E-tailers' 5-minute service window

E-tailers' 5-minute service window

E-tailers need to sharpen their services a report has found, with lacklustre customer service and difficulty receiving help key drivers of shopping cart abandonment.

B&T Magazine
Posted by B&T Magazine

Australian shoppers are among the toughest to please when it comes to customer service and are demanding a much higher level of engagement, according to a LivePerson commissioned study by research firm Loudhouse.

“In today’s world we have been conditioned to expect less customer support online, that we would in-store,” Dustin Dean, APAC vice president LivePerson, told B&T.

“However the reality is retailers can easily replicate the level of support they offer in-store to online shoppers.”

The Connecting with Customers Report found 87% of shoppers need help when purchasing online and 25% expect that help immediately.

If help is not received within the expected time frame, which is within five minutes for the majority of shoppers (62%), 53% will abandon their purchase.

Six out of 10 e-commerce fans said they would like the option of engaging in live-chat with a brand’s agent and 90% view real-time help as useful.

When Australian shoppers encounter an issue while online shopping they also expect a quick resolution, with 55% wanting it solved with one interaction.

However, more than half (54%) will ditch their digital shopping trip immediately or try only once to seek help.

Meeting consumer’s demand for “instant gratification” may appear tough, but Dean believes retailers are better equipped to succeed online than in-store.

“When customers visit a store, in most instances staff won’t know what that customer is, what they are looking for, or if they have visited before,” he said.

“The only way they can determine this quickly is to approach them as soon as they arrive, which can have its disadvantages.

“When engaging online customers, companies can leverage the data or information that is already available to them to provide a customized service experience. They can approach a customer – via live chat for example, only when the time is right, and they can offer the type of service a customer wants either in the form of content about a specific product or service, or in the form of live digital engagement with an agent.”

Other top reasons for abandoning online purchases include unexpected costs (69%), lack of information about products/service or deliver (59%) and navigation difficulties (52%).