As the owner of an e-commerce website, you know how important the Checkout process is, because it is the point at which the customer converts from merely being interested in your merchandise to actually committing to a sale. However, did you know that the checkout process is also one of the times that you are most likely to lose a sale? For example, shopping cart abandonment in the first quarter of 2017 was about 75 percent globally. That is a staggering amount of potential business lost. The key to cutting down on your abandonment rate and taking advantage of this potential business is to create a checkout process for your custom e-commerce website that caters to your customers’ needs and expectations. Here are 10 tips for doing just that.
Remove required registration from your custom e-commerce website.
While capturing information such as email addresses can be useful for segmenting your target audiences and developing marketing campaigns, requiring registration before a customer can continue presents a barrier that many people will avoid by leaving your e-commerce website. Consider implementing a guest checkout option, instead. At most, limit your registration process to collecting a single email address.
SEE ALSO: Tips for Creating an Intuitive E-Commerce Website
Remove all distracting web design elements from the checkout process.
Distraction is the enemy of a successful checkout process. As a result, consider removing all distracting web design elements from the checkout process of your custom e-commerce website. For example, remove headers and footers, distracting backgrounds, product promotions, and even coupon code boxes. Include a single link back to the rest of the site. Keep your customers focused solely on the process of buying your products.
Tell customers where they are in the checkout process (and where they are going).
One study showed that 27 percent of people who abandoned their shopping carts did so because the checkout process was taking too long. One way to reduce anxiety among customers is to tell them exactly where they are in the checkout process and where they are going. A stepped process outlined at the top of each page can show them quickly how far in the process they are and how much further they have to go.
Reduce forms on your custom e-commerce website to the bare minimum.
The more information customers must submit, the more likely they will be to leave. Ask only for the information you must have to complete the order. And, while doing so, follow accepted form practices, such as using asterisks to mark required fields, providing fields whose lengths match the expected information, and using drop down menus for information such as country or state. The easier and shorter the form is to fill out, the more likely customers are to complete the checkout process on your custom e-commerce website.
Use back end tools to make form creation and payment simpler on your custom e-commerce website.
If you want to make checkout even easier for your customers, implement back end web development tools to anticipate information for your customers. Use localization to offer localized payment options, to prefill form fields that require area-specific information, or even to provide customers with estimated shipping costs. Reduce the amount of work the customer has to do in order to make the checkout process easy, simple, and, therefore, more appealing.
Provide total costs to your e-commerce website customers up front.
Surprise costs, such as shipping costs that were higher than expected, are one of the main reasons that people abandon shopping carts. In order to avoid this issue, provide the total cost of a customer’s purchase as soon as possible in the checkout process. You can even estimate shipping based on your customer’s location so they know about how much they will pay before they even begin the checkout process.
Provide trust signs to build confidence in your custom e-commerce website.
When customers reach the point in the checkout process where they have to submit their payment information, they tend to become wary of where their information is going and how it is being used. In order to assuage fears and build trust, create a space on your custom e-commerce website that lists your security credentials (SSL certificates, testimonials, guarantees, and security signs). Make sure to use ones that customers recognize, and place these in an obvious location (right next to the payment field is often a good choice).
Offer a variety of payment options on your custom e-commerce website.
Customers are increasingly using a wide variety of payment options to complete their purchases. As a result, your custom e-commerce website needs to offer a wide range of payment options in order to ensure that all of your customers can find an option with which they feel comfortable. For example, expand beyond credit cards to accept PayPal or Google Wallet. Incorporate payment options that are popular in countries you serve (such as Alipay in China). The more payment choices people have, the more likely they will be to buy from you.
Make getting support on your custom e-commerce website obvious and easy.
If customers do run into trouble during the checkout process, you can limit abandonment by making it easy for them to find and receive customer support. Throughout the checkout process, make sure that customers can easily access their support options, and offer choices (such as online chat) that are easy for customers to access quickly.
Create a checkout process that works on mobile devices.
Finally, you must create a checkout process for your custom e-commerce website that works on mobile devices. With more customers choosing to shop across devices, your site must offer ease of use no matter what device they choose. Responsive mobile web design is essential. For example, one-step forms, shopping carts that extend across devices, and more can all make your checkout process accessible on the smaller screens of mobile devices. The right checkout process emphasizes two qualities: Simplicity and security. When you can deliver these to your potential customers, you make it easier for them to buy the products that they have fallen in love with while browsing your site. In particular, remove required registration from your site, remove distracting web design elements, tell customers where they are in the checkout process, reduce the number and length of forms on your e-commerce website, make form creation and payment simpler, tell customers about their total cost upfront, provide trust signs, offer a variety of payment options, make getting customer support easy, and create a checkout process that works on mobile devices. By doing so, you will create a checkout process that maximizes conversions for your business.
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