A business owner can witness profits only if there are more sales in his store. The same applies to the online business owner too. Like it happens in the offline store, there are last minute drop-outs from making a purchase in the online stores too and it is called shopping cart abandonment. So as to minimize the number of drop outs at the last stage of a purchase, the store owner has to ensure that the checkout page is perfect in all aspects. He has to ensure that the user does not get any reason to abandon the items in the cart. All that is needed to make an informed decision has to be provided to the customer so that you will not witness a drop in the conversion rates. So, you need to have the right strategies in place so that you do not miss out even a single customer because of inadequate information provided on the checkout page. Here are those few eCommerce checkout strategies that you need to incorporate into your store so as to enjoy high conversion rates at all times:
eCommerce Checkout Strategies:
Registration at the Store has to be Optional
Whenever there is forced registration, customers will always refrain from registering. They would rather prefer to go to a website that does not ask any kind of a commitment. Well, in case you do have a registration clause, it better be a compact form without asking too much of details but only those details that will be relevant for you to correspond further with the customer.
In fact, it is considered to be a great option to give them an option that they could shop as a guest and come back to the store again. Statistics by Baymard showed that a huge 24% of the customers gave up all the items in their shopping cart for the simple reason that they were asked to register on the website so as to buy from the website. Macy’s is the best example of this strategy.
Have Progress Indicators at Appropriate Times
It is the customer’s right to know where exactly he stands in the process of making a purchase. He needs to know what other details he will have to furnish in order to complete the entire purchase. So, in case a progress bar flashes on the website while he is involved in the process, he will get an idea as to what he could expect next rather than be taken off guard.
Add Payment Option Logos and Security Seals
A few stores accept only certain cards. So, when you have the payment option logos put up on the website, you are making things easier for the customers to choose their cards. When you have the security seals, you are also telling your customers that it is an absolutely trusted store that they could rely on. There are security seals like VeriSign, PCI Compliant as well as BizRate among many others.
Facility to Shop Even from the Checkout Page
It is natural that the customers may get excited about their purchase and forget to buy some other related product. So, it is beneficial to give them an option or a facility to shop even if they are at the checkout page.
Differentiate Between Checkouts and Continue Shopping Button Colors
When you have both the options adjacent to one another, then you must consider having color buttons for both the options. The customers should be able to differentiate between the two easily and reduce the risk of pressing the wrong button. It is ideal if you can have more space between the two buttons so that there is no confusion at all.
Facilitate Customers to Email or Take a Print of their Cart Contents
There may be some reason as to why the customer has to refrain from the checkout process. In such a case, it will be extremely helpful if the customers can email or even take a print of the contents in the cart so that when they resume the shopping process, they can save on a lot of time.
You must give the customers a final chance to review the order they have placed. This review will also give them a chance to check if they have entered all the details correctly before they actually make the payment.
Well, all the above mentioned pointers are checkout strategies that need to be incorporated in the design and layout section. Below here are those checkout strategies that one needs to arrive at in the product details section. Optimization of details here will facilitate minimum shopping cart abandonment cases. When the design and layout of the online business store are perfect, the customer’s attention will shift towards the combination of various other items on the store. So, when you take care of the following aspects, you can rest assured that you are providing your customer a good shopping experience.
Have a Product Summary
When you are displaying a product on the store, it will be helpful if you provide a product summary to the customer. This summary will help him in making an informed decision rather than just be guided by the name and the color of the product. You could provide the customer with details like color, size and many other options for customization if any.
Facilitate Easy Modification of the Order
It is quite natural that your customers commit mistakes when they are entering details to place an order. They may at times pick the wrong goods and add it to their shopping cart. You could facilitate easy modification of the order so that they do not get frustrated. Provide “remove” option to the customer so that he can easily remove it from the shopping cart. Also give “add” option so if they want to add more quantity, they can do it as per their requirement. When you have such clear and visible options, the modification becomes less confusing and absolutely quick too.
Detailed Shipping Methods and Charges to be Mentioned on the Checkout Page
Do not wait till the customer comes to the final stage where he will have to provide the shipping address. You could provide him with the relevant details and inform him the various shipping methods you offer along with the charges too on the checkout page itself.
Have a List of Related Products Recommendations Before Checkout
When you have a list of related products displayed on the checkout page itself, your customers would get naturally drawn towards giving those products a closer look. They would definitely want to buy a laptop cover after buying a laptop from your store. This is just an example. There may be n numbers of other related and cross sell and up-sell items that you could suggest through this option and increase your sales too.
Include Gift Wrap or Message Options
This option is found to be extremely ideal during the holiday season when shopping spree is on. You could think of having that ‘extra li’l’ thing for your customers, the service of which would add more points into your kitty and they would come back to your store for more. This little service of yours will be remembered and the chances of getting repeat customers are high.
Now comes another important arena where majority of the shopping cart abandonment cases occur. Inadequate information regarding shipping, taxes, and handling charges that may be levied on the final order prompt many abandonment cases. So, when you have these below mentioned pointers incorporated into your online business store, you will be doing a lot of favor for your customer as well as for your own self:
- Provide Multiple Shipping and Payment Methods: You need to mention the different shipping methods you are offering to your customer. It is then for the customer to decide how much he wants to spend on the shipping and how quickly he wants to receive the product. You also need to mention the payment methods you would accept. You will have to consider the inconvenience that your customers will be put through when you ask them to provide their credit card number. Some of them would have minimum patience and choose to cancel the order. Services like Google Checkout or payment through PayPal would be a better option.
- Keep a Functional ‘back’ Button: There are many times when the customer has forgotten something in the previous page and wants to go back to that page so as to confirm a particular detail. It is very convenient to have a ‘back’ button as it will save on a lot of time. In some cases they will have to see the error page or a message related to an error. This suggests that they will have to go through the entire process all over again which could definitely be a very frustrating experience.
- Inform the Users About Delivery Timings: Telling the customers as to when they would receive their order would be a huge blessing. Many of the online business store owners state it on the website itself, beside or under the product details, the number of days it would take for shipping the product. This information will be extremely useful for both, for you to deliver as there would be some at home to receive the parcel and for the customer so that he can wait to receive it. You as a business owner should ensure that the dates reflect at the earliest possible. These details will help the potential customers ascertain if their purchase will meet the requirement on hand.
- Highlight Free Shipping Facility When the Customer Spends Certain $X: You may not be able to offer free shipping to all customers. You could however set certain spent limit and then offer your customers free shipping. Highlight this detail on the website. Free shipping is one option which people would love to avail and they would make that extra purchase in order to get the products shipped freely. You could arrange for an option where the customer can see the progress of his purchase and decide what else he has to buy in order to reach that free shipping threshold. You should be able to show that they are so very close to qualify for the benefit. This kind of an option has been found to work wonders in increasing the sale.
- Highlight Latest Promo Codes: You need to have the promo codes on the website itself. Going off the site for retrieving a coupon code would only dilute the interest of the customer in buying a specific product. Your aim will be to have the shoppers for as much time as possible on your website. When you provide them with the latest promo codes on the checkout page itself, you are making things a lot easier for them.
- Mention ‘You Saved $X’ After Discount: Any customer would love to know that he has got a good bargain when shopping for the products he has been longing to have. Show how much he has saved in the deal before he learns about the final price at which he is going to buy. There is every reason for him to go and press the Checkout button.
- Tell the Customer What to Expect Next: Once the customer has pressed the final button, he will have an apprehension as to what will come next. You could simply have a ‘Thank You’ note for having placed the order. You are just being polite and thankful to your customers for having entered into a deal with them. This is the right time to tell them that they will receive an email confirmation with details related to shipping. In case there are any doubts in the mind of the customer, they can be clarified through this communication.
- Send a Confirmation Email: Once the order has been placed, you will have to send a confirmation email with the relevant details of the order that has been placed. This email will also mention an estimated delivery date of the products. The details provided through this email will help them verify if they have placed the order right. In case there has been a mistake, they can log back and modify the order before the product is sent for shipment. Mistakes could be as simple as picking a smaller size than the size that fits the customer, so on and so forth.
- Provide 365 days, 24/7 Customer Service and a 30-Day Return Policy: Based on the nature of business you run, you could decide to offer a 30 day return policy or a 365 days return policy. However, you will have to provide round the clock customer service in case you want your customers to come back to you for more business. This may perhaps not be appropriate for all kinds of businesses but it has definitely helped certain businesses gain loyal following.
Methods Used to Improve Conversion Rates:
There are different methods that are currently being used so as to improve the conversion rates by the business owners.
- A/B testing,
- Copy optimization,
- Customer journey analysis,
- Online surveys and customer feedback,
- Usability testing,
- Cart abandonment analysis,
- Competitor benchmarking,
- Event-triggered or behavioural email,
- Abandonment email,
- Multivariate testing and
- Expert usability reviews are found to be extremely helpful in increasing the conversion rates for any given business.
When you have the customer directly responsible for the decision he is making on your website, there is bound to be better conversion. You will have to adopt a structured and strategic approach to better the conversion rate in your business. It is an ongoing process and not just a one off case. The ideal way to get to the root of the problem is to understand why your customers are behaving the way they are on your website. You can always segment your visitors for greater insight. If you have a ecommerce website and are facing checkout concerns and shopping cart abandonment issues, you can hire the services of our eCommerce consultants as they will be able to analyze your shopping cart and share various strategies that will help in improving the conversion rates at your store. They will also help to implement latest strategies that will help you in holding the interest of your customers. All their efforts will be directed towards getting you more business with lesser number of abandonment cases.