You Don’t Make Your Customers Queue In-Store, So Why Make Them Queue Online?

Shopping cart abandonment is the bane of digital commerce. Every day, digital merchants are seeing money slip through their fingers because customers simply aren’t completing their purchase process.

Of course, this isn’t limited to digital commerce. If everyone who entered a bricks and mortar shop bought something, shopkeepers might consider retiring early and the rest of us would have wardrobes the size of barns. People go into shops to browse, to see what’s new, to kill time or just out of curiosity. Online shopping is in many ways very similar.

The main issue is people who have committed to buying something changing their minds. In our white paper (Digital Payments – Bridging the Gap Between Convenience and Security) we showed that nearly one in five (18%) of those who had abandoned a purchase had done so because they felt the security and authentication processes were excessive. This is an area where the online merchant can make significant improvements.

Recent research showed that the number one reason for consumers in bricks and mortar stores to abandon their shopping was the significant wait time associated with queue size[1]. So when a customer in a bricks and mortar store has made the decision to purchase something, the smart retailer makes it as easy as possible for them to complete the transaction and leave a happy and contented customer.

Crucially, the payment process itself doesn’t factor into this to any great extent. That’s because the payment process is easy. You either hand over cash or your card and you authenticate that card with your PIN.

As an analogy, the laborious and unwieldy authentication process in digital commerce is the online equivalent of that queue. Consumers have to wait to make their payment. But instead of being held up in a queue, they are being held up by forms to fill out before they can authenticate themselves and pay.

Bricks and mortar stores are always looking at ways to cut down the length of time their customers have to queue. Mobile point-of-sale devices, self-service tills, NFC card readers, staff on-hand to help the customer and so on. The question is; how can this be extended to the digital environment?

By allowing consumers to authenticate via their existing cardholder PIN, the process is straightforward, secure and swift, and the reduced time spent waiting to pay and will cut down abandonment.