E-commerce sites offer a wonderful way for businesses to connect directly with customers. E-commerce is also the future of retail. One study expects that over 95% of all purchases will be conducted via e-commerce by 2040. While e-commerce offers small businesses a host of opportunities, it comes with it’s own unique set of challenges as well.
One of the major challenges e-commerce sites face is checkout abandonment. In fact, approximately 70% of all online shopping carts are abandoned. The bulk of the reasons have to do with consumer behavior and how people browse e-commerce sites. However, many customers also abandon their purchases because of unexpected fees, forced account creation, complicated, or lengthy processes. Here’s how you can boost your e-commerce site’s revenue by optimizing your checkout page.
Keep It Simple
There’s nothing worse than a lengthy or confusing checkout process. You want your checkout page to be as clear-cut and simple as possible. Start by placing navigation buttons in intuitive positions so the next steps are clear. This will help customers stay focused on completing their purchases.
Make sure to only ask for information that is absolutely needed and avoid incorporating form fields that are unnecessary. You want to eliminate as many distractions as possible. Another good idea is to remove the header, footer, or other buttons that disorganize the page.
One way retailers can ensure the checkout process is simplified is by switching to a one-page checkout. One-page checkouts have been known to offer clearer navigation, fewer steps, less distractions, and an overall faster checkout.
If you find yourself unable to switch to a one-page checkout, another viable option is to incorporate a progress indicator at the top of each page. A progress indicator lets the customer know exactly where they are in the checkout process and how many more steps are required before the purchase is complete.
Cut Out Surprise Fees
A 2020 study by the Baymard Institute found that the number one reason e-commerce customers abandon their purchases is because of shipping, taxes, and other fees. If possible, eliminating shipping costs altogether is the best way to please your customers and incentivize online sales. However, it’s understandable that not every business can afford to eliminate shipping costs.
One solution is incorporating a portion of the shipping costs into the price of the product. Customers would see a small shipping fee or none at all and the checkout process becomes smoother. Another option is displaying the shipping costs next to the price of the product while the customer is still browsing. By eliminating surprise fees, customers will be more comfortable checking out and more keen to complete their purchase.
Allow Guest Checkout
Forcing your customers to sign up and input their personal information is irritating. It’s so irritating in fact, that it’s the second largest reason why customers abandon their purchases altogether. Nobody wants to have to remember another password. And while it might be useful to have more information about your customers, chances are, they aren’t as keen.
Most customers dislike the idea of their information being saved or used to opt into promotional materials. Other customers might simply become frustrated at how long it takes to create an account and leave your site. Ultimately, it’s a better idea to set up a guest checkout feature to give your customers more choice.
Offer Multiple Payment Methods
This piece of advice is true for both in-person and online retailers. Customers love having more choice in how they pay. They can pay using whatever payment method they’ve already prepared and the checkout process ultimately runs smoother.
Start by accepting all major credit card and debit card providers. You might also want to incorporate a section for gift cards if that is something your business offers. It’s also a good idea to include newer payment options that are rising in popularity – such as Google Pay, PayPay, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay. One bonus point about these platforms is that they already store a customer’s personal information – allowing for a faster and simplified checkout experience.
Show Customers They Can Trust You
E-commerce sites are one of the biggest targets for fraud and credit card theft. Consumers are becoming more aware of the dangers hackers pose and are also becoming less inclined to share their personal information online. This is especially true for smaller businesses that don’t have the type of credibility a larger retailer like Walmart or Amazon enjoys.
It helps to incorporate security badges onto your checkout page. Security badges tell your customers that their data is safe. These badges, or “trust seals” typically incorporate secure sockets layer (SSL), which help ensure your website is secure. BizRate, Verisign, TRUSTe, Norton, McAfee, and GeoTrust are common examples.
It’s also worthwhile to include the logos of available payment merchants like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, etc. Another good idea is to showcase any business credentials you have or display customer testimonials.
Customer Support Matters
Most business owners think of customer support as separate from the checkout process. Turns out, integrating the checkout page with the support center helps eliminate confusion and boosts conversion. You can include a few buttons for a live chat or a phone number to call for assistance. Just make sure the buttons aren’t a distraction. You want them out of the way yet easy enough for customers to find.
Another good idea to make your refund policy available upfront. Try to offer a longer refund policy rather than a short term refund policy if possible. It may seem counterintuitive but longer refund policies actually result in fewer returns and help customers feel more confident about their purchases.
Work With the Right Payment Processing Provider
Whether your business operates only online or also in-person, the right payment processing provider can make all the difference when it comes to securing your customers’ data, ensuring customers have a multitude of payment options, and that the checkout process is as efficient as possible.
Finical is a leading payment processing provider that offers both in-person and e-commerce payment solutions. Finical allows your business to accept payments online from all major payment methods and provides an intuitive platform to view transactions. There’s also customizable solutions that tailor to your business’ unique needs.
Get in touch with Finical for a free consultation to learn about the solutions we offer to ensure your business thrives!