Fact: On average, 75% of online shopping cart purchases are abandoned.

abandoned basket

Checkout abandonment remains an important concern for ecommerce operators – so anything that can be done to reduce this will have positive impacts towards paying for your marketing costs and fixed overheads.

Here is an overview of a perfect checkout page:

  • Dedicated phone ordering number – A handful of customers are uncomfortable using their cards online, even in 2013. Allow them an opportunity to get in touch with you via telephone or email to ease any fears that the consumer may have.
  • Cross selling – Be cautious where, how and when you cross sell. Be sure to use the monetary basket value as a guage for presenting cross selling products.
  • Save the cart – Many shoppers use their shopping carts as awishlist for the future. Give them the option of reviewing their basket at a later date, or sending products they are keen on to themselves or friends and family.
  • Diversify payment options – Allowing people to choose different payment options reduces shopping checkout abandonment. Saving the consumers card details also reduces abandonment as people don’t have to retrieve details to checkout. This could also include flexible payments if you can supply finance options to your customers.
  • Security – It’s never damaging to incorporate 3rd party reinforcement graphics such as McAfee and Thawte where you can.
  • Allow amendments – Making alterations easy for your customer is paramount. Make altering information on the checkout page simple and user-friendly.
  • Thumbnails – Include pictures of products with so customers know they are getting the right product – you don’t want them to have to start the whole process all over again.
  • Progress indicator – Consumers like understanding where they are in the checkout process. Make it transparent with numbering and steps so they can monitor progress.
  • Calls to action – These are vital. Keep them succinct, consistent, visible, and colour contrasted. Never position the “checkout” button beside the “remove from cart” button.
  • Back links – Including a back link gives the customer freedom, don’t make them feel constrained.

The breakdown of the perfect checkout page: The do’s and don’t’s

Don’t’s

  • Don’t pressure customers to register unless they want to – Don’t develop any more steps then necessary for your shoppers.

It’s best to offer guest checkout

 

  • Don’t hide delivery expenses – While marketers may want to hold off until the last moment to incorporate delivery fees, this is a great way to aggravate buyers, resulting in baskets being deserted.

Quote delivery charges early on or attempt to provide free or flat fee P&P costs if financially viable.

 

  • Don’t offer discount codes needlessly – If consumers see a coupon code form in the checkout process, they’ll probably leave the website to look for a promotional code.

Only display a coupon code entry field to customers who are offered a promotion on their way into the store.

 

Do’s

  • Do shout about your customer feedback and testimonials – Sign up to independant review websites such as TrustPilot, eKomi and Feefo to aquire valuable feedback on products and service – and promote your results on your website.
  • Do follow up abandoned baskets – Use abandoned cart email solutions to email customers who haven’t completed their order, prompting them to return to checkout.
  • Do offer price guarantees – Don’t be afraid to offer a price match guarantee to your customers. It provides assurance to customers that they are not overpaying and can retrieve sales that you would otherwise lose to competitors.
  • Do save customer details – If you can comply to PCI DSS standards, then securely storing customer information including payment details can make for quick and easy checkout completions – thus reducing checkout abandonment.
  • Do save the basket – If your shoppers abandon their baskets, store their item information for later. When they return, notify them that their items from their previous visit are still in their basket and prompt them to checkout.
  • Do be up front about stock availability – Make sure customers are aware about stock information i.e. dispatch times, whether item is in stock etc. well before the basket and checkout stage.
  • Do minimise errors – Make sure your development team and key staff have alerts sent to them when errors are occuring on the checkout. The smallest of errors can be extremely costly so this is a must.
  • Do reassure customers – Be sure to display important information to customers when then they will have the most anxiety towards a sale. For example, displaying warranty information at product pages and delivery information on the basket page are two good examples.