SAP Customer Experience

The key concerns most marketers face today include having a single view of their customer, ensuring that their customers trust them with their personal data, creating a customer for life, responding to customers who use 'digital channels' first in all their engagements, and seamlessly connecting the front office to the back office. Only SAP Customer Experience provides a complete solution set to address the concerns that are shaping today's customer experience. Learn more

How to tackle abandoned carts and global retailers

Abandoned shopping carts are a major headache for marketers. But new SAP research shows it’s a bigger problem in Australia than other major markets like the US and UK.

Abandoned shopping carts are a major headache for marketers. But new SAP research shows it’s a bigger problem in Australia than other major markets like the US and UK.

To make matters worse, local retailers face fierce competition from global players. Fashion retailers must compete with new entrants like H&M and Zara, supermarkets have been disrupted by Aldi and are now anxiously awaiting the local launch of Kaufland, while everybody has one eye on Amazon’s progress following its surprisingly slow start on these shores.

And it’s not just a retail issue. Any industry selling online is now expected to meet the high standards of service delivery being set by global giants and the smartest niche operators. Even in the business to business world there’s increasing expectation for services to be made available online. 

The answer to both of these cart abandonment and global competition problems lies in improving customer experience, from getting the basics right to delivering personalised experiences.

SAP has just released the findings of its Consumer Propensity Study, which is based on the responses of more than 20,000 people around the world, including 1000 Australians. More than half of those Australians (57 per cent) said they abandon online shopping carts. The rate of abandonment was even higher for some categories including fashion (67 per cent) and furniture (65 per cent).

Shipping charges (60 per cent) were cited as the main reason why Australian consumers failed to complete a purchase. But this wasn’t the only problem. Almost one-third (32 per cent) pull the pin when they see an item is out of stock and a similar number (29 per cent) lose interest because of longer than expected delivery times.

Australia is a big place and stock often has to travel long distances even when it’s in the country. This problem is exacerbated when suppliers are located across the region or around the world. Shipping costs and delivery times will continue to be an issue but operational efficiencies deliver meaningful improvements.

You can improve customer experience in a number of ways that build loyalty – making it easier to exchange or return goods, providing price and feature comparisons for different products, and breaking down barriers between online and in-store experiences.

 

Stepping out of the shadows

Global competitors are casting a long shadow over the local retail industry with carefully targeted offers and shipping solutions that break down international barriers. The introduction of GST on all overseas purchases is unlikely to make any meaningful difference.

Then there’s Amazon, which is a concern whatever you’re selling. The world’s largest online retailer has made less impact than expected since opening for business in Australia late last year but progress in other markets show only a fool would bet against its growing influence.

As an Australian business it would be easy to take your eye off the ball when faced with this level of global competition. But it’s important to concentrate on the variables you’re able to influence instead of focusing too much on what others are doing.

How do you make your business the best it can be? How do you delight customers with consistent, personalised experiences that will convince them to come back again and tell their friends?

While it’s tempting to focus on the new shiny toys, there’s great value in getting the basics right. This means building strong connections between slick online experiences and your supply chain processes so digital shelves are never empty and delivery times are as short as possible.

The other area of focus is bringing everything you know about your customer – whether they’ve interacted with your business in a store, via online, through a call centre or on social media – and using this to deliver personalised customer experience.

Getting these two things right will reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts and keep your business competitive in the face of global competition.


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Scott Treller, Executive General Manager, SAP Customer Experience


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