For e-commerce retailers, one of the most important metrics you will be measuring is the conversion rate of your checkout process. Even a tiny increase in the percentage of visitors who complete a purchase can have a huge impact on your business’ bottom line.
However, cart abandonment is still a big issue for many e-commerce websites; but why do potential customers abandon items at the checkout?
Shopping Checkout Abandonment
There are many reasons why customers abandon checkouts, for example::
- High shipping costs,
- Not ready to purchase,
- High product price,
- They wanted to save the products for later consideration,
- The shipping costs were unclear,
- There was no guest checkout option,
- The retailer asked for too much information from them,
- A complex checkout process,
- The website was too slow,
- There were not enough payment options,
- The estimated shipping date was too late,
- The website spammed them with offers,
- The website crashed.
These are just a few of the reasons why customers may abandon the checkout, reducing your conversion rate. Thankfully many of these issues can be easily addressed through re-designing or editing certain sections of your website.
You can use split testing – showing two different versions of your website to different sets of people and measuring the results – to identify which changes to your site could be beneficial.
Single Page Checkout Processes
There has long been a debate about whether single-page or multi-page checkouts convert better. Which checkout model works best for you will depend on your customers’ preferences, and the only way to know for certain would be to split test the two options.
Single-page checkout processes offer several benefits:
- Due to their shorter appearance, they offer the customer an incentive to complete the transaction with the promise of a quick checkout.
- With all the fields being on the same page, unnecessary complications and changes of the page are avoided.
- This may result in a better conversion rate. Often, the fewer people have to click, the more likely they will be to complete the purchase.
This style of checkout page can work best for retailers where their average order value is low or where their market is ‘impulse’ purchases.
Here are a couple of tips, should you choose to look at single-page checkout processes:
- Declutter and limit the amount of information on the page.
- Use smart or Google auto-fill forms to assist the customer.
Provide a Guest Checkout Option
Customers today are more and more wary of sharing private information with websites, and many will abandon their purchase if they have to create an account in order to purchase.
Ideally, e-commerce retailers would like customers to create accounts with them, however, there are ways of pushing sign-ups without interrupting the checkout experience:
- Automatically create an account for them – this is done when they make a purchase, you allocate them a random password and send it to their email with their order receipt.
- Thank you page sign-ups – ask the customer to sign-up and create an account again on the order ‘Thank You’ page. They will have already filled out most of the information you need to create their account, so all they need to do now is choose a password.
Even if they still choose not to sign-up for an account, they have bought your products and will be likely to do so again, so there is no need to keep pushing them to sign up if they do not wish to do so.
By offering your customer a guest checkout option you are giving them the freedom to choose whether to sign up for an account or not, thus gaining their trust as a customer. They may not sign up this time, but they may the next time they purchase through your website.
Add Easy Payment Options
There are so many different ways customers can pay online. Making sure you have a good, flexible range of payment options will not only encourage completion at checkout but improve the user’s experience. Offering a good range of well-recognised payment options will build trust with the user, who will see your site as trustworthy and secure.
Find out more about getting the right online payment options for your e-commerce business.
Push your Shipping Offers, Returns Policy & Secure Payment Gateways
An important part of the customer/online retailer relationship is trust; without this, the likelihood they will input their payment details and buy from you is minimal.
Giving customers reassurance that their payment and personal details are secure, and that returning products is a simple process, will encourage them to make their purchase.
However, free shipping and shipping costs are something that has a big influence on whether a customer purchases from you or another retailer. Where you can work shipping costs into the price of the product, and offer free shipping, this will make it significantly more likely that you will get the sale. And offering free delivery over a certain threshold may help increase your average order size.
Improve the Shopping Cart Experience
Every checkout process starts and ends with your shopping cart, so making sure this section of the website works well for the customer is important.
There are so many ways you can do this:
- Offer customers the opportunity to buy the item immediately or to continue shopping by simply adding to the cart.
- Notify customers when they have added a product to the cart; this prevents them accidentally adding something and only noticing when they go to the checkout.
- Use perpetual shopping carts, where your e-commerce site remembers the customer’s choices should they abandon the checkout process midway.
Visibly show customers discounts and offers on the products they are choosing, for example, notify them how far off the free shipping threshold they are.
By looking after customers throughout the checkout process you can help ensure an increase in your conversion rate and reduce checkout abandonment rates.
At Ascendancy, we like to help our customers help their customers through the design and build of great websites, as well as the support and marketing of them afterward. For more information on how we can help you look after your customers at the checkout contact us at [email protected]