The difference between a sale and a cold lead is often as small as a single odd click during checkout. Arguably the most frustrating type of website abandonment, checkout abandonment happens when the client is just a few keystrokes away from making the sale. At the very last minute, something draws the reader’s attention away, sometimes leaving you with a frozen lead.
With an average of 56.3% of checkout attempts ending in abandonment, companies would do well to start paying attention and making the necessary changes to optimize checkout and close sales. Today, we’re going to do a quick analysis of which user experience (UX) elements are important to a successful checkout form and a go over a few small tweaks you can make to bolster conversion rates.
At its most basic level, an e-commerce checkout needs to be linear, fast, and strategic.
By the time a user has reached checkout, they’ve finished browsing and have selected whichever products or services they want. While it’s a good idea to cross- and up-sell customers as they journey through your site, once the user has entered checkout, it’s time to eliminate all distractions and focus on completing the sale. Create a user experience that moves in one direction: forward. To optimize the purchase pipeline, consider editing these two details:
Across the top of checkout should run a bar that labels each step of the checkout process from ‘Cart’ to ‘Confirmation.’ A properly designed progress bar leaves the consumer with no ambiguity as to how far they are from completing an order. Generally, every task seems more manageable when you know exactly what’s involved; by clearly outlining the checkout process, users can countdown the required steps and see just how soon they’ll be done.
Note: Without a linear checkout, there is no simple progression to the cart. Linearity is extremely important here as any sub-step makes for a complicated progress bar, and a daunting checkout.
If you’ve gone through a few online checkouts before, then you’ve likely come across a prompt to enter a coupon code. While dispensing promotional codes to tip the scales for a few unsure customers is a great tactic, the field often has unintended consequences. Having a blank coupon code field, more often than not, sends customers to Google to search for a code to use on their own purchase, even if they had no intention of using one to begin with. The failure to find a coupon online can leave a customer feeling like they’re not getting the best possible deal. So, how can you keep promotional codes without driving customers away?
Adopt a system that dynamically generates and populates the coupon code field when a user lands on your site through a particular link. This architecture gives companies the freedom to dispense coupons, collecting visits through email and other promotional campaigns, while shielding organic visitors from feeling left out. Removing the coupon code field will reduce checkout abandonment by eliminating a potent distraction.
One of the primary benefits of shopping online is the convenience that comes being able to purchase nearly anything from anywhere. However, that convenience quickly fades as the process becomes convoluted and sluggish. The ‘perfect’ checkout maintains a UX that focuses on moving the client quickly through checkout to save time and to avoid giving the user too much time to create reasons not to purchase. Consider the following tips to speed up checkout:
In basic terms, completing checkout is a matter of filling out a few forms and drop-down menus. Naturally, automating some of these forms makes for a shorter process.
An easy (and free) way to start automating forms on your site is to use a plug-in like Zippopotamus. The plug-in automatically provides a city and state from a given ZIP code. With this tool, requesting a user’s ZIP early on automatically populates the next two fields. This is especially helpful for mobile devices where drop-down selections are time-consuming.
Another tactic, which has become largely standard within the industry, is giving the user the option of using their shipping address for billing, or vice versa. There’s no point in requiring duplicate information. This option removes stress from the user and lowers the chance of checkout abandonment.
Real-Time Input Data Feedback
Clicking submit only to be dumped back onto the previous page staring at a red “Error” is an extremely frustrating experience, particularly when sensitive credit information is left on-screen. To reduce checkout abandonment, a simple twist on the input process can make entering information much easier: Give users feedback on the data they input instantaneously. By immediately displaying an indicator when invalid data is keyed in, a user has the opportunity to fix mistakes as they’re made instead of having to search for it later.
E-commerce is a thriving, growing, and constantly evolving business. Technology focused on making the most out of each client interaction has boomed over the past few years. Now, more than ever, it’s important to make your checkout remarketing friendly.
Even the smallest pieces of data are now being use to fuel effective campaigns that drive customers back to your site, ready to complete a purchase. Arguably the most important piece of data, however, is the email address. By requesting an email address early on in the checkout process, you’ll be given repeat opportunities to convert an abandoning lead through later remarketing efforts.
Pre-Submit Lead Generation
In many cases, however, customers are required to move on to the next step before data is submitted. In order to collect as much valuable data as possible, use pre-submit lead generation solutions. These tools actively monitor form fields for user input and save data as it’s typed. With data gained, you can design smart and productive email campaigns that turn abandoning users into fresh leads.
Designing and building out an efficient checkout that focuses sharply on the user experience can be a massive undertaking, but making some small changes can have surprisingly large effects on conversion rates. To learn more about the technology behind efficient checkouts, including PreCapture, UpSellit’s proprietary pre-submit lead generation solution, contact UpSellit today.
Written by Joe Rosenthal