Transparent delivery, flexible payment options and website speed have been identified as key factors driving online shoppers in Australia and New Zealand to leave a retailer’s website, according to the inaugural Customer Centricity Report from leading Open SaaS ecommerce platform. BigCommerce.

If 2020 was the year the pandemic pushed people online, then 2021 has been the year of retention, according to BigCommerce vice president and general manager for Asia Pacific, Shannon Ingrey.

“With so many now shopping online and with a broadening range of options, retailers are fighting on multiple fronts to hold onto their share of the market. Price is no longer the only factor consumers take into account, with delivery costs, flexibility of payment option and convenience all influencing their decision making. As a result, it’s not enough to simply meet changing consumer expectations, retailers must anticipate and exceed them.”

Key insights from the survey revealed that 80% of shoppers will leave a site and attempt to purchase from a competitor if the website is too slow. Communicating delivery cost late in the checkout process is a key driver of cart abandonment for 86% of shoppers, with 71% saying they have left a purchase because delivery is too slow or too expensive.

While slow delivery is an issue for the majority (69%), the cost of delivery and communication around the cost is a far bigger issue for shoppers.

The report notes that shoppers aren’t unreasonable when it comes to delivery and delivery fees. For small items, anything over $9 would likely cause cart abandonment and for large items, delivery fees of $97 or more would lead to the same fate. Retailers need to ensure their pricing matches the product they are selling and consumer expectations.

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) is a relatively new addition to the payments landscape in Australia and New Zealand but shoppers already seem to be at a comfortable level with BNPL as part of their purchase behaviour. More than half of respondents (62%) said they plan for their BNPL spend to stay the same moving forward. Afterpay is by far the most popular option, with 82% of BNPL users having an Afterpay account.

For retailers wondering if they need to offer BNPL at checkout, the results are pretty clear. Almost three quarters (72%) of respondents say they will spend more on a single online purchase if a website offers BNPL at checkout. In fact, not only are shoppers more likely to make a purchase, they are also more likely to spend more if BNPL is offered as a payment method. Being able to pay over time means shoppers are more comfortable spending more overall.

Shipping costs continue to be more of a factor than shipping speed. A whopping 93% of respondents would buy from a retailer again if they offered free shipping compared to 77% who value fast shipping. On the flip side, 93% of respondents felt expensive shipping charges would drive them to cart abandonment.

When it comes to helping customers make decisions, email has shown to be the most helpful channel. An impressive 43% of shoppers sign up to marketing emails simply because they like the brand. This is an important lesson in continuing the conversation and ensuring marketing emails are an exercise in retention that goes beyond just discounts.