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The David and Goliath eCommerce War: Israel vs. the world, small businesses vs. large retail companies


The David and Goliath eCommerce War: Israel vs. the world, small businesses vs. large retail companies

Now is the time to fight the cart abandonment phenomenon and bring back your local purchasers, argues Funnelyzer's Founder and CEO, Achishay Buchnick

Achishay Buchnick | 11:08  08.02.2021

We all believe in buying Israeli products, want to empower local businesses during the Covid crisis, and maybe even workers in the retail sector and the local eCommerce industry, and yet: we purchase more from foreign websites than from Israeli websites. The number of online transactions of Israelis on foreign websites is twice as high as on Israeli websites.

Achishay Buchnick is CEO and founder of Funnelyzer. Photo: Funnelyzer Achishay Buchnick is CEO and founder of Funnelyzer. Photo: Funnelyzer Achishay Buchnick is CEO and founder of Funnelyzer. Photo: Funnelyzer

This isn’t your fault. The startup nation that invented drip irrigation, cherry tomatoes, and Waze isn’t the brightest bulb when it comes to eCommerce. While 2020 and Covid-19 brought about an increase of 220% in the number of Israeli eCommerce websites and about 20 billion NIS in income, only 44.7% of Israeli consumers are buying online, versus 77.3% in the United States and 64% in China.

Photo: Funnelyzer Photo: Funnelyzer Photo: Funnelyzer

There is untapped potential. The local eCommerce market is expected to bring in 5.4 billion dollars in 2021. And still, something remains unfulfilled. Last November, the world celebrated “Black Friday” on an unprecedented scale. A virus that brought new customers to the digital world, created an online income of $9 billion in one day - a 26% increase compared to last year. In Israel, which was also decked out in sales and banners, the income amounted to 720 million NIS ($219 million), a 5% decrease compared to last year.

Photo: Funnelyzer Photo: Funnelyzer Photo: Funnelyzer

Photo: Funnelyzer Photo: Funnelyzer Photo: Funnelyzer

Why is this happening?

While developed countries have adopted eCommerce websites and the newest technology, Israeli eCommerce websites remain far behind. Many websites in Israel offer a mediocre user experience and a cumbersome and often interrupted purchasing experience. Even among the largest retailers in Israel, one can find basic failures when it comes to user experience in the field of payments, shipping, and automation.

The absurdity only increases in consideration of the fact that Israel is among the leading players in the world in eCommerce technologies and has already ‘created’ hundreds of start-ups that enable optimization of many eCommerce elements.

The eCommerce arena is ideal for small and mid-size businesses, who can offer a good eCommerce experience and compete with giants despite having fewer resources, compared to the offline arena. A small-town shop cannot afford rent in a central shopping mall, not to mention opening more branches, but it can afford an impressive digital shop that allows clients from all over the country to purchase.

Knockout for small and mid-size businesses

It’s true that high-quality and effective eCommerce requires substantial resources. However, the ability to show a unique advantage and bring income to an online shop is far more accessible compared to a small, local brick-and-mortar store. The first and primary thing required of you is high eCommerce acuity; understanding what makes your clients buy, and no less important - what makes them leave.

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Client retention and return requires daily work and constant improvement of the website. If you want to try focusing your online activity on specific areas to lower shopping cart abandonment rates and generate return customers, I would suggest focusing on the user experience on the main screens related to the classic purchase process, and the most advanced technologies available - combining the offline and online process (Omnichannel).


A series of articles could easily be written about advanced omnichannel methodologies and advanced eCommerce technologies, but to summarize: omnichannel is a concept that encompasses a variety of eCommerce technologies for its implementation. According to the omnichannel concept, the retailer must know every point of contact with the end client and enable a seamless customer journey.

The purpose of the advanced technologies is to improve the store Key Performance Indicators (KPIs); The more significant measure is the percentage of buyers to site visitors (conversion rate), Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), and cart abandonment rate.

  • Connection of the website to real-time organizational systems, such as ERP, for updating stock availability and CRM, providing friendly and quick client identification, and creating an advanced personal experience. 30% of users will desert the website due to non-availability of products in stock.
  • Product receipt process, such as pick-up from branches while checking branch inventory, and accessibility of a quick low-cost delivery accessible to the client throughout the entire browsing experience.
  • Unexpected costs for the client during the payment stage cause more than 50% of abandoned carts.

User experience

Creating a simple and quick purchasing process is perhaps the most important tip, with emphasis on what is happening between the Add-To-Cart stage and the Checkout stage.

A complex purchasing process, or one that requires filling in delivery or credit card details each time - leads to 30-50% desertion. Therefore, ensure that the purchasing process is as friendly as possible.

In 2019, digital payments constituted 41.8% of e-commerce transactions around the world. Therefore, allow customers to pay with a variety of traditional or digital payment means, which allow for one-click purchasing.

E-Commerce websites around the world lose 4 trillion dollars each year due to cart abandonment, including 260 billion dollars in carts that could have been restored, with abandonment percentages (a user who added to the cart but did not complete purchase) ranging from 75% to 88% according to current research. The implication for the Israeli eCommerce market is hundreds of millions of lost shekels annually for deserted carts.

Now is the time to fight the cart abandonment phenomenon and bring back your local purchasers. In any business sense, it is hard to imagine that three out of five people who entered your store and taking out their credit card, will ultimately fail to complete their purchase because of a cumbersome or unpleasant purchasing experience.

It is important to remember that behind every abandoned cart there is a deserting client, who feels like he is the one who has been deserted. Don’t desert your clients! The market exists, the knowledge exists, and so does the technology. Now you just need to connect the dots.

Achishay Buchnick is CEO and founder of Funnelyzer, which specializes in analysis and improvement of eCommerce website performance.

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