Your checkout process is one of the most important parts of your e-commerce site. Some statistics say that up to 56% percent of checkout processes are abandoned, 56%!!!!!! Imagine if you owned a brick and mortar shop and half of the people that brought items to your checkout counter decided that they didn’t want to buy all the items that they picked out right before handing you their debit card.
So why do people leave? They obviously found what they were looking for. They took the time to read your product descriptions and clicked add to cart. They are ready to buy and start the checkout process and then poof, they are gone.
I am going to give you a few tips to help keep them in the process until it is done and the order is done.
First of all, KEEP IT SIMPLE. Nothing turns people away like checkout processes that have page after page after page of stuff to fill out. Don’t ask for information that you don’t need. Sure it would be nice to know every thing about your customers but the fact is that you will scare more people off by asking too many questions. Why do you need to know my age, sex and favorite color? Keep it simple, quick and easy.
Make your call to actions easy to see. The continue button should be bright, big and friendly.
Take away unnecessary navigation options. Guide them by not giving them many distractions. I would suggest removing any side and top navigation any search options or email sign ups. Basically present them with only the task at hand, finishing their order.
Have a progress bar. Let people know where they are in the process, it’s much easier to stick with a process if you know the end is in sight. Plus reassurance that there will be a final step of confirming the order information before being charged puts peoples’ minds at ease.
Make sure your security seal is visible and up to date. As we hear more and more horror stories of people’s personal information being stolen online, folks are definitely more soothed by seeing a security seal that is up to date and prominently displayed.
Lastly, and I have talked about this before, make good use of triggered emails. If you don’t have a confirmation email (an email sent to a customer to let them know that their order has been received) then you’re in trouble. Most people have confirmation emails but in addition to that you should consider having an abandon cart email (an email that is sent after a few days of someone leaving the checkout process reminding them that they still have something in their cart).
I strongly urge everyone to setup a checkout goal funnel in Google Analytics and then use the funnel visualization report to see where people are falling out of your checkout process. This will really give you a great insight into where your checkout has issues. You should set up your “goal” to the “order sent” page and have the steps be the pages you have leading up to it starting with your “view cart” page. You will be able to see not only how many people are leaving the checkout process but also which page they are leaving from and where they are going. A useful tool indeed, and really, if you are in e-commerce YOU NEED THIS.
It’s likely that most checkout processes could use a little work, so keep these tips in mind. If you need some help or an extra set of eyes to take a look at your site, drop us a line at Marketing@tli2.com