You’ve designed your website in painstaking detail, you’ve got an amazing product for sale and your marketing strategy is on point. You should be good to go, right?
Wrong. No matter how well you display your wares or how much traffic your site is getting, you could still fail to make that sale. Why? Three words that are the bane of every e-commerce seller’s existence: shopping cart abandonment.
Shoppers will often abandon their chosen items, and not always because they don’t want them. There are several common checkout issues a site can have that will prevent a shopper from going through with their purchase.
Too often, studies find that it’s these same issues that are causing shoppers to not complete a purchase. The rate at which shoppers abandon their carts stands at almost 70%. This is an unnecessarily high number.
You may be depriving yourself of sales and driving customers away without even knowing it. But don’t worry, in this post, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the most common e-commerce checkout issues, what strategies you can use to fix them and, in doing so, how to improve conversion rates on your site.
Analyzing Your Site’s Performance
Do you know what your conversion rate is? Better yet, do you know what a conversion rate is?
“Conversion” is a term used in digital marketing that can refer to an internet user taking any number of different actions, from clicking on a link to filling out a form. In this case, the conversion we’re talking about is a visitor to your site making a purchase.
You can calculate your conversion rate with a simple formula. Take the number of visitors who have made a purchase on your site, divide that by the total number of visitors to your site and multiply by 100 to get your percentage.
Doing this can be an eye-opening experience, to say the least. Depending on who you ask, the average conversion rate for e-commerce sites sits somewhere between 1.5% and 3%.
The E-Commerce Conversion Funnel
It’s important to be aware of all of the stages of the customer journey, and what you can do to move visitors to your site through the conversion funnel at each step, to encourage them to make a purchase at the end.
Many different things can prevent a lead from converting into a customer, but your website shouldn’t be one of them.
The e-commerce conversion funnel has four main sections, ranging from when a visitor first arrives on your site to the point where they actually make a purchase. The checkout process is arguably the most important part of the funnel.
The checkout process represents the final hurdle, the last step in the funnel and the phase during which most of the top reasons shoppers give for abandoning their cart occur.
There is a lot that can happen to change their minds during this time, which is why they must be nurtured carefully. It can be a good idea to use software to track the journey of visitors to your site, particularly at this stage, to see where exactly you might be losing out on conversions.
Also, if you’re someone who is just starting out in e-commerce and want quicker results, it’s worth considering shopping cart software options to integrate with your main platform.
Six of the Most Common Checkout Issues
The site visitor’s experience throughout the entire checkout process should be optimized and geared toward making it as easy as possible for them to go through with their purchase.
So, how can this be done? Let’s look at some of the most common e-commerce checkout issues according to customers and how to fix them.
1. Your Website Isn’t Optimized for Mobile
Did you know that mobile e-commerce sales are estimated to have reached a total of $2.91 trillion this year? If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re ignoring a huge part of your potential customer base.
There are lots of things you can do to your site to make it easier to navigate for mobile users. An emphasis on visuals over large chunks of text, increasing button sizes and simplifying the checkout process overall will all help.
Some e-commerce platforms are already naturally geared toward mobile users. It is smart to do your research and find out which ones are, as this is worth making a priority.
2. Your Website Doesn’t Seem Secure
It goes without saying that a person’s payment details and other personal information are things that must be handled carefully. Studies have found a majority of shoppers would abandon a purchase if they felt the website they were shopping on was insecure.
If you don’t already have one, make sure to get an SSL certificate for your site. Google discourages internet users from visiting sites that don’t follow these types of safety protocols. For an added sense of safety, prominently display a badge from the provider you use to secure your site on the checkout page. You should leave your shoppers in no doubt of how safe their details are with you.
3. You Don’t Accept Their Preferred Payment Method
As the adage goes: the customer is always right. Consumers are idiosyncratic creatures that each have their own preferred way of shopping. So much so that a Business Insider survey found a site not accepting their favorite way to pay would prompt 25% of shoppers to abandon a purchase.
Researching what the most popular payment methods are in the different markets you’re trying to target can be worthwhile. People in different countries (and continents) have different preferred payment methods.
Offering a wide variety of payment methods will prevent you from excluding a whole segment of your demographic. Allowing you to accept multiple payment methods is one of the key features you should look for in your e-commerce platform.
4. Creating an Account Is Required
Of course, it can be beneficial to capture a customer’s information but is it worth losing a conversion over? Not only does it make the checkout process more lengthy and complicated, but in one survey, 30% of shoppers specified it as a reason they would abandon their cart.
A good solution to this is to offer a guest checkout option. This streamlines the checkout process, reduces the number of clicks and you can always ask for the customer’s information after they’ve made their purchase. Making it a mandatory step is a definite no-no.
5. They’re Surprised by the Order Amount
All too often, shopping carts will be abandoned because their owners are unpleasantly surprised by the total amount to pay at the end of the checkout experience. There are a few reasons this might happen.
First, they might forget how many items they’ve placed in their cart, second, the shipping costs might not be listed until too late in the checkout process, or third, the product prices might not be displayed prominently enough.
Luckily, this is an easy issue to remedy. Make sure that you clearly display the total price throughout the entire shopping experience, and try to add the shipping cost to the order amount as early in the checkout process as possible. There are great shipping apps that can help you keep things straight. This way, shoppers won’t be met with any nasty surprises when it comes time for them to make their purchase.
6. The Checkout Process Is Too Lengthy or Complicated
We’ve alluded to this issue a few times over the course of this post, but it bears repeating. Again and again, this is one of the most common checkout issues listed by online shoppers. The checkout process should be as easy and hassle-free as you can make it for your customers.
We can’t stress this enough. In one study, almost 90% of shoppers said that a checkout process that was too difficult would cause them to abandon their purchase.
Additionally, research has found that the fewer clicks a person has to make, the more likely a conversion becomes.
Make your checkout process quick and easy by reducing the number of form fields and offering autofill for those you do have, having a guest checkout option and, if possible, using a single-page checkout format.
Insights: The Key to Better Business
The customer comes first. It’s a cliché, but it’s true. The key to improving conversion rates? Always keep your customer at the forefront of your mind.
From common checkout issues to design that’s not user-centered, there could be many small things wrong with your website which are adding up to a big loss in profit.
Our best piece of advice? Test new features, monitoring your customers’ responses to them. This way, you’ll be able to see whether they’re truly effective.
See how leads are using your site for an instant boost for your business, set up your Lucky Orange free trial today.
Jimmy Rodriguez, 3dcart
Jimmy Rodriguez is the COO and co-founder of 3dcart, an e-commerce software to build SEO-friendly online stores. He’s dedicated to helping internet retailers succeed online by developing digital marketing strategies and optimized shopping experiences that drive conversions and improve business performance.