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Is Your Checkout Process Driving Customers Away?

The good news for both established and emerging e-commerce companies is that online shopping is as popular as ever. Although e-commerce will probably never completely overtake the high street, most people agree that the convenience of shopping online from the comfort of your own home or office is appealing to anybody with a moderately busy lifestyle.

Checkout Process Driving Customers Away

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Online shopping has made it easy to get whatever you need, at the click of a button. Whether you’re on the go or simply don’t feel like leaving the house, you can shop for almost anything online from your groceries to a new car or an expensive holiday abroad.

So, with online shopping becoming an increasingly more conventional way to shop, why are so many customers ditching their baskets and backing out at the last minute? The statistics show that a whopping 70% of shopping carts are ditched, with only a small percentage of those shoppers coming back to complete their purchase. What’s worse, many of these carts are forgotten about at the checkout stage. On the high street, this would look like hundreds of your customers ditching their shopping basket at the checkout and walking out of the store.

If that was your shop, you’d want to do something about it. The sad truth is that all your marketing efforts quickly go to waste if you’re not efficiently converting your traffic into revenue. But, many online retailers aren’t taking the problem of customers dumping their basket at the last moment into as much consideration as they probably should. To avoid wasting any more money on marketing, read on for some potential checkout mistakes that could be pushing your customers away.

#1. Nasty Shipping Surprises:

Surprises can be a great way to build a better relationship with your customers and build some credibility for your brand but avoid any nasty surprises that include extra costs and charges at the checkout point. Imagine this: You’re shopping online and bagging some great deals, only to get to the checkout point and find out that the shipping fee costs more than most of the items you’ve chosen. Unless you’re shopping for something specific, or money is no object when it comes to getting what you need, chances are you’re going to abandon your basket and look for a better deal elsewhere.

Customers won’t be concerned about getting the best price for an item if it only means that they pay for the difference in shipping costs. Some suggestions that you may want to consider include:

  • Free Shipping: If feasible, the best option is to provide free shipping for all your customers, to anywhere in the country. If this isn’t possible, you could consider an Amazon-style subscription service where customers who shop at your online store can pay a monthly or yearly fee to enjoy no-fee shipping. Bear in mind that although offering free delivery might seem like a huge expense, data reports show that almost 60% of customers will abandon their shopping cart if shipping isn’t free.
  • Offer a Cost Checking Service: If you can’t offer free shipping, the next best option is to be as transparent as possible with your customers about the cost. Allowing them to check shipping prices to their postcode beforehand will ensure they avoid any nasty surprises during the checkout process.
  • Provide Alternative Options: It’s also a good idea to offer a couple of alternative cheaper options, such as cost-effective economy delivery, or a free click and collect service.

#2. No Guest Checkout Option:

Leaving customers with no option but to go through the lengthy process of creating an account before making their purchase tends to only add inconvenience to the experience. Unless a customer is a regular shopper at your site and trusts your brand, they might not want to divulge so much personal information before making a purchase. In addition, signing up for an account can take time which can be very off-putting for shoppers who want a quick transaction on the go. The top reasons to include a guest checkout option are:

  • Faster and More Convenient: Today’s shoppers value their time, and most will want the transaction to be as quick and effortless as possible. Cutting out the long sign-up forms shortens the process for them and helps them get what they need in the most time-efficient manner.
  • More Secure: Bear in mind that many new customers might not be comfortable with giving your brand all the personal details required to set up an account, particularly if doing so means that their financial information will be saved. Checking out as a guest provides more security and anonymity. Opt for a web hosting provider that specialises in offering customers the best experience possible, including a guest checkout option.

#3. Discount Codes at Checkout:

There’s no denying that every customer wants to take advantage of a special offer or discount code allowing them to get more for their money. But, the placement of a field for discount codes on your e-commerce website can actually have a massive effect on the number of baskets abandoned at the checkout.

Think about it; once the customer is ready to pay, offering them the option to save money by entering a discount code is going to distract them – many customers will naturally leave their basket to try and get hold of a promotional code to cut the cost. Whilst it’s important to avoid frustrating customers and ensure that those who possess a discount code are able to use them, you should also focus on minimising distractions at the checkout. Some ways to achieve this include:

  • Place the discount code entry field earlier on in the process, such as at the cart stage before the customer makes it to the checkout.
  • Hide the field by using a link, creating an extra step for any users who have a code ready and want to use it.
  • Keep it simple – position the field in a way that makes it easy to find but is not overwhelming.

By keeping the checkout process short, effortless and secure, you can reduce the number of customer carts abandoned at this stage.

After working as digital marketing consultant for 4 years Deepak decided to leave and start his own Business. To know more about Deepak, find him on Facebook, LinkedIn now.


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