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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : October 11, 2007

Ten ways to minimize shopping cart abandonment

The holiday season is just around the corner and web marketers need to ensure that their websites are prepared to maximize consumer experiences and keep them throughout the buying process.

by Helen Leggatt

Many customers abandon purchases at the checkout. Why? For a variety of reasons including convoluted buying processes and security fears.

To ensure the usability of your online checkout isn’t causing customers to abandon their shopping carts, take heed of e-Consultancy’s recently published top ten tips:-

1. Security – Allay consumer fears by prominently displaying any signs of server security, third party verification logos, security icons on transaction pages and status bars.

2. Minimize steps in process – e-Consultancy advises that most consumers expect a 5 or 6 step process. Keep the number of steps to a minimum but don’t condense the process too much.

3. Display progress – To prevent customers from becoming impatient provide a status bar or an indication of how far they are in to the process and how far they have to go.

4. Keep requested information relevant – While the checkout process is a popular time to get customer feedback or profile information it is also essential to keep the process as quick and easy as possible. I would add that, if data gathering is required, making the provision of that information optional will enable those in a hurry to speed through the process.

5. Make registration optional – By negating the necessity for the consumer to create an account the consumer may perceive the process as quicker and less intrusive. You might also consider asking the consumer if they want to register after the purchase has been completed.

6. Remove distractions – By enclosing the process and displaying only information relevant to the purchase process, such as terms and conditions and FAQ’s, consumers are less likely to be distracted from the task.

7. Make data entry logical – keep the formats of data input simple and logical to remove any confusion or frustration which could lead to the customer abandoning the process.

8. Offer PayPal as a payment option – e-Consultancy see this as a way of increasing conversions as this payment method doesn’t exclude consumers who do not have credit or debit cards, and is appreciated by those who do not like to divulge credit card information online.

9. Provide shipping information – delivery of the products may be a major factor in a customer's purchasing decision so keep them informed of this information and offer as many options as possible.

10. Display contact details – providing a contact route is an obvious, but often overlooked, element that promotes trust among customers.

Tags: checkout process, PayPal, shopping cart

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  • Hi Helen, I'm a big fan of your point number 2

    "2. Minimize steps in process – e-Consultancy advises that most consumers expect a 5 or 6 step process. Keep the number of steps to a minimum but don’t condense the process too much."

    Just wondering about the last sentence... What is the reason behind that?

    - Brett Gilbertson



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