Five things you can do to ensure your customers complete their checkout journey
If this year’s Black Friday data is anything to go by, it’s clear that e-commerce will dominate the future of shopping. Not only in volume, but in frequency – the trends are clear; 87% of UK consumers purchased at least one thing online in 2017 and for the first time, online sales outstripped in-store ones over the Black Friday Weekend. With online sales in the UK increasing from year to year, it’s essential that your website delivers a clear and simple user experience for the potential customers you’ve worked hard to earn . Below, we’ve listed a few simple things you can do to help ensure your website doesn’t discourage consumers from purchasing on your site.
1. Makes sure your checkout is quick and easy
If your website doesn’t have a short and simple checkout experience, be prepared for a greater number of cart abandonments. Around 25% of consumers abandon their carts because the website was either too difficult to maneuver, or because the checkout process was too tedious. Clear the clutter and excessive steps, such as requiring a login or requiring repetitive credentials, and try to move customers through checkout in as few steps as possible. Go a step further by letting customers know where they are in the checkout process, by using tabs or icons on the page. Signposting this way so that they know exactly how many steps are left in completing their order. Make sure that your checkout process is as easy and straightforward to traverse on mobile, for example by having a card image scanner and making good use of your autocomplete function. As more and more people complete purchases on mobile, this will only become more important
2. Be transparent about shipping costs from the start
The last thing anyone wants when getting to the end of an online checkout is to find that additional shipping fee on their order total. One study shows that up to 56% of online shoppers abandoned their cart and left the website because of unexpected costs. This means that hiding any potential shipping costs from your customers has a good chance of losing you a lot of sales.
If you can offer your customers free shipping, then this is even better! According to 77% of online shoppers, free shipping is the number one most important option they expect to see at checkout. 60% of these shoppers will add extra items into their cart to get free shipping, and 61% would cancel their order if free shipping wasn’t offered, especially in the case where the shipping fee was hidden until the end of the checkout process.
Though it’s not always possible to provide free shipping on all orders, encourage more spending by giving customers free shipping over a certain amount spent. If free shipping isn’t feasible, disclosing potential costs to customers before they begin checkout is of utmost importance and will help safeguard you against customers leaving your site for another.
3. Provide multiple delivery options
In 2018, having multiple delivery options at checkout is a must. As the ecommerce market has matured, customer expectations when it comes to the delivery of their packages has only increased with next-day delivery widely available to the many customers who expect shorter delivery windows. Offering the right delivery options is no longer just about getting a product from warehouse to customer, but forms part of the decision-making process when a customer is choosing whether or not to buy. It’s not just about speed though, failing to offer convenient options such as local Click & Collect or in-store pickup can have a negative impact on your sales figures. 66% percent of shoppers surveyed in a 2017 study admitted to buying goods from one store over another because it provided more delivery options. Shoppers value their time and money and will look elsewhere if your store doesn’t provide the shipping options they need.
4. Competitive pricing is key to keep consumers on your site
The internet has made in-depth market research possible for modern shoppers, allowing them to quickly compare and contrast product prices. Amazon has even built its own toolbar enabling shoppers to see if the product they’re currently viewing is more cheaply available on Amazon. For this reason, conducting market research is key if you are to be competitive with other retailers in your arena. If shoppers can find similar products to yours, for less, they are likely to buy the product that costs less. More than 35% of online shoppers would leave a site if they found a better price elsewhere. This doesn’t mean you have to take the lowest price on the market, but it does mean that you need to put a bit of effort into understanding your competitor’s prices, as well as the demand your product holds within the market, so that you can choose the best price for your product.
5. Provide incentives to encourage consumers to revisit your site
When a shopper completes a purchase from your website, it’s a big win! The next task you have to worry about is making sure they come back for more. A slick website, with easy-to-use features and a clear, put together design, are big magnets when it comes to retaining your customers and making sure they revisit your site. If your customers have a good experience buying, or even browsing, on your website, they are much more likely to return back. An idea of something you could add to your site to promote repeated customers is an incentive for first-time customers to shop with you again. By providing them with a discount code after their first checkout, this gives them another reason to want to buy from you again.