Reducing Cart Abandonment

The most significant part a ecommerce website is the checkout: the collection of cash from your clients. You’ve invested money and time getting customers to your website, you’ve been able to convince them to buy, and all you’ve got to do is take their information and their cash. So many websites lose customers at this time. It’s called cart abandonment. Every cart left is a lost sale and each lost sale is a problem.

There can be several reasons for a client to walk away, and some will probably be impossible to resolve. There are numerous things you can look in to minimize abandonment. First, it’s crucial that you have a precise measurement of cart abandonment. It’s vital that whatever change you make, the abandonment rate is measured to make sure that it enhances your client retention rate. There’s absolutely no use making a change that you believe will help if it doesn’t. Additionally it is wise to make the changes one at a time. If you do multiple changes you’ve got no clue what effect each has, nor should a person has a bad effect masked by one having a better effect.

The changes that I have done over the years that enhance conversion are:

  • Allow the customer know the delivery costs before they reach the cart. Ensure it is clear and obvious what the post will cost. When I shop on the world wide web, I hate not understanding the postage cost and having to wait till I’ve entered all my details and got nearly to the end of the checkout.
  • Consider free post. Most of us know that there’s not any such thing as free post. The postage cost is paid for at a higher item price, but occasionally this improves conversions. It depends upon your market, what you sell, and to whom. But free post can radically improve customer conversion.
  • Provide a no quibble return guarantee. If for any reason the client changes his mind, he can send back the item for a complete refund. In the E.U. it’s statutory to try it, but it can help to boast about it as if you’re doing so by yourself, rather than forced by legislation.
  • Make it easy for the customer to checkout. Have simple, straightforward forms, on as few steps as possible, the client can easily fill in. Nothing bothers me more than a voucher that forces me to create an account, then forces me to log into that account, then forces me to return to the checkout to begin again now that I am logged in.
  • Secure certificate (SSL). Nevertheless you accept payment, it’s worth using a SSL certificate so that your customers can enter their personal details in a safe environment. Some customers search for this and will leave with no. As a personal preference I use a Go Daddy Extended certification. That way I get the green bar. I feel that using a green bar is much more important than using one of the major (and quite expensive) certification providers. My customers aren’t necessarily experts on who issues a SSL certificate, but can recognize a green bar.
  • Using PayPal. This one surprised me. I’ve always had a merchant account and have consistently collected payment with the merchant account. I began offering PayPal instead a few years back and was amazed when conversions improved and a substantial proportion of requests used this payment system.

Since I moved to Magento, my conversions improved. The normal Magento checkout is quite great for customer retention. There are extensions for Magento that alters the checkout to a 1 step screen. I haven’t used it. I’ve seen tests done that show that it radically reduces customer conversion. I also have seen evaluations done demonstrating an improvement in conversion. The lesson here is test the shift as what works for some websites might not work for you.

The biggest single improvement I’d was introducing PayPal as an alternate payment method. I had always looked down on PayPal, assuming that PayPal was for the hobby vendor websites rather than for serious websites. I was wrong. PayPal is a significant alternative. For new websites it permits a non refundable solution, which although costs more for every transaction, can work out cheaper overall since there’s not any minimal processing fee, no monthly charges and no additional charges. For established sites it offers an alternative your customer might prefer to use. For clients nervous about placing their card information on a brand new website, it provides a known solution.

Through time, the client’s expectations have changed. When I first began in ecommerce it was a”reality” that clients didn’t like to be removed site for credit card entry and payment. It was considered”essential” that you accepted cards on your site and the third party processing happened behind the scenes. Websites that utilized the payment forms on the gateways were considered less secure and more likely to possess cart abandonment. With Verified by Visa at which you are always taken to a third party, together with PCI compliance, customers are becoming more used to being taken off site. Indeed some might even prefer it since they think that the third party payment gateway is much more secure and reliable than the website. Indeed this attribute is encouraged by PayPal and Amazon Payment Services.

Sources:

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It’s worth testing these choices on your website. You may be surprised by the results. Accepting card payments on the gateway website’s form in their servers will dramatically lower your PCI needs and should lessen the PCI compliance costs. It might also reduce cart abandonment. You will never know until you test it.

Cart abandonment is a simple fact of life with ecommerce. You won’t ever eliminate it, but with careful testing you should have the ability to reduce it.