Ecommerce: Three tips to increase your checkout conversions

20th Sep 2016

Fact – 68.63 percent of shopping carts get abandoned.

To illustrate this number better imagine walking into a supermarket and seeing 7 carts full of groceries left at the cash desk, while only three shoppers walking out with the purchase.

But you can reduce this number.

It all starts with understanding why shoppers abandon the carts in the first place.

Common Reasons Why Shopping Carts Get Abandoned

Prices are the major deal breaker in this case as the current stats prove:

  • 57% of people leave when presented with unexpected costs (e.g. additional shipping.
  • 36% leave when they discover a better price elsewhere.
  • 32% abandon a purchase when they just feel that it’s too expensive.

Customers may also choose to leave your site for the following common reasons:

  • Complicated website navigation.
  • Lengthy checkout process
  • Security-related issues e.g. website crashes, excessive security checks or lack of those at all.
  • Forced registration/account creation.
  • Too much personal info required for finalizing the deal.
  • Payment security concerns and declined payment methods.

Now, knowing the abandonment reasons let's take a look on how you can fight back in each case to lead more customer towards finalizing the deal with you.

Free Shipping is Indeed a Must

Did you know that 44% of customers will abandon a purchase if the shipping costs are too high?

Also, did you know that the majority of visitors prefers to see the total costs (including shipping) prior to the checkout?

Also, according to David Bell from Wharton school of business, a free shipping discount that will save a customer $6.99 will seem more appealing than many than a discount that cuts the purchase by $10.

However, despite all that data you have your business reasons for not offering free shipping to everyone, right?

So how do you strike the right balance in this case? Try the following tips for a start:

  • Creating a set threshold for free shipping e.g. spend $50 and receive free shipping. It’s also easier for customers to digest a two-digit number (e.g. $99) then a three-digit to get qualified for free shipping.
  • You can go the Amazon route and offer free shipping with membership accounts.
  • Reward loyal customers with free shipping deals and coupons. A good online POS system will help you to track both the in-store and online spenders and retain them with special deals. Target those with the largest one-time checks specifically.

Also, another curious study proved that by lowering the free-shipping threshold, the carts total will likely not exceed that threshold a lot. In fact, after Amazon has set a $25 free shipping threshold customers started spending less with the company.

Yes, you can boost the conversations with lower free shipping threshold, but your average order value will likely go down too. Use the online data analysis tools at your disposal to discover the most profitable free shipping number for your company. Split testing different offers could also help you discover the ultimate digit.

Optimize For Mobile Users

Mobile commerce is expected to hit $79 billion in revenue by the end of 2016 and pass the $284 billion mark by the end of 2020. However, the majority of e-retailers still struggle to get it right in this case.

The average global conversion rate for smartphone purchases is just 3.75% for tablets and 1.53% for smartphones:

So, what are your options here?

  • Simplified, responsive mobile site design is a must. Leave only the essential categories at the top navigation.
  • Leave enough white space at the right to ensure smooth scrolling. Also, adjust all the buttons according to the fat finger design principles.
  • Test multiple step forms for mobile check out – those are usually easier to fill from a phone/tablet and encourage more users to finalize the deal without switching to desktop.
  • Offer mobile buyers to email their purchase summary, so that they could finalize the deal.
  • Allow auto-complete, auto-suggest features for filling up personal information.
  • Don’t require mobile shoppers to create an account with you as that’s super cumbersome in most cases.

Speaking of account creation…that's another major obstacle between your customer and the purchase. Sure, you need them to gather customer insights for optimizing your sales funnel and honing your sales offers, but how do you persuade customers to opt in?

Simplify Your Account Creation Process

Okay, so here are some of the best practices for enticing your users to register an account with you (and finalize the purchase deal):

  • Minimize the amount of required opt-in fields. You can ask for their address and other data later on.
  • Add a supporting line explaining why customers should have an account with you – e.g. for faster ordering, personalized offers etc.
  • Clearly, outline that you won't spam them with offers or re-use/re-sell their private data.
  • Add a lovely personalized touch for logged-in users e.g. a greeting by their first name; personalized wish list or recently viewed items.

Also, as Luke Wroblewski outlined in his book Web Form Designs: Filling in the Blanks, tweaking the text on the account creation button can result in a 45% rise in conversion totaling over $300 billion in revenue.

Bottom line: Don't force the user to register an account with you. It's okay if they don't want to immediately commit to your brand. Leave them room for navigation and offer guest checkout as well.

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