You have have an online business you likely have spent time curating a great selection of products, invested in building a website, and using marketing platforms to get word out that you’re open for business. However, you’re not done.
Your final goal is to get your visitors to complete their purchases, but there are many opportunities for you to miss out on the sale. For instance, many shoppers don’t even make it past the first step of checkout, and for each additional step after the user begins the checkout process, you lose more and more potential buyers. In 2015, the cart abandonment rate was a whopping 68%, resulting in e-commerce losing out on $3 billion.
One of the main reasons why users abandon their carts is a poor user experience. This includes things like poor site performance and convoluted and lengthy checkout processes. Depending on how you’ve configured your existing checkout process, your users’ problem points will vary from those faced by customers of another site. However, with a full-featured monitoring suite like Rigor’s, you can identify where your users are getting stuck.
Once you know where your user’s pain points are, you’ll know which aspects of your checkout process you need to focus on. By improving these areas, you can decrease the rate of cart abandonment and increase your bottom line. This post will cover ways you can do this.
Make Navigation Simple
It’s important for your checkout process to be as simple and easy-to-navigate as possible. For example, provide visual confirmation to the user that they have added an item to their cart, then given them the option to continue shopping or to begin the checkout process. Don’t “strand” users anywhere, such as redirecting them to the shopping cart and not providing an easy way for them to go back to the product pages.
Use Prominent Call to Actions
53% of calls to action take more than 3 seconds to find, which is problematic in an era where users’ attention spans tend to be short and people navigate to and from sites in the blink of an eye.
Make your Calls to Action as bold as this banner letting you know that you have something in your cart.
Grab people’s attention with a bold CTA that is immediately noticeable, and provide them with an easy action (such as the Checkout Now button in the CTA displayed in the screenshot above).
Remove the “Sign In” Barrier
Most of the time, the first step of the checkout process asks the user to log in. While this seems simple on the surface, this is relatively jarring for the user. Have they signed in before? What email address did they use? What’s their password? If they haven’t signed in before, then they’re faced with another decision: to create an account or to check out as a guest.
Remember: 30% of users reported abandoning their cart when asked to sign up as the first step of the checkout process.
To mitigate this stumbling block, you can do two things. First, you can programmatically determine who a registered user is based on their email address and automatically log them in. Secondly, provide an unobtrusive way for users to register. You can do this by adding the option to create an account after they’ve completed the checkout process by including an option to create an account with the order confirmation page you display.
Minimize Visual Elements in Your Cart
By reducing the number of visual elements your customers see once they’ve begun the checkout process, you make it more likely that they will complete the purchase.
Navigation menus, product-related banners, and other visual aids are great when someone is browsing your site and deciding on what to purchase, but they can be distracting when checking out. Remember that each step of the checkout process is an opportunity for the shopper to navigate away, so minimize distraction to avoid this.
Minimize the Amount of Typing Required
People find it annoying if they have to type in the same thing over and over again, so avoid this if at all possible. For example, if you (like many sites) ask for shipping and billing addresses, provide an option for the customer to indicate that they’re using the same address for both so that they don’t have to enter their contact details twice.
Additionally, look for opportunities to auto-populate fields for your customers. In the screenshot above, notice how the Zip Code field appears before the City and State fields. The user, therefore, fills out the Zip Code field first, which results in the City and State fields auto-populating with the correct values. This helps streamline your user’s experience.
If Users Abandon Your Cart Anyway…
Despite efforts to improve your UX to minimize cart abandonment, you’ll still see a non-negligible number. Luckily, there are ways to incentivize someone to return to your site to complete the purchase even after they’ve abandoned their cart.
One of the most effective ways is to send emails reminding your customers that they’ve added something to their cart and haven’t checked out. Salescycle has found that these emails have a whopping 50% open rate and nearly a third of the click-throughs led to a purchase. This results in over $5 in revenue per email sent on average.
If you can, include a time-sensitive, special offer of some type to further compel your email recipients to convert. These are users who have already indicated a high level of interest in your shop and your product, and by offering something extra, you can increase the likelihood of a conversion.
Shopping cart abandonment represents a large area of loss that you can focus attention on and reduce, leading to an improvement to your bottom line. By improving the UX of your checkout process and removing things that might cause your user to navigate elsewhere, you make it more likely that someone actually purchases the items they’ve put in their cart.
Your abandonment rate will likely remain non-negligible, but there are ways of recalling users who have added products to their carts yet failed to check out. Cart abandonment emails are one of the most successful types of emails you can send, generating over $5 per email sent. You can make these emails more compelling by including a special offer, such as free shipping or a discount code. Take advantage of the fact that you know these visitors are already interested in your products.
For further assistance in ensuring that your UX is as good as it gets, contact Rigor today to discuss the monitoring services that help you keep your site up and ready. Performance matters, and knowing when there are issues with your site helps you act (not react) and makes it possible for your customers to shop and checkout with ease.
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