Abandoned Shopping Baskets


Online shopping has been a revelation for many in business. It has evolved into an attractive, growing revenue source for some. Others have found it unrewarding, expensive and an aspect of commerce which devours huge amounts of resources, not the least of which is time.

Many commentators, analysts and online protagonists have declared that online communication channels, supply chains and ordering systems have rewritten the text on business success.
However, some things remain constant.
Convenience persists as the premium criteria applied by consumers, customers and clients in business, product and service selection, as well as the key determinant of customer satisfaction.
Look no further than online “hits” by Australian consumers. No less than 70% who go online, select an outlet, chose a product or service and commence the process of purchasing terminate the contract before completion... alas an abandoned shopping basket!
There are multiple contributing factors in the decisions to withdraw from the sales process. Most prominent is the inconvenience experienced by intending purchasers when they are confronted by the need to complete up to 7 pages of information about themselves. It’s simply inconvenient.
Many well-intentioned business owners (driven by financial prudence and defensive, protective nature) and a large percentage of so-called online communications and marketing experts do not understand their customers. Indeed, many younger consultants have never spoken to targeted groups, analysed their needs, wants and aspirations or have the skills to strike a positive, compelling accord with those individuals.
Little wonder there are so many “abandoned shopping baskets” out there in cyber-space. Picture, if you will the isles of supermarkets cluttered with 70% of the shopping trolleys partially full and abandoned.
The high number of “abandoned shopping baskets” is just one reason why calls from online consultants to be measured and remunerated on the number of “hits” to a site should be summarily dismissed.
They, like their fee-paying clients, need to ensure the sales are concluded, the revenues are banked and the profits and rewards are distributed.
Technical skills alone will not ensure efficiency and effectiveness. As a consumer behaviour analyst I enjoy rewarding relationships with a number of social media and online consultants. The respective skill sets are compatible and complementary. Both have limitations and deficiencies. Sadly, many consultants do not recognise, acknowledge and address such, to the disadvantage of clients. We don’t.

Barry Urquhart


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Barry Urquhart, MD Marketing Focus, Perth, is the author of Australia's top two selling books on customer service and is an internationally recognised authority on consumer behaviour and creative visual marketing.

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