When it comes to e-commerce, we believe in making it as easy as possible for people to buy products. Regardless of the size of your business, you’ve undoubtedly experienced the issue of checkout abandonment. Is there anything more frustrating than seeing the number of transactions that have been abandoned? Billions of dollars of potential sales are left in the checkout stage every year.
Checkout abandonment is when a customer adds a product to cart, begins the payment process and clicks away. This is a cost to your business both in terms of revenue and marketing spend. What’s more, there are developmental and operational costs associated with getting customers to the checkout stage.
There is a difference between checkout abandonment and cart abandonment. As the names suggest, the difference comes at the stages of abandonment. Today, we’re addressing the problem of transactions that are forgotten and left at the checkout phase. Under this circumstance, customers don’t just leave with products in their cart, they reach the checkout stage and then walk away.
To address the problem of checkout abandonment, we first need to understand why the problem exists. Think about some of your own experiences; why have you canceled transactions at this stage? Some common reasons include:
Furthermore, several sales fail to complete because the user is forced to create an account. Often, consumers want the ability to buy a product from a company without requiring an account. We have to remember that the average user has accounts and profiles all over the internet. For those who know they will never buy from a company again, they’re likely to forgo creating an account in case they can’t delete it again afterwards.
We know the problems, now how do we fix them? Below, we’ve listed several ways to optimize the e-commerce checkout process and ensure that you reduce the dreaded checkout abandonment rate.
First and foremost, no e-commerce service (no matter what you sell) should be without an optimized mobile experience for customers. With more transactions taking place on mobile devices, this is an area that can never go forgotten. If you aren’t sure how the checkout process works for your mobile website, it’s time to do some research and see how easy it is for you to purchase. If you don’t have an app, make sure the website is responsive and easy to use.
Many transactions require filling out tedious information. Rather than frustrating potential customers, we recommend adding a progress bar; this tells the customers exactly where they are in the process and how long they have to go. You could be losing many customers each year at the final stages just because they don’t realize they’re close to the end.
In truth, hitting the back button to undo something is almost a reflex these days. Customers will only get frustrated and click away if the back button takes them back to the very beginning. Wherever possible, we recommend keeping the back button functional so that customers can go back one stage and change details where necessary.
We understand you want every customer to become a member so it’s easier for you to reach out to them in the future. Unfortunately, the reality is that not all customers want to join a website just to buy something. Sometimes, they just want to enter their email address, purchase something, and not have to worry about future interactions. According to Dashlane analysis back in 2015, the average internet user has about 90 online accounts.
By providing a guest option, you keep customers happy and convert more of those who make it to the checkout stage.
Security and payment options are two common issues. You can ease the minds of consumers early by integrating credit card logos and security seals across your website and on the checkout page. Instantly, customers will be confident in payments that are secure and have various options. In terms of security, two popular ones are BizRate and Verisign.
Another issue is when people reach the checkout stage with no option to continue shopping. When customers hit the back button, they will become frustrated if everything in their cart disappears. To account for this, add a continue shopping button in the event that your customer forgot they wanted to buy another item. Otherwise, they will click away and find a more accommodating service.
With payment options, we understand that it’s a delicate balance. On the one hand, you want to offer as many payment options as possible; on the other, it costs money to introduce them. As a small service, start with the most popular methods. From here, expand as you grow so customers can proceed according to their preferences.
Are you currently asking for pet’s names and vehicle registration numbers? We’re kidding, but if you want to make a sale, only request the minimum information from customers to get the sale done. The more information you seek, the higher the risk that they will click away. If you can, streamline this process and ask only for the information you absolutely need.
There’s nothing worse than going through the checkout process only to find additional fees and extra charges. This is why it’s one of the biggest causes of checkout abandonment. Customers feel happy with a price and maybe even free shipping, but at checkout find additional charges were added. Some e-commerce services show all prices before tax; this can be deceiving and will cause confusion and anger for customers when it’s added at checkout.
Sometimes, there’s confusion as to the information required in a given form. With form validation and error notifications, customers are guided through the process. You get accurate information, the customer gets assistance, and everybody wins.
The average customer is no stranger to online shopping; please don’t send them from one website to another during the checkout process and give them reason to be suspicious. When they’re sent elsewhere, customers lose trust due to uncertainty about where their card details are going.
When something goes wrong at checkout, customers can often feel alone in their frustration, which leads to checkout abandonment. Instead, have a live chat window available somewhere on the screen so customers can ask a question and get answers quickly.
Some customers will abandon their carts and purchase for an unknown reason. Therefore, we advise introducing a follow-up system to ignite the fire again. Could you send a discount code or a special offer for completing an order?
Before allowing the customer to proceed to checkout, or perhaps on the first page, show some related products. If they see something else that steals their interest, the order becomes even more important and they’re more likely to see it through.
A significant number of customers will look for a promo code before buying, so why not offer the code yourself? Everybody loves to save money, and even a small discount will encourage customers to buy from your e-commerce service. Alternatively, you might display previous prices to show the extent of discounts or show how much a customer has saved.
Here are some other ways to optimize e-commerce checkout:
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