Monitoring and ensuring that all of the parts of your eCommerce store perform well is a job every serious business has to do to be profitable. One of the most critical parts of the purchase funnel is the checkout process. You have the user on your website, they’ve added items to the cart, they go to the checkout page and then… then they leave your website. What happened?
Shopping cart abandonment is something every eCommerce store has to deal with. But when the abandonment rates get too high, it is an indicator that something turns users away and the checkout process may use some improvement. If this applies to you, here are a some of the ways that can help you reduce the number of users who leave the shopping cart without paying.
Offer free or flat rate shipping
One of the first things you should take a look at is shipping costs, as this can greatly deter a person from making a purchase. You can try implementing one of these two different approaches:
There’s no bigger turn-off than seeing a higher price tag when you get to the checkout page. Offering free shipping can help you rectify this problem by keeping the price tag the same and not surprising potential buyers with any additional costs. If the shipping costs are too high, you may consider including them in the price of the product which will help offset those costs.
Flat rate shipping
While not exactly “free”, flat rate shipping is another great way to reduce cart abandonment. No matter if the customer wants to order at a TV or some small item, as long as the shipping costs are the same, it won’t turn them away from ordering products from you.
Test them out and evaluate the results – they are definitely going to be better than trying to sneak in a hefty shipping fee.
Simplify the checkout process
Building complex checkout pages might sound like a good idea to get all the right information from the customers but think again. We live in a fast-paced world where people don’t like to waste their time on simple processes. If the customer is planning to make a purchase on your website, it is your responsibility to make it simple and easy to follow.
Don’t overcomplicate things and create several pages for the checkout process. Shorten the process down to a single, or two pages at most. The simpler the process is, the less time users will have to rethink their decision to make the purchase.
If you lack ideas, take a look at your competitors. Learn from them and implement strategies that have proven to work well. After all, they have likely already done the necessary testing to figure out what works. So, make changes and measure the results to ensure you’re on the right path.
Offer easy refunds or a money back guarantee
Every customer wants to have a piece of mind during the purchase. Even though online shops have been around for over a decade now, buying online still requires additional trust especially from older folks. If you notice that your cart abandonment is getting high, you could try adjusting your refund policy.
For example, you could introduce an easier way for requesting and getting a refund, or even a money back guarantee. This will relax the customers, as they are going to be certain that they can return the goods if they are dissatisfied. In the end, your number of sales will inevitably climb, especially in the long run, when your brand becomes more trustworthy and customers don’t second-guess their decisions about the purchase.
Get a SSL certificate for your whole website, not just the checkout page. It is an important element that will not only give users more confidence in your company and a feeling of security. You don’t want your user to be greeted with a warning message from their browser warning them that they’re viewing a non-secure page. As a bonus SSL certificate will give you a slight boost in SEO rankings.
Have more than one payment option available
Making it easy for the user to make the purchase and securing your eCommerce store are great improvements, but it doesn’t stop there. In the competitive online world, flexibility plays an important role, so you should offer as much flexibility to your customers as possible.
Yes, this means that you should support as many payment options as possible. It is going to be a bit of extra work on your end, but it will pay off in the long run. The broader the range of payment options, the higher the number of sales is going to be.
This is specifically important for international eCommerce stores, as people from different countries rely on different types of payment methods. Don’t stop with the typical Visa, MasterCard and PayPal payment options and explore other possibilities depending on your target market.
Additionally, as cryptocurrencies are becoming more popular, find ways to support this form of payment as well. This is a great way of thinking forward and taking advantage of newly developing technologies, which will make your store future-proof.
Author: Vlad Khorkhorov
Vlad Khorkhorov is a coder and entrepreneur based in Toronto, Canada. He has over 10 years of experience with product development, marketing and SEO with multiple successful ventures behind his back. When not working on his projects, he enjoys beach volleyball or skiing down the cold Canadian mountain slopes.