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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 18, 2014

Minimize shopper tension and abandoned purchases with mobile payments technology

Queuing - the Brits are famous for it but, at busy times of the year such as Christmas, shoppers in the UK singled out waiting in line as a major flashpoint and long queuing times as a key reason for abandoning a purchase.

by Helen Leggatt

According to new research from payments processor WorldPay, just under a third of Christmas shoppers in the UK have found themselves embroiled in an in-store argument or even coming to blows with a stranger. Queuing is one of shoppers' pet peeves. After just 5 minutes standing in line tensions begin to rise and anything in excess of five minutes leads to abandoned shopping baskets and leaving the store for good.

Another in-store annoyance is when items are out of stock. A third of shoppers said they would be unlikely to give a store a second chance if they were unable to purchase an item they had set out to buy in the store. Furthermore, 66% said they check the internet if an item is out of stock in-store and are just as likely to go on to buy that item from a competitor.

So, what can retailers do to keep tension levels down and prevent potential customers from going elsewhere?

According to Dave Hobday, managing director, Worldpay UK and Ireland, mobile payment devices are the way forward. Such devices can free up sales staff from behind busy check-outs and on to the shop floor where they can engage with shoppers.

"Not only does the technology reduce queues by allowing staff to take payments anywhere in-store, it also links directly to ecommerce so out-of-stock items can be ordered and paid for before a customer leaves the store," said Hobday.

Delays in customer service can be just as big a blow to online retailers damaging reputation and revenue potential.

"Customers have higher expectations than ever," says Paul Heywood, director of EMEA, Dyn. "Particularly online, where it's easy for consumers to research and access other products, customers will quickly turn to the competition when faced with any hassle. Individual elements of the experience like a tedious payment process, site crashes or an email marketing offer or coupon not matching up with the website could be the sole cause of customers turning away; today people want simple shopping. Technology can heal these shoppers' pain points, but retailers need to ensure that their sites are tested and ready for the Christmas rush; they can't risk poorly performing sites at this 'make or break' time of year."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: ecommerce, in-store trends, mobile payments, retail

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