Studies estimate that up to 76 percent of all shopping carts are abandoned before a sale is closed. The most common reasons behind a buyer’s decision to skip? High shipping costs, perceived lack of security and complicated checkout processes — just to name a few. You can’t prevent online visitors from using your website as a comparison or browsing tool, but you can follow best practices to move people closer to a completed transaction.
Display security prominently. Online shopping is still perceived as unsafe. After many years of entering my credit card information, I still double-check that I have a secure connection (https://address) and look for security logos and badges. Most customers are still very wary of sharing their financial information, so be sure to demonstrate that your site is trustworthy.
Speed up the checkout process. Today’s buyers are busy and impatient. The checkout process must be simple and fast. Multiple pages, slow loading times and unnecessary requests all contribute to cart abandonment. Give your customers what they want first (a fast, easy and safe shopping experience), then you can ask them to create an account. No matter what, you should never force customers to register before checkout: Providing guest checkout will help you close more sales.
Feature a tax and shipping calculator. People hate surprises. Providing online buyers with a way to estimate tax and shipping charges will help prevent knee-jerk reactions when actual costs are calculated during the checkout process.
Offer a simple, visual experience at all times. There’s nothing more frustrating than backtracking or scouring a site to hunt down your shopping cart. Have the cart and its contents, including item thumbnails, easy to access at all times so that online buyers can quickly double-check features, quantities and costs — no matter what page they’re on.
Send reminders. An orphaned cart doesn’t have to be a lost transaction. Sometimes, people are unable to make a purchase simply because they get sidetracked. Sending an email is a great way to remind them to take action.
In the context of e-commerce websites, usability is essential to counteracting the growing trend of abandoned shopping carts. Following proven best practices will help you deliver a better, easier experience. A happy customer is more likely to move from basket to paid order.
Brad Smith is product manager at ARI, a leading provider of technology-enabled business solutions for dealers, distributors and manufacturers in the powersports, marine, outdoor power equipment and RV industries. Products and services include e-commerce-enabled websites, lead generation, lead management, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing and eCatalogs (parts, garments, and accessories).
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