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In a recent Forbes article, William L. McComb, CEO of Fifth & Pacific Companies, writes of the in-store, brick-and-mortar shopping experience, stating that this aspect of retailing matters now, more than it ever has in the past. McComb cites the “inherent limit of the e-commerce experience,” or the inability for customers to see, touch and feel products in a community of fellow shoppers, as one of of the primary drivers influencing his endorsement of the in-store experience. However, what McComb doesn’t emphasize is that although providing the full essence of experience shopping may be out of online retailers’ reaches, e-commerce contenders should take comfort in knowing that there are web-specific strategies they can employ to enhance the online shopping experience. We can look to the issue of shopping cart abandonment and site performance to exemplify the potential e-retailers possess to optimize the customer’s shopping experience on the web.
                                                                                                                                               Here are some stats to prime your thinking on the topic of shopping cart abandonment:
  • The average shopping cart abandonment rate is 65%
  • The average monetary value of an online purchase is $116.58 (this can also be viewed as the average amount of revenue lost due to a single occurrence of shopping cart abandonment)
  • Only 14.6% of the top 1,000 retailers have taken steps toward managing customer flight
  • 46% of online shoppers cite a quick checkout as the primary factor that determines whether or not they will visit a site again
  • 11% of e-shoppers attribute shopping cart abandonment to slow site speed during checkout
  • 5% of e-shoppers attribute shopping cart abandonment to website downtime during checkout
The numbers tell the story rather clearly: shopping cart abandonment happens, its effects have implications for site stickiness and sales, and website performance is a primary culprit driving the frequency of customer flight. Moreover, the data makes perfect sense from the convenience-oriented consumer perspective. One of the greatest satisfactions of online shopping is the speed with which it can be completed sans driving to the store, searching for a parking spot, navigating to the right aisle, and most importantly, enduring lengthy checkout lines. Digital shoppers relish in the ease and rapidity that e-retailers offer. However, if stripped of these benefits due to site delays or crashes during checkout, online shopping loses its edge, customers gripe and flee, and business suffers as a result.
                                                                                                                                              The good news it that your site’s performance is in your control, and you have the power to reduce the rate of shopping cart abandonment amongst your customers. Now that you’ve been schooled in the importance of site speed and uptime to the customer experience and shopping cart retention, you can make the informed decision to monitor your web applications in order to ensure the speedy checkout experience that your customers value.

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