Ah, checkout… so close, and yet… what’s that cart with six products been doing there for the last two weeks and why is there no sale?? You’ve checked your product details! Made the sales process clear! Secured the site and paid attention to every one of the last four tips! Yet there it is, that lonely forlorn and forgotten cart.
What else is a web business to do, to push customers those last few steps through checkout? Turns out there are still more things to think about but the good news is that this time instead of adding details, you’re going to be taking them away.
Tip #5: Make Checkout A Snap
When it comes to online shopping, the simpler the checkout process, the better. This is one place where you don’t want to add details. Instead, you want to strip the checkout process down to its bare-boned minimum essentials.
For starters, don’t send your visitors packing by requiring a lengthy “new customer registration”. You can always ask a customer to register after the sale. Make any registration process optional, or you risk deterring a customer who opts out of creating an account.
When you ask for information, make sure it’s only what you need to complete the sale and not one character more. Name along with shipping and billing information is about all you need to get the money flowing. The more requirements, the more likely your customer will walk.
Clearly define the steps in the checkout process so customers know what’s coming next and how long the transaction will take (it should be short!) Ecommerce studies put a long checkout process at the top of the list of reasons why people abandon their carts.
Web shoppers want their purchases made quickly and simply, which is one of the reasons they’re not standing on line at the local retail outlet one block away.
Consider the speed of your website, as well. If the checkout process is physically too slow, your customers will get tired of waiting for pages to load and may leave for another merchant. It would be a shame if you managed to build a terrific site, gain your customer’s trust and lead them all the way to purchase only to lose them in the final five seconds of lag time.
Have you ever stopped mid-checkout because of an overly complicated or annoying process? What was the “last straw” that made you ditch the cart and move on?