Online shopping has become the inescapable norm for the majority of businesses, and a seamless checkout experience is essential for merchants who want to keep their customers happy and coming back for more - but there’s a problem.
Around 70% of online shoppers abandon their purchases during checkout, with one out of every five shoppers saying the checkout process was too long or complicated. Numbers like these are indicative of a clear problem with the checkout experience — but what exactly is the issue?
In 2019, online fraud prevention platform Forter surveyed 2,000 shoppers in the US and discovered some interesting insights. 30% of respondents would abandon their shopping carts if prompted to re-enter their credit card details. Similarly, 25% would take the same course of action if asked to re-enter their shipping information.
Despite their intention to prevent fraud, these measures inadvertently prolonged the overall shopping experience, increasing transaction time and decreasing sales. Shoppers expect instant gratification, and if the checkout process is longer than 30 seconds, nearly 50% of those surveyed indicated a reluctance to complete their purchase.
But speed isn’t the only concern here — a slow website and sluggish checkout process also breeds mistrust. The survey indicated that if credit card processing takes more than 10 seconds, or a confirmation email takes longer than 12 seconds to receive, shoppers will become suspicious of a site’s authenticity. When 92% of consumers have concerns about purchasing from unfamiliar websites, a slow page load time — particularly when financial details are involved — can contribute to this wariness.
Optimising your checkout process isn't just about convenience; it's about instilling trust and capitalising on revenue potential. Let's take a look at 5 solid strategies to create a checkout experience that's both seamless for customers and easy for merchants to manage (plus some quick-win ideas to re-engage lost opportunities and boost checkout conversion rates).
1. Streamline data entry
A key aspect of a seamless checkout experience lies in minimising the effort required from the customer. Repeatedly asking for credit card or shipping information not only prolongs the process but also raises doubts about the security of the transaction. Implementing smart autofill features that remember and securely store customer data can drastically reduce friction. A one-page checkout addresses these streamlining issues directly.
Additionally, consider integrating third-party payment systems or digital wallets. These platforms not only expedite the checkout process but also offer an added layer of security and familiarity to customers. Options like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay have gained widespread trust and acceptance, making them invaluable to any checkout process.
2. Enhance site performance
As we mentioned earlier, a sluggish website and a tardy checkout process can be detrimental to customer trust and impact your conversion rates — invest in optimising your site's performance. Tools like PageSpeed Insights by Google can help pinpoint issues like bloated code, large file sizes, and unnecessary plugins/themes that are slowing down your site.
With 60% of all e-commerce sales made using a mobile device, prioritising your checkout to be mobile-friendly is essential. This means using a responsive design that adjusts to fit different screen sizes, and using clear and simple navigation.
3. Build trust with transparent policies
Trust is the bedrock of any successful online transaction. Clearly convey your refund, exchange, and privacy policies. Give your customers easy access to assistance through customer service channels — be available to answer any queries or concerns they might have.
Display security badges and certifications to reassure customers of their data's safety. While this might seem like an insignificant detail, 49% of shoppers will suspect a scam if a website doesn’t feature trust badges. Being able to demonstrate transparency in your operations goes a long way in building credibility.
4. Leverage gamification elements
Uncertainty during the checkout process can be a major deterrent, but interactive elements can keep customers engaged. Progress bars that update in real time and clearly indicate steps completed can reduce anxiety over a checkout’s length. Allow customers the ability to pause their shopping journey and resume it at a more convenient time seamlessly.
Thank customers for performing certain actions by awarding points or virtual badges. This can encourage shoppers to complete desirable actions like leaving a review, completing an abandoned purchase or even flagging potential areas for improvement. Test different approaches to see what motivates your shoppers most effectively.
5. Highlight social proof and reviews
Social proof serves as powerful validation of your brand's credibility. 93% percent of potential buyers will read online reviews first before deciding to purchase a product or not. Displaying customer reviews and testimonials can increase customer confidence in your products and services.
Consider showcasing endorsements or partnerships with reputable organisations like finance or security providers. Customers are more likely to associate your brand with the trustworthiness of your partners, so choose well!
Quick-win tactics to boost conversion rates
- Leverage automated email or sms campaigns to gently remind customers of their abandoned carts. Offer incentives like discounts or free shipping to entice them to complete the purchase.
- Personalise the checkout experience with creative messaging or by recommending products to shoppers based on their past purchases or browsing history
- Take advantage of opt-in tracking data to target anonymous shoppers and re-engage them through the funnel to conversion.
- Exit-intent pop-ups can be triggered when a shopper shows intent to leave the site — use these opportunities to present last-minute offers or gather feedback on the reason for abandonment.
Need a hand implementing these strategies? We’re here to help!