When your small business’s online sales make or break your profit margins, you must be aware of what your e-commerce shopping cart desertion frequency amounts to in loss of business profits on a regular basis.
Main Reasons Shopping Carts Get Deserted
• Onerous process to check out that is confusing and complicated.
• Limited selection of options to make payment.
• Untrustworthy payment option security.
A December 2014 Baymard Institute study revealed that over 68 percent of shoppers will never complete checkout after perusing an online store and actually choosing products. So much for all of the financial and human resources your small business expended to attracted potential customers to your online store. A poor shopping experience outweighs any successful marketing strategy – your follow through will fail and you will not close the deal.
Compile a Quality Control Checklist
The most proactive measure that a brick and mortar retail store can take is to inspect and obverse the business’s outward presentation and appearance to its customers. This s no different in the e-commerce world. Quality control checks of your website must become a regular policy and procedure during the course and scope of running your small business.
• First impression of website – Is the home page attractive and inviting to potential customers?
• Shopping cart – Is the shopping cart feature easily visible and helpful to potential customers?
• Selection of product mix – Is the inventory displayed representative of your target customers?
• Shopping progress – Is the customer constantly notified as to his/her shopping progress?
• Display of brand – Is the customer consistently reminded of his/her confidence in your brand?
• Payment options – Is the customer made aware of his/her payment options upfront?
• Return policies – Is the customer apprised of your return policies up front?
• Store information – Is your brick and mortar store’s contact information and hours updated?
The most common mistake online stores make when conducting quality control of their website is to have employees, family members, or friends perform the check. These people usually cannot be objective, that is, they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings with constructive criticism.
Recruit independent quality control candidates representative of your target customers – post an ad on Craigslist.org – to visit your small business’s website and rate their experience. This may cost you a few extra bucks but you will receive invaluable and objective advice that will exponentially improve your customers’ online shopping experience.
Smooth Out Bumps in the Checkout Process
Emphasize to your independent quality control candidates that you are most interested in their rating of the user-friendliness of your website’s checkout process.
Make certain that your quality control checklist includes ratings that gage the user-friendliness of:
• Locating items being sought.
• Selecting items.
• Error messages in the selection process – Are these clearly defined and are problems quickly resolved?
The quality control evaluation of your checkout process could be the cause of your failure to finalize most of your sales. Query:
• Is the checkout icons prominently displayed?
• Are the customer’s payment options obvious and is his/her selection choice simple?
• Is the customer required to input duplicative information – unnecessary redundancy?
• Are confirmation messages received by the customer immediately after the checkout process has been completed and do these messages contain all information to achieve a high level of post-purchase comfort with the customers.
• Can the customer’s shopping cart be easily saved and located a later time in the event he/she exits the site before checking out.
A PayPal Payment Option is Crucial
A PayPal payment option is a must-have and, if you don’t offer it, your online store has been behind the times since 2013. Nielson’s 2013 study found that including a PayPal payment option at checkout increased the likelihood of a completed sale by 70 percent.
Make certain to include the PayPal logo with the logos of all other payment option icons. A PayPal study found that 60 percent of online customers were unaware that PayPal was a payment option. Including the PayPal logo with the logos of all other payment option icons is a must to increase the quality of your customers’ experience and completing sales.
Eliminate Redundancy and Keep the Checkout Process Simple
Streamline fill-out fields and screens to make the checkout process simple for your customers. Doing so will increase the probability that they will complete their purchase.
• Use autofill. Don’t ask your customer to enter the same information twice.
• Don’t lose information that is filled in correctly. Make certain that correctly inputted information is saved and only ask your customer to correct what was wrong.
Cater to Your Mobile Customers
As of 2013, a Nielson study reported that 84 percent of mobile device users made purchases with them online. Your small business is missing out on sales to be had if your online store is not optimized for mobile shoppers because these devices have small screens that may not conducive to your site’s features – resulting in shopping cart desertion.
• Implement a mobile device responsive website design that will adjust to the customer’s screen size.
• Choose larger fonts and icons that make it easier for the mobile device customer to finger activate.
• Minimize data entry – offer a “Checkout with PayPal” icon to permit the customer to checkout using their mobile phone and PIN numbers through their PayPal account.
A small business that is proactive in making a customer’s online shopping experience hassle-free is one that