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knog
Dec 4, 2016

Stop your trolleys being dumped in the internet canal - keep them clicking

How to reduce your online store’s basket abandonment - ten top tips from internet specialist Dave Howell

1 Keep the checkout journey simple

Keeping it simple has been a mantra for e-commerce since its inception. When applied to checkout systems simplicity is even more important. Confuse your customer and they will simply click away from your site.

Amazon’s one click ordering has shown that consumers want fast and simple ways to order and checkout. Think about how your store’s checkout journey could be simplified. Also, using breadcrumbs that show customers where they are in the ordering process is a great way to give them confidence that will translate into fewer abandoned orders.

2 Don’t insist on registration

Your business would of course like to have the contact details of everyone that visits your website. However, your shoppers are often time poor and don’t want to spend this precious resource on filling in registration forms.

Research has shown that insisting on new customer registration is a major pressure point and can often lead to high levels of basket abandonment. Offer a quick checkout option as a guest with a request for just their email address to invite them to register their full details at a later date.

As the Nielsen Group state: “Guest checkout with optional registration on e-commerce sites simplifies the purchase process and invites users to register when they feel comfortable, rather than forcing unwanted registration.”

3 Display shipping costs

One of the main reasons that consumers abandon their baskets is because they are unsure of the total cost of their order. Only revealing shipping costs, VAT or any other additional costs at the end of the checkout process can often lead to that order being abandoned. Show dynamic basket information that clearly indicates the total cost so far.

4 Reinforce security credentials

Stories of credit card and identity fraud continue to be common news headlines. Your customers need to know that your store has taken all the steps to ensure their personal and payment information is safe and secure. Using words such as ‘secure checkout’ or ‘place order securely’ on buttons with padlock icons are also common ways to ensure your store communicates that it is secure to use.

5 Clearly explain your returns policy

Having a detailed and robust returns policy and system is vital. Placing any barriers here will have a massive impact on basket abandonment. After secure payments, being able to return items is a huge priority for consumers.

6 Offer multiple payment methods

Offering multiple payment options in your physical store has been the norm for decades. This translates to your online store. With the rise of new forms of e-payments, the type of payment options you offer can easily expand. Supporting traditional credit and debit cards should be joined with new forms of payment, often that have been developed for mobile devices.

7 Offer exclusive deals and offers

The checkout process is the ideal place and time to offer customers any deals, discounts or other promotions. Often at the last step in the ordering process is where most basket abandonment takes places. To mitigate this a timely special offer can move the customer to complete their transaction. The highlighting of other relevant products isn’t the same or as powerful as offering a discount or multi-buy specifically for the individual customer.

8 Use re-marketing to reconnect with customers

You aren’t powerless to act on those customers who didn’t complete their transactions. This is where re-marketing can be a powerful weapon. After visiting an e-commerce site, when they click away and visit other sites, the item and related goods are used in display ads. The cookie on their computer holds the information about their recent visit to your store. Using services such as Google’s display ads, or platforms including Rejoiner (rejoiner.com) and email re-marketing services from AdExtent (www.adextent. com) and Remarkety (www. remarkety.com) gives your business the chance to reconnect with these lost customers.

9 Use strong calls to action

At every step of the process it is important to tell your visitors what to do. Using simply ‘buy now’ buttons are not calls to action. Use words and phrases as persuaders. Buttons with ‘secure checkout’, ‘buy now and save’, ‘time limited offer’ are all calls to action that you can use to engage with your store’s customers and get them to checkout and authorise payment.

10 Speed counts

It’s a simple fact that the fastest e-commerce site wins. Page load times have to be fractions of a second. And fast page load and refresh times are doubly important when your visitor moves into the checkout phase. Here every button with its call to action needs to be acted on instantly. Any delay and this creates fear and anxiety in the minds of your customers. Speed and accurate transactions create the opposite feeling and mark your store as one to trust. So, check your server performance regularly to ensure it is optimised.

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