Connect with us

Business

Being more in touch with shopper’ feelings will pay dividends post-Covid says new research and insight from Klarna and BigCommerce

Being more in touch with shopper’ feelings will pay dividends post-Covid says new research and insight from Klarna and BigCommerce 1
  • New research reveals the fragility of the shopper journey, with nearly four in ten UK shoppers abandoning a purchase at least once a week
  • From engagement to enriched experiences, new report reveals Maslow-inspired shopper hierarchy of needs 
  • Shoppers increasingly want access to additional payment options that suit their situation and give them financial empowerment
  • Retail expert Andrew Busby warns that current crisis has heightened importance of functionality and safety  

Four in ten UK shoppers (38%) abandon a purchase at least once a week, with a fifth (21%) claiming to do so more regularly. That’s according to new research by Klarna and BigCommerce, published today with a call for retailers to prioritise shoppers’ most fundamental needs for the sake of their bottom line as the UK heads towards a recession.

The research reveals a lack of fast and affordable delivery options as the number one reason behind cart abandonment, with over half of UK consumers (54%) admitting they have abandoned their online shopping cart due to delivery frustrations.  The burden of needing to create an account and frustrations with the functionality of a mobile website came second, cited by 32% and 33% respectively as reasons to drop out.

Meanwhile, 27% of consumers have abandoned a purchase because they couldn’t remember their log in details for an existing account, whilst more than a quarter of UK shoppers (26%) admitted they have left a purchase halfway through because they ‘couldn’t be bothered’ to prepare their card details.

The findings, which highlight the fragility of the shopper journey, form part of a new report —Navigating Needs: the path to profit in eCommerce— published by global payment provider Klarna and leading SaaS ecommerce platform provider BigCommerce, in partnership with retail expert Andrew Busby.

Hierarchy of shopper needs 

Being more in touch with shopper’ feelings will pay dividends post-Covid says new research and insight from Klarna and BigCommerce 2

Inspired by Maslow’s well-known hierarchy of needs theory, the report considers the shopper needs retailers must satisfy in their quest to gain and retain customers.

  • Functionalitymakes up the foundation of the pyramid as the need that must be met first and foremost, with 37% of respondents saying the ease of using a retailer’s website has the biggest influence over their purchase decisions. Almost a quarter (23%) said they’d also be influenced by the speed of the checkout process, while 22% are encouraged by flexible payment options.
  • Safetycomes next, with three quarters (75%) of consumers saying they would be likely to abandon their shopping cart if they did not trust a website’s security. In the current context, this also means the safety of deliveries, with many retailers now offering essential non-contact delivery options to minimise the risk of cross-contamination.
  • Moving further up the pyramid, the research reveals the importance ofengagement,with 39% of consumers saying good customer service would encourage them to shop again with an online retailer. An additional 27% said poor customer service would deter them.   
  • An intrinsic need to be recognised and valued –esteem– comes next, with a third (33%) of consumers noting that personalised offers or discounts would encourage them to shop with an online brand, and a fifth (19%) being swayed by a personalised checkout experience. In fact, a fifth (19%) even said they would be likely to abandon a purchase if they weren’t treated to a personalised offer.   
  • And, with all other needs met, many consumers are looking for entertainment and inspiration —enriching experiences— to capture their attention, with over a third (35%) of UK shoppers saying they are more likely to shop with a retailer that is associated with fun content and experiences.   

Commenting on the research, Laurel Wolfe, VP Marketing at Klarna, said: “Consumer behaviour might feel particularly unpredictable right now, but fundamental needs remain the same. Just like Maslow’s theory, this means starting with the basics and working up. Customers won’t feel comfortable if a website feels insecure, whilst a fast, smooth checkout process is likely to encourage loyalty. From flexible payment options and shopper security, to relevant content and referral traffic, we’re proud to help retailers improve the shopping experience at every stage of the journey, enabling them to create closer connections with customers.”

Andrew Busby, top 20 global retail influencer, CEO of Retail Reflections and IBM Futurist, commented:“Even before Covid-19 struck, retail was undergoing a seismic shift – and now its transformation is almost inevitable. Innovation is key, and retailers are right to consider new ways of reaching customers and bringing the same enriching experiences to them in this strange new world. But, in a matter of months, functionality and safety have shot to unprecedented levels of importance. Physical stores may never look the same again – and, from the ability to try before you buy to the need for secure spending and rapid returns, online retailers are under peak pressure to make the shopping experience as safe and seamless as possible. 

Jim Herbert, EMEA general manager at BigCommerce added: “Shopping should always be easy and enjoyable. Consumers want ecommerce to be as quick and flexible as possible, and as this research shows, anything less than a seamless experience will result in abandoned baskets. As stress levels rise and purse strings tighten, shoppers will buy more from those merchants that match their needs. Every abandonment represents a dent in the retailers’ revenues and potentially a sale lost to a competitor, making it incredibly important to consider every aspect of the shopping experience – from security and website speed to the power of personalisation – across all channels where customers engage.” 

Business

Return to work: Flexibility, preparation and communication are key

Return to work: Flexibility, preparation and communication are key 3

By Matt Weston, Managing Director, Robert Half UK

As lockdown restrictions ease for the foreseeable future, conversations across the business world are starting to turn to how employers can safely and seamlessly prepare for their workforce to return to the office.

Research from Robert Half has found that over half (54%) of employees are worried about working in close proximity to their colleagues, while a similar proportion are eager to return to the office due to loneliness working from home (45%) or concerns about missing out on career opportunities (30%).

Unsurprisingly, after everything companies and their employees have done to successfully adapt their operations and working practices to social distancing rules over the last few months, immediately returning to the old ways of working will likely neither be sensible or practical. With safety being the key priority for the ‘new normal’ of office life – communication, flexibility and preparation should be the main focus areas for employers.

With this in mind, what are the challenges and opportunities that employees anticipate as they prepare for the return to work, beyond government and industry supplied health and safety best practice? Furthermore, how can employers best support their staff during this period?

Keep people at the heart of change

It is important to recognise that your workforce has been working through an intense period of uncertainty and change for months, which can be incredibly unsettling. On top of this, working for weeks in isolation without the usual physical interactions with team members could be potentially detrimental to employee engagement and mental wellbeing.

Having adjusted to keep staff connected with one another from a distance with virtual team building exercises, video calls and daily check-ins, as teams begin working in hybrid models with some in the office and others remote, staff engagement will need to adapt again.

Managing people with greater sensitivity and maintaining positivity throughout will be crucial. To help instil a sense of normality and engagement, encourage maximum collaboration between individuals (in accordance with social distancing rules), and make sure teams feel part of company goals and opportunities through regular meetings and communication – no matter their location.

Continuing to invest in technology and offering flexibility will also be important to ensuring that people can continue to work remotely or on-site, either in accordance with their own wishes or as part of your staggered return-to-office plan.

Communicate, communicate, communicate (and listen)

Reassuring staff that they are able to safely return to the office will require continuous communication. From expectations of the physical office, to expectations of how to operate within hybrid teams, these new expectations and new workplace requirements should be communicated to all staff clearly to avoid confusion.

Regular email updates, updates on the company’s intranet and social media channels, as well as frequent town hall meetings (either online or in a smaller setting) could be key elements of an effective communications approach.

Also, consider a feedback channel to allow staff within the team to offer thoughts on their experience of returning to the office and any suggestions on improving the process. Whether on a company-wide basis or a team-by-team approach, schedule regular check-ins to engage with employees’ questions and concerns.

Maintaining open communication channels with your team will be essential for keeping up employee morale and ensuring clarity. For example, if some employees aren’t comfortable with coming to the office every day, then they should have plenty of opportunities to voice their concerns and have them dealt with promptly, respectfully and fairly.

Staggered return-to-office planning

Depending on the size of business and density of office space, maintaining home working arrangements across teams on an alternating basis could make it easier to implement safe social distancing. This involves select teams working remotely while others work on-site on any given day.

An alternating approach to remote working might also reduce the risk of staff feeling pressured or overwhelmed by an immediate return to the office five-days-a-week. After all, some families might be juggling temporary disruptions to childcare arrangements and public transport systems will likely become crowded again. So, a transitionary period will help everyone adjust to post-lockdown office working.

Finally, if you have developed your technology infrastructure to facilitate remote working, you would do well to continue to leverage these new capabilities as in all probability, a mixture of remote and at-office work will be needed for some time.

Continue Reading

Business

Contis enters RBS Capability and Innovation Fund bid seeking £35 million for disruptive SME growth strategy  

Contis enters RBS Capability and Innovation Fund bid seeking £35 million for disruptive SME growth strategy   4

Leading payments provider, Contis, has applied for two grants from the RBS & BCR Alternative Remedies Package, totalling £35 million.  

Unlike most applicants who will deploy funds through a single brand, Contis is taking a completely different approach. The funding will be used to drive fintech innovation in the UK by developing an off the shelf, B2B electronic and card payment technology platform for SMEs. With Contis’ powerful tech stack and regulated status, this will empower hundreds of fintechs to support the SME market with groundbreaking technologies, payments and lending capabilities. Contis today services over 800,000 consumer accounts, 14,500 business accounts and processes £4bn in transactions per year, demonstrating a proven track record.   

UK businesses are facing a challenging economic environment with the impacts of Covid-19 and Brexit. As large corporations and entire sectors are affected, SMEs will play a vital role in the recovery. Contis’ approach is completely disruptive, offering three channels to maximise support for SMEs and sole traders, through three unique brands, all powered by APIs from Contis’ modular and configurable engine. 

1.       Canvas for Business 

Contis is a super-vendor in the world of fintech, offering payments through proven banking rails and card scheme capabilities including issuing pre-paid, debit and virtual cards. They’re linked to digital delivery like Apple Pay and Google Pay, and a trusted tech stack that boasts 99.99% uptime.  

With funding from the Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF), Contis’ technology and regulated services will be made available to the whole fintech community, enabling them to provide dedicated SME accounts with the latest leading-edge capabilities delivered via Contis’ wholly owned, secure, cloud-based technology and apps. Contis’ solution has a firm eye on the need for SMEs to compete internationally, particularly after Brexit, and offers FX integration as standard.  

Canvas for Business will increase competition by providing fintechs serving the SME market with technology that outstrips the big banks. Contis will also provide credit referencing capabilities and empower fintechs to lend to their SME client base through Contis’ own credit licence. Without the constraints of legacy systems, it will enable simple connectivity to accounting and payments solutions, as well as to unlimited future innovations.  

2.       Engage for Business 

Over 150 Credit Unions currently use Contis’ Engage service and technology, and hold an estimated £400 million in undeployed cash reserves. Developed with CIF funding, Engage for Business will enable Credit Unions to launch business accounts and payments products for the first time, and allow excess funds to be redeployed in the SME sector through business support loans. This will revolutionise access to funding for sole traders and small businesses. 

3.       Freedom for Business 

With CIF funding, Contis will also offer large scale SMEs a direct-to-market solution where Contis holds the relationship and provides a bespoke offer to meet the business’ exact needs. 

Contis’ application to the Capability and Innovation Fund is focused on creating the widest possible impact for UK SMEs by fulfilling their accounts & payments needs and driving innovation in SME financial services. 

Through the grant, Contis will empower over 200 fintechs and Credit Unions to provide credit, simplify payments integration into everyday business needs, offer digital credit referencing, provide budgeting tools to SMEs, enable automated payments, give predictive insight on cash flow, provide rewards to SMEs on spending, and much more. 

Peter Cox, Founder and Executive Chairman of Contis said: “Our mission is to democratise payments and financial services for all SMEs, so they’re spoilt for choice with innovative and affordable solutions that meet their exact needs. Our approach, based upon proven technologies, will broaden and disrupt the services available to SMEs far beyond the capabilities of existing providers such as the big banks.  

“By driving competition and innovation, while improving the availability of funding, our approach will increase the services on offer to SMEs and make them more affordable, therefore becoming easier for every entrepreneurial person with vision to run their own businesses.” 

Continue Reading

Business

Four years of digital transformation in four weeks: UK lockdown puts pressure on brands to digitally deliver

Four years of digital transformation in four weeks: UK lockdown puts pressure on brands to digitally deliver 5

Nearly a third (32%) of consumers would switch providers if a brand’s website is unavailable for more than 24 hours

A study released today reveals the scale of omni-channel pressure brands now faced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, as consumers flock to apps and websites to as the priority destination to transact with brands.

The UK has experienced a huge leap in use of online services thanks to lockdown, with the public appearing to have less concern for the availability of a brand’s physical location. Research by Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS) uncovers a “window of availability” that UK businesses now have before consumer loyalty changes:

  • If a brand’s website is down for 24 hours – 32 percent of consumers would switch provider
  • If a brand’s app is down for 24 hours – 28 percent of consumers would switch provider
  • If a physical store is closed for 24 hours – 20 percent of consumers would switch provider

The results by industry paint an interesting picture of the availability timeframes brands are expected to adhere to:

  • For online retailers, excluding grocery retailers – 23 percent of consumers would switch provider if they could not access online services for 12 hours, rising to over a third (34 percent) after 24 hours
  • For financial services and entertainment streaming platforms – 21 percent of consumers would switch provider after 12 hours, rising to 33 percent after 24 hours
  • In the case of online grocery shopping – 20 percent would switch provider after 12 hours, rising to one third 33 percent after 24 hours

The findings also highlight that as digital reliance increases, so will consumer expectations towards availability in the future. Over the coming two years, a third (33 percent) of consumers expect online financial services to always be available, rising to 35 percent for streaming services.

“UK consumers have become reliant on the constant availability of online services, and lockdown has only served to heighten this,” comments Chris Huggett, SVP, EMEA at Sungard AS. “What used to be a choice between physical and digital has now firmly accelerated into digital environments across various industries. As online worlds continue to outpace bricks and mortar as the face of businesses, ensuring constant availability and clear communications on downtime will be key for brands to build trust and loyalty.

Continue Reading

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2020
2020 Global Banking & Finance Awards now open. Click Here

Latest Articles

Return to work: Flexibility, preparation and communication are key 6 Return to work: Flexibility, preparation and communication are key 7
Business2 days ago

Return to work: Flexibility, preparation and communication are key

By Matt Weston, Managing Director, Robert Half UK As lockdown restrictions ease for the foreseeable future, conversations across the business...

How sustainable AI improves the triple bottom line 8 How sustainable AI improves the triple bottom line 9
Technology2 days ago

How sustainable AI improves the triple bottom line

An investment in green AI enables financial services firms to align people, profit, and planet By Nick Dale, EVP business...

The impact and implications of Covid-19 on financial reporting 10 The impact and implications of Covid-19 on financial reporting 11
Finance2 days ago

The impact and implications of Covid-19 on financial reporting

By Mark Billington, Regional Director, Greater China & South-East Asia, ICAEW The economic consequences of Covid-19 have been unprecedented, affecting...

Contis enters RBS Capability and Innovation Fund bid seeking £35 million for disruptive SME growth strategy   12 Contis enters RBS Capability and Innovation Fund bid seeking £35 million for disruptive SME growth strategy   13
Business2 days ago

Contis enters RBS Capability and Innovation Fund bid seeking £35 million for disruptive SME growth strategy  

Leading payments provider, Contis, has applied for two grants from the RBS & BCR Alternative Remedies Package, totalling £35 million.   Unlike most applicants who...

Four years of digital transformation in four weeks: UK lockdown puts pressure on brands to digitally deliver 14 Four years of digital transformation in four weeks: UK lockdown puts pressure on brands to digitally deliver 15
Business2 days ago

Four years of digital transformation in four weeks: UK lockdown puts pressure on brands to digitally deliver

Nearly a third (32%) of consumers would switch providers if a brand’s website is unavailable for more than 24 hours...

Demonstrating the value of collaborative leadership during crises 16 Demonstrating the value of collaborative leadership during crises 17
Business3 days ago

Demonstrating the value of collaborative leadership during crises

By Jean Stephens, CEO, RSM International In 2000, a leading expert in behavioural science, Daniel Goleman, outlined the six key...

Empowerment Accelerates Continuous Improvement 18 Empowerment Accelerates Continuous Improvement 19
Business3 days ago

Empowerment Accelerates Continuous Improvement

By Larry Sternberg, JD, Fellow, Talent Plus, Inc. Empowerment First, let me clarify how I am using the word “empowerment”...

What is loneliness and how can you manage it? 20 What is loneliness and how can you manage it? 21
Top Stories3 days ago

What is loneliness and how can you manage it?

By Iris Schaden Your Business and Personal Coach A mere century ago, almost no one lived alone. Today, many do...

How banks can build digital transformation into business continuity 22 How banks can build digital transformation into business continuity 23
Business3 days ago

How banks can build digital transformation into business continuity

By Andrew Warren, Head of Banking & Financial Services, UK&I, Cognizant Businesses around the world are falling victim to the...

Akerton Partners 24 Akerton Partners 25
Finance3 days ago

Akerton Partners

Akerton Partners S.L. is a Spanish independent mid-market corporate finance advisor founded over a decade ago, in 2008, amid a...