This is a guest post from our friends at Abandonaid:
You’ve worked so hard creating a great product, a beautifully designed site, a user friendly interface, professional marketing material, a memorable brand and a rocking customer service team. You’ve crossed your T’s and dotted your I’s. No matter how great your ecommerce business, like every ecommerce business, you are still a victim of shopping cart abandonment.
69% of intended purchases are abandoned on ecommerce sites daily. Did you ever think that your checkout process might be too complicated? A confusing checkout process makes your customer feel stupid and an unsecured checkout process makes them feel vulnerable. You may not be able to control many of the distractions that lead to cart abandonment, but a smooth checkout process depends on you.
No worries. Time to take the center stage and DO something about it.
Here are 13 steps you can take to create a smooth checkout process:
- Justify the information you require
Shoppers aren’t mind readers. Sometimes asking them for their phone number or other pieces of private information can raise alarm bells in their head. “What does a phone number have to do with buying these clothes?” The easiest way to overcome such issues is to display small messaging explaining exactly why you require that information. Winning a customer’s trust isn’t hard, you just need to be transparent with your messaging.
- Error messaging 101
No-one’s perfect. People do make mistakes or fail to follow instructions when filling out forms. Hence, error messaging should always be crystal clear and obvious in relation to what the issues were and how to fix them. If there is a required field that wasn’t filled in, highlight it and have clear messaging so shoppers know exactly what to fix and where to fix it. Why lose people in your checkout just because they didn’t enter their email address correctly?
- Auto save on error messaging
Don’t you hate it when you spend ages filling out a form on a website and press submit, and then are told that there are errors you need to fix and nothing else was saved? Save your customer’s frustration and auto-save their details in case the page re-loads again. It’s a small trick that could save a sale.
- It’s not you, it’s me
We’ve all heard that before and there’s a good reason why. Sometimes it’s comforting to know that something wasn’t your fault (even though it might have been). The best way to keep shoppers engaged and happy when errors occur is to take the rap yourself and be polite about it. Divert the blame game away from them and be sorry about it.
- Reassure your credibility
Making purchases through unknown websites can be a little daunting for the end user. “Is there a real business behind this website?” “Will there be someone I can speak to if things go wrong?” Shoppers need to feel that they are dealing with an actual business on the other side. Displaying your contact details on key pages can make a world of difference and calm the nerves.
- Call to order option
Some people might prefer calling up and speaking to someone before they make a purchase. They may even want to pay for their items over the phone as well. It could be worth testing a call to order button or image in your checkout just in case they’d prefer to go down that path instead.
- Cross selling and upselling
In a very similar way to impulse buying, cross selling during checkout works like a charm. There is an art to knowing what to cross sell for each product and the price points that a good cross sell will usually go for. General rule of thumb: cross sell products in checkout should be roughly 30% of whatever the sale price of the product is. It’s also important to make sure that the “You May Also Be Interested In” box is out of the way from the checkout flow so the opportunities aren’t confused.
- Use of safe and secure seals
Who wouldn’t feel better when they see known and trusted security seals when you require someone’s credit card? Placing any sort of security imagery as close as possible towards the credit card input space is definitely a game changer when trying to overcome the security fear some people have when shopping online.
- Praise can go a long way
Customer testimonials are by far one of the most powerful confidence building tools. Adding a testimonial statement to your checkout will always help layer in an extra level of comfort for a shopper. Most important, make sure the statement you use is related to directing the actual checkout experience.
- Dealing with coupon codes
Obviously, when you prompt someone with a coupon code option, the first thing lots of folks will do is search inside another browser for a coupon they could use. Big problem. Why give away discounts to shoppers who would have bought at full price anyway? Macy’s addresses this below in a very clever way by keeping the user on the page and deflecting them from leaving.
- Getting jiggy with payment options
Alternative payments account for 22% of global e-commerce transactions, worth a total of €165bn. There can never be enough options to choose from when it comes to extracting money out of shoppers. Everyone has different preferences. Why limit your shoppers with how they can pay?
- Offer “save to cart” functionality
Treating the shopping cart or basket like a wish list has definitely become a popular habit among many shoppers. While they may not be ready to buy in the session they added the product, if you can offer them a way to save their cart and return later to their “wish list” you’ll get them one step closer to checkout and purchase.
There will always be a handful of customers who will want to know if their purchases are guaranteed or covered by some sort of warranty. Why not give them the opportunity to easily review your purchase warranties, payment guarantees, and other important messages as hyperlinks at key areas of your checkout? No need for fancy designs and banners, just a simple hyperlink in the areas that count.
So what’s the upshot? Be nice to your customers and they’ll be nice to you.
If you’re wondering where your customers may be getting stuck in your checkout process, use our Checkout Conversion Calculator – it will identify the points of friction in your checkout and help you create a smooth checkout process: