Have you been running your ecommerce store for a while now and looking for some suggestions to improve your online sales? If yes, then this blog post is for you!
Did you know?
One of the critical steps in converting website users into buyers is the checkout process.
Yes, the more easier & user-friendly your checkout process is, the higher will be the chances to get more sales.
On the contrary, lack of a seamless checkout process can result in higher order abandonment rate.
According to several studies, the average shopping cart abandonment rates are between 60% – 70%. Which simply means that out of every 100 intended buyers (who started the checkout process on your ecommerce website with an intention to buy), only 30-40 people successfully complete their order & pay for their products.
Now you must have realised how critical it is to ensure the smooth checkout process and prevent high abandonment rates to get more sales & profits from your ecommerce store.
In this post, I will be sharing 9 proven methods that will help you to reduce the orders abandonment rate of your ecommerce website.
Are you ready? Let’s begin!
#1 Ensure your checkout process is technically sound
Have you tested your ecommerce store properly?
You must make sure that the whole checkout process of your online store is bug-free and don’t have any technical glitches. Even a single glitch can change the mind of your potential customers and refrain them to buy your products.
If you can spend your hard earned money to build your ecommerce web design, I am sure you can’t simply afford to ignore the importance of having an error-free checkout process.
A minor mistake can cost you sales loss worth hundreds of dollars. And by the time you come to know this reason, it may be too late.
What’s the solution?
a. Check all the possibilities of your checkout process yourself and ensure it runs flawlessly.
b. Ask your friends and relatives to place some orders first and provide you with an unbiased feedback.
c. Hire professional ecommerce consultant to check your online store for any possible glitch or bugs.
What if you’ve found any error?
Don’t delay anymore and hire a web developer to fix up the issues.
#2 Keep the number of steps of your checkout process to the minimum
This point is so obvious that needs no explanation but surprisingly there are many ecommerce stores which does ask endless number of questions from their potential buyers before they buy any product.
I really don’t get the point of asking ‘From where you came to know about us?’ when you can track this using your web analytic reports. I also don’t see any logic to ask for the Landline number when you already asked their mobile number and email confirmation (asking users to enter their email 2 times) which the users anyway copy and paste from one field to another one.
Above are just some of the example questions/fields that you can avoid to ask your potential buyers.
Asking too many questions even if they are not useful for their purchase can also result in high order abandonment rate.
#3 Do inform your potential buyers about the estimated timeframe
You must have noticed how several ecommerce websites show the number of steps to complete their checkout process and also inform the users about their current step as well.
For example, if buying a product requires a customer to fill 3-steps checkout form and the customer already knows, through an indication, that they are on step 1 of 3 or step 2 of 3, they become aware about the estimated time to finish the checkout process.
Is it necessary for a checkout process?
No, not at all. But it does help the users to know about the estimated time to finish the checkout process which further reduces the order abandonment rate.
#4 Display your security seals clearly
How secured is your ecommerce store for the users?
Have you ensured that your website is free of viruses and safe for users’ browser? Or have you installed a secured layer on your server to protect the confidential information of your users from being leaked out?
If yes, then you are on the right track. But do not forget to share this with your customers.
Yes, throughout the whole checkout process, you must make sure to display the security seals like McAfee, Norton, VeriSign/Symantec so that your potential buyers feel confident to buy from your website.
If you haven’t shown these security seals on your ecommerce store, try now and observe how many additional sales you are able to grab.
#5 Offer multiple payment methods
There is a common misconception among ecommerce store owners that if they are familiar with a particular payment gateway, they can use it & impose it on their customers too.
Have you done enough research on the most popular & widely accepted payment gateways prevailing in your region or country? If now, this is the right time to do it.
The whole idea is to ensure that your potential buyers are aware of & confident about the payment gateway through which you accept the payments. Because at the end of day, its the buyer who have to pay and they won’t really pay if they are not confident.
Of course, using PayPal is a great idea as its one of the renowned payment gateways worldwide and used by most of the ecommerce stores. But along with the option of paying through Paypal, you must provide your users with more options to pay as well.
By offering your customers more payment methods to pay, you will see a reduction in the orders abandonment rate of your ecommerce website.
#6 Provide your contact details
If for any reason, your potential buyers are not able to make the payment or have some queries related to their orders, and they are not able to find your contact details on your website, they will quit, leaving their order(s) abandoned.
What’s the solution here?
You must make sure that your contact details like mobile/phone number, email, Skype etc. are displayed prominently on each step of your checkout process. This makes it easier for your customers to contact you and resolve their queries and proceed to complete their orders.
There are also several online chat widgets available that your web developer can integrate with your website. These widgets help your customers to chat with you/your staff anytime they wish to do so. The good news is that most of these chat widgets are free to use.
When you ensure your customers that you are always there when they need you, they feel more confident to place orders and pay against them.
#7 Returns & Shipping policies must be specified
Do you know that many customers never complete their orders because they are reluctant to buy from a store that’s miles away from them and most importantly they have never been there. All they know about your business is through your ecommerce website only.
Having said above, it becomes important for you as an ecommerce webmaster, to mention:
a. Returns policies of your store. It means what will happen if the customers don’t like your products when they receive them.
b. Shipping policies of your store. How many days will it take for your customers to receive their products.
#8 Avoid giving shocking surprises
We, all human beings, like surprises but only those which are good ones. We really hate bad & shocking surprises. Isn’t it?
What if you never displayed any hidden charges on the product description page and while checkout, you add them to the total cart value of your customer?
Will your customer still proceed to buy from you if you show them unexpected hidden charges?
Simply not. If you do so, I bet you are going to have high orders abandonment rate on your ecommerce shop.
Don’t give them shocking surprises while checkout. If your product incurs any additional charges, it has to be displayed and mentioned on the product page itself, not on the checkout page.
#9 Allow guest checkouts
Lastly, but not at least, you must allow guest checkout on your ecommerce store.
Let’s admit. None of us have spare time to spend filling out lengthy registration forms if all that we want to buy is a pair of socks.
Honestly, if I were to buy a pair of socks from an ecommerce store and I am required to register with them first, I won’t do it, unless they offer me some good discounts?
So, if you at all, want your customers to register with your website before they make a purchase, you must give away some discounts to them on their first purchase.
Having a nice ecommerce web design is not enough. There are thousands of ecommerce businesses that start ever month and very few (really very few) among them do survive and grow.
At least, if you are aware of some of the leaking points of your ecommerce website (like reasons of orders abandonment), you will be able to fix them and get additional sales out of your store. This will help you to not only survive in this competitive market, you also allow you to grow exponentially.