The number of prospective buyers abandoning their shopping carts and stopping conversions just before checkout is huge at over 67 percent. This is according to documented abandonment statistics gathered by Baymard Institute (September 2014). The statistical figures this study provides are averages derived from a collection of 22 studies, making it a good representative sample of the population or checkout conversions. In certain studies, dropping out from the checkout page can be as high as 80.3 percent.
The significant cart abandonment happens for various reasons. The collection of Baymard studies successfully identified 14 of them. Some are what you may say are “can’t be helped” which includes “Presented with unexpected costs” at 56 percent, “I was just browsing (meaning no real intention to buy) at 37 percent, and “Found a better price elsewhere” at 36 percent.
Majority of the identified reasons have something to do with complicated navigation and checkout processes, concerns over security, unsuitable delivery options, etc. These are all “actionable reasons.” In other words, you can generate sales and make profit by a huge margin if you can work on these problem areas.
There are numerous ways to enhance the checkout conversions.
Here are seven of them:
1. Make your site and checkout mobile accessible. A large percentage of mobile users are now becoming more dependent on their mobile devises not only to browse or access social networking sites, but also to shop and complete their purchases as well. If you are savvy, you should consider having a site with a responsive design. Make sure it is also optimized and the checkout is responsive for use on a mobile device. This means that images and prints are large enough so details like shipping options, return policies and total costs of purchases are decipherable. Cut down the number of steps to simplify the process because it is hard to fill out forms using small hand-held mobile devices.
2. Offer several payment options. Find out the most common methods of payment and make sure you have those available on your site along with other payment plans. PayPal is a definite must-have with a large number of online shoppers preferring it over other less secured and less convenient modes of payment. Potential customers might be less likely to be deterred if you put the “Checkout with PayPal” button close to where the cart is and if the process will entail fewer characters and clicks.
3. Forget the login. Creating an account or login are friction points that stop many potential buyers on their tracks. All they want is to buy as fast and as easy as possible. If it is all that important to you, offer the option to happy returning customers, especially if you can offer them a reward of some sort when they create an account, login or return in the future. If you are a newbie site or a small retailer, do not demand logins the way big online companies do, like Apple or Amazon.
4. Simplicity counts: If you want conversions, don’t overwhelm your site visitors. Asking for too much information is the bane of many online stores. Ask only for the most useful information you need to know to process the transaction and present this in a reader-friendly form. Veteran online shoppers are quite familiar with the information they must share with online vendors such as shipping address. Do not give them any reason to doubt you and your products by asking for more than is necessary. Lest you forget, make sure to use readable and strategically located texts and buttons that have been carefully thought out and tested. Finally, don’t make it hard for them to edit their selections.
5. Give them a “feel” of what they are buying: The biggest disadvantage of buying online is not being able to try on, feel, taste or touch the item customers intend to buy. It is critical to give your customers a good idea of the features are for the product they are buying. Having a good image is useful, but enhancements such as letting buyers get a sweeping 360 degrees of a view or the back of a dress can step up the shopping experience of your buyers. A product thumbnail located on the checkout page is both thoughtful and effective.
6. Make customers feel secure: Another inconvenience that online customers have to live with is not getting the item they paid for immediately after. With a huge number of scammers hanging around in cyber space, there is always that nagging thought of being conned until they have safely received the purchased item. Placing security badges on the checkout page near the fields reserved for credit cards effectively reassures the buyers. Studies reveal that those logos reaffirm security and actually increase sales by 4 to 6 percent. It will also help to provide your potential buyers ways to contact you – a mobile number, an email address or a webpage – to give them some sense of security.
7. Give them peace of mind through refunds and price guarantees. Offering price guarantees will make your customers think they just got the best deals so it is not necessary to continue to make price comparisons. With a sensible refund policy, the sale is sealed as you boost the shopper’s confidence and give them peace of mind.
While cart abandonment cannot be completely prevented, it can be reduced from its staggering 67 percent right now. Several studies have already successfully identified the causes of meager conversions during checkout. These seven tips address the problem areas that ecommerce businesses usually have to deal with. Believe or not, those who improved what they can in their checkout processes successfully boosted checkout conversions and recovered their losses from 10 to 30 percent.