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Social commerce spotlight: Brands miss out on millions because of poorly optimized order confirmation pages

Submitted by on June 7, 2013 – 7:51 amNo Comment

Most websites are failing to incentivize shoppers post-purchase, a new study finds.

According to Oxygen Accelerator start-up Owned it, of 30 top online brands in the UK, only Amazon is showing initiative in all potential post-purchase incentivization areas, with most brands adopting only a handful.

Brands were judged on their presentation of presence of social media elements, high prominence social media elements, immediate incentives, opportunities to refer purchase and products, and longer term incentives. The study, Leaving Money on the Table – how order confirmation pages are used to increase sales, found that only 7% of brands encourage social sharing, 13% display social media elements prominently and 30% offered immediate incentives.

Amazon ranked top in the research, offering the ability to share purchases through social networks and emails. Amazon also offers a clear incentive to return to the store through a money off voucher and has a one-screen (or one page) order confirmation page.

Notable efforts by other brands (that excelled in some – but not all – areas), include:

Marks & Spencer: Offering incentivization via a £100 gift card and providing clear signals to follow the brand on social media.

New Look: A single one-screen confirmation page offered clear signals to engage with the brand and encouraged repeat purchases.

House of Fraser: Packed its order confirmation page with offers to incentivize repeat buys with money off deals, reward points, plus encouragement to follow the brand on social media.

According to the report, Owned it expected to find prominent Facebook buttons on the majority of brand order confirmation pages. Only 53% of retailers provide a Facebook button, and only 13% display it prominently (that is, eye-catching, above the fold and large enough to see easily). Furthermore, only 3% of retailers asked their customers to take a specific action, such as House of Fraser asking customers to ‘Like us on Facebook’.

Meanwhile, where incentives are concerned, only 7% of retailers offered money off or cash back vouchers via their order confirmation pages.

The potential opportunity being missed by retailers that are not optimising their order confirmation pages is significant, the report says. Take Argos as an example. Here online sales account for £1.6bn of turnover. Taking a conservative view, even if 1% revenue is increased by encouraging  customers to take a social action, such as referring their purchase via social media or email, Argos could conceivably see an increase in sales of £16 million – all for the cost of adding a referral feature at the point of sale. Owned it’s industry data shows that a much higher follow-on sale rate of 5-15% is being achieved by retailers – if Argos could replicate these figures, the potential increase in revenue through social sharing at the point of sale ranges from £80 million to £240 million.

Manoj Krishnapillai, co-founder of Owned it, says: “While most retailers focus on converting customers up to the point of purchase, they are obviously failing to make effective use of the order confirmation page to increase sales further. With the UK e-commerce market predicted to reach £87 billion in 2013, retailers have a greater opportunity to take a larger slice of this sector by increasing referrals, revenue, conversions and followers/fans through an optimised order confirmation page.”


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