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Don’t miss out on some of the easiest ways to generate revenue and increase profitability for your online business.
Thanks to new research being conducted, ecommerce market analysts can now identify the true cost of losing customers to abandoned carts. Each year, hundreds of billions of dollars are lost due to customers that leave a website without checking out.
The data is being used to create awareness about the monetary impact of a bad checkout process. Ecommerce strategists are urging online merchants to perform checkout process audits to prevent customers from leaving websites without checking out and finding ways to recover lost orders.
Our partners at Amazon Pay recently compiled an extensive report based on research conducted by the Baymard Institute, a web research institute with a main focus on ecommerce usability and optimization. The detailed report included actionable recommendations as to how ecommerce businesses can increase conversions.
6 Ways to Move Customers Through the Checkout Process
“The Average Checkout Contains 14.88 Form Fields, Twice as Many as Necessary”
Ease the pain of the dreaded form fields at checkout by only including the bare minimum. Often times, online retailers display more fields than needed, which causes customers to abandon their shopping cart. Forms can appear less intimidating by having one field for the first name instead of “first name”, “middle initial”, and “last name”, and collapsing secondary information like “Address Line 2” and “Company Name.” Auto-filling shipping information with billing information can also help to reduce the number of forms displayed.
No one likes having to fill in the same information twice, especially when checking out on a mobile device. Decrease the time required to check out by pre-filling information that most people will likely have to input twice. Automatically input the customer’s name into the cardholder name field can be a quick win for your online store. This strategy can also be leveraged when a customer is inputting shipping information – pull the zip code from when the customer previously utilized the shipping calculator to determine the cost of shipping their order. You might also consider including the functionality that pulls a city based on the zip code that is inputted by the customer for additional time savings.
Another helpful tip to reduce check out time is to give the customer the option to check out with a trusted, familiar solution like Amazon Pay. Studies have shown that customers who use Amazon Pay to purchase online experience faster check out times because information has already been stored.
Actual website security is not always equivalent to perceived security because shoppers don’t typically have a complete understanding of website technicalities. Usually, customers base their willingness to trust an online store by what their instincts tell them based on a site’s appearance and performance. In other words, if your site doesn’t look professional, users may not perceive it to be legitimate and won’t purchase from you.
Online badges can display trust badges from companies like Norton, Google, and GeoTrust on pages that require customers to provide private information to improve the level of perceived security. The Baymard report also proved that styling is important. Adding background colors and displaying trust seals or security certificates near where private data is captured helped reduce customer anxiety over submitting credit card information.
With large data hacks on the rise, it’s now more important than ever for businesses to take the necessary steps to keep customer information safe from hackers. Shoppers that don’t feel comfortable with providing their personal information, like a credit card number, will take their money elsewhere. As a general rule of thumb, only collect the information needed to process an order. An explanation should always accompany any additional information requested beyond the standard shipping, billing, and contact information. It’s worth it to take extra time to include a short phrase or sentence to reduce customer apprehension and increase conversions.
“A surprising number of users would strongly consider buying a product elsewhere if they were required to provide their birth date or their gender—35% and 11%, respectively.”
Customer accounts offer a wide range of benefits to online businesses because they house valuable customer data that marketers can utilize to communicate with customers about sales and other promotions. However, forcing users to create an account at checkout is often considered to be burdensome. Baymard testing showed that even users with registered account sometimes prefer to checkout as a guest because of the likelihood of not remembering their login credentials. In fact, this is the case 19 percent of the time.
The study cited three reasons why users do not want to create an account at checkout.
- Users simply don’t want yet another account at yet another ecommerce site
- Users expect the checkout to be significantly slower when they create an account
- Users expect they will receive “spam” (i.e., newsletters, promotional emails, etc.)
Alternatively, ecommerce stores that provided the option to checkout as a guest instead of forcing users to create an account experienced an increase in conversions; 10 – 30 percent.
3rd Party Payments
Over the past decade, providing customers with the option to check out via a 3rd party service, like Amazon Pay, has quickly evolved into a must-have feature for ecommerce businesses. Baymard results showed that online stores experienced an increase in conversions that offered the option to check out with a 3rd party, while businesses that did not have a 3rd party payment offering experienced an increased rate of abandoned shopping carts.
“8% of all users having abandoned one or more orders in the past quarter, solely due to a lack of their desired 3rd party payment option – and 83% of the top 60 grossing US and international ecommerce sites now offer at least one 3rd party payment option.”
This is especially true with international customers – shoppers who purchased from businesses located outside of their home country preferred to pay via a 3rd party due to buyer protection. For example, 3rd party services will offer a money back guarantee should a customer not receive an item or have an issue with a purchase. The reassurance 3rd parties provide help to ease a buyer’s anxiety about being scammed.
With proper implementation of these tips, your online business could experience significant growth. Miva’s in-house Professional Services team is readily available to help you implement these strategies into your Miva store. Enroll in MAP today!
About The Author
Katy Ellquist, Miva’s Digital Marketing Strategist, is an accomplished writer, marketer, and social media analyst who has created sophisticated content campaigns for a broad range of professional clients. She brings to Miva a complex understanding of ecommerce trends and techniques, building upon extensive digital agency experience and a prior role as direct liaison to Miva’s top accounts. Katy is a regular contributor to the Miva blog, covering essential ecommerce topics like design & development strategy, site optimization, and omnichannel selling, with the goal of increasing the actionable knowledgebase of the entire Miva community.