News Feature | May 4, 2017

Retailers Choose Customer Satisfaction Over Security To Boost Sales

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Patient Satisfaction Survey

How Digital Shopping Has Evolved To Boost Conversion Rates.

Despite growing concern for the impact of shopping cart abandonment on sales, 1 in 6 retailers have chosen to sacrifice security for UX by declining to use a 3-D authentication tool at checkout, which ties credit cards to an online password that’s used for transactions. And this shortcut is just one of many tactics retailers have adopted to shorten the path to purchase to eliminate shopping cart abandonment and boost conversion rates.  A new report by Astound Commerce analyzes the evolution of the ecommerce experience over the past 20 years, and found that the checkout process has been accelerated from a whopping 8.76 clicks on average in the early 2000s to just 5.23 today. This shortened checkout time is significant, given the $400 billion worth of purchases in today’s ecommerce marketplace.

The Annual Mystery Shopping report analyzed 281 metrics across 100 retailers, with an eye to each metric’s increase in market penetration since it was first introduced. 20/20 Vision: Looking Forward by Looking Back at 20 Years of Digital Shopping Innovation, brings together two decades of ecommerce research and analysis to illustrate the digital accomplishments that have made the biggest impact on the customer experience.

“The ecommerce experience has undergone a vast transformation as technology has advanced and retailers have made smart digital investments to improve their merchandising and customer service tactics,” said Lauren Freedman, SVP of Digital Strategy at Astound Commerce. “We are honored to have been part of the growth of ecommerce and hope this long-term 360-degree view of the customer experience will inspire the next generation of digital retailers for years to come.”

As the report states, “It will be the features and functionality along with the experience over the next 20 years that will determine future digital penetration and the long-term impact on both online shopping and brick and mortar stores.”

Other tactics used by the top 100 retailers include:

  • Upgraded shopping carts: Collapsible shopping carts that preview the checkout process without being clicked are now a feature on 35 percent of sites.
  • Quick checkout: The holy grail of the path to purchase, the one-click checkout, is currently offered on 54 of the top 100 retail sites.

“The current ecommerce experience is almost unrecognizable from that of 20 years ago,” Freedman furthered. “With next-generation features such as chatbots, virtual reality, the digitization of brick-and-mortar, and the dominance of disruptors like Amazon and Alibaba we anticipate the commerce experience will continue to change dramatically over the next five years. We’re excited to keep analyzing this space, and can’t wait to see the next ‘big things’ in the omnichannel customer experience emerge.”