Checkout Process Optimization in 10 Simple Steps
What’s a Shopping Cart?
Shopping cart software like any other, i.e. Magento, PrestaShop, OpenCart etc, facilitates the customers during the shopping process. Bargainers can utilize shopping cart solutions in online stores to sell goods or services. E-Commerce software makes shopping a regular, non-stressful operation. To make a long story short, shopping cart possesses plenty of user-friendly features strengthened by charming design. The majority of them provide such useful options as unlimited auto responders, send e-mail function, digital transfer, ad pursuit, divided experiment, listing control and marketing tools.
The shopping cart software offers enumerable boons and built-in safety options minimizing the probability of identity theft during personal details verification.
In this entry we will take up essential questions concerning checkout optimization. Following these 10 easy steps you will reduce the frequency of checkout denial and raise the conversion.
It’s not an easy business to urge a customer buy from you. Cart optimization may help a lot in the achieving of the goal. If you manage to ruin customers’ mental blocks such as: lack of trust, uncertainty of getting a good deal and confusion, you will get the deserved award in the form of increased number of purchases and a crowd of content clients. The configuration of your shopping cart also really matters. It is a proven fact that traditional 4-step checkouts seem much more acceptable and intelligible for the customers in comparison with more complicated ones, demanding more detailed information. A regular checkout usually includes the following steps:
1. Shopping cart page;
2. Billing info page;
3. Shipping info page;
4. Payment page and “Thank you page”.
These steps are well-known to the customers that’s why they seem more safe than any new usability methods.
Why do Users Abandon Checkouts?
Actually, purchase of high-priced products entails more comprehensive checkout process for provision of customer’s assurance and security. So, it’s quite sensible that inexpensive goods are in advantageous situation due to more compact online shopping carts offering swift checkouts with minimal quantity of steps. Today, one step checkout enjoys increasing popularity, as the user shouldn’t go through several pages when buying a product; all information is inserted into the form fitting into one page. Unfortunately, there is a great number of reasons why shopping carts are rejected by the users, we stated the most frequent ones in the list below.
Reasons why users abandon checkouts:
high rate for shipping and handling;
product price turns out to be higher than expected;
shipping and handling rates were indicated too late in the checkout process;
too much information is required during the checkout;
low bandwidth resulting in slow page loading;
not enough information about the product/service;
no desire to pass the registration process;
absence of corresponding payment options;
visitor is not ready to make a purchase yet.
Doing away with these reasons you will be able to create a user-friendly UX for the customers. Follow this link “Designing a Shopping Cart Page” if you want to know more about design and functionality of a shopping cart, the post will reveal all tips and tricks.
The Question is: “… to Optimize or not to Optimize…”
Shopping cart conversion rates and success of the order checkout process are influenced by many particular business factors such as type of products, general eCommerce site quality, limpidity and visibility of shipping, etc. Here are some standard requirements for eCommerce websites in overall performance: order checkout forms must load under 10 seconds and a shopping cart should operate when cookies are disabled. Use these tricks to optimize the cart and improve the conversion rates:
1. Keep Highlighting Items in the Cart
It’s inadmissible to remove a thumbnail product image from the basket, as its absence can double the cart abandonment rate. You can also indicate the date and time of product addition. It’s recommended to show how much money is saved if the customer gets a discount for a definite product. Customers want to see as much information as possible even on the last stage of the purchase process, typing a credit card number.
2. Security, Payment, Shipping
Four main things each online store visitor pays attention to:
How secure the payment is?
What payment options are available?
Where can the product be shipped to?
The cost of shipping?
If your online store possesses the necessary information, you can jump to the 4th step, if the users can’t find the answers to some of the questions, add them without delay. It’s habitual to place the most important information about the online store in the footer area of a webpage. This information should be distinctly visible on the footer of every page of the eCommerce website and in the basket page next to the order checkout button (icons of the SSL certificate provider, accepted payment methods, and shipping carriers with pop-up shipping rate cards usually work well).
3. Make Checkout Options as Simple as Possible
No customer can stand abstruse or too extensive checkouts, usually the desire to purchase the product breaks up in proportion to the quantity of pages needed to be filled. It is better to refrain from AJAX, Flash and other sophisticated technologies usage as they overdrive the shopping cart. The simpler your cart is, the better it performs its functions. It’s unjustified to lose the client because of the older browser version or software release, that doesn’t support your advanced effects.
4. Less Distraction More Actions
Try to supply your shopping cart with all important information a user may need to make a decision rapidly. It’s a great benefit if it is possible to add a product to the cart without leaving a web page. A good shopping cart should have the form for voucher/discount/gift card codes, as it’s better for the customer to have all the settings on one page.
5. Reduce the Importance of Registration
The impossibility of taking actions without registration is able to infuriate even the customer, calm as a cucumber in real life. Your goal is to draw the idea that registration is a kind of complementary benefit for the users. Collect all necessary details from the order checkout and suggest to create a password to track the order progress at the order confirmation stage.
6. Improve Website Navigation
It is very easy for an ordinary user to get confused in the variety of products, offered on the eCommerce site. With understandable navigation the process of browsing and product choosing is more pleasant, especially when all the selected items stay in the cart all the time. Leaving breadcrumbs is a great practice as the customer always knows where he is and can travel through the categories without turning to main menu.
7. Facilitate the Access to the Cart Contents
When shopper’s cart content is easy to find and access from each page of the website, it raises the commodity turnover and aids the customer to find what he needs and to checkout promptly. Don’t locate cart contents on a separate page, like many eCommerce stores, doing so, you deceive shoppers’ expectations as they are looking for the option in a sidebar or in the right upper corner of a webpage. It’s not less important to ensure the simplicity of cart contents editing during each phase of the checkout and anytime before the checkout process.
8. “Add to Wishlist”
It’s not too good for an eCommerce site when the options of adding an item to wishlist and adding an item to the shopping cart are not differentiated enough. Some online stores let the shoppers add the products to the cart and only then, the clients are able to add the item from the cart to wishlist. In some way, it’s not correct. Agree that it’s much more natural to have an “Add to cart” button and an independent “Add to wishlist” option.
9. Include User Reviews and Unique Content
A lot of eCommerce product pages contain trivial product descriptions based on manufacturer’s characteristics. However, according to monitoring results from CompUSA and iPerceptions, 63% of consumers are more inclined to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews. Write original irresistible descriptions and they will certainly bring user reviews, along with SEO benefits and attraction of hesitating buyers.
10. Show off Professional Organizations
Place the logos of your famous professional partners into the footer area of your website, such presentation will form your positive trustworthy image.
We would like to share some more tips that can improve the performance of your online store with you:
Easily Accessible Customer Service
Customer should feel your presence and readiness to help in the case of emergency. A service access button or pop-up should be located in the most eye-catching place for customer’s confidence;
Well Represented, Clear Product Images
Blurry or tiny images won’t make your deal, they are suitable only if your aim is to irritate a customer;
“No Results Page” That Offers Similar Products for Sale
No products found “How about these instead?” web page with similar title will keep the user on your webpage;
Good Search Engine Optimization
Accurate Page Titles;
Product descriptions optimized for search, accompanied by links to products including keywords.
Analyze and Test Everything
Each website is unique and requires original solutions. Prior to introducing any changes, make sure that you have foreseen and analyzed everything for your shopping cart process. Don’t start testing until you have enough data for cart improvement, think over the consequences of your changes in advance. Start with something “smaller”, don’t apply all changes at once in order to avoid disappointments. Guided by our advice you will know exactly which of them invoke better response on the overall performance of your resource.