Amazon has confirmed locations for their new Amazon Go stores that will be checkout free. Chicago and San Francisco follow their flagship shop in Seattle that opened in January 2018.
The stores work by consumers downloading the app, which they must scan before entering the shop. To track what the customer has taken from the shelves, the premises uses computer vision, machine learning algorithms, cameras and sensors, automatically billing them as they leave, based on anything they have in their virtual basket. It can also identify if the consumer has returned an item to the shelf.
However, it does raise certain questions.
For example, if a consumer was to pick up an item from the first shelf, but halfway round they change their mind and places it back on a different shelf, would the cameras and sensors be able to identify it has been removed from the virtual basket?
Or when a customer exit, the store, the card associated with their Amazon account will be automatically charge, what happens if their card has expired? Or they don’t have one saved to the account? Could this possibly open up the potential to be digitally shoplifted, especially if there are little or false details provided?
These are just some of the obstacles Amazon would have had to consider in order to introduce the new concept and as they plan to open more cashierless stores. And whereas we might not be the giant retailer or have access to nearly as much of their resources, we do have proven ways to improve checkouts online.
Make Delivery Charges Clear
Most consumers do not appreciate getting to the checkout to find out charges for delivery has been added; this can cause them to abandon their cart if it is completely unexpected. Many websites will have a specific page for their delivery details however if visitors do not browse this page as it is usually positioned in the footer, they still may not be aware of the charges. Therefore some companies have opted to use free delivery to encourage customers to spend more to reach the minimum eligibility. This has commonly been placed in the header and follows consumers as they browse.
Offer a Guest Checkout Option
How many times have you gone to log into an account that you don’t use often to find you don’t remember the credentials? What about when you request to change the password for an error to appear that it can’t be change to your previously used password?
Consumers that become frustrated with the process are less likely to complete their purchase, therefore companies have a much better conversion rate when they provide a guest checkout option. ASOS reduced it checkout abandonment rate by 50% when they removed their registration barrier.
Other organisations have also started to ask the visitor whether they want to set up an account after purchasing, to ensure the transaction remains the primary focus.
Be Easily Contactable
Occasionally consumers can experience problems on the checkout page, a payment not going through, a promotional voucher code not being accepted, or even a removed item still showing up. To ensure these can be resolved, having a web chat system on the website can encourage the individual to request help rather than leave the site.
Provide More Payment Methods
The world has moved on from just card payments, now consumers expect to be able to pay online via their preferred method, whether this is using their debit or credit card, PayPal or even Apple Pay etc. If your website doesn’t accept multiple methods, customers could prefer shopping elsewhere as a service such as PayPal comes with money back guarantees, making individuals feel safer about spending their money.
Having too many links during the checkout process can distract the consumer from completing their purchase, keep the page(s) simple by removing any unnecessary links or imagery, helping them to remain focus.
Amazon are pushing forwards with innovative ways to improve brick and mortar stores, and they have had their website checkout process spot on. Proving it’s better to concentrate on improving the aspects that matter the most to consumers.
Is your organisation’s checkout process streamlined or does it need reviewing to increase conversions?