Simple tips on helping consumers convert at the checkout stage

15 November, 2017    |    E-commerce    |    Traff1k D1g1tal

The checkout stage is crucial when it comes to driving conversions.

Your shoppers have come all that way in the conversion funnel, and you need to make sure you close the sale. But getting customers to the checkout page doesn’t necessarily guarantee conversions. In fact, many of your potential customers may end up abandoning their carts after viewing the checkout page, or going through a few stages of checkout and then abandoning.

This drastic figure may be because customers simply change their minds, or it could be mistakes retailers are making at the checkout that drive valuable customers away. 

What are retailers doing wrong at checkout that’s compelling their shoppers to abandon their carts?

Here are a couple of issues some retailers are facing that could potentially be decreasing their conversion rate, and how to avoid them.

1. Only Displaying Extra Costs at Checkout

These extra costs could be shipping charges, taxes, or other fees that the shopper wasn’t aware of previously. Retailers could have easily prevented this by being more transparent about the extra charges customers might have to pay before they even get to the checkout page. You don’t want your consumers thinking you’re being deceptive.

This means instead of displaying the extra costs only when shoppers get to the checkout page, you need to start giving shoppers an option to calculate shipping charges and other fees beforehand i.e. on the product page or ‘Free Shipping for Purchases Over $100*”. 

By maintaining transparency about extra charges before customers add an item to their shopping bag, you can prevent many of them from changing their minds. Once they click on the “Buy Now” button, they will be doing so after they’ve made a decision to pay for those extra charges.

2. Compulsory Account Creation

Compulsory account creation is the second most common reason why people abandon their shopping carts. Making it mandatory for shoppers to create an account could be a hassle for them and it could distract them from the main goal, which is to get them to convert.

If you wish to drive higher conversion rates you need to introduce a guest checkout option. This makes it easier for new customers to complete their purchases without necessarily creating an account. But for some businesses, guest checkout may not be a good option. For instance, guest checkout may not be the best idea if it’s a hassle for your business to initiate returns, exchanges, and refunds without an account. So even if it’s absolutely necessary for you to make account creation compulsory, at least give shoppers the option to sign up using their Social Media accounts. This way they can easily create a new account at the click of a button.

3. Complicated/Lengthy Checkout Process

Most consumers see something they like and want to buy it straight away. Having multiple pages after clicking the “Buy Now” button disrupts the decision-making process and most likely ends in an abandoned cart. For example, adding an item to your cart, then being taken to view these items in the cart, clicking “checkout” to go to the actual checkout page, where you’re greeted with a signup form with multiple form fields. It’s exhausting to even think about it.

Your goal is to ensure that customers have a pleasant experience maneuvering your site. So, reduce the steps required during checkout. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Have a one-page check out where customers can enter all their details on a single page. If that isn’t possible, make sure you have a progress indicator to show them exactly how many steps they have to go through to complete the purchase.
  • Only collect the information you absolutely need – shipping and payment info. You can also reduce the number of form fields by consolidating the customer’s name fields into one instead of having separate fields for first name and last name.
  • Offering PayPal checkout option makes the process faster and smoother, allowing shoppers to quickly pay for their orders and minimises the number of steps required. 

4. Lack of Trust Seals

Trust is an important factor when making online purchases. You’ll hardly find consumers buying products from a brand or business they don’t trust.

But even if shoppers trust your business, they might still be hesitant about entering their banking and personal details on your website. In fact, 18% (The Baymard Institute study) abandoned their shopping carts because they didn’t trust the website with their payment information.

Even if your site already has a secure certificate and the information customers share with you is secure, they may not be too assured unless they can see some seals or symbols they trust. To reduce customer anxiety and assure them that their payment information will be safe with you, you need to add some trust symbols and/or guarantee statements visible on your checkout page. For example, Norton, McAfee and ANZ. This will increase their perceived security even if they don’t have a full understanding of how these trust seals ensure better security on e-commerce sites. In some cases, adding trust seals have resulted in a 14% increase in conversion rate.

5. Lack of Multiple Payment Methods

You could lose a lot of shoppers at the checkout page, up to 8% (The Baymard Institute), if you don’t provide them with multiple payment options. This is especially crucial if you ship to different countries as you have to ensure that every customer can make a payment with what’s most convenient for them.

Even if credit card is commonly used in your country, shoppers in other countries may not even have a credit card or may prefer other payment methods. Chinese shoppers, for instance, highly prefer eWallets and online bank transfers while Russian shoppers use debit cards almost as much as they do credit cards. And 60 percent of millennials in Germany prefer to use PayPal for their online purchases.

Provide your customers with multiple options of payment methods so they can easily select which is the most convenient for them. Give them the option to use debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Wallet, etc. to cater to the varying needs of your customers.

If you have an e-commerce website, double check you are not making these five mistakes as your conversion rate could be at risk. The main idea behind all of these tactics is to ensure shoppers have a pleasant experience shopping on your site and smoothly complete their checkout. Your focus should be on the wants and needs of your customers, striving to provide them with increased convenience when they shop with you.

Traff1k D1g1tal are experts in User Experience, User Interface and Conversion Rate Optimisation. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Source: Search Engine Journal 

Graphic Source Information: The Baymard Institute, respondents survey.