The checkout process in your online store is apparently the most sensitive part of the whole business. Just think how much effort and money you put into attracting consumers to your online shop: create a unique webstore design with a handy user interface, offer the best products assortment and fight for the competitiveness of your prices, think over the promotion campaigns and take numerous risks at any step. And all this labor can go in vain because of a one small insignificantly looking aspect – checkout.
If you have ever wondered how to encourage more shoppers to proceed to checkout and not abandon the cart like more than half of potential buyers do, but complete their purchase, this article is going to be your real find.
Table of Contents
Why cart abandonment happens
Use the power of your product page
Optimize the checkout procedure
Make the shopper trust you
Offer clear shipping experience
Assist with filling in the checkout information
Motivate your guest visitors to start an account
Why Cart Abandonment Happens
The Checkout stage has always been the buyer’s finish line, where you, as a merchant, can lose the most. Turning viewers into potential ready-to-pay customers requires much work to be done by any online retailer.
The rate of 69.89% for checkout abandonment according to https://baymard.com/ is a great waste of money that must not have any excuses. But why does this happen?
Here are the main reasons for cart abandonment:
- Overly complicated checkout procedure; customers get annoyed when they need to proceed through more than three-four pages to complete the purchase.
- A customer is forced to register before the purchase; the customer has a right not to create an account at your store, so as a respectful merchant you have to provide them with other options, like guest checkout or at least the alternative of logging in with mail and social networks.
- Hidden charges at the checkout, like high shipping fees or additional taxes that were not announced at the product page.
- A narrow range of payment options; nowadays online payment is not limited to Visa or MasterCard, and if you wish to keep up with time, you have to discover other alternatives.
As you can see, these are the mere flaws, not some large scale insolvable problems, but the amount of revenue you lose because of them is huge. So let’s get to know how the checkout process can be optimized.
Use The Power Of Your Product Page
The optimization begins not with the checkout page itself, as you could have imagined, but with the product page. The properly designed product presentation is one firm step towards minimizing the cart abandonment rate.
NB! If you are not very adept at user design, there is no shame in getting inspiration and ideas from global online retailer platforms like Amazon.
Here is what you can do to optimize the product page design and usability:
- Call-to-action buttons (‘add to cart’ or ‘buy now’) should be the easiest to find and hit.
- Make the color palette clean and clear so that a buyer sees all the necessary information but does not get distracted from the call-to-action buttons.
- Embed an urging countdown telling the customer to make their decision faster if he still wants a discount.
- Write a long and detailed product description providing as many characteristics and features as possible – the customer is naturally interested in every aspect of his future purchase.
- Provide a sufficient number of product photos that can be zoomed in. Also, a video demonstration is a great addition to the product description.
- Allow customers to rate products and write reviews to your products. This way you will get people’s genuine opinion of your products that will encourage other potential customers to make a purchasing decision.
- How many items are sold or left in stock, and if the item is sold out, enable the preorder option.
- After pressing ‘add to cart’ supply a shopper with a cross-sell pop-up, offering some sort of discount if he decides to add something else to the cart.
As the product page is put in order and optimized, it’s time to proceed with the checkout process itself.
Optimize The Checkout Procedure
The golden rule here is the fewer steps you offer the better it affects your revenue. But apart from this axiom, there are other optimization measures worth performing:
- Visualize the process of checkout for the buyer so it looks logical and easy to understand. A great idea is to literally enumerate the steps – this way a customer will know what to expect from the checkout process.
- Do not highlight the ‘remove’ button or other cancel-buttons. On the other hand, don’t make them completely obscure and inaccessible – this will not improve user experience and can cause a wave of customer dissatisfaction.
- Emphasize with color the benefits you offer a client together with the order, such as the amount of discount or free shipping sign (if you offer that).
- Leave only the most essential information and do not let the customer get distracted by unnecessary details. Make unavailable such options as ‘search’ or ‘learn more’ and other escape-buttons.
- Improve Thank you Page for your online store using proper extensions.
Make The Shopper Believe You Via Trust Signals
On the face of it, the customer trust level doesn’t have a direct impact on minimizing the cart abandonment rate. However, if you think of it, there is a discreet but direct connection between these two aspects.
The more the potential customers trust you, the more likely they will turn to your shop and make a purchase from you, not your competitors. When you are trusted, you get the right to put a fair price for your products and the possibility to become more than an online shop, but a brand.
Bear in mind that customer trust cannot be built overnight; you will have to apply a serious amount of effort and time to it, but the result, if you succeed, will be undoubtedly worth it.
How to build customer trust:
- Be active on social media; this way you get to communicate with your audience directly. Show them not only who YOU are, but get to know THEM: their lifestyle and needs, age and interests, etc. Moreover, this information will be a great base for your further promotion campaign. A wonderfully functional solution will be to integrate the major social networks with your store.
- Promise less, deliver more. People are more surprised and impressed when you do more than you promise or, as it is often seen, boast about.
- Personalize your brand. Drop the scripted, generalized advertising and marketing campaigns. Nowadays, customers want you to speak from your heart and address everyone individually.
- Be secure. Shopping with you, the customers submit to you their personal and sometimes information, so you need to keep a close eye on your online store security and prevention of security breaches.
Offer Clear Shipping Experience
Shipping is a sensitive topic for both a customer and a merchant. On one hand, the purchase has already been paid for, but is not yet received. On the other hand, the online shop often does not have control over the carrier and whether the delivery will be made in time.
The best you as a merchant can do is to ease customer’s worries by:
- Providing an estimated delivery date.
- Offering multiple shipping options.
- Enabling email notifications on different stages of the delivery process.
- Offering SMS delivery status updates as an alternative.
- Organize delivery support service.
- Offer a 100% refund if the product gets undelivered.
Assist with filling in the checkout information
No customer will ever want to spend tons of time figuring out how to fill in the checkout form at your web store. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to make this process as intuitive and understandable as possible. Here are the best measures for improvement of the checkout process:
- Guide the customer with easily seen hints.
- Introduce autosuggestion for the buyers with customer accounts.
- Support copy/paste features.
- Disable automated correction of proper names.
- Save the card information in your system, promising it will save a lot of time in the future.
Motivate Your Guest Visitors To Start An Account
Apart from a great way of speeding up the checkout process, registered user accounts are a great source of information about the customer and overall performance statistics of the store. What is more, this data is the basis for the marketing and advertisement campaigns, further customer-merchant communication and user personalization. So how to encourage your customers to spend three-five minutes of their time to create a user account? The answer is – offer them some benefits in exchange, like:
- Access to closed sales and promo codes.
- Becoming part of your brand community.
- Keeping user delivery information, so that they won’t need to fill it in over and over.
- Advanced personal information security.
- Free shipping.
- Access to round-the-clock support service.
But in any case, it’s important to treat your guests like the registered users and enable them with the nearly same capabilities. The Guest Wish List module will help you with that, giving the unlogined customers a chance to create their wish list.
These are the seven ways to increase the revenue via checkout process upscaling. As a merchant, it is the best you keep all seven of them in mind, but introduce one at a time. This way, you will be able to assess the impact of each way and make a conclusion which one works the best for your business.