The eCommerce industry has a dark side that they don’t want you to know about. As more and more consumers shop online, they are becoming savvier by the minute – making the overall prospect of running an online store scarier than ever. Of course, understanding eCommerce trends, both the good and the bad, will enable you to better prepare your site and take the fear factor out of the equation.
3 Terrifying Ecommerce Trends…And How to Avoid Them:
1. Fraudulent Orders: The first trend, sending shivers down the backs of today’s eCommerce professional, is the dreaded fraudulent order. According to Internet Retailer, fraudulent orders reached an alarming spend of $3.5 billion in 2012 alone, up 3% from 2011 and 30% from 2010. To protect your store, you can take a myriad of tactics to circumvent fraud by monitoring order history or creating a fraud scoring model. You can also use validation services to verify a card number and the shipping address or even call the customer to verify an order.
2. Free Returns: Another alarming trend is the increasing number of sites that offer free return shipping. Asking your customer to pay for shipping is one thing, but asking them to pay for a return is even worse. The idea of making your customer return an online purchase, pay all shipping costs and then end up with nothing but an erroneous shipping charge is enough to scare any shopper – and make their head spin exorcist style. We encourage sites to provide customers with free return shipping BUT the real takeaway, and what makes this trend so chilling, is that many stores do not take the time to calculate how free return shipping impacts their bottom line. Take a 360 degree view of all your returns from the past year and calculate the number of orders that ended up being returned and factor this cost into your overall budget.
3. Abandon Cart: The last bone-chilling eCommerce trend, shopping cart abandonment, isn’t really a trend at all – it is a fact of life in the world of online shopping. What makes it so alarming, and trend by a technicality, is the fact that the percentage of shoppers that abandon their carts is increasing year after year. In the second quarter of 2013, the average rate of abandonment was 75% while in 2012 the average was only 65% and 60% in 2011. While the trend shows no signs of stopping – making it the scariest of all – there are things you can easily do to overcome this hurdle. Make sure that shipping costs are clearly labeled on your site before checkout so that your customers do not experience sticker shock when checking out, offer various payment methods and make sure your site is secure and appears safe and credible to the consumer.
The eCommerce industry can be challenging and even scary at times. Today’s shoppers are finicky and savvy with extremely high expectations. But if you fully invest in your site and the needs of your customers, the ever-evolving world of online shopping can also be extremely rewarding.