You’d expect a webinar focused on removing friction from the ecommerce checkout process to teach you a thing or two about improving your customers’ experience when they’re on their way out the digital door of your store.
And “6 Keys to a Better Checkout Experience” certainly delivered on that. But it also presented a larger lesson, a lesson that retailers from upstart startups to established players appear to be embracing in bigger numbers.
Specifically, the webinar focused attention on the way a retailer in 2018 can assemble an ecommerce stack of technology solutions that builds a better experience for its customers while freeing up the retailer’s best-and-brightest thinkers to focus on the core of the business.
The webinar featured representatives from Magento, Signifyd and four of Magento’s other partners — Loquate, Vertex, Klarna and Amazon Pay. Together they represented a team that offered a way to manage the obstacles that slow down a consumer’s checkout experience.
Checkout is a distinct segment of the discovery-shopping-buying-and-receiving process that a consumer goes through whenever they successfully make a purchase online. There are other vendors who provide the answers for those other parts of the shopping and buying process.
Digitally native retailers embrace the ecommerce stack
A significant segment of retail has embraced the smart ecommerce stack and much of the rest is heading in that direction. The so-called digital natives are leading the way to what you might think of as “virtual retail companies.” The business is at the core — the selling of goods and serving of customers.
The rest, the operations, the distractions, are off-loaded to tech companies that specialize in various aspects of the buyer’s journey and can manage those aspects better and more cheaply, in part because they work at scale with many retailers and in part because they can narrow their focus and become very, very good at doing what they do.
How does all that work in the real world? Let’s take the webinar and its participants as an example.
First the problem: 27 percent of U.S. customers abandon their online carts because checkout takes too long, according to the Baymard Institute.
And what slows the process down? That’s what the participants were there to talk about.
Magento’s Joy Daniels explained how important it is for a retailer to build a memorable experience on its ecommerce platform — right down to the checkout process.
“Customers buy an experience,” she said. “They don’t necessarily buy a product. You really need a platform that can help you provide the kind of customization and also the options that customers are demanding.”
Reduce the hassle of entering checkout information
Loqate, which provides real-time, dynamic address verification, stepped in to talk about the importance of making it easy for a customer to enter a delivery address when ordering online, particularly on mobile, which is a tricky task.
Tyler Brock, a senior product manager with the company, which provides auto-complete suggestions as consumers type addresses, said that 61 percent of carts are abandoned when entering an address becomes cumbersome.
For its part, Vertex automates the process of combing through thousands of sales tax rates and rules to ensure that retailers are collecting as much tax as they need to and that consumers aren’t paying more in taxes than they have to.
Klarna provides shoppers with the option to pay for online purchases right away, pay after they receive their order or finance the payment — all as they are checking out.
Amazon Pay is a way to pay online with payment methods already associated with a consumer’s Amazon account, which means consumers don’t have to fill out payment information when they check out.
Signifyd’s guaranteed fraud protection model uses big data and machine learning to instantly provide a decision on whether a given online order is fraudulent or not. It also tackles the problem of false positives — orders that are declined for fear of fraud, even though they were placed by legitimate customers.
False declines insult your customers
“False declines are a real problem when it comes to fraud reviews,” said Gayathri Somanath, Signifyd group product manager. “Not only are you leaving money on the table, you’re also affecting your customer experience.”
The combination of Signifyd’s promise to make merchants financially whole for approved orders that later turn out to be fraudulent and its instant and accurate decisions helps merchants provide a superior customer experience. Customers aren’t frustrated by orders slowed due to cumbersome fraud reviews and legitimate customers don’t see their orders wrongly declined.
“A good customer spends time and money on your site and if the outcome of the fraud review is a decline, they’re told hours later,” Somanath said, describing one of the pitfalls that come with legacy fraud review systems. “You really can’t blame a customer for getting upset.”
No, you can’t. And, in fact, why would you ever want to upset a customer, particularly at checkout? It’s the very moment when a customer has decided to pay you money.
The good news is that there is no need to put barriers between your customers and a final sale. And, as the webinar demonstrated, there are a lot of people out there ready to make sure that it doesn’t happen.
Photo by iStock
Contact Mike Cassidy at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter at @mikecassidy.