Improve your Website Checkout Conversion Rate

Here at Spiderscope, we’ve recently been trying to improve the conversion rates for our eCommerce customers, focusing on ways to get more orders from existing traffic. We have many customers that come to us with cart systems that work, but they don’t realise that with a little polish; they could work a lot better.

There is a myriad of possibilities as to why someone may drop an order, some of which are due to external events forcing them away from the computer. In this instance, the potential customer may want to return to the site to finish their order. Therefore, a little encouragement is a good thing. However, you will never get to this if your checkout process isn’t user friendly to begin with.


Is cart abandonment really a problem?

For customers that we’ve helped, simply put: yes, it is. Lots of our customers have difficulty tracking their checkout processes and leave it to us to measure. Often times, the first time we do this reveals some amazing results that customers are completely unaware of. We’ve seen cart abandonment as low as 15% (of the traffic who started the checkout process) to as high as 46%, and everything in-between.

Just picture that: 46% percent of the customers who started the checkout process left before it finished.

That’s a huge number of potential orders. Again, there could be lots of reasons for this, including things like: is your cart user friendly, easy to navigate and not overwhelming your potential customers – all of which are factors. What can be done to improve this?


Improving your checkout completion rate

Improving your checkout process can be difficult. After all, if you how it all works, you can sometimes be blinded as to what is causing your visitors problems and increasing your abandonment rate.

Let’s give an example: we once had a customer that came to us after having a brand new site designed. Everything looked great, but they were failing to get orders. Traffic was high, prices were competitive, but their conversion rates were low, so they came to us asking what can be done.

Here are some of the issues we identified and fixed:

  • Whenever you clicked to add an item to your basket, a popup would appear asking you to confirm this choice. This wasn’t optional; it was almost like an error dialog appearing in your browser – not what the user was expecting at all. Something like this places doubt in the visitor’s mind, so after removing this we instantly saw an increase in items being added to the cart.

  • The visitor was required to register before placing an order. Every checkout should give the visitor a choice to skip registration. Nothing infuriates me more than having to create a whole new account for just one purchase, so I’ll go elsewhere. Apparently, our customers’ visitors were the same and removing this as being required was a good step forward.

  • The visitor was also required to re-log in after registering! To further infuriate the visitor, this checkout process didn’t automatically log in upon registration, forcing the visitor to view a log in screen again, before they could proceed to finish their order.

  • The process was slow and layout wasn’t intuitive. Visual factors like these are extremely important for establishing trust with the visitor, and no body likes a slow checkout experience. Improving these was another key factor.

These were the most glaring flaws of their cart system, so we worked hard to upgrade their whole shopping experience. In the end, we plugged our cart system in. The result? Within days they had received more orders than they had in the last 3 months combined!


Automated cart abandonment emails

Shortly after this, we performed a review and noticed that while orders were better than ever, we were still seeing dropped orders midway through the checkout process. Determined to improve ever further, we decided to implement an automated abandoned cart email.

What’s this you ask? This is an automatic email would be sent to a visitor who had left the cart process after submitting their email address. The email would then offer the customer a chance to pick up where they left off, allowing them to quickly and easily finish their order.

You’re never going to get a 0% abandonment rate and often people will leave the checkout because something has interrupted them. This doesn’t mean they don’t want to order, just that they can’t right now. In this instance, a cart abandonment email is the perfect way to recapture this customer, and put your shop first.

This has resulted in an even more reduced abandonment rate.


Checkout process review

Call Spiderscope on 03330 220 990 or contact us to get a comprehensive usability review of your shopping cart and checkout process. We’ll analyse every step and optimise this to be as user friendly as possible – resulting in more orders for your store!

Posted by: Spiderscope on Nov 22nd 2011 @ 09:38 AM


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Spiderscope Ltd, Rock Farm, Chilcote, Leicestershire, DE12 8DQ
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