Richard Chapman details the fundamentals of optimising your checkout experience with CRO best practices, to ensure you provide smooth user experiences and ultimately increase transactions.
Cart abandonment is something every e-commerce retailer knows and loathes. No matter how much traffic is driven to your e-commerce site, you won’t see a healthy ROI if your checkout is hindering transactions.
So what can you do to make sure you prevent cart abandonment, maximise conversion rates and increase transactions?
It’s important to try and think as your customers would think. If you provide them with a smooth, easy checkout experience then the likelihood of them making a purchase increases. Customers want the process in which they part with their cash to be a stress and anxiety-free transaction.
Sounds simple, but let’s start with the basics. If your checkout is packed with distractions such as navigation buttons that take customers elsewhere, they probably won’t complete the transaction.
When people part with their money, they like to be fully in control of the whole process. If something like a navigation button shifts their focus for a second, they’re less likely to convert.
Ensuring your returns and delivery options are clear is vitally important to conversion rates.
Reassuring customers that they can return their product if they don’t like it can alleviate checkout friction and fulfilment anxiety. This is something quite common within user behaviour, as customers like to know they can get their money back if need be.
Another way to increase transactions is to offer free delivery for orders over a certain amount. Providing your customers with the incentive to qualify for something free among their cart total could increase your transactions, as will next-day delivery options.
Next-day delivery is perfect for customers in a hurry - these days many of us are. If you ensure the cost isn’t too high, they could be more likely to select this option and convert.
Reassuring customers and lowering anxiety levels during checkout is another way to increase flow through your checkout funnel. Include marks of authority to reinstate security and messaging to your users that it’s safe.
Marks of authority you could deploy are could be payment processor logos. Customers recognise these from other sites they trust.
Language can also be used to your advantage to reduce user anxiety. If you have a ‘Proceed to Checkout’ button, why not re-word it to read as ‘Proceed to Secure Checkout’?
Once they reach the checkout page, customers like to remind themselves of what it is they’re purchasing. Have they clicked the correct quantity? If your site sells clothing, have they selected the correct size and colour?
Once your customers have reassured themselves that they’re buying the correct item, they’re less likely to abandon their carts and should continue to payment and convert.
Sometimes customers reach the checkout and get distracted by something, or they run out of time to complete the transaction.
Although this is the case, why not give them the option to save their cart so they can come back to it at a more convenient time? Or let them save items to a wish list, knowing they won’t have time to complete the full transaction?
Why not try inventory tracking?
If your customer spends a good amount of time perusing your products and adding them to their cart, only to get to the checkout and discover one of their products has since gone out of stock, chances are they will abandon their cart completely.
You could also try implementing a ‘Back in Stock’ option.
Setting up an automated responder to let your customers know when their desired item is back in stock is a good way to maintain your customer relationships and increase transactions.
Give your customers the option to proceed through the checkout as a guest.
If somebody is purchasing something from your site for the first time, chances are they would rather make a payment quickly and move on than fill out their details and create an account.
Not having a guest checkout adds a barrier to conversion for users who want to give you their money but are not signed up.
Once a customer has bought from you, they may want to create an account to reap any extra benefits you offer to those who sign up.
The best time to convert anybody is when they’ve already converted. You can ask for that secondary or micro conversion to ‘Create an Account’ once they have transacted as a guest. To get maximum sign up, make sure the benefits to having registering are clear.
At ClickThrough we use Hotjar analytics and visual intelligence software to monitor checkout funnels, identify drop offs and weak points. By using this type of technology you’ll not only be able to identify which stages need optimising, but you’ll also be able to record your customers’ activity and consider other metrics having an impact.
Visual intelligence data is a prudent way to report on engagement and to gauge user interaction in your funnel. In Hotjar, Crazy Egg and VWO we can use heat maps to decipher exactly how your users engage with your checkout. This leads into test hypothesis for a-b testing.
If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help you improve your checkout elements and increase transactions, contact our conversion optimisation experts for further advice.
If you want to learn more about Conversion Rate Optimisation and how it could bring you success, make sure you attend my October CRO Webinar. Click here to register.