Shopping cart abandonment is a sad reality for online retailers. An estimated 69 percent of online orders are abandoned by customers who start a purchase but never complete it. Rates vary depending on the industry and the shopping experience of the customer, but there are things you can do to improve your customer’s online checkout experience so they will want to complete their order.
Here are some tips to make the checkout experience a positive one and keep your customers coming back for more.
1. Easy Access to Checkout Procedures
Start by adding a checkout button at the top and bottom of each webpage. Make it clear where a customer needs to click in order to finalize their purchase. By adding a selection in both areas, you eliminate scrolling so the buyer can take immediate action.
2. Add a Guest Checkout Feature
Some individuals simply do not want to spend time signing up for email notifications or creating an account to make a small purchase. Provide a guest option that allows customers to enter an email address and head straight to the checkout process. You can provide the option to create an account after the purchase is made in order for the individual to track the order more efficiently.
3. Eliminate Distractions During Checkout
Remove the navigational options from the checkout page to reduce the number of distractions on the page. Often referred to as an enclosed checkout, this reduces the risk of accidentally clicking out the checkout process which takes the customer away from finalizing the purchase.
4. Make it Easy to Edit Carts
Provide the option for customers to edit quantities or easily add or remove items from their cart. The more times they have to hit refresh or the back button, the more likely they are to abandon the process completely.
5. Use an Abandoned Cart Plugin
There are many reasons why customers abandon shopping carts, and it’s not necessarily because they aren’t interested in your product. Abandoned cart plugins that can help you recover sales by setting up automated emails as well as text messages to logged-in customers and visitors who abandon carts.
6. Utilize Built-in Inventory Tracking
No one wants to complete the checkout forms and go all the way through the ordering process only to learn that an item is out of stock. Use inventory tracking to let a customer know if an item is on backorder and allow them to enter their email address to be notified when or if the merchandise is back in stock.
7. Test and Analyze Your Checkout Procedure
Direct family and friends to your site and have them test the checkout procedures. You can also use Google Analytics to identify any problem areas. Using analytics lets you know the exact point where customers are abandoning their carts, so you can see where you need to make changes.
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8. Ask for Feedback
Offer surveys at the end of the transaction. Give customers the option to speak up about their experience on your site. You can even offer coupons and discounts for those who answer a few short questions. Honest feedback can help you pinpoint problem areas.
9. Considering Speed and Site Performance
Loading times and site speed performance is a major factor for consumers when searching for products and making a purchase. Pages that are slow to process can cause customers to abandon their carts during the checkout process.
10. Offer Mobile Apps
Close to 95-percent of Americans own a cell phone. Many of these do their shopping online directly from their phone using downloadable apps because it allows a customer to do their shopping from anywhere they have a connection. Make sure your site is easily accessible from mobile devices to help increase both sales and customer satisfaction.
11. Include Customer Ratings
Nothing helps sell your product better than positive ratings from other customers. Include the option to leave reviews so shoppers can learn from others’ experiences.
12. Payment and Shipping
The majority of all shopping carts are abandoned during the final payment stage. High shipping costs are often a major factor. If you can afford it, consider offering free shipping when possible or offer discount shipping in order to offset some of the costs. It’s also possible to offer free shipping if a customer spends a specific amount.
13. Let Customers Choose Their Delivery Date & Time
Delivering timing is often a dealbreaker for customers who need to know exactly when their package will arrive. However, order delivery plugins can let your customers pick their delivery date and time. Businesses can set different rates for peak and off-peak fulfillment, customize cut-off times, and sync deliveries instantly for maximum efficiency.
Making the checkout process as simple and stress-free as possible should be your goal for every online retail transaction. By improving the process, you can also improve your bottom line and increase customer loyalty.
This is a guest post by Laura Gayle. Laura is a full-time blogger who has ghostwritten more than 350 articles for major software companies, tech startups, and online retailers. Founder of www.BusinessWomanGuide.org, she created her site to be a trusted resource for women trying to start or grow businesses on their own terms. She has written about everything from crowdfunding and inventory management to product launches, cybersecurity trends, web analytics, and innovations in digital marketing.