As the high streets rebound from pandemic disruptions and contend with sky-rocketing inflation, the retail sector continues to expand its ecommerce capabilities. With the UK’s ecommerce market forecast to be worth £264bn by 2024, a 37% increase on 2020 levels, merchants are competing in a new sphere, away from physical stores in town centres. In the online world, customer retention and sales conversion are accompanied by different challenges, yet the overarching theme remains the same: customer experience.
A vital part of ensuring a smooth and pleasant experience for shoppers is the checkout process. High basket abandonment rates are proof that checkout often lacks the required flexibility to ensure sales are converted. Rapidly evolving technology providing a smooth and tailored experience for customers is a crucial aspect of the ecommerce revolution and merchants risk being left behind if they fail to keep pace with innovation.
Solving basket abandonment
Basket abandonment is one of the key issues affecting online retailers in the UK. With research showing that the rate of mobile basket abandonment in 2021 was a staggering 83%, online stores are having to improve the checkout experience for customers to increase sales conversion.
Buy now pay later (BNPL) products have seen a wave of adoption in recent times, and retailers are seeing the benefits of offering staggered payment plans to consumers. Recent data suggests that BNPL products are on track to double to 10% of all ecommerce payments by 2024.
This demand is actively driven by consumers, as the flexibility offered by checkout finance gives buyers the freedom to shop and pay on their own terms. Research suggests that nearly a fifth of UK adults use BNPL services once a month. These figures are even larger for younger generations, who tend to utilise ecommerce for a large proportion of their shopping.
Nonetheless, traditional BNPL products can lack the flexibility needed to tackle cart abandonment effectively. One solution to these issues is a platform onboarding multiple lenders which can cater to a variety of basket ranges and consumer types.
Expanding the reach of checkout finance
Mainstream BNPL products have proved particularly popular with retail sectors such as beauty, fashion and electronics, all of which feature similar basket sizes. While merchants specialising in other sectors and services are faced with similar sales conversion issues, they often lack much-needed flexible payment options, due to larger average product prices. A platform offering a wide panel of lenders with different risk appetites can supply checkout finance to a broader range of sectors and cater to more customers.
Deko’s multi-product, multi-lender platform can cater to baskets of various sizes and provide merchants with tailored repayment options. This way, businesses offering services like online education, healthcare, or home improvement can select the option which best matches their business model and product range. This is especially advantageous at times when customers think twice about making one-off payments due to increased living costs.
In addition, Deko’s technology automatically matches customers with a marketplace of lenders during the purchase journey, significantly increasing the approval rate of applications for finance at checkout. By guaranteeing the best match between consumers and lenders, merchants can gain an average increase in acceptance of 26%, with some experiencing an uplift of up to 57% compared to other financing products.
Finally, Deko’s platform can be integrated seamlessly into existing infrastructure within 24 hours, allowing merchants to reap the benefits without any disruption to business operations. This way, greater flexibility and improved conversion rates can be incorporated without missing out on a single sale.
Any basket, any size, anywhere
Financial technology is increasingly impacting the shopping experience of consumers. Research has proven that close to 10 million Britons have avoided buying from merchants that didn’t offer alternative payment methods at checkout. If merchants are to maximise the opportunities offered by the ecommerce revolution, their customer experience must live up to expectations. Once shoppers have chosen their products, the checkout process becomes the final hurdle, and flexible payment options covering any basket, any size, anywhere, are the safest way to ensure sales are converted.