By Daniel Hunter

Today’s social, multi-device consumers demand shopping experiences that are relevant and seamless, but most businesses are still failing to successfully deliver on these expectations, according to research by Gigya.

The study found that 60% of UK consumers had abandoned a purchase because the website had made them fill out a lengthy or complicated online registration form. Four in five (80%) said they abandoned the form because they were concerned about the type of information requested.

Brian Sullivan, senior vice-president of Client Services at Gigya, has shed light on three arguably unexpected reasons shoppers abandon their carts:

1. Sheer timing - "According to a report by eMarketer, 57% of shoppers abandoned carts because they aren’t ready to purchase and want to get an idea of total costs with shipping. Another 56% abandon because they simply wanted to save them for later. Today’s businesses must learn to thrive in a landscape that empowers consumers to compare prices and shop around before clicking through to make that final purchasing decision. In order to stand out from the competition, businesses need to build brand trust and establish long-term, authentic relationships with their consumers.

"One approach is to create a space for customers to leave feedback on products through an identity-based ratings and reviews platform. By facilitating two-way conversations marketers can build an on-site community while nurturing transparency."

2. Single channel experiences - "These days, consumers aren’t just shopping on their desktops: they’re browsing their favourite online stores on their smartphones and tablets too. According to Tradedoubler 50% of shoppers use their smartphone or tablet for shopping activity every week and almost a third do so nearly every day.

"As customers browse, they generally leave items in their shopping carts for possible future reference, when and if they do decide to complete the purchase. In this sense, the online shopping cart is fast becoming a sort of pseudo shopping list for customers to save items for future purchases. Noting that customers are engaging across different channels and using shopping carts as research tools in addition to actual purchase points, it’s important to recognise the varying roles carts play in the overall shopping experience and the importance of enabling customer identity across channels."

3. Lengthy registration forms - "Registration fatigue is a real threat to purchase conversions. Our poll concluded the reasons customers favour social login are overwhelmingly related to ease and convenience — 59% of respondents choose it because they don’t want to spend time filling in online registration forms and 46% don’t want to have to create yet another username and password.

"To reduce the barriers to entry for shoppers, allow them to register for an account via their existing social identities while also offering reasonable form fields that don’t ask for unnecessary information.

"Using social login provides brands with permission-based access to users’ social data, which can be used to auto-populate form fields for a faster, streamlined checkout process. It also gives a clear sense of what information is being shared, helping to build trust. This provides brands with deep insights into your customer interests, activities and friends in a transparent way, which can be used to personalise interactions and experiences."

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