How to optimize your checkout to reduce cart abandonment and improve conversion rate

In 2018, the cart abandonment rate in the UK for all Ecommerce orders was 74.6%. The frustration of shoppers abandoning their carts affects businesses large and small.

Out of all the visitors that come to your online store, some are completely random, some may be just window shopping and use their cart as a wishlist, and some will never purchase a product from you. Customers are impatient, irritated by slow sites and abandon their carts, that is common knowledge in the Ecommerce world.

But, there are people who add to their cart and they want to buy. How can you bring these customers to make a purchase? It’s time to optimise your checkout for better conversion.

There are an abundance of ways to improve your conversion by optimising your checkout, but which is actually worth investing in?

1. Guest Checkout

It used to be common practice to ask users to register before being able to checkout, but now guest checkout is offered by the majority of sites. Registering for an account can be a blockade to conversion, it’s too much hassle to make the purchase so users abandon their cart. Retailers don’t want to discourage users from creating an account, but forced registration will inevitably lead to users leaving the site.

Statistics have shown that 23% of people will abandon their cart because of forced registration (Sales Cycle, 2017). Losing almost one quarter of sales for the sake of forgoing guest checkout? Offer your customers guest checkout, and get them straight to the payment forms.

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2. Hidden costs/nasty surprises/delivery options

Did you know more than 50% of ecommerce merchants offer free shipping? An E-tailing group study revealed that unconditional free shipping is the #1 deciding factor for consumers looking to make a purchase. 73% listed it as “critical”.

3. Cart abandonment emails

Cart abandonment emails are triggered emails that are sent when a user leaves their shopping basket, with the purpose of recovering the sale. As much as cart abandonment is frustrating, it isn’t going to go away, and it also gives retailers an opportunity to improve the customer relationship, improve loyalty and look at why users aren’t converting.

Sending out a well timed cart abandonment email allows a retailer to continue the conversation with customers that are already interested in the product but chose not to convert at that time. Sending out a structured email allows you to continue the conversion process.

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4. Exit Popup

The use of marketing tools has had a large effect on Ecommerce businesses, including the use of exit intent popups and technology. An exit popup uses set algorithms to determine when a user is leaving a site and as they are about to click on the URL bar, a targeted message will appear.

Why should my business use an exit popup?

Offer your users a discount. If they are on your site, then they are interested in the product. But they maybe going to check out competition. Offer a discount and sweeten the deal!

Gather information. Collect email addresses for marketing campaigns and future emails. Combine this with a discount and you automatically increase the likelihood of a visitor giving you that information.

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5. Improving Trust

When you are competing in the digital world, trust in your store can be difficult to build up, especially if you are a startup. Creating loyal customers doesn’t just happen overnight, yet it is a crucial element in influencing a customer to convert on your site, and not go straight to a competitor. But how?

Trust and security badges

Displaying a security and trust badge on your site is the ideal way to reduce fears of risk by shoppers. It allows them to alleviate their worry and they will be more included to buy something. Give your users peace of mind and offer them a guarantee that their purchase is safe.

Genuine reviews

You may think that your product is the best in the world, but what do your prospective customers think? A study by Moz in 2015 identified that over 67% of all customers and influenced by online reviews. Therefore, it is well worth you having product reviews on your product detail pages before customers bounce off and go to a competitor.

Make sure that you monitor and analyse your reviews on popular sites like Google+ and your own store and you can identify what your customers love, and what needs to be improved. But most importantly, having reviews will affect consumer buying behaviour so take advantage of them.

Reputable payment options

Make sure that you provide a payment service that is widely recognised and is seen as trustworthy by the general public. Consider using options like PayPal which are internationally accepted as being trustworthy.

Customer help

Make sure that help is available. When a user is browsing, they want help and advice to be accessible. If you can’t offer your users Live Chat, then make sure your number and contact information is easily accessible.

6. Reduce stages of process

Reducing the stages of your checkout process will without a doubt reduce rates of increasing cart abandonment. As a society, we are impatient, we want to checkout as quickly as possible so cut out as many steps as possible. If you are already on Magento 1 and looking to replatform to Magento 2, then you will be delighted to hear that your new checkout will be built on a two step process.

7. Zendesk live chat

Research found that 34% of cart abandoners were only browsing, big ticket items mean people will spend more time deciding on whether to purchase. Offering your customers a live chat option will allow you to ask questions and find out how you can help.

8. Payment Options

Gone are the days of retailers being limited to Mastercard and Visa. Now there is an abundance of payment options that retailers can utilise. From Paypal and Amazon Pay to Afterpay and Klarna. Research has identified that 6% of customers abandon because of lack of payment options, so consider using multiple options to give your users choice and a stronger sense of security.

9. Delivery and shipping is vital!

According to Sales Cycle, over 23% of customers abandon their carts because of limited delivery options and costs. Being transparent to your users about delivery costs is essential in deterring users leaving their cart.

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Consumers are changing, we work days, nights, weekends. Offering a good range of delivery options and time slots is essential when converting customers. Name day delivery and even same day delivery are becoming more popular to allow the customer maximum flexibility in our busy and stressful lives.

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