There’s a harsh reality facing ecommerce websites: according to research by the Baynard Institute, shoppers abandon their online shopping carts 68 percent of the time. Why do customers give up on the checkout process so often? Experts in the field of ecommerce website design have identified some of the most common reasons for cart abandonment. Here are some rules of thumb you can follow to make it easier to purchase products on your website. We’ll also cover ways to maintain customer engagement after a purchase is made.
When a customer enters the checkout process, their goal is to make a purchase. It’s surprising how many ecommerce websites unknowingly get in the way of that goal. Don’t clutter and complicate your checkout process. Eliminate as many obstacles to buying as possible. That includes email signups, login forms and user registrations. Being forced to register for an account is one of the top reasons for cart abandonment. One usability expert found that 30 percent of users decided not to complete a purchase when they were asked to create an account beforehand.
Allow your customer to enter their shipping and payment information as early into the checkout experience as possible. Additionally, you may want to rethink the use of coupon codes on your site. When a customer sees a coupon or discount code field, they’ll go offsite hunting for coupon codes, and there’s a very good chance they won’t make it back to you to complete the sale.
Email and shipping address – checkout couldn’t be easier!
Many ecommerce sites are optimized for mobile viewing, but their checkout processes may not be. When it comes to mobile checkout, simplicity is even more important than it is for desktop checkouts, in part because mobile shoppers are more vulnerable to outside distractions and can lose track of where they’re at in the process. A single-page checkout can make a positive impact on your conversion rate. Navigation should be clear, and make sure there’s sufficient spacing between clickable elements.
Most ecommerce sites earn the bulk of their revenue from repeat customers. Once your customer has made their first purchase, continue to impress them with a thank you for buying page that positively reflects your brand and provides a next step for them to take, such as viewing recommended products related to their purchase or sharing the news of their purchase on social media. This can also be an unobtrusive place for the user to sign up for an account since you let them skip that step before checkout.
The order confirmation email is also an excellent opportunity to create the kind of excitement for your brand that leads to more sales. A beautifully designed confirmation email that includes a special offer will go a long way toward keeping customers engaged. You can also use it as an opportunity to upsell, promote your social media accounts, or collect feedback.
Most customers are thrilled to receive notification that their order has shipped. Perpetuate those good vibes by making it simple for them to track their package, and provide them with its anticipated delivery date. Extend goodwill and soothe any post-purchase anxiety by reminding them of your return policy and customer service contact information.
Not sending a follow-up email is one of the biggest lost opportunities for ecommerce retailers. Once the order has been delivered to the customer, send an email to check in with them to help them stay engaged with your brand. This is the perfect time to encourage them to share a picture of their purchase on Instagram or to review the product on your website. Additionally, you can use the follow-up email to offer a discount or other incentive to buy from you again.
There are numerous subtleties to designing an excellent checkout experience, but if you follow the guidelines above, your checkout process will perform well above average. As technology continues to improve, the opportunity to create amazing user experiences has grown significantly. However, make sure you have basic usability guidelines down before moving on to more advanced features. You’ll be doing yourself and your customers a favor.