You may think it’s “mission accomplished” when a customer reaches the checkout stage, but there’s still work to be done. 41% of online shoppers have abandoned a cart right at the point of paying — that’s compared to only 24% who do the same when in-store.
For our next installment in the eCommerce best practice series, we’re going to show you 3 ways to keep customers engaged and ready to convert during the checkout process.
1. Show a progress bar
Not all checkout workflows are the same either, adding to the user’s cognitive load. Some sites require more stages than others, which means the customer can’t be sure how long the checkout process will be.
Enter the progress bar. Progress indicators show the customer where they are in the process — and how much more there is to fill out. This sets expectations early, reducing fatigue and risk of dropout.
You can even utilize progress bars in chaser emails to shoppers who have already abandoned their cart. Showing the customer how close they were to completing the process may just be enough to encourage them to return and finalize the purchase.
2. Keep the process simple but flexible
Most eCommerce sites have a very basic layout when it comes to the checkout stage. This may seem strange, given how important branding is within the industry. But simplicity pays off when it comes to payment workflows.
The fewer potential distractions, the less likely a shopper is to click away. As an added bonus, simple checkout pages load much faster too, further reducing the chance of cart abandonment.
There are two main principles to keep in mind when designing your checkout page:
- Clarity: Make sure customers have all the information they need, including shipping and taxes. The customer is likely to abandon their cart if they have surprise costs to pay, or if they have to search for this information instead.
- Control: It’s important to make sure the checkout process is flexible. Easy ways to update product quantity or to remove/change the order is useful for customers in a rush. It also means the shopper doesn’t have to leave the checkout page… in case they don’t come back.
3. Only keep essential fields
Customer data is powerful, we certainly understand that here at simplicityDX. But there’s a time and place to gather shopper intel.
The checkout stage should focus on converting a potential sale, not learning everything about the consumer behind it. The eCommerce world has been guilty of going overboard on information fields in the payment process: are you a registered customer or a guest? What’s your date of birth? Please enter an eight-digit password with uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols. It can quickly get too much for a shopper’s patience — especially if it’s not essential for the purchase.
Every box in a webform is a step the shopper has to take — it’s friction you add into your eCommerce experience. And optional or not, they all add to the cognitive load.
Compare the below example to Outdoor Voices shown above, and it’s easy to see how a few “optional” text fields can turn a customer off.
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Here are a few more articles with great ecommerce tips: