Shocking Amazon Cart FAIL: Learning from Big Brand Customer Experience

For years, Amazon.com’s cart and checkout process has been used by clients and digital marketing consultants as a best practice. Its ease of use, simplicity and seemingly flawless process is void of friction to the end user.

That is…until now.

eCommerce Conversion Optimization

You may be familiar with the latest Target credit card compromise causing hundreds of thousands of people to have their bank accounts cancel their debit cards and reissue new ones. Whether you’re a Prime Amazon customer or not you probably have that same credit card linked as a default payment in your Amazon.com account.

This reissue of cards did not impede on proceeding as usual with my purchases on Amazon, until Amazon sent me an email saying that my purchase could not be completed due to a declined payment.

Thank you Amazon for sending this email notification. I really do appreciate it.

Customer Experience Friction Point #1:

I receive an email notification that DOES list the products in it that have been declined for payment. I delete and do not click the button in it that says “Manage payment options.” Instead I use the mobile application to attempt to update my billing but, this functionality is not available.

I’ve already deleted the email so I don’t want to go back and find it, plus I feel reservations on clicking a button from an email using my iPhone. Also, I’m more forgiving because Amazon.com usually makes everything very simple for me. Plus, I understand there are certain limitations to billing and payment options/updating through mobile applications.

But, this is where things start to unravel. I need to now remember to update my payment options in the morning when I am at my desktop.

As it happens, I forget. I forget the next day too. I remember just before I fall asleep the night before but I can’t grab my phone. I’ve forgotten too many days in a row to late to update my payment information. My order is cancelled. Okay, fine. I get it. I’m not mad. It’s my fault anyway.

Customer Experience Friction Point #2:

Finally, I remember! My expectation is that I will log into my account (from desktop computer), go to my Orders or Order History and select the declined order. Right? Seems intuitive. But…nothing. No order to be found.

Okay, I start to panic. I then use some positive self talk, “Oh, they probably just put those items back in my cart.”

CART EMPTY! Panic.

The one scenario, quite possibly overlooked, no matter how small a percentage of folks (like me) wait too long to update their payment option. However, the issue is that there is no way for me to find out what items were in my order (unless I go back and find that deleted email, which may have been deleted deleted – you know what I mean). I remember one item, an Animal Bag from Boon, but I don’t know the others because my husband had added them.

Suggested Solutions for this eCommerce Problem:

  1.  Move the declined ordered items back into the customer’s cart, suggest adding a notification that indicates these specific items were added back to the cart due to incorrect billing information or declined payment.
  2.  Allow payment methods to be updated from mobile applications to allow customers to act when they can without device interference.
  3.  Send a new email notification with urgency “Your order will be cancelled unless you update your payment options in the next 24 hours.”
  4.  Send another email notification or SMS text to notify the customer of what has happened to these items OR if you can’t fix #1 and #2, tell the customer to save this email so they can add these items later and provide a link to update their billing.

How can all types of organizations learn from this eCommerce scenario?

45% of US consumers will abandon an online transaction if their questions or concerns are not addressed quickly.

Forrester
While a good majority of businesses are still in the process of getting basic conversion tracking in place, it is not impossible to plan for optimizing conversions and your customer experience for the future.

Take some time to sit down with your team and map out different cart, checkout and user experience scenarios. Not just for the desktop experience but for your mobile experience too. Sometimes a good old whiteboard comes in handy for this type of exercise versus wireframes. Start from the ideal cart and checkout experience then throw in real life user scenarios to nail down where the holes and friction points are in your process.

55% of consumers would would pay extra to guarantee a better customer exprience.

Defaqto Research

No doubt, as seen in this secnario, some will be missed but if you can map out a good majority of these customer experience scenarios you will be improving your bottom line and eliminating a good percentage of loss in sales or leads.

Need help with creating these user paths for cart and checkout? We can help. Call us at 818-806-3868 or contact us today.

Photo credit: Bill Thompson

Liberty Tsighis

Liberty Tsighis is the owner of Liberty Interactive Marketing, a Los Angeles digital marketing agency. She specializes in digital marketing strategy and content marketing. Foodie from birth, wine lover and family addict you can find her on , Twitter and Instagram.

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