In today's commodity-hyped age, where every website is trying to garner more traffic and online sales, the e-commerce cart and checkout facility has become the cornerstone of any successful online business.
So how hard can it be to get a fairly standard shopping and payment facility right? Well, like any optimization issue, the details of customer struggle can often be as plain as the nose on your face: If it's your face, you simply won't know it's there.
But as soon as you start to experience your website through your customers' eyes (or by holding up a mirror, just to follow that great nose analogy), then the problems become clear and the solutions obvious. And often, they're simpler that you'd imagine.
So here are 3 small ways to make big enhancements to your cart checkout rate. These are based on examples that our Customer Experience Analysts here at Clicktale have discovered using our htt and implemented with some of the world's largest retail and e-commerce accounts. (As I'm sure you'll understand, we can't release the names of those accounts.)
1. Shorten the Checkout Funnel
This sounds rather obvious. But that's because it is. Shortening the funnel and simplifying the customer journey results in a significant increase in conversion numbers as we can see from the Clicktale Conversion Funnel from a real e-commerce website, here.
By cutting the checkout process by just a single step for example (from 5 to 4 steps – not forcing visitors to go through the cart), this retail giant saw a very significant increase in conversion of 24%.
This is an important indicator to keep in mind as we see more and more websites moving to one-page checkout with multiple steps.
2. Create a Sense of Urgency
Improve conversion by giving customers a sense of urgency. Although this is a tried and tested method from the travel industry, from our experience, e-commerce and retail sites can gain a lot from adopting this method.
Promotion deadlines are a great way of doing this. And make sure that you place the time remaining for a promotion next to the relevant product. Not only on the product page, but also on the checkout page.
Another idea: If you have a limited quantity of product on offer, then state it! Don’t bury the fact in the product page or the category page but keep reminding visitors as they journey towards the checkout.
By including a sense of urgency on the checkout page you can help visitor overcome that last second of hesitation where they would normally press Back or the red 'X'.
3. Allow Visitors to Return to their Last Cart Entry
Research shows that window shoppers “just browsing” are one of the major causes of cart abandonment.
This alone accounts for between 37% and 57% of the total online shoppers who abandoned the various sites we examined.
Let's face it, for most of us the cart and checkout process is never going to be fun or 100% stress free.
This helps to alleviate the stress of having to start the shopping process from scratch. And as a result, it significant decreases abandonment rate and improves overall conversion.
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