I love to shop online. I don’t have to deal with pushy salespeople, I have peer recommendations at my fingertips and there’s just something so gratifying about getting a real package in a the mail. The other day, I was browsing my usual stores and decided that it was time for a new pair of running sneakers. Click, click, click and oooh, I definitely need socks and a pedometer! But then at the checkout, my finger hovering over the mouse, I couldn’t pull the trigger.
This happens all the time with shoppers. You entice them, get them to pick out their items and then at some stage of the funnel, they fall off. A study published by Forrester Research indicated that shoppers fail to complete the transaction 59% of the time. According to London based user experience research site Webcredible, who polled 1,200 earlier this month, 41% of consumers abandon their cart because of hidden charges during checkout. The second highest reason? Having to register before purchasing a product. Coming in at number 3 on the list was a lengthy checkout process.
So How Can This Be Prevented?
- Sticker Shock: Many shoppers go through the process and when it all adds up, they realize exactly how much they are spending. Make sure you are upfront as early as possible with regard to any and all costs.
- Impatience: In an effort to make your online store pleasing to the eye, you might be doing yourself a disservice. Slow load times, long checkout processes and registration requirements can all send a customer running for the hills…or another site.
- Trust: Customers want assurance that their personal information is being handled as privately as possible. If you don’t have a third party verification seal in an easy to see place on your site, forget it. Equally as important is an indication that you are on a secure site. Make sure your customers are aware of all the security measures in place.
- Help: Users are more likely to continue with a transaction if there is customer assistance readily available. Sites with live chat can reduce abandonment. Or at the very least, an easy to find phone number…though make sure someone actually picks up!
Testing out various methods will ultimately be the best way to fine-tune your checkout process. And surveying people as to why they leave might shed light on some easily fixable issues.