Adelina Benson is an email marketer and writer at AcademicBrits. She develops marketing strategies, edits and proofreads company emails.
Online shopping can be incredibly convenient, but it can also be a frustrating task. Research has shown that online retailers suffer around a 70% rate of cart abandonment at the checkout from potential customers; our society has become accustomed to life’s interactions being seamless and easy, and so if online transactions become frustrating for any reason, people will simply abandon them. Here are some ways you can reduce the number of customers abandoning transactions at the last hurdle.
1. Don’t force people to create an account or ask too much information
Sometimes people simply click on the cart so that they can see how much they have ‘spent’ so far. By making them create an account simply to see the amount, they are immediately put off from carrying on any further. In the same way, offer a guest check out option—people will appreciate this if they are not regular customers of the site, as they won’t feel they are going to get bombarded by marketing material afterward, and a lot of people don’t like giving a lot of personal information out.
2. Show a breakdown of costs
Don’t leave customers wondering about the different fees included in the transaction, break it down for them and be as transparent as possible. “Research has shown that customers prefer it when the checkout process shows individual costs, including tax. Even if the shipping is free, show that it costs nothing to reiterate this, and make customers feel as though they are getting a good deal,” says Susan Labbe, content manager at OriginWritings.
3. Use a clear, multi-step checkout process
Although it may seem easier to simply present potential customers with one large form to fill out at the checkout, it has been proven that this actually pushes people away. A multi-step process, with small fields to complete on each page and a progress bar to show how many steps remain, is far more incentivising to see the transaction through to the end. Additionally, giving people the option to edit their basket during checkout, and including thumbnails of the products they have selected throughout payment, are simple steps that you can take to ensure the process is completed.
4. Make sure shipping prices are correct
“Nothing annoys people more than surprise delivery fees at the checkout,” says Branden Shulman, e-commerce manager at 1Day2Write and Write My X. “Be upfront about what cost applies to their location, so that people know how much they will need to add on to their purchases from the start”. Similarly, try and give an estimated waiting time that isn’t vague—saying 1 to 2 weeks isn’t clear enough!
5. Make them feel as though they are getting the best deal
Is it their first order? Is it a special time of year? Make people feel like they are getting the most for their money by offering vouchers and coupons for signing up, or for ordering within a specific time frame. People will often see if they can find a code online when they see the empty voucher field, and, when they can’t, abandon the transaction. Also, show the savings they have made at the checkout, as well as any free returns and guarantees that you offer.
6. Create a drop-down cart
Customers appreciate a seamless shopping experience. By allowing them to look at their cart without having to leave the page they are on, they will be less like likely to get frustrated and abandon their transaction. By allowing people to save their basket, too, encourages them to come back to it at a later date, rather than abandon it for good. Softwares like CS-Cart provide you with some great options.
7. Offer different payment options
Don’t limit yourself by only offering limited payment options. Try and get as many different, popular payments as is viable for your business—if you have gotten people as far as entering their payment details, don’t push them away at the last minute!
The age we live in means that we want things done quickly, easily, and as seamlessly as possible. Ultimately, if it too difficult, people will just abandon it, and there are so many options that if it doesn’t work in one place, there are plenty of other vendors that will deliver. With some simple adjustments, you could reduce the number of shoppers you lose dramatically.