Imagine working at a grocery store where customers fill up their shopping carts, park them at the checkout aisle, and walk out empty-handed. As unlikely as it sounds, the scenario is all too common among online retailers. When running an e-commerce store, it can be frustrating to see so many potential customers leave one step before paying.
Unfortunately, people are indecisive and there’s no way to completely eradicate the issue, with the Baymard Institute estimating that 68% of online shoppers abandon their carts. While you can’t change human nature, there are some things you can do to effectively reduce that number and get more users through the entire checkout process.
Clarify the Process
With so many different options, new customers can become overwhelmed when shopping at an online store. Be sure to make each step of the process clear to them. This includes a visible confirmation that they’ve successfully added an item to their cart, as well as an option to head straight to checkout. It should always be easy to see what the next step is.
Make it Quick
Customers don’t want to click through five different pages to pay for a product; nor do they need to. Long checkout forms that ask too many details are confusing and frustrating. They also give the user more time to reconsider their decision. Short forms that look simple and don’t need to be scrolled or paged through are ideal.
No less important is the provider of your checkout process, as even the simplest form can prove tedious if it isn’t properly optimized and responsive. Opt for a fast and mobile-friendly checkout with numerous payment options and analytics tools to help you learn more about your customers.
Install an exit-intent popup on the checkout page and have it appear when a customer decides to leave. The message contained in the popup should encourage the user to stay by providing an incentive such as a discount code. Using analytics, you can begin to create more targeted and effective exit-intent popups for different users.
Shipping times and prices play a major role in attracting or deterring customers. Waiting until users reach the end of the checkout process before displaying the actual delivery cost is a common reason for abandonment. It’s better to be upfront about it and if possible, provide numerous options to cater to different preferences.
While getting users to register is important on your side, forcing it can deter customers. Not everyone is willing to go through the extra effort of signing up and some people avoid it for privacy reasons. Offering a guest checkout is, therefore, a good idea. You can encourage users to register after they’ve completed the purchase.
To sum it up, your checkout process should be fast, simple, and transparent. Don’t forget to track your abandonment rates and find room for improvement by analyzing user behavior and patterns. This can help you identify the weak points and refine them to further streamline the process.