INDIA – According to new research from SAP, more than half (56%) of Indian shoppers ditch their online shopping carts sometimes or all the time. The SAP Consumer Propensity Study focusing on online shopping behavior found that this is because they use online shopping carts to compare prices of similar products with no intention to purchase (45%). They also stop short of clicking ‘purchase’ as they are put off from higher than expected shipping costs (54%), or face issues with out-of-stock items (42%).
One thousand consumers in India were surveyed on their behavior at checkout stage and motivations to complete the purchase, with the results revealing that Indian consumers tend to procrastinate when making online purchases. Almost a third of Indian consumers surveyed are also more likely to leave their items in the shopping cart for more than a week and have a higher tendency to forget about their intended purchases, with close to a third (32%) forgetting about the items in their carts, as compared to a fifth (21%) in other APAC countries.
“The e-commerce journey is not a linear path, with multiple factors and touch-points influencing purchase behavior. Cart abandonment data such as items selected and discarded, navigation steps, among others, provides a valuable trove of insights for retailers to identify friction points, map out the consumer journey, and make improvements to the overall purchasing experience”, said Krishnan Chatterjee, Chief Customer Officer and Head of Marketing, Indian Subcontinent, SAP.
Prices are the main driver, with Indian consumers indicating that promotions (54%) and discounts (44%) succeed in nudging them to complete the purchase. However, they also appreciate an individualized shopping experience. They are motivated to buy whenever the brand demonstrates a full understanding of their shopping history (41%), and when prompted by reminders about their ‘forgotten’ carts (31%).
There are many options for retailers to remove the friction and entice follow-through on the purchase. For example, giving visibility of shipping and tax prices sooner, providing assistance via a pop-up chat window if a shopper seems stuck, retargeting to get consumers to visit again, sending reminders if they left something in the cart, or following up with a special promotional code.
Brands and retailers cannot rely solely on competitive pricing or discounts. Since stock availability is a huge barrier to purchase, retailers in India need to be conscious that their supply chain and logistics decisions directly impact sales. Integrating back-office systems into e-commerce systems and tools providing real-time visibility of stock availability online and in stores, different stock options, and delivery options and timelines, will encourage customers to complete transactions.
The study reveals other ways Indian consumers wish for brands to enhance their shopping experience.
“Deploying the latest customer applications and technologies might seem to be the silver bullet to drive purchase and retention, but what the results really tell us is that Indian consumers want online shopping experiences that are personalized, catered to their individual needs and lifestyles. This extends to ongoing service and support throughout their consumer journey. To achieve this, brands need a robust omni-channel approach based on having an overview of each customer across all touch-points at all times, and advanced analytics to anticipate customer behaviors and understand their real-time intent. With this in place, brands will be able to provide a personalized and responsive consumer experience before and after the checkout process,” added Chatterjee.