Jul 6, 2020
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Flexible delivery, fun and functionality all encourage e-tail checkout - report

Jul 6, 2020

With retailers struggling to get back to normal as the lockdown is eased and e-tailers perhaps facing slower growth than they’ve enjoyed recently, knowing what makes consumers buy is hugely important.

What makes e-shoppers buy? There's a lot to it, a new study shows

A new study called Navigating Needs: the path to profit in eCommerce shows that delivery, security, customer service, easy-to-navigate websites and experiences are all key to making sure a sale happens.

The information comes from payments specialist Klarna and SaaS e-commerce platform BigCommerce who spoke to 2,000 UK consumers. They found that 38% of shoppers abandon a purchase at least once a week, with 21% claiming to do so more regularly. 

And the biggest issue that causes this is the lack of fast and affordable delivery options. Some 54% of UK consumers said they’ve abandoned their online shopping cart due to delivery frustrations. 

The hassle of needing to create an account and frustrations with mobile site functionality came next, cited by a third of consumers as reasons to drop out. 

Meanwhile, 27% of consumers have abandoned a purchase because they couldn’t remember log-in details for an existing account, and 26% admitted they’ve left a purchase halfway through because they ‘couldn’t be bothered’ to prepare their card details.

The report said this all makes the shopper journey fairly fragile with chances of it failing all the way along the journey.


Inspired by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, the report looked at the shopper needs retailers have to meet as they work hard to gain and retain customers.

Functionality makes up the foundation of the pyramid as the need that must be met first and foremost, with 37% of respondents saying the ease of using a retailer’s website has the biggest influence on their purchase decisions. Almost a quarter (23%) said they’d also be influenced by the speed of the checkout process, while 22% are encouraged by flexible payment options. 

Next is the issue of safety with 75% of consumers saying they’d be likely to abandon their shopping cart if they didn’t trust a website’s security. But it’s not only cyber security that’s important these days as contact-free delivery options are also coming to the fore.

The next step up in the pyramid is the importance of engagement. Some 39% of consumers said good customer service would encourage them to shop again with an online retailer, while 27% said poor customer service would deter them. 

Esteem is next as 33% of shoppers say they want to be recognised and valued. They say personalised offers or discounts would encourage them to shop with an online brand, while 19% would be swayed by a personalised checkout experience. A similar number would be likely to abandon a purchase if they weren’t treated to a personalised offer. 

And once all those other needs are met, many consumers are looking for enriching experiences in the form of entertainment and inspiration. More than a third want this, so we’re talking about a massive number of people who want much more than a basic, functional retail experience.

Laurel Wolfe, VP Marketing at Klarna, said: “Consumer behaviour might feel particularly unpredictable right now, but fundamental needs remain the same. Just like Maslow’s theory, this means starting with the basics and working up. Customers won’t feel comfortable if a website feels insecure, while a fast, smooth checkout process is likely to encourage loyalty. From flexible payment options and shopper security, to relevant content and referral traffic, we’re proud to help retailers improve the shopping experience at every stage of the journey, enabling them to create closer connections with customers.”

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