In a turbulent year for Australian retailers, one thing remained constant — a fortified online presence was key to not just surviving, but thriving. With uncertainties reigning across different regions with physical lockdowns and social distancing, retailers who could offer a seamless and secure online experience could enjoy being part of the biggest online shopping boom in history.
November 2021 marked the biggest month in Australian online shopping history, according to data from Australia Post, which delivered more than 21 million packages in a period of weeks, up 13% on last November’s record.
It’s one thing to observe that Australians are shopping online more than ever before. It’s another to unpack the reasons as to why. A recent survey from GBG, The GBG Australian Shopping Experience survey, canvassed the responses of more than 1,000 Australian consumers. It found that three in five Australians are shopping online more due to the impacts of COVID-19, and a hesitancy to shop in store. However, one in two still prefer shopping in-store.
This highlights that, as a retailer, it is prudent to fortify your online shopping experience to suit those who are shopping online out of necessity, rather than their first preference. Such customers are predominantly seeking seamless signup and checkout experiences that are efficient, convenient, and secure — something that more closely resembles what they’re used to in stores.
How to achieve such efficiency and accuracy was just one of many timely issues discussed between Carol Chris, Regional General Manager of GBG Australia and New Zealand, and Emily Bencic, Editor of RetailBiz, on Episode 14 of the RetailBiz podcast.
Chris and Bencic went into further detail about the importance of retailers having the right website to handle increased traffic and transactions, particularly, as Chris noted, during large online shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
“An efficient, well-designed website that can speed up processes with autocompletion is better for the customer and minimises losses for the retailer,” Chris said.
Addressing a key pain point: data entry
The survey also found Australian shoppers find that the most painful parts of the online shopping checkout process are when there are too many fields to fill in manually (34%), entering card payment details (33%), site malfunction losing all the details entered (31%), time it takes to load (25%) and authentication steps (22%).
The best possible data quality can only be achieved with the best possible technology reinforcing the back end of your online store. That’s where Loqate, a GBG location intelligence solution, delivers value. It uses sophisticated autocomplete to autofill address and payment entry points, which has several advantages:
Chris went into further detail on the RetailBiz podcast, explaining to the host that auto-address completion, like what’s available in Loqate, is a clear representation of retailers using technology to their advantage. “Prepopulating data improves accuracy for the merchants. It makes sure the address is the right address, and that there won’t be a failed delivery at the other end. It prevents user error and improves the whole delivery experience.”
Chris also noted that as ecommerce players look to provide a global experience, such as international shipping or expansion across borders, using a system like Loqate is a foolproof way to make sure parcels are delivered to where they are meant to be delivered.
“When you’re choosing providers that provide autocomplete, there’s so many different address formats locally and globally,” she explained. “Sometimes the automation can be limited and can only have limited coverage. A lot of ecommerce players serving international markets need to be able to confirm whether it’s a residential versus a business location, or have auto fills that fit particular address formats, because there are nuances in the data. You can also increase the chance of detecting fraudulent transactions.”
The survey went on to note that 50% of respondents hold themselves responsible for getting parcels sent to the right address, 30% believe merchants are responsible as they need to have the right technology to ensure delivery addresses are accurate, and 20% believe the duty is with the courier/shipping company.
It’s evident that accurate parcel delivery is of major importance to both retailers and customers. Using Loqate is a foolproof way to increase data accuracy and decrease cart abandonment.
To listen to the Episode 14 of the RetailBiz podcast in full, visit https://retailbiz.com.au/online-retailing/podcast-episode-14-gbg-explains-how-retailers-can-improve-the-checkout-process/
To read more about GBG’s Australian Shopping Experience survey, visit https://www.gbgplc.com/apac/news/retailers-with-seamless-sign-up-and-checkout-processes-are-more-impressionable/
To learn more about Loqate, a GBG location intelligence solution, visit https://www.loqate.com/anz/
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