How to Optimize Your Checkout For Conversions
Many online business owners spend great amounts of time and money to get customers to their website, only to lose them during the checkout process. They wrack their brains trying to figure out why this could be happening, or how to decrease their cart abandonment rate.
Your checkout process is one of the most crucial steps in your conversion strategy. Many of your customers may be just a few steps away from completing their purchase, but if they abandon their carts mid-purchase, all the time and money you’ve spent bringing them to that point was for nothing.
While it is true that several customers abandoning their carts may not be an epidemic – they may have randomly decided that they didn’t want your product – if you are seeing consistent cart abandonment, there may be something wrong with your checkout process. There are several reasons why your customers may abandon their carts before completing their purchases.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the most common mistakes that could be driving away your customers, and what steps you can take to correct them.
Charging Extra Fees at Checkout
This alone is one of the biggest reasons that potential customers abandon their purchases midway through the purchase process. These extra charges were either too much or unanticipated and so your users changed their minds. These fees could be anything from shipping costs, taxes, or any other associated fees that apply during the checkout process.
The issue here is that when your customers originally added your product to their carts, they were agreeing to that product at the stated price – not the stated price plus a hoard of other auxiliary fees.
When your auxiliary fees are only displayed later in the checkout process, you are automatically increasing the chances that your customers will change their minds about the purchase. Sometimes, it’s not so much the extra fees that repel the customer as it is the feeling of deception that accompanies the hidden fees.
In order to easily resolve this mistake, you should state the final price (including taxes, shipping, etc.) on the product page, so that the customer knows what the final price will be. Being up-front with your customers goes a long way to establishing credibility and trust. You will also negate your high rate of cart abandonment because when they’ve added the item to their cart they’ve already made up their mind that they are willing to pay the price shown.
Streamline Your Checkout Process
Another very common reason that customers will abandon their carts partway through the checkout process is that of a requirement to create a user account before completing the purchase. When a business makes it mandatory to create an account before the customer can complete their purchase, they are imposing an inconvenience on the customer, making it much more likely that the customer will go elsewhere.
With such a requirement in place, the user will often find somewhere else to shop, unless they are extremely committed to this specific purchase (a unique design, or something they cannot easily find elsewhere). The reason is that most consumers are impatient and lazy – I’m sorry, but it’s true! – and they don’t want to have to do anything more than is necessary. In the more extreme cases, some companies even require the customer to log into their email and verify their email before creating the account.
Believe me! You don’t want to do this unless you absolutely hate customers.
If you are making your purchase process unnecessarily hard or making the customer “jump through hoops”, it’s extremely likely that they’ll take their business elsewhere.
A guest checkout option is a great way to drive up your conversion rate. It allows your customers to decide whether or not they would like to create an account and lets them stay in control of their purchase decisions.
If you want customers to create accounts – perhaps to gather information or grow your email subscription list – you can always send them a follow-up email after the purchase is complete, offering a discount code in exchange for the customer creating an account. This allows you to let the customer decide if the offer is worth the hassle, and without risking the purchase.
Your goal, as a business, should be to make sure you give your customers a concise and pleasant experience during the purchase process. This makes the customer happy and reduces the chance that your customers will change their minds. This means reducing the steps needed for the customer to pay you and removes unnecessary hurdles in your process.
No Trust Signals
Trust is a crucial aspect of the online purchase process. Almost nobody would purchase something online from a company that they don’t trust. In fact, even if the customer knows and trusts your company, they may be tentative about giving out their personal and financial information online. One reason why people abandon their carts partway through the purchase process is that they don’t have trust in the security and privacy of the online payment method.
Even if your website has an SSL certificate and is completely secure, unless your customers see “trust signals” that they recognize, they may doubt the security of their purchase information. In order to fix this problem and help reassure your customers that your payment process is safe and secure, you should display a security stamp from your SSL provider on your website.
Almost every SSL provider will provide you with a badge to display on your site. These SSL badges are recognized and trusted by your customers and they help to ease any anxiety or uncertainty regarding their purchase on your website for Cheap Comodo Positive SSL Certificates.
Limited Payment Methods
Another way that you could lose customers during the purchase process is if you don’t provide proper payment methods on the checkout page. Everyone has payment methods that they will feel comfortable using. Some people have no issues with giving out their credit card information, while others prefer to use a secure service like PayPal or Stripe. The payment methods you offer are especially important if you’re shipping overseas, as these countries have alternative payment methods that may not be popular in your home country.
Give your customers a wide variety of payment options like Debt/Credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Stripe, Apple Pay, etc. so that your customers can easily choose which ones work best for them.
No Express Shipping Methods
Whether we like to admit it or not, most consumers are impatient. We’ve become accustomed to having what we want and having it right away. Services like Amazon Prime have only exacerbated our impatience, and now consumers expect similar performance from all businesses. If you don’t offer an expedited shipping method, many consumers will go elsewhere – because, after all, who would want to wait 10 days for their new t-shirt?! I’m being sarcastic… Don’t worry.
But seriously, if you don’t at least offer an expedited shipping offer, your customers will think you’re from the ‘stone age’ and move on. Many of your customers need gifts or products for time-sensitive events like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations, and many other situations. They are willing to pay extra to receive the item before a certain date, so even if you must charge a much higher shipping rate, you should at least give them the option.
These are some of the most common mistakes that online businesses make. They kill conversions and the business owner is often unsure about what went wrong. The entire goal of your checkout process should be to make customers feel at ease and comfortable with the purchase. This includes showcasing trust signals in the form of security certificates, helping to guarantee that their personal information is safe.
When you focus on meeting your customers’ needs and striving to make their lives easier, you will see your conversion rate improve as more of your customers fulfill the purchase process.