01 Mar Your New Cashier in eCommerce: The Digital Shopping Cart
It’s been a little while since we talked about the new eCommerce customer journey – we’ve been super busy getting some incredibly cool new stuff ready that we’ll be releasing soon – stay tuned!
But in the meantime, there are a few more stages of the journey we have yet to talk about. Today, let’s look at how the digital shopping cart plays the role in eCommerce of a human cashier in the brick and mortar world.
A good human cashier will make the act of purchasing your products as smooth and friction-free as possible, all while helping your customer discover supplementary items that might make their purchase even more enjoyable – all done with a smile and in a way that makes the customer feel special. How the heck do you digitize and automate that?
Good UI and UX design are critical, of course, but aren’t enough on their own. One thing a really great human cashier has is information – about the company’s products and about which products can complement others. For a regular customer, that cashier may have learned some customer-specific knowledge that can help provide context to a purchase and tip the cashier off as to how the customer prefers to be treated. The virtual cashier that is the shopping cart can offer the digital equivalent by providing the customer with information about complementary products (“people who bought this also bought that”) and by learning the preferences of repeat customers.
The shopping cart can also reduce the friction of the purchase by providing the information the customer needs to make a decision right away, rather than only revealing key factors such as shipping time and costs at checkout. Telling your customers what they need to know regarding shipping as early as possible in the shopping process can have a major impact on whether or not they complete a transaction: 58% of consumers abandoning their shopping carts do so because the addition of shipping costs pushed the total transaction cost higher than they were expecting or were willing to pay.
It’s also important to be able to offer your customers acceptable shipping choices in the shipping cart: cart abandonment rates are cut in half when customers are offered delivery in three days or less, compared with four days or more. Simply offering a faster delivery option in the shopping cart, whether chosen or not, can lead to an increase in sales: representatives of a major big-box retailer told an audience of supply chain professionals at a CSCMP event that just offering same-day delivery, even at a high cost and even if rarely chosen, led to a 19% increase in conversions.
While you can’t digitize a friendly, sincere smile, you can build into your digital shopping cart many of the same features and factors that help first-rate human cashiers increase sales and delight customers. Giving customers clear, palatable options around delivery and making that information available in the shopping cart well before checkout is one very important example.