Whilst once a difficult task, getting people to your website today is actually relatively easy. There are numerous tools, techniques and resources available to utilise that, irrelevant of the budget you have available, it should mean it isn’t too much of an issue driving people to whatever page you’d like them to view.
Getting them to convert, however, is a completely different story.
Once upon a time, a person landed on a website and if it looked as though what was on offer was what they were looking for, they’d go through the process of buying it. They didn’t do a great deal of research into competitors, require a dozen or two different images or mind going through what may have been a complex checkout process.
Today, it’s almost the complete opposite. Some people are still happy buying irrelevant of the difficulties they may face, but most of us would happily leave the checkout process midway through if something’s flagged up that doesn’t fit in with our requirements.
And so, with more and more people happy to do just this, if you’re seeing a high number of checkout abandonments – or you simply want to prevent the figure increasing – take a look through these three steps, all of which are great ways to reduce how many people are leaving your checkout without buying.
1. Don’t force people to do things you don’t need them to
One of the most annoying parts of a checkout process is realising it’s going to take you considerably longer to complete it than it did to research your purchase in the first place.
The checkout process should be as streamlined as it can be. There are of course aspects that require the customer to spend more time than they’d potentially like to (adding their credit card details, for instance), but you shouldn’t ask people to fill in aspects that simply aren’t needed, as this will unnecessarily extend the length of the process and ultimately increase the chances of customers becoming frustrated and therefore leaving the checkout.
A perfect example of this can be seen with those checkouts where you’re forced to register. Sure, getting people to sign up to your website can be great for a variety of reasons, but some simply want to make a quick purchase – and if they can’t do this, they’re going to head straight to a competitor.
2. Be upfront with costs as early as you can
No one likes to find out that the amount of money they’re to be paying out is increasing, but it becomes all that more irritating when you’re not told about it until the very end of the process.
For instance, when you have to add postage costs onto a purchase, don’t leave it until the very last screen to do so, especially if you think it may be an amount that’s more than expected.
You may believe the postage cost will put potential customers off and so you want to leave it until the end to mention it, but the reality is it’s going to do more harm if you don’t tell people about it until the very end – do this and you’re not only going to frustrate them as the costs are greater than expected, but because they’ve gone through the full checkout process believing the postage costs are non-existent (or minimal at worst), too.
3. Make it clear what people have to do
So many organisations are confused as to why customers leave the checkout before purchasing the products they added to their basket, when in many instances, it’s because of something minor.
The ‘Buy’ button may be too small or placed out of the way. The whole process might be too different and therefore not welcoming, but confusing. The wording used could suggest one thing needs to happen, when the truth is it’s the opposite.
Before you go live with your website, run through the process yourself – if you’re happy with it, you can be confident it’s going to at least please the majority of your customers.
And generally speaking, it would be recommended to do this every couple of weeks. Customer expectations change, as do the resources you have available to you and by keeping an eye on these, as well as your checkout abandonment rate, you should be able to ensure the number of customers leaving your checkout process without purchasing is always as low as it can be.