12 E-Commmerce facts that may surprise you

5 min read

It doesn't seem that long ago that businesses and organisations were purely brick and mortar affairs. Nowadays, you'd be hard-pressed to find a venture that doesn't blend online and offline sales, combining a well-kept storefront with online catalogues.

A lot of companies, from childcare centres to gyms, use online stores to augment their retail sales and improve their bottom line. For instance, gyms may allow customers to buy branded merchandise or sign up to additional classes. For these types of purchases, they will need to provide a different way to pay.

An online payment gateway will be essential for most, as taking such orders through their company website will save both time and increase revenue.

When it comes to implementing eCommerce payment solutions, there's much to know – some essential, some not so crucial and a lot that is down right interesting.

Here are 12 stats related to eCommerce that may shock and surprise you:

Why customers abandon their shopping carts

When it comes to turning a humble website into a cash cow, attracting people to the site is not enough. According to research from Savvy Panda, not everyone goes through with their purchase, even if they've chosen a product that they like. This brings us to our first five astonishing figures:

It turns out that:

(1) 65 per cent of online shoppers abandon their cart and don't continue to complete the sale. You don't see much of that in the supermarket.

(2) The average online conversion rate actually stands at 2.13 per cent, although considering the number of people that can visit a website, that is actually rather high, and can be worth a substantial amount of revenue.

(3) Speaking of which, the average value of an online order is equivalent to around AU$140, showing the value of succeeding with online sales.

(4) When it comes to the reasons why people abandon their shopping carts, 44 per cent said it was from high shipping costs, which they only realised at the 11th hour.

(5) A high 41 per cent also said they were simply not ready, with many of these likely to return at a later date.

(6) 7 per cent said there weren't enough payment options – incidentally, something a business using Ezidebit's payment gateway will not have to worry about.

Conversion optimisation

A company wanting to turn a greater number of visitors into customers can look at ways to optimise their conversion rates – something that Savvy Panda also looked into.

Of the top reasons that encouraged high conversion, the following were considered the most important for many users – and also constitute our next three remarkable facts:

(7) Secure checkout – The most effective way for an online enterprise to boost conversion is by providing a safe and secure environment where customers feel confident they can input their information, or use a third-party provider that can.

(8) Error-free website – Make sure the payment method is reliable and won't cause users to lose input data before they can complete their order.

(9) Good layout – Bad web design does nothing for your reputation. A payment gateway that slips seamlessly into your website will prevent it from looking clunky and unprofessional.

How SMEs are positioned

The Baymard Institute looked at 100 of the biggest online brands in the world and discovered how they fared based on a 63-point guideline for successful eCommerce. Their survey provides a useful insight into how small businesses can take care of their customers – and provides the final three facts that might startle you:

(10) Exactly half of online stores asked for the same information twice during the checkout process, confusing or irritating their customers.

(11) Twenty three of the top sites, performed worse in the customer experience metrics than smaller companies, showing that small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have a real opportunity to take some of their billion-dollar revenue.

(12) In fact, an SME, in particular, is perfectly placed to attract local customers and find a niche in which they can create a better service – allowing them to compete with larger corporations. That last one may not be surprising, but it certainly is important for a company that wants to boost its online sales in the very near future.