A reality of e-commerce is that most potential purchases don’t come to fruition. According to a 12-year study by the Baymard Institute, about 70% of online consumers globally abandon their shopping carts, which results in a low overall checkout conversion rate.
A checkout conversion rate measures the percentage of shoppers who initiate and complete transactions over time. An online merchant’s goal should be to optimize the checkout experience to maintain a strong conversion rate.
Online shopping can be tedious and time-consuming. The secret to consistent and reliable e-commerce transactions is simple: Make the checkout process quick and easy. Eliminate steps that could turn off a potential customer and prevent a completed purchase. Here are some tips to turn hesitant shoppers into confident buyers.
There are few things more off-putting to an online shopper than an obligation to create an account to make a purchase. While merchants may gain marketing benefits from the data they collect, consumers view this as an invasion of privacy and an inconvenience. Failure to offer a smooth shopping experience will result in lost sales.
A guest checkout feature allows shoppers to make a purchase easily without creating an account and without providing personal information that would result in an inbox full of marketing emails when the sale is complete.
Checkout should be effortless for the customer. Accepted payment methods should be obvious and among the earliest information shoppers encounter during checkout. Clear payment Call to Action (CTA) buttons should accompany each checkout stage. Include text boxes instead of drop-down menus for dates. Incorporate autofill sections as appropriate, such as a post/zip code entry that triggers an autofill of other address information.
Require only necessary information: credit card number, expiration date, and Card Verification Value (CVV) code, for example. Shoppers appreciate functions that are forgiving, so if there is an issue with submission or incorrect entry, only the affected field needs to be re-entered while other previous information persists.
Progress indicators manage user expectations by letting them know how many steps to the checkout process and where they are in relation to them. These features will enhance the customer checkout experience and raise conversion rates.
According to Forbes Advisor, 91% of online purchases are made on a mobile device. E-commerce merchants must optimize their shops for mobile use. A conscientious retailer will test its checkout experience on a gamut of mobile devices across a few generations. This considers a variety of screen sizes and technological capabilities and captures the reality of the e-commerce environment. Autofill is a friend to online merchants and consumers, especially in mobile transactions.
When users must input information, invoke the default keyboard that corresponds best with the field. Keys should be large enough to minimize input errors and easily readable. Finally, the mobile checkout should only contain the necessary images, pages, and processes for a seamless shopping experience. Unnecessary features, pop-ups, images, etcetera will slow the site load speed, complicate things, and try consumer patience.
Credit cards remain the most popular payment method for online transactions, but third-party providers like PayPal and Apple Pay have rapidly gained momentum in the last few years. Buy now, pay later (BNPL) credit providers like Klarna are also trending.
Consider the customer base and offer local providers where applicable, such as iDEAL within the Netherlands. Be generous but discerning where payment options are concerned. Convenience for the masses is the goal, but too many choices can be overwhelming.
Surprises and ambiguity will never boost conversions. Consumers want to know from the beginning what their purchase costs and when they will receive it. The most common reason for cart abandonment is hidden fees — additional costs like tax, shipping, insurance, and convenience charges applied at the end of the checkout process.
If these extras are part of the sale, declare them upfront or roll them into the cost of the item. Be specific about shipping options and delivery time. If shoppers can’t anticipate when they might have their items, they are much less likely to buy.
In A Nutshell: Forbes predicts that 20.8% of all retail purchases worldwide will occur online. There are many reasons behind abandoned shopping carts. Most of them are avoidable. Retailers who observe the keep-it-simple adage will see the highest rate of return with the most conversions.