e-commerceDid you realize that business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce sales worldwide were approximately $1.5 trillion in 2014? This is nearly 20% over 2013, and represents a huge opportunity area for any company that has an e-commerce strategy!

But did you also realize that even with over a trillion dollars in online sales, there still a lot of money to be made, as the conversion rate of sales from online traffic is still low.  In fact according to Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly, sales conversion on online websites are as low as 1.17% on average globally. This leads me to some questions for retailers, along with solutions they need to reduce shopping cart abandonment. To use an e-commerce pun, check out my questions and solutions below:

Q: Why are almost 99% of online sales opportunities lost? 

A:  Recent Genesys research identified that a massive 80% of online retailers in the UK are letting customers discard their online goods without challenge which results in massive lost online sales. The Genesys research also showed that nearly 73% of US online retailers completely failed to contact the customer after the cart was abandoned – even after one week!

Q:  When companies try to help online customers, do they have the right tools? 

A: Legacy solutions are usually not appropriate. Simply put, they lack customer engagement intelligence. On some websites, engagement windows pop up constantly without any apparent rhyme or reason. This is often seen as more of an annoyance than an attempt to create a meaningful conversation. Furthermore, If you are willing to accept the invitation you may be met with a “please hold for an agent” or a “try again later” message which is not a very engaging interaction.

Q: What is the most effective action to take in order to help online customers and reduce abandonment?

A: Proactive customer engagement via the contact center platform can be key in fighting against shopping cart abandonment. A fair amount of the wasted revenue opportunity is avoidable with the right strategies in place. All that is required is timely intervention at the point of virtual sale, or quick and diligent follow-up after a shopping cart abandonment. As Larry Page said, “On the Internet, competition is one click away.”

Every company can benefit by implementing a proactive engagement via live and context-aware web chat.  It is ideal to engage with a hesitant visitor who is almost at the point of purchase to increase conversion rates. Proactively engaging with current and prospective customers presents companies the opportunity to not only help the customer journey, but also persuade the customer to continue their purchase or address any concerns they may have about the goods they’re purchasing which, by the way, can also drastically reduce returns!

Recent Genesys research shows that following-up after consumers have abandoned their online goods is clearly not considered a priority for most companies. Having the ability to figure out why a shopper has decided to disregard the items in their cart and re-marketing to that customer can definitely foster additional and very valuable sales.

To learn more about how proactive customer engagement solutions can help decrease shopping cart abandonment and lead to higher sales and a better customer experience, please download our white paper, Proactively Increasing Your Online Sales.

Remy Claret

Remy Claret, Product Marketing Director at Genesys, has over 15 years of experience in Customer Experience Management. He has worked in a variety of strategic roles in his career including Product Marketing, Sales Engineering and Business Consulting. Prior to joining...