Innovations of the Buying Experience
  • Alicia Baumann
March 14, 2016
Posted by Alicia Baumann

Changes in the Buying Experience

As quickly as consumers are abandoning carts, retailers are evolving the customer buying experience. Here are five ways that retailers are innovating the buying experience to increase cart conversion and enhance their customer's overall experience.

Click-and-Collect (and Return)

Demand for the ability to purchase online and pick up in-store (click-and-collect) is growing, same is said for the ability to buy something online and return it to the store. According to a survey by Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, 86% of respondents said they would consider purchasing in-store to save $10 on a $50 item. This is not only appealing from a consumer savings perspective, it is also allows customers to get their purchase faster. Furthermore, it’s both beneficial for customers and great for the retailer, since it reduces shipping costs, gets customers in-store, which makes them likely to purchase more. The annual UPS and comScore report from 2015 says nearly half (48%) of online shoppers have used ship to store in the past year, and 45% of those consumers made an additional purchase when picking up their online purchase.

On-Demand Delivery

It isn’t very surprising that online retailers are hopping on this trend, especially considering that a recent survey from fraud prevention startup, Trustev, revealed that 56 percent of online shoppers between the ages 18–34 expect to have same-day shipping as an option when they shop online. One company that embraced this on-demand shopper and their expectation for same-day delivery is Uber. Uber released UberRUSH, it’s eCommerce package delivery service program for retailers, which partnered with Nordstrom, SAP, T-Mobile, and Google.

Purchase Automation

Simplifying the buying experience is the best way to increase cart conversion since it eliminates second guessing a purchase. What’s more automated than one-click purchasing both digitally and physically? Increasingly, we’re seeing more automated purchasing, such as Amazon’s Dash button, which allows customers to instantly reorder household supplies. Another way we’re seeing retailers streamlining the buying experience is the move to “intelligent” products. The latest generation of Whirlpool washing machines can order a pre-specified amount of washing detergent after a set number of cycles, without the user having to do anything. Retailers can leverage impulse buying bheaviors both in brick-and-mortar stores and online to give shoppers (almost) instant gratification.

Mobile Payments

Mobile payments had tremendous growth in 2015 but pales in comparison to what is anticipated for 2016. eMarketer expects proximate payment transactions to reach $8.71 billion in 2015 and is estimated to triple to $27.05 billion in 2016. Paying with Visa Checkout, Apple Pay, and Google Pay is not only easy for customers to use, it makes it far more challenging for payment information to be stolen. When retailers make mobile payments accessible to customers it benefits both the buyer and the seller.

Digitally-Enhanced Retail Experiences

The fifth annual Cisco Consulting Services retail survey found that most shoppers want innovations that improve convenience and efficiency, extending beyond personalization into hyper-relevance. Hyper-relevance means that the customers time is spent efficiently during the retail experience with greater savings on products and increased engagement, which can be done using video technology analytics that see what parts of the store customers are spending the most time. Macy’s has already started to digitally enhance its stores with beacon technology that interacts with shopper’s phones to let them know about discount and promotions. Using technology and analytics improves the overall customer buying experience.

Whether innovation means coming up with new ways for consumers to make purchases or evolving the fulfillment process, retailers are constantly coming up with inventive ways to create the ultimate buying experience for their customers.

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