'Retailers failing to control online churn' • eCommerce Forum | Forum Events Ltd
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  • ‘Retailers failing to control online churn’

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    90% of retailers believe they are delivering a consistent digital experience – but over a third of customers drop off sites, and 60% of organisations don’t measure customer churn.

    That’s according to research from Eggplant, which it says reveals the pressures facing online digital teams leading up to the busy retail season.

    With 500 retailers participating, results found that while 92 percent of digital teams are focussed on business outcomes and a superior omni channel experience, 60 percent failed to measure customer churn, with 30 percent  having an average drop off rate of 50 percent or more on online properties.

    The survey, carried out among 500 digital and IT teams in the retail sector across both the US and UK, revealed that organisations are under pressure as they release an increasing number of digital products and apps, an average increase of 20 percent over last year.

    This follows recent reports that nearly 3,000 shops shut on UK high streets in the first half of this year and in July the proportion of shops that are empty reached 10.3 percent, its highest level since January 2015.

    In the US, 46 percent release over 11 products or apps per year (compared with only 30 percent in the UK), with 95 percent stating this is an increase from last year and 87 percent believe this trend will increase in 2020 (compared with only 75 percent in the UK).

    An additional pressure point comes when it comes to skills, with one in five organisations lacking testers to ensure they deliver an omnichannel experience which delights customers.

    Lack of adequate skills no doubt is a reason for online retailers to turn to automation technologies, with over 70 percent of retailers deploying AI to test software and applications.

    Organisations are also deploying technologies such as; live chat (46 percent), native mobile apps (46 percent), and front-end web technologies (45 percent), which are only expected to play a bigger role moving forward. Over a third of retailers (34 percent) are also looking to incorporate AI to improve the digital experience for customers.

    When it comes to the scale of the digital experience, 35 percent of organisations are maintaining five or more digital channels, and 72 percent measuring three or more channels.

    On the positive side, US and UK businesses are now recognising the importance of business outcomes and the customer experience, with 92 percent of respondents measuring the user experience via business outcomes such as customer growth (74 percent), company growth (71 percent) and revenue growth (65 percent). Those measuring customer churn believe drop off rates are due to site navigation (51 percent), site functionality (48 percent), and site performance (47 percent).

    Dr John Bates, CEO of Eggplant, said: “It’s great news to see organisations focusing on customer satisfaction and business outcomes when it comes to their digital experience. However, it’s concerning to see that one in three customers are still falling away due to user experience issues.

    “With the ongoing trend from bricks to clicks and mortar, the growth of online products and services, organisations are under tremendous pressure in advance of events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The traditional high street retailers have to grasp with the enormous task of transforming their businesses to digital experiences. It’s no surprise they are turning to AI and new technologies to deliver an omnichannel experience that drives business growth and delights customers.”

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