While shipping costs still reign as the primary reason attributed to shopping cart abandonment, there are many other factors that can be deemed conversion killers at checkout. In comparison to restructuring a business' shipping program, these factors are, additionally, more cost-effective to resolve. To provide a seamless checkout process for the consumers, and to increase conversions, e-merchants should focus their efforts on eliminating perceived risk, slow load times, forced registration and limited payment solutions. All of which provide additional barriers at checkout and inherently kill conversions.
Ultimately, a customer will only convert if they feel they can trust your website with their information. A study by Statistica showed 17% of shoppers don’t purchase because they are concerned about security. If your checkout form lacks visual cues that indicate your website is safe and secure, you’re jeopardizing non-technical, risk-adverse customers from checking out.
To increase perceived security, visuals such as security icons, security badges and credit card symbols all help to reinforce that your checkout is risk-free. Get Elastic published a test demonstrating a 4-6% conversion increase when online retailers featured a security badge on their checkout forms.
We’ve highlighted in prior blog posts how slow page speed can have a detrimental effect on consumer shopping behavior. Not surprisingly, the same rule of thumb applies for online checkouts. 57% of shopping carts are abandoned if page load time is 3+ seconds and 80% will never return. Page speed audits should be conducted regularly using resources such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to ensure your checkout page is optimized.
Few exceptions, including ecommerce giant Amazon, have implemented a forced registration when checking out and managed not to stifle conversions. However, for online merchants who lack twenty years of ecommerce experience and global brand recognition, this strategy can have adverse effects. A study conducted by User Interface Engineering showed a 45% increase in customer purchases when forced registration was removed, creating a streamlined checkout. Additionally, ASOS managed to cut its cart abandonment rate in half by removing any mentions of account creation on their checkout.
While credit cards and PayPal currently dominate consumer preferences for paying online, many alternative payment methods are beginning to penetrate the ecommerce space. Merchants who do not offer multiple payment methods are at risk of loosing potential sales once shoppers reach the checkout page. In one study, a UK-based Internet marketing research firm found that 50% of online shoppers would abandon their purchase if their preferred payment method was not available at checkout. In addition, WorldPay predicted that alternative payment methods, which classify as anything outside of credit and debit cards, including PayPal alternatives, will account for more than half of all transactions for 2017.
Customers now expect a seamless shopping experience from the moment they arrive on your landing page to the point they confirm their order at checkout. Even with an optimized homepage, category pages and product pages, barriers such as the above can result in lost conversions and a potentially damaged reputation. While browsing customers and shoppers who are price-sensitive may be harder to convert, tactics to remedy concerns around perceived risk, page load times, registration and payment methods can be implemented quickly and can be powerful in fostering conversions at checkout.