APAC consumers have the highest tendency to abandon virtual shopping carts, according to the SAP Consumer Propensity Study, with more than half (51 per cent) discarding their carts sometimes or all the time, ahead of North America (47 per cent) and Europe (41 per cent). Worldwide, the chief reason for cart abandonment is consumers balking at high shipping costs (54 per cent). In APAC, shoppers are more price-savvy, treating a cart as a visual display board to compare prices (46 per cent), or abandoning carts because there are no discounts or promotion codes (29 per cent); higher than the global average of 39 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively.
More than 20,000 online consumers were surveyed globally, including the APAC markets of Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Thailand, to understand online shopping preferences and motivation to complete a purchase. The results revealed that while prices are the main driver, with 56 per cent of APAC consumers indicating that discounts and promotions succeed in nudging them to complete the purchase, they also want a personalised shopping experience. More than a quarter (27 per cent) are encouraged to buy when the brand demonstrates a full understanding of their shopping history, and 26 per cent are motivated when the retailer provides quick responses to their queries on the item.
Price is not the only deciding factor; another driver of cart abandonment that emerged is stock availability. More than a third give up on their carts due to out-of-stock items, and 28 per cent do so due to longer-than-expected delivery times. Retailers need to be conscious that their supply chain and logistics decisions can directly impact sales. Integrating their back-office systems into their e-commerce systems and tools can give customers real-time visibility of stock availability online and in stores, different stock options, and delivery options and timelines, which will encourage customers to complete transactions.
“Reviewing cart abandonment data provides a starting point for retailers to identify friction points in the consumer journey and make improvements to the overall purchasing experience”, said Jennifer Arnold, Vice President of Marketing, Asia Pacific Japan & Greater China, SAP Customer Experience. “Consumer behaviour at the checkout stage, including items selected and discarded, navigation steps, time spent to complete specific actions, the precise point of abandonment, amongst other factors, provide valuable insight into ways the retailer can boost customer engagement and increase conversion.
“Once they know why shoppers are abandoning carts, there are many options for retailers to remove the friction and encourage follow-through on the purchase,” she continued. “For example, retailers can give shoppers visibility of shipping and tax prices sooner, provide assistance via a pop-up chat window if the shopper seems stuck on a process, use retargeting to get consumers to visit again, send reminders if they left something in the cart, or follow up by providing a special promotional code.”
The research reveals other ways APAC consumers wish for brands to enhance the shopping experience:
“The results point toward a deeper ask from consumers for engaging buying experiences tailored to their individual needs and lifestyles, which extends to ongoing service and support. To achieve this, brands need a robust omnichannel approach based on having a view of the customer across all touchpoints at all times, and advanced analytics to anticipate customer behaviours and understand their real-time intent. With this in place, brands will be able to provide a personalised and responsive consumer experience before and after the checkout process,” added Arnold.