The checkout is arguably the most important part of any retail experience, online or offline. All the effort you may put in to get customers is wasted if your checkout doesnt let them pay for their goods or services in a simple manner.
Some common problems with checkouts are the process itself, operational and easy-of-use issues.
- According to a Forrester Research study, 23% of users are found to exit when they have to register. Problems with payment methods, issues with localization and complex registration processes can lead to a shopper switching off instantly.
- Some issues that may not directly be caused by checkout functionality still cause people to abandon their purchases, the major culprit being shipping costs. It needs to be clearly stated what it will cost to get the product to them when a buyer chooses it.
- Site speed is also responsible for a buyer abandoning their shopping cart at the checkout stage. Proper website maintenance is crucial to ensure that the site is running fast to get the user to complete their purchase.
A few measures could help retailers reduce the number of users abandoning their shopping cart to improve sales.
- Many retailers have now created a separate checkout area to avoid distractions. Some sites also have the facility of storing credit card details so these dont have to be entered every time a user makes a purchase. These measures, along with PayPal and phone payments, are seen to reduce the abandonment rate.
- The checkout process, which is currently about 5-6 steps, needs to be simplified.
- A centralized system for retailers where users can use a single login to enter all the relevant details to check out could drastically simplify the checkout process.
- Different retailers have different checkout systems. Retailers should get together for a unified checkout process to simplify things for users and a successful checkout.
- Presenting shoppers with a single payment and checkout solution for all of their retail needs will reduce complexity and improve conversion.
Regular e-commerce website maintenance is critical to retailers.Checking for any broken links is absolutely crucial because broken links put the buyer off completely. Equally important is regularly updating your website with new products, services, etc. to keep users interested and wanting to come back. Availability of affordable website maintenance services has made regular maintenance of your website easily possible today.
Keep your site up-to-date with the changing requirements of search engines. Focus on creating value for your visitors because whats good for users is good for search.
Monitor response and provide monthly reports on your visitor profiles and their essential statistics. This goes a long way in understanding user behavior and helps you take the steps required.
Implementing the required changes within the checkout process of your website will help to ensure that customers have an easy, as well as enjoyable, buying experience.
About The Author
Ajay Prasad is the President and Founder of Global Marketing Resources, LLC, which runs a number of Internet strategy and e-commerce companies under its umbrella. Ajay's functional expertise includes website strategy, marketing management, business development, consumer research, market analysis and strategic planning. GMR Website Maintenance focuses on all aspects of website maintenance, and ensures high quality and efficient website maintenance services, tailored to fit each of our client's needs.