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Why do confusing online checkouts lead to no sales?

This article was published on: 04/22/16 11:32 AM by Tess Horsley

Let’s say you want to learn more from your customers. You want access to them, you want to ask them questions and you want their feedback. A trap for young players in the ecommerce game is to ask for more information at the checkout. You don’t want to distract your customers from all your great products, so why not get their input when it seems they’re pretty much sold? In actual fact, an overcrowded checkout can be detrimental to your E-commerce efforts. Imagine how ridiculous it would be in real life asking a customer to sign up, sign in, provide extra information and get previously provided information exactly right. Luckily, thanks to this video from Google Analytics, you don’t have to imagine!

After you’ve finished giggling, you’ll see that this video perfectly portrays the problem with an overloaded, crowded checkout. When it comes down to it, once your customer has decided to purchase something, it’s up to you to make the process as simple as possible. Basically, once the customer has gotten to the checkout stage, the hard work has to be done not by them, but by your site.

Streamlining your checkout process is key to reducing shopping cart abandonment, where your customers leave your site after adding items to their shopping cart. Shopping Cart abandonment rates are actually far higher than many people think. According to e-commerce usability data collectors Baymard Institute (BI), average abandonment rates for e-commerce sites sits around a whopping 68%!

Cracking down on your cart abandonments means streamlining your checkout and payment systems. Here are some tips on how to do just that:

Be clear about your shipping costs and procedures

Shipping costs can be a huge hindrance to following through at the checkout. Make sure your shipping prices are clearly advertised throughout your site, as well as all the available options. Make sure people know what shipping cost they’re in for before they get to the checkout. Further, if you offer store pick up as a delivery option, make sure you list it as a shipping method. Baymard found that users will overlook this option if it isn’t presented as an available shipping option.

If you can make free shipping work, do it

A huge reason people abandon their virtual carts is that their order isn’t enough to get them free shipping. In conjunction with the above, make your minimum free shipping spend clear and prominent. In addition, if you can afford to lower your free shipping threshold, strongly consider doing it. Many consumers consider shipping costs (or lack thereof) a deciding factor when it comes to clicking that ‘submit payment’ option.

Mark your optional and non-optional fields

Logically, if someone’s added a pile of your products into their shopping cart, it follows that they like your products. So, understandably, you’d love to be able to reach them again later! A great way to do this is by grabbing their contact details and staying in touch with regular emails and updates. However, the checkout may not be the best place to do this. We don’t recommend making registration non-optional. Mark what fields are essential to completing an order, and keep these to a minimum. Meanwhile, feel free to make sign-up options a strong feature of other pages, as well as of your social media and other marketing efforts.

Road test, road test, road test!

Making sure all your forms are working correctly is essential, and this extends to making sure customers know what they actually have to input in each section. Make your form descriptions clear and succinct, and provide an example if you think it makes things clearer. Do a lot of in-house testing to make sure everything is working as it should be. Are your address forms generating addresses in the right order? Is it easy to enter a unit and street number as opposed to just a house number? Can you enter multiple street types? Getting all these aspects right will streamline things on both sides of the checkout process.

Hype Creations is a leading Digital Marketing Agency in Brisbane. We’ve worked on multiple e-commerce platforms for our Brisbane based clients. If you’re struggling with cart abandonment or conversion rates, contact us today!