Losing conversions at the checkout stage? This may be why

Do you need a good checkout page to avoid losing customers?

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A deal is never done until it’s done.

Signed, sealed, delivered.

It’s not over till it’s over.

You get the idea – something isn’t guaranteed or certain until you have actually seen it happen or have the evidence of it so. If you own a business and are e-commerce related then nothing will ring greater truth with you than some of these phrases. Buying online is a process which has many phases. The checkout phase (where people actually buy your goods or services) is considered one of the latter stages. Some people (erroneously) think that once customers have got to the checkout stage then the sale is in the bag, but as our above phrases prove, nothing is certain.

Features like Google Analytics and other related software can be good tools to look at every stage of your shopping process (funnelling) to see where users are converting best and exiting the most. Some businesses suffer from a high exit rate at the check-out stage and there can be nothing more frustrating than this. To be so far and close to the winning line but not actually crossing it is annoying and moreover costing you wasted revenue and sales. A recent study conducted looks at some of the main reasons why users may be turning their backs at the checkout stage and more importantly, what you can do about this.

The figures from the report were quite eye catching and if you are an e-commerce business you really should take note. The study found that the cart abandonment rate is as high as 70%! What could be causing this? Are people just changing their minds or are there some practical reasons behind this?

1) Do you have so called ‘hidden extras’ which are not displayed until checkout? This could be charges, delivery fees etc. If someone thinks they are paying X price and suddenly Y is added at checkout, this can cause them to abandon the transaction. Being transparent from the start is the key.

2) Do you require your customers to register an account before they buy? If yes, this might be another reason why you are losing clients at the check-out stage. It’s important to differentiate between this and asking for (say) address details to ship an item to. Not everyone wants to be registered or ‘tied’ to a company. Guest checkout options are the answer to this problem.

3) How long is your check-out process? If it is lengthy and involves many complicated steps then this is another way of turning people off the study found. More than 1 in 4 people stopped at this stage because of this reason. Make your process as smooth as possible – balance getting the essential details with as little input as possible.

4) Are you trusted?

Don’t confuse this with trusting your brand. Some people may well trust you as a business but not be confident about website security when it comes to entering personal and banking information. Are you up to date with the latest and safest software?

5) Do you have a range of payment options?

Payment methods are changing fast and in order to appeal to the vast majority of your audience you need to keep up with this. Limiting avenues is likely to turn some people away so ensure that mediums other than the traditional credit and debit cards exist.

If you are interested, the full report can be viewed here where you may be able to gain extra insight for your business.

View our convert page to find out more on conversion optimisation.

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