Imagine a potential customer wants to make a purchase from your ecommerce store. Your website is easy-to-navigate so she finds exactly what she is looking for. She adds the product to her shopping cart and immediately begins to checkout. But to her surprise, the checkout process is more complicated than expected. She’s asked to fill out various forms, inserts her personal and billing information, and to her dismay, the total cost of her order isn’t revealed until the very end of the process. Frustrated, she leaves the site and finds a similar product on your competitor’s site.
No matter how great your products are or your website is, if the checkout process is inconvenient, time-consuming, or complicated, your sales are probably suffering. According to a recent study, about 69% of shopping carts are abandoned, and ecommerce retailers are losing millions of dollars in potential revenue each year.
While you won’t be able to save every abandoned cart, you can take measures to ensure you’re providing the best checkout experience possible. Here are a few ways you can streamline the checkout process for your customers:
Offer Guest Checkout
One of the main goals of every ecommerce store should be to learn more about its customers. And while building relationships through emails, targeted ads, and notifications is a great way to do that, checkout is not always the best time to ask potential customers to register an account. In fact, it can turn them off completely and risk your chances of scoring the sale altogether. A guest checkout option may seem like a missed opportunity to gain customer information, but a missed email address is better than a missed sale. Instead, offer customer registration at the end, after the transaction has been made.
Deploy Mobile Payments—Like Mobile Wallets
Revenue from mobile payments has been on the rise over the past few years and is expected to surpass $1 trillion in 2019, which means it’s more important than ever for retailers to make the checkout process as mobile-friendly as possible.
While card-based transactions remain a popular form of mobile payment, accessing card numbers is difficult to do on-the-go. Mobile wallets, like Apple Pay and Android Pay, allow users to easily access their payment information with a simple touch instead of filling out lines of contact, shipping, and billing information. Mobile wallets are ideal digital tools for ecommerce brands since they’re optimized for mobile web and in-app use. But no matter the mobile payment systems you choose to offer, giving your customers options will not only increase your sales but give you more opportunities to reach a variety of mobile shoppers.
Get Rid of the Clutter
While you want your website to stand out, bombarding your checkout section with multiple images or unnecessary text is a sure-fire way to lose your potential customer’s attention—and a potential sale. Instead, opt for a simple checkout with minimal steps. If possible, fit the entire checkout process in one page to reduce the risk of users facing issues like bad network connectivity, slow page load times, or other distractions.
Fifty-four percent of consumers cite the cost of shipping as the main reason they leave a shopping cart abandoned. Being transparent about shipping costs during the checkout process is not only courtesy, but it’s essential to building trust with your customers. In addition to the shipping total, be sure to include any additional costs, like state taxes. While the numbers may add up, being upfront will save you time in the long run, as you won’t have to handle as many canceled orders or complaints.
Another way to ensure shoppers during checkout is to clearly display your site’s security seals. Your customers want to know their banking information is safe, and the seals add an extra layer of trust.
Display a Progress Indicator
If your checkout process is more than one page, letting your customers know their ongoing progress is essential. A checkout process indicator can alleviate a customer’s frustrations with a difficult or complicated checkout, a common reason digital shoppers abandon their carts. Make sure the indicator is clearly exhibited at the top of every page.
While it’s easy to put your checkout process on the back-burner, making sure the customer’s journey is streamlined from the beginning of the process to the end of the transaction is essential. By offering transparency, convenience, and speed during checkout, you’ll add another layer of trust to a burgeoning customer relationship.
Bart Mroz is Co-founder and CEO of SUMO Heavy