In 2013 a staggering $1.7 trillion dollars will be left in shopping carts. With 2 in 3 desktop users abandoning their carts, there’s a staggering amount of revenue left on the table. If you’re looking to boost your site’s conversion rate, it’s best to focus on optimizations as close to the purchase as possible. Here are a few tips to help streamline your checkout process (or any conversion funnel):
Use Clear Calls to Action
Studies have shown a reduction of abandonment rate as high as 33% when using large, direct call to action buttons. But, making the important buttons bigger and brighter isn’t the only way to make a checkout process more intuitive. Make sure to make the path from the beginning to end as intuitive and as frictionless as possible. As a layman friend of mine put it “Make everything the least amount of work possible for me.”
Make Help Easily Accessible
Make it easy to find help. Crazy easy. Online, when there are a thousand other options to buy from, it’s even more important to make finding help as easy as possible.
If your customer does, for some reason, find a snag in the checkout process, make sure they can easily and quickly find the help they need. This means tooltips for items that are typically questioned, a readily accessible and well-written FAQ, prominently displayed return policy, easy-to-find customer service information, and ideally a live chat feature. Cheap, easy solutions like Olark make it easy to get started offering live chat on your site.
Many customer service teams find the thought of providing live chat frightening, but studies have shown a drop off of 50% workload for providing online-only support. If you fear the burden that a live chat feature might bring, then phase it in by only showing it to a portion of your audience. A/B testing tools can help you roll out this enhancement to a portion of your visitors.
Use a Reduced Checkout Navigation
When your site’s visitors make it to the checkout process, make sure you reduce the number of distractions. One way to do this is a smaller navigation with limited options is a good idea to keep your customers focused on making their purchase instead of being distracted by deals or other categories. A great example is the Macy’s navigation.
This is the primary navigation for Macy’s when browsing their store:
You can see that once you’re in the checkout process, Macy’s focuses only on providing help to finish the checkout instead of their products and categories.
This example focuses on the navigation change, but the rule of thumb for checkout is that “Simplicity rules.” Make this experience as frictionless as possible.
Allow Guest Checkout
At this point in time, the idea of a guest checkout is nothing new. But, eCommerce merchants continue to make excuses for why their site is unique and should require users to register. If you haven’t experimented with guest checkout, you don’t know the real value that it can drive for your store.
Removing the need to register and letting the user know they had the ability to register during the checkout process, one company realized $300 million dollars in increased revenue.
No matter how well optimized your checkout process is, people are going to put items in their cart and abandon. It’s just going to happen. However, that doesn’t mean the sale is lost forever, just delayed.
Make sure you’ve got a solution to send abandonment emails to bring your logged in visitors back to the site. A recent study showed these emails being worth $17.90 per email sent. That’s a staggering ROI for such a simple concept.
With Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter all being ad networks that support retargeting, your reach and frequency with display ad retargeting is increasing. Make sure your shopping cart abandoners are their own segment in retargeting and treat them special. They’ve shown a serious interest in your products and may only need a little incentive to finish what they started.
Measure and Optimize!
This article outlines some good practices to reduce your cart abandonment, but the reality is, each site is slightly different. Figuring out the nuances that makes your checkout process as easy as possible requires measurement, feedback, and experimenting. Make sure you’re doing all three.
One of the reports I look at is a funnel visualization of my checkout. Use your Google analytics to set this up by creating a checkout funnel. Tracking where people are dropping off in the checkout process helps give you an idea where to focus your optimization efforts.
See our full infographic below for more tips on curbing shopping cart abandonment.
Ok, now let’s hear from you. What bothers you when you checkout online? Do you have any experiences implementing changes that helped your site’s cart abandonment? What’s the most convenient feature you’ve come across when checking out online?