Tuesday, September 16, 2008

41% of Online Shoppers Click "Bye" vs. "Buy"

Here's a Press Release today from TeaLeaf.com regarding a survey done by them in conjunction with Harris Interactive. From a transactional perspective there seems to be a long way to go as 84% of those surveyed feel there's no reason an online transaction cannot be completed on the first try, but according to this poll, most sites are NOT meeting those expectations.

I say that's an easy fix and at the same time it would make the online experience as familiar and simple as the bricks and mortar experience. Here's how easy it would be to do.

Internet Retailers can provide "1 swipe shopping" by simply equipping their site's online shoppers with HomeATM's PIN Entry Device and get 'er dun right "the first time." An additional benefit to "reducing abandonment" is "reducing interchange fees."

It's easy to convince online shoppers to use a personal mag-stripe reader. By enhancing the security of the transaction you a "reducing the risk of fraud." By providing your loyal shoppers with a mini-swiper or a "Reducer"...Internet Retailers will get the added benefit of creating the very real perception that they are looking out for their customers well-being. Instead of giving away a free toaster for opening a savings account (circa 1965) they could give away a "free mini-swiper" for opening up a HATM PIN Debit Account.

The result is a true win-win situation...and according to this report, doing just that would be a "potential multi-billion dollar business opportunity"

Potential Multi-Billion Dollar Business Opportunity for Companies That Focus on Improving Online Customer Experiences

"Survey Says" 41% of Online Adults Click Away When They Encounter Problems, Many to a Competitor
  • For the fourth consecutive year, nearly 9 out of 10 (87%) online adults who have conducted an online transaction in the past year have experienced problems doing so;
  • 41% of online adults who experience problems transacting would switch to a competitor or abandon a transaction entirely if they experienced an online transaction problem;
  • Four in five online adults who experience problems (84%) share their experiences with others — both online and offline
Tealeaf®, the leader in online Customer Experience Management (CEM) software, today announced the results of the 4th annual survey of online consumer behavior. The study, commissioned by Tealeaf and conducted by Harris Interactive®, focused on consumer transactions on shopping, banking, travel and insurance websites. For the fourth year running, the survey revealed that nearly nine out of 10 (87%) consumers conducting transactions online have experienced problems. When online issues occur, there is an immediate business impact.

For example, if they experienced an online transaction issue, 41% of online adults who experience problems conducting online transactions would simply switch to an online or offline competitor or abandon a transaction entirely. This represents a $57 billion potential impact to revenue on shopping sites alone — a huge opportunity for companies to harness, by ensuring their websites work. On the Web, the competition is just a click away.

According to a recent Forrester Research, Inc. report, "Obstacles to Customer Experience Success, 2008," 91% of business decision-makers said customer experience is either very important or critical to their 2008 efforts. While customer experience is increasingly important to businesses, the Tealeaf survey conducted by Harris Interactive clearly highlights that companies need to take immediate steps to ensure they understand the experience of their customers who are transacting online.

While user expectations are high — more than four in five (84%) online adults feel there is no reason why an online transaction can't be completed on the first try — most sites are not meeting those expectations.

Preference for Online Channels is Rapidly Increasing, as are User Expectations
There is an increasing preference for conducting business online —
84% of all online adults have conducted an online transaction in the past year and more than one-third (35%) generally prefer to conduct business online, according to the survey. Further, 22% of online adults who have conducted an online transaction in the past year expect even better customer service online than when shopping in-person.

Poor Experiences Evoke Reactions
Online problems evoke strong emotions from consumers. According to the survey, the vast majority of online adults who experience problems when conducting online transactions (87%) feel frustrated when they experience such problems. Of those who experience problems, 41% reported feeling angry. Emotions can drive customers to take action by providing feedback via other channels.

Improve Customer Satisfaction and Retention

There is a lack of integration between the contact center and web channels of many businesses. The survey found that 47% of all online adults have contacted a company's call center after they encountered problems using the website. Among those, 64% did not feel that the service agent was knowledgeable about the website, and nearly two in five (38%) did not have their issue resolved. Results also show that, among online adults who have experienced poor customer service from a company's call center when calling about website issues, nearly three in four (72%) either stopped doing business with that company entirely (45%), decreased the amount of business they do with the company (37%), or lodged a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (13%). Improving the service centers' ability to support the online channel not only leads to increased customer satisfaction and retention, but can also turn a support call into an opportunity to expand the business relationship with that customer.

Customers Share Experiences, Amplifying Impacts

More than four in five (84%) online adults who experience problems conducting online transactions share their experiences with others, amplifying the impact of any single experience.

Among those who share their experiences with others, 82% do so using non-online modes of communication such as in-person (74%) and phone conversations (50%) with friends and family, while 58% use online channels to share complaints or reviews, such as on the company's website (39%), in an email to friends and family (23%), on a ratings and reviews website (16%), on an online message board (8%), or on a blog or social network (7%). These Internet postings and comments are often widely disseminated and long lived.

"At US Airways, we strive to do everything we can to be the airline of choice for our customers. To achieve this, we focus on reliability, convenience and appearance in all that we do. From achieving a first place ranking in on time performance among the ten largest U.S. carriers according to the Department of Transportation's Air Travel Consumer Report ... to providing a world-class website that provides our customers the quality service they deserve and demand," said Wes Graham, Director of Internet Distribution, US Airways. "We rely on Tealeaf for real visibility into our over one million customer sessions a day to help ensure we don't skip a beat in the online world. The Web is a major revenue channel for US Airways and extremely strategic to our overall business. With the Tealeaf dashboards we've created, I can see exactly how the site is performing now as compared to the previous week with just a quick glance."
"The Web has changed business; companies both large and small compete for the same customers. Now, competition is just a click away and customer expectations continue to grow," said Rebecca Ward, CEO of Tealeaf. "Businesses must take definitive steps to differentiate themselves by understanding and improving their customers' site experiences, and equipping their contact centers to truly meet the needs of online customers. Companies that do take action will be the ones to claim a greater share of this billion dollar business opportunity."

Survey Methodology -
The 2008 Online Transactions survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Tealeaf Technology, Inc. between August 5 and August 7, 2008 among 2,010 adults ages 18+, of whom, 1,798 have conducted an online transaction in the past year and 1,572 experienced problems when conducting online transactions. Data were weighted to be representative of the online U.S. adult population. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Shoshana Deutschkron at shoshanad@tealeaf.com.

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ChargeAnywhere Touts PIN Debit for Quickbooks


The Green Sheet 2.0 :: Newswire
South Plainfield, N.J., Sept. 12, 2008 -- CHARGE Anywhere®, a leading provider of secure Point-of-Sale (POS) solutions and electronic payment services, is delighted to announce the ability to accept PIN Debit payments with their card payment plug-in designed for use with QuickBooks®. This is extremely beneficial to the Small and Medium Merchant Business community by allowing them to process PIN Debit transactions without changing their compatible QuickBooks software.

CHARGE Anywhere designed for use with QuickBooks with PIN Debit capability not only expands the merchant's level of service, but reduces cost a merchant pays per transaction. With the increased fraud protection, PIN Debit is a smart decision for small and medium sized merchants that can assist in reducing chargebacks due to less fraudulent purchases. When you integrate these functions into the merchant's QuickBooks software, you are going to have a happier and more productive merchant.

CHARGE Anywhere with PIN Debit feature is available with the use of a PIN pad that will be attached to the computer via cable. The compatible PIN pad devices are the LinkPoint BankPoint II, the VeriFone SE1000, and the Ingenico 3010. All of the mentioned PIN pads are PCI PED compliant and certified. In addition, the CHARGE Anywhere Point of Sale software has been validated* and meets PCI PABP compliance standards and the ComsGate® Payment Gateway is certified as PCI DSS Level 1 compliant. With the addition of PIN Debit, CHARGE Anywhere has significantly improved the functionality of their CHARGE Anywhere payment software for retailers. With PIN Debit devices added, the CHARGE Anywhere designed for use with QuickBooks payment plug-in is now, more than ever, one of the most versatile, secure payment software plug-ins on the market. PIN Debit adds to a long list of features that include customizable software settings, gift, loyalty, versatility, and security.

For more information about CHARGE Anywhere with PIN Debit, please cut and paste the following link into your browser:

Source: Company press release.
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Surprise! Affluent "Spends the Most"...Time Online

Link between income and Web time

Among US affluent heads of household surveyed, those with annual household incomes of $250,000 and over spend the most time online, according to a study conducted from March through July 2008 by Ipsos Mendelsohn.

The researcher found that the average number of hours logged weekly increased with income, and that users in the top income tier spent nearly 6 more hours online per week than those whose incomes ranged from $100,000 to $150,000.

Ipsos said affluent Internet users who used PCs went online an average of 25.9 times every week. Wealthy mobile Internet users typically accessed the Web with their handsets 17.6 times weekly.

Average Time Spent with Select Media According to US Affluents*, by Household Income, March-July 2008 (hours per week)

Just as Internet usage increases with income across the affluent segments, so too are affluents themselves online for longer than the average Internet user.

US adult Internet users surveyed spent an average of 21 hours per week online, according to a study conducted in May 2008 by Illuminas for Cisco Systems.

Average Weekly Time Spent with Media by Adult Internet Users in Select Countries, 2007 (hours)

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