You’ve put in the legwork: developed an optimal storefront, perfected the product, established a price that fits into market demand and set up online payment. All aspects of your eCommerce site are optimized for getting the shopper to the cart and on to the sale. Now, it seems, your online store is set up for prosperity — and it has been doing more than well!
What if we told you that about 70% of users abandon the shopping cart once they arrive? That means the sales your store converts are a mere fraction of your sales potential. While users may follow your guided website path with no hiccups, there is a factor that’s likely keeping them from finalizing the purchase — checkout friction.
Checkout friction is the killer of eCommerce. Simply defined as anything that gets in the way of conversions, checkout friction typically involves inconsistencies, distractions or other disruptions in the UX or UI. Major online marketplaces like Amazon have mastered the concept of a frictionless checkout experience — one click and you have a sale. So, how do you get your eCommerce store closer to the industry ideal?
Tip #1 Offer local currencies, languages and payment methods
Localization, which belongs under the umbrella of web personalization, is essential to prompt the user to finalize the purchase. The information presented on a page should automatically adjust to what the user is expecting to see when it comes to language and currency. Especially if your target audience includes global shoppers, automated localization is not a step we would advise you to skip.
Available payment types are also relevant to user experience. For example, if you are targeting shoppers from the Netherlands, where payment type iDeal is popular, having that option integrated in the checkout page is vital for the convenience of those shoppers (which, in turn, can help you solidify a sale). In the meantime, Sofort is popular in Germany, while AliPay is the top payment type pick in China. Know your global demographics and localize the checkout page based on your shopper’s region to support your global customers, improve user experience and remain competitive. Find out more on this page about the most popular online payment methods by country.
Bonus Tip: Global payments world is rife with regulations and compliance standards, so make sure to conduct in-depth research before making a purchasing decision for a payment gateway.
Tip #2 Make the checkout process as quick and intuitive as possible
You have a limited window of time when the magic happens: the user browsed your site, felt enamoured by a product and headed over to the shopping cart with the full intent to purchase. However, when it comes to any online experience, the human attention span is short. In the blink of an eye, the doorbell rings, a phone call occurs or the user remembers to order takeout before a restaurant closes. Either way, the user leaves the checkout window — never to return again. The magic you’ve worked so hard to conjure? Gone.
So what do you do with those few minutes where the user is still on the shopping cart page? Make the sale experience as quick and simple as possible. You have the user where you want — stop barricading the finish line with distracting ads, coupons, additional offers or other distractions. In fact, encouraging the user to click away from the page to explore another offering or coupon may result in the exact friction and abandonment you're trying to avoid. Find out more about 5 Ways to Improve Customer Experience and Retain Customers.
Tip #3 Don’t ask for unnecessary information
Even if your online store can’t provide a seamless one-click shopping experience, at least don’t ask for more information than necessary. No one likes filling out forms. Request information that is absolutely necessary for the purchase, shipping and contact — everything more could cost you a conversion. Every moment a user spends on the checkout page increases the odds that he or she leaves. That's why it's vital to keep the checkout short and to the point. In cases where shipping and billing addresses are the same, for example, make sure the user can select the option to copy their billing info to the shipping info.
Bonus Tip: There is no need for the user to manually select a credit card type — the merchant should be able to detect after the first few digits whether the payment card is American Express, Visa or Mastercard.
Tip #4 Optimize for Mobile
Mobile shopping has a higher abandonment rate than desktop and tablet — and that’s one of the many reasons why mobile web strategy is taking priority in the eCommerce industry. In fact, mobile checkout has the highest rates of abandonment across the board, with over 85% of shoppers leaving the shopping cart before a purchase. Meanwhile, mobile usage is trending to soon take over desktop and other devices as the preferred online shopping method. That means your eCommerce store has to optimize the mobile experience as soon as possible.
Part of user frustration with mobile shopping experience involves having to type out credit card information (often more than once, due to lagging mobile site performance). That’s why it’s important to optimize your checkout experience to the mobile user, which reduces frustration of the payment process. Customers should not suffer through a lagging screen when all they want to do is purchase your product.
Tip #5 Implement high-grade protections against fraud and theft
The stakes are high in the eCommerce world when it comes to criminal activity. If anything could sacrifice user trust, loyalty and your revenue, it's security concerns. Losing credibility with the user will not only lose you a conversion — but could be detrimental to the reputation of your business.
High-quality fraud protection efforts are evident at or even before the checkout page — as is the lack of protection. Most modern consumers instantly recognize fishy signs and click away from the shopping cart at lightning speeds. In fact, a recent consumer study by a hijacking prevention experts revealed that 53% of online users surveyed stated that security concerns are the main reason they would leave a shopping cart. No matter how great your product, no one is going to risk sabotaging personal information or finances for a purchase.
Bonus Tip: Utilize a payment gateway with a strong customer authentication system. For example, the multi-authentication BlueSnap 3-D Secure 2.0 preventative technology, makes it easier to make online payments more secure, even on mobile. The right payment processor will keep all information safe, offer global payments quickly and securely and provide a reliable online shopping experience that your users will genuinely enjoy.
Such steps will get rid of seemingly small frictions that may result in the user closing the page due to frustration, distractions or concerns over the safety of information. Keep the checkout page simple and easy for a superior customer experience that will translate to more sales, higher retention rates and customer loyalty.
To help you process credit and debit card transactions with secure and frictionless checkout for your global shoppers, BlueSnap partnered with Prestashop to offer an optimal merchant account and payment gateway solution all-in-one. With our in-house module developed for PrestaShop, your eCommerce store gets an embedded checkout form directly on your checkout page so that shoppers never leave your store to make a purchase.