It takes a great deal of effort to draw potential customers onto your ecommerce site. They need to be informed of the site’s existence, encouraged to visit it, persuaded to browse available products, and reassured that the pricing is competitive. And having invested heavily in everything from SEO to landing page content, the hard work can then begin in earnest…
We mentioned ‘potential customers’ in the previous paragraph because that’s all they’ll ever be if they don’t actually complete a transaction. There are numerous reasons why baskets may be abandoned. We consider some of these below, followed by solutions that might help to increase the percentage of successful ecommerce checkouts on your site…
Challenge: Shoppers are deterred by ‘hidden’ costs, tucked away at the end of the checkout process. These may include shipping, taxes, merchant fees or processing charges.
Solution: It may not be practical to list the final charge on every product page (particularly if you ship internationally), but be up-front about fees. If you offer free postage on orders over $50, put a banner on your homepage to that extent. If credit card transactions incur a 2.5% charge, clearly stipulate this in ecommerce baskets and on the first checkout page.
Challenge: Delivery dates are too lengthy. Amazon Prime has changed consumer expectations of delivery periods, and a lengthy shipping period might cost you sales.
Solution: Publish estimated domestic delivery dates on product pages, before people add items to their baskets. It’s often hard to speed up delivery periods, especially if you’re reliant on drop shipping partners, so be transparent. Consider sweetening delays by promising regular updates, bundling in little freebies as a thank you, or even offering free postage.
Challenge: The checkout process is one-way. Some sites effectively lock people into ecommerce portals, preventing them from returning to the main site and browsing further.
Solution: Successful ecommerce checkouts should be hosted within the main site, rather than outsourced to a separate portal. Customers must always be able to navigate back – perhaps they chose the wrong color, or maybe they’d like to add an extra item. Rather than locking audiences in, let them roam freely with the option of saving a basket for later.
One Way to Pay
Challenge: Payment options are limited. This is particularly important on international sites since other countries don’t share America’s love of credit cards.
Solution: Offer the widest possible variety of payment methods, from bank transfers and debit cards to gift vouchers and PayPal. We’d advise caution about accepting payment in cryptocurrencies, however. The price of bitcoin in July fell from $13,000 down to $9,400 within two weeks, making it hard to maintain profits on crypto sales.
Challenge: Too much information is requested. In today’s time-poor culture, first-time customers are often reluctant to provide a wealth of user data to an unknown portal.
Solution: Streamline the checkout process. Remove non-essential fields like age or date of birth. Successful ecommerce checkouts tend to support checkout as a guest, after which time a simple email and password combination is politely requested for order tracking and registration. Give people the chance to create an account with personal data at a later date.
Slow Loading Pages
Challenge: Pages take too long to load. Attention spans are short nowadays, and few customers will wait twenty seconds while a badly-hosted ecommerce portal loads.
Solution: Effective site hosting is critically important for maximizing successful ecommerce checkouts. Site hosting should be instantly scalable, with content delivered almost instantly from dependable regional data centers. Companies like 100TB specialize in providing local hosting for clients around the world, maximizing uptime and minimizing page loading times.