occurrence during the buying process. A full range of channels should be provided to accommodate the customer including phone, email, live chat and social media. Channels need to be actively managed and provide customers with immediate responses. This will build confidence in your customers’ purchases, lowering product returns.