If you’ve been in the Ecommerce business for any length of time, you’re familiar with the concept of conversion rate optimization. It’s your bread and butter. You’re likely to have tests running constantly, and you’re probably always looking for new ways to make your site better. One place that’s often neglected in these efforts is your checkout process. You might be working on ways to convert more traffic, but are you looking for ways to stop cart abandonment?
If you’re tired of customers abandoning their carts, then check out these pro tips to stop cart abandonment in its tracks.
Simplify the Process
Complicated questions and processes scare people away. Avoid asking confusing questions or for more data than you need. Anything that makes checking out difficult, confusing, or lengthy will lower the chance a buyer will complete a purchase. If you do need additional information to complete orders, you might consider creating a guided checkout or following up after purchase for the required information.
For instance, if your customer is giving you billing and shipping information, don’t ask for contact information after that. Or, you should expect your customers to be confused if you asked someone how they wanted something to be packaged for shipping. In fact, if you want to give a user-friendly process, you should allow users to tick a box to say their shipping and billing address are the same.
Offer a Guest Checkout
Not everyone will want to create an account, and forcing them to do so is likely to result in a lost sale. According to marketing guru, Neil Patel, “23% of users will abandon their shopping cart if they have to create a new user account.”
In fact, mobile users are more likely to abandon for this reason than desktop users. They may prefer the speed and simplicity of a guest checkout to logging in. If you’re on your mobile phone, it’s much more difficult to retrieve a forgotten password than on a desktop, so a guest checkout will ensure users in that demographic don’t get frustrated.
Make It One Page
Okay, well it may be difficult to make it just one page, but people tend to lose patience quickly if they have to click through many pages. It’s best to condense your checkout process to the fewest pages possible. If it needs to be more than 1 page, give users a progress bar or other progress indicator, so they know how far they’ve made it through the checkout.
Offer Free Shipping
It doesn’t matter how you slice it, it’s hard to get people to stick around when you don’t keep up with Amazon. These days people tend to expect free shipping. In fact, according to Invespcro, 61% of buyers may cancel their purchase if shipping isn’t free while 58% of people will add products to their cart to get free shipping. Many consumers will even buy more when free shipping is available. These stats make it pretty clear you should have free shipping or incentivize customers to qualify for free shipping.
Sometimes everyone needs a little help. Your checkout is no different. Users may have questions about products, shipping, sizing, etc. If they can’t get an answer during their session, they’re much less likely to buy. Give them access to live chat so they can quickly and easily ask someone their questions rather than searching for the answers. As a backup, give a link to your FAQs section and keep your customer service number visible throughout your checkout process.
Give a Discount
If you’re not using an exit intent pop-up, you should be. People may decide to leave for various reasons, and it’s your job to give them a reason to stay. An exit intent pop-up is your last chance before someone leaves to convince someone to make a purchase. Alternatively, it can also give you an opportunity to ask for a softer conversion like a newsletter signup, which will allow you to collect an email address and offer an incentive of some sort.
Just saying “awww...we’re sad to see you go” isn’t enough. Throw a free product, a discount, a free month, something out there to incentivize that purchase!
Don’t Encourage People to Leave the Cart
As a user checks out, they may have issues. You probably have a FAQ page, and it may seem natural to send people to it when they have problems. But, once someone’s in the checkout process, you don’t want to send them to another part of the site. It’s much better to provide the answers via hover over or popup, allowing the user to gain needed information without leaving the checkout process. The bottom line is, redirecting someone during checkout provides an unnecessary distraction that is likely to result in the loss of the sale.
Make Cart Contents Visible
Visibility is essential in ecommerce. Transitioning from shopping to checking out doesn’t mean the buyer won’t want to make changes. It’s important to make the cart’s contents visible and editable throughout the process. Deleting, increasing quantity, and decreasing quantity should all be possible, easy to do and figure out. This visibility helps to provide transparency during the buying process. It also helps people if they change their mind.
In addition to these items, you should also make it easy to see the total cost, fees, and fee breakdowns. Understanding how you arrived at the final price affords a level of transparency and trust which are necessary when transactions aren’t conducted in person.
Display Trust Signals
Verisign and other security certifications are vital to your trustworthiness. Visitors want to know that you’ll keep their information safe. After all of the security breaches in the news, people are keenly aware of how imperative site security is. Reassure them that you’ve taken all necessary precautions to keep their information safe.
Your site visitors also want to hear what other people have to say about you. Trust signals aren’t just about site security. They’re also about what it’s like to do business with you. Reviews and testimonials give potential customers confidence that you will deliver on your promises.
Accept Multiple Forms of Payment
The payment methods you accept are crucial to how many sales you get. You should know your audience. Depending on what part of the world your sales come from, you may want to accept Paypal, particular credit cards, or other forms of payment. Do your research, and make sure you’re giving your customers the options they’re looking for. You may also want to consider accepting debit cards and not just credit cards since this may be the preferred option for some. Whatever payment system you use, you should ensure it fits your clientele.
As you can see from this list, there are many things you can do to optimize your checkout process. Every step you take brings you closer to reducing your abandonment rate and increasing your revenue. Some of the most important lessons to walk away with aren’t about individual things you can do, but what causes friction. Users don’t have patience, they don’t like frustration, and they want to trust you. Find the best ways to improve those things, and you’ll see big wins.