Basket abandonment is a term many of us within the retail and marketing industry are more than familiar with. There’s articles circulated daily discussing ways of improving online user journey in order to reduce basket abandonment. Yet, you very rarely see the same number of articles (if any) discussing in-store basket abandonment. Of course, it’s more difficult to track abandonment and customer journey within store and thus much harder to prevent. However, technology aside, there are still some very basic improvements stores could be making to more effectively rival their e-commerce counterparts
As shoppers become increasingly savvy, many won’t purchase a product without knowing what other verified purchasers think of it. This is particularly the case when it comes to products in the health and beauty sector. With dedicated beauty bloggers and review websites it can take a potential customer just seconds to carry out an online search and discover what other customers are saying about a product. Yet, when viewing a product in-store there’s rarely anything other than basic product information, the price and the advice of the sales associate available.
A simple piece of point of sale quoting a few stand out reviews, customer statistics or awards would have in many cases been enough to close the sale, reducing the customers need to reach for their smartphone. Retailers often have individual product reviews proudly displayed online, as well as award badges and blogger/publication endorsements but unfortunately such efforts aren’t always replicated within store.
Advice and Product Knowledge
One of the many reasons purchases are abandoned in-store is due to unhelpful staff. As touched on above, due to the wealth of information now available online from product tutorials to instant chat services, stores need to arm their staff with the knowledge and training they need to provide an equally (if not more) informative service. It’s worth stores also identifying their personal USP’s, for example, stores in specific locations maybe exclusive brand stockists within a particular area radius. This provides them with a prime opportunity to position themselves as product experts and secure offline sales, as otherwise many customers from that area may be forced to purchase online.
Many of us are often happy to part with a couple of extra pounds to benefit from a pleasant and engaging in-store shopping experience. However, bricks and mortar retailers seem to be missing out on conversions by being overly discrete regarding certain promotions.
Retailers tend to shout about online promotions either via their own websites or through affiliate platforms such as VoucherCodes.co.uk. Often, the same promotions can be used in-store, yet sales associates are usually unaware and thus don’t push such offerings onto customers’. Which could be useful to encourage add-on and impulse purchases particularly during quieter times.
Basket abandonment should be equally important in-store as it is online and although it can’t be tackled or combated in the same manner, steps to prevent it should still be put in place. Omni-channel retailing should provide a seamless customer journey from one sales channel to another, yet some physical locations aren’t reaching their full potential due to the discrepancies between purchasing channels.