How to Optimize Your eCommerce Checkout Process to Boost Sales and Customer Satisfaction

If you're struggling with eCommerce shopping cart abandonment, you're not alone! Fortunately, there are things you can do to optimize your checkout process to boost sales. Check out these tips.

By:
Jason Chan
-
Customer Satisfaction
eCommerce Strategy

Your eCommerce checkout process is perhaps the most critical touchpoint in your customers' journey. You've invested time and money in marketing to get your brand out there. Your efforts are now bearing fruit and you have a constant stream of visitors to your website.

But one thing remains.

If those visitors don't make it through your checkout process to finalize a purchase, all your efforts would be in vain. What counts is not how many people you can attract to your website but how many of those people buy from you.

Cart abandonment is, unfortunately, a major concern for eCommerce businesses across all industries. In 2020, one in every five shoppers abandoned a cart due to a "complicated/too long checkout process." According to a Baymard Institute survey, the average cart abandonment rate is about 70%. That means that around 3/4 of shoppers leave your site without completing a purchase.

However, abandoned carts also present an opportunity for eCommerce businesses. A customer who makes it to the cart has already engaged with your brand to create an order. They just need a little help to complete the purchase. If you can convert even a few of these sales, that could be a game-changer and make a big difference to your bottom line.

We'll look at why customers leave your site without purchasing and, most importantly, what you can do about it. Here’s how to decrease your checkout drop-off rate and improve your eCommerce sales.

Top Reasons for eCommerce Shopping Cart Abandonment

1. Unexpected Charges

Shoppers don't like being surprised by fees for shipping or other unexpected costs. About 60% of the time, visitors abandon a cart because the expected price increased when taxes and shipping costs are added later.

Shipping and any other charges, on top of your product's base price, should be shown as early as possible. Show the shipping cost on your product listing either as part of the price or next to it. Even an estimation is better than nothing. Therefore, before a customer makes a commitment and clicks that “add to cart” button, they are aware and okay with the total cost they'll incur.

Better yet, consider offering free shipping to your online customers!

2. A Complicated or Long Checkout Process

About 27% of shoppers leave because the checkout process is too complicated and takes too many steps. A clear, short, and straightforward checkout process will help you minimize cart abandonment.

Your checkout process should be around four steps. Three are even better. Guide the customers through the steps using a progress bar. It lets them know how many steps they need to take to complete checkout and their progress as they complete each step.

Other tips to make your checkout process as simple as possible include:

Allow Guest Checkouts

Many shoppers also abandon carts because of a required registration prompt. Many customers are not ready to commit to registering on your site, and if they have to create an account to shop, many will just leave.

Therefore, allow a guest checkout option to accommodate all shoppers. You can, however, include the option to register at the end of checkout.

Reduce Form Fields

Simplify the checkout process by reducing the number of form fields. More forms than necessary lengthen the process and are likely to increase cart abandonment. For instance, you can use a single field for a customer's full name instead of having separate first and last name fields. You can also replace optional fields with a link to load them if needed.

Auto-Complete Content

Auto-populating content enables you to speed up the checkout process. For example, you can assume that the shipping address is the same as the billing address by default unless a customer states otherwise. This also reduces input errors giving your visitors a smooth experience.

Improve Cart Management

Making it easier for your visitors to manage their carts also helps them to complete the checkout process. Make the cart accessible from any page on the site. Also, add an option where they can quickly review what's in the cart and edit the cart without having to start again.

3. Limited Payment Options

Some 8% of shoppers also leave without completing the checkout process if they can't find the payment option they want. Others leave if their credit card is declined. You can provide multiple payment options, especially if you're selling internationally, to encourage these customers.

4. Shipping Costs Are Too High or Slow Delivery Times

Customers want their product as fast as possible, and if they see they have to wait for more than a few days, they may not complete the checkout process. Similarly, if your customers find your shipping costs too high or not what they were expecting, you risk losing the sale.

Your delivery costs should be as competitive as possible in your industry. Partnering with a credible 3PL that offers streamlined order fulfillment services will easily solve this issue. Not only can they offer a cost-effective logistic management plan, but also the resources to make fast deliveries possible. Rakuten Super Logistics' 2-day shipping guarantee, for example, is something you can promise to your customers with confidence when you work with us.

5. Lack of a Good Return Policy

The lack of a good return policy can scare away about 80% of shoppers. Your visitors want to know that they have an option to make a return if the product doesn't turn out to be what they expected. Returns are sometimes inevitable in the eCommerce business, and the right 3PL simplifies this process for you. We facilitate fast and easy return management, ensuring a positive customer experience.

What Else Can I Do to Make my Checkout Process Better?

Create Exit Surveys

You can set up an online survey and ask your website visitors directly why they are leaving. While not everyone is expected to participate, the few that will respond can give you critical information on what you've been missing.

Research What Others Are Doing

Take some time and research what your direct and non-direct competitors are doing. You can start with large eCommerce sites in your country to learn what new improvements they are making and what they are doing differently.

How an Experienced 3PL Can Help

At Rakuten Super Logistics, we are shipping experts that empower eCommerce businesses. Partner with us today and enjoy fast order fulfillment and lower shipping costs. Contact us for a quote or to learn more about our 3PL services.

Request a Quote

Rakuten Super Logistics is a leading eCommerce order fulfillment company that provides the scalability, flexibility, and cost savings retailers demand.

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