How to improve customers’ online shopping experience
Online shopping is being pushed into the spotlight, thanks to the pandemic. Megan Simons shares four ways Kiwi businesses can improve the online shopping experience for their customers. The pandemic has changed the way New Zealanders, and people around the world, shop and pay. Last year saw a huge surge in online shopping growth, with […]
Online shopping is being pushed into the spotlight, thanks to the pandemic. Megan Simons shares four ways Kiwi businesses can improve the online shopping experience for their customers.
The pandemic has changed the way New Zealanders, and people around the world, shop and pay. Last year saw a huge surge in online shopping growth, with around $1 out of every $5 spent worldwide being spent online, and that number will continue climbing into 2022.
The transformation has been neither universal nor uniform, with some Kiwi retailers adapting faster and better than others.
More than a year on, Mastercard New Zealand has conducted its annual Digital Payments research, revealing the key payments trends and insights for 2021.
New habits can be hard to form, but the latest research reveals that consumer demand for online shopping has remained strong in 2021. There are still some issues for businesses to iron out: 57% of consumers say that they’ve abandoned their shopping carts due to a complicated checkout process, and 62% are concerned about the security of their banking and personal details.
In this ever-competitive retail environment, and with uncertainty about lockdowns and travel restrictions in the lead-up to the holiday season, it’s more important than ever to provide customers with a superior online shopping experience, and to keep innovating.
Our research has identified four key areas for businesses to improve the online shopping experience for their customers.
- Offer a secure way to save information
Mastercard’s Digital Payments research highlights that Kiwis value simple, seamless and secure ways to interact with the businesses they shop with regularly, from online grocery deliveries to streaming services.
Keeping payment and other details on file has its benefits for both businesses and customers; it reduces friction for future purchases and makes the online shopping process convenient and more efficient.
However, many New Zealand customers (43%) still opt not to save their details with merchants, with 66% of them saying that they don’t trust that the details would be stored securely.
Concerns about security when shopping online have increased over the past year, with 62% of people listing the security of their banking and personal details as in their top three concerns when shopping online, and 42% listing the risk of identity theft. Those numbers are up from 59% and 31% respectively in 2020.
In a world where cyberthreats are more common than ever, it’s important to provide a safe way for customers to save their information.
Think carefully about where you store data and how you secure it physically and electronically. Mastercard’s tokenisation technology, MDES for Merchants, allows businesses to save customer payment data safely and securely, replacing 16-digit card numbers with a unique and encrypted digital token. By taking this approach, no sensitive payment data is ever kept in a database or transmitted, meaning it can’t be stolen or intercepted.
Consider how you communicate your safety and security measures to your customers as well. Promoting your trust and safety credentials to current and future customers is a great way to build a trusted relationship with customers and keep them coming back.
- Ensure your e-commerce site is desktop and mobile device friendly
Consumers want the ability to shop efficiently online on both desktop and mobile. While the majority of customers said that they primarily shop on a laptop or desktop computer, a growing number (31%) primarily shop using their mobile phone or device. That means that, to be competitive, you need to ensure that your site is optimised for all platforms.
Consumers are unlikely to try again on a different device if they struggle with the process, and Mastercard’s research shows that many customers will abandon their cart if the checkout is too complicated. The majority of people (54%) are looking for a quicker and easier online shopping experience, the same number that are looking for a safer online experience. So while improvements in security are extremely valuable, they must be paired with an efficient and easy checkout process, on any platform.
- Ensure an efficient and easy return process
When thinking about your customer journey, it needs to extend beyond just the checkout. One area where extra effort will pay dividends for customer satisfaction is the returns process. Mastercard’s Digital Payments research highlighted that 31% of consumers want the ability to return unwanted items. Ensuring that returns and refunds are easy will help build an ongoing relationship with consumers. Mastercard has invested in expanding its existing Mastercard Send service to make that refund process as fast and as seamless and as hassle free as possible for consumers. It is expected to be rolled out in New Zealand later this year and will allow for easy refunds, with the payment being disbursed within seconds of the refund being approved.
- Don’t forget to stay close to your customers
When innovating in the digital space, it is important to understand who your customers are and what needs they have.
Become 2021, sponsored by Mastercard and powered by the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services for New Zealand and Australia identified that a customer-centric approach is key to innovation. The report found that there is a disconnect between New Zealand and Australian organisations’ perceptions of consumer needs and what consumers actually want. It is important you do not fall into this trap. Gaining more proximity to the customer will enable you to fast track new digital initiatives and meet changing customer expectations.
2021 is almost coming to a close, and there is no doubt that the events of the past two years have changed the retail landscape for the long run. As you approach the upcoming sales period, there’s never been a better time to talk to your bank and ensure you’re being protected by the latest payment technology. Stay close to your customers and adapt, and while doing so, don’t forget trust and security needs to come before everything else.
Megan Simons (pictured) is Head of Product and Innovation, Australasia at Mastercard.