I recently teamed-up with digital marketing agency, Rogerwilco, and mobile researcher, ovatoyou, to run a study in South Africa that sought to understand what influences a good, or bad online shopping customer experience. Ecommerce is still relatively small in this country, with around 18-million out of 58-million actually buying digitally (compared to the US’s 224-million), but it’s growing and is expected to reach 24,79-million by 2021. Among those who do shop online, our research into digital CX found that brands left a lot to be desired when it came to making their experiences as easy and convenient as possible – but isn’t that the purpose of online?
Among our key digital CX findings, we found that a whopping 71% of customers have reported abandoning a cart at the digital till point because of a bad experience. That’s a lot of lost sales (R34-billion to be exact; we worked it out). South African consumers’ reasons were surprising. Locally, consumers said that sites were too slow, products were out of stock, payment gateways were clunky and there is limited customer service before they check-out. To me, these are eCommerce basics, but I’d assume this is because the South African market is still coming into its own with online shopping. In the US for instance – where the cart abandonment rate is on average 70%, issues include a lack of transparency about shipping costs, needing to create an account before buying, a long and arduous checkout process and having to fill in loads of forms. Both countries’ niggles are relatively easy to fix, and can lead to a far better online experience – something that 44,5% of consumers in South Africa said would influence them to buy more from a brand (this jumps to almost 60% among higher earners).
As we head towards peak trading periods in both South Africa and the US – Black Friday is just a month way – brands should invest far more than the average 10 – 24% of their marketing budget to fix their glitches. Otherwise they could lose out on billions of sales, while frustrating their customers, so much so that 32% might never use their brand again. The warning signs are there; brands now just need to take heed.