The goal of any online retailer is to constantly boost the number of converting customers on their website. They will try different marketing tactics, offer special discounts, promote their products, and any strategy they can think of to grab attention and draw more people to the website.
While driving more traffic is certainly a crucial part of increasing conversions, it is not the only factor that will boost sales. One key area that a lot of e-tailers forget about in the sales process is arguably the most important one: the checkout page.
This is the very last impression a customer will have with your website, and it is also the last chance they will have to bail out before making a purchase. Therefore, any missteps along the way could result in a non-conversion.
Currently, the average cart abandonment rate for e-commerce businesses stands at 75.6%. If only one out of four customer converts, there is a lot of money being left on the table for online companies.
The truth is that the very design of your website can impact conversion rates more than the quality or price of your products. Thankfully, there are some design tactics you can utilize that have been proven to positively impact conversions.
Curious as to what they are?
Let’s dive in.
Be Transparent About Additional Costs
Transparency is what creates trust between a customer and a business. When companies are shady about their practices, it causes consumers to question their credibility, which could lead to a lost sale.
According to Baymard’s report on e-commerce checkout behavior, 60% of shoppers left a website without a purchase because of unexpected costs at checkout, including shipping, taxes, and other fees. 23% also left because they couldn’t calculate the entire cost upfront and had to enter personal information first.
Thankfully, this is a fairly simple fix to make on your website. By simply adding a shipping and tax calculator extension on the checkout page, customers are allowed to see the exact price upfront. Another option is to add a responsive checkout that automatically adjusts the shipping and tax total as every item is added to the cart.
It is also smart to consider more shipping options to cut down the extra costs, such as offering free or heavily discounted “snail mail” shipping or providing discounts for larger orders.
Send Out Follow-Up Messages
Just because a customer doesn’t make a purchase the first time doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Reaching out for a follow up via email is actually quite an effective way to turn an unsure visitor into a customer.
However, the timing and the message of these emails determines how effective it will be. Barilliance conducted an in-depth study on these types of emails and found that when a message was sent out within an hour after the customer left the website, conversion rates were 8% higher than emails sent 24 hours after abandonment.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. This study also found that second and third attempt emails were still highly effective, with 17.7% and 18.2% conversion rates, respectively.
The messaging of the email can also persuade customers towards a purchase depending on their motivations. Make it super easy for customers to get right back to the checkout page by sending abandonment emails that send them directly to their previous shopping cart. Sending out a sales alert for an item they viewed could certainly influence a conversion, but letting them know that an item is low in stock may entice them to make a purchase, too.
Ensure a Safe, Secure Payment Experience
Another top reason why customers leave a website without buying is out of fear for the security of their private information. With so many data breaches and credit card hacks occurring in the past few years, it is no wonder why consumers are concerned with the safety of the checkout process. Simply put, your business must eliminate these worries if it is going to increase conversions.
Using a secure server that has SSL encryption capabilities, digital certificates, and a security suite are all ways to improve the security of your e-commerce website. However, you must make sure that your customers know that your business is making every effort possible to keep their data safe.
Including trust badges that promise data encryption and secure credit card processing will make your customers feel more comfortable at the checkout. It also doesn’t hurt to include a page that details the very measures that your e-commerce site has gone to ensure protection. Furthermore, offering trusted payment options like PayPal or Apple Pay on your website can help make concerned customers feel more comfortable sharing their information.
Make it More Personal
Sometimes, customers just need a little nudge in the right direction to convert. Since consumers are faced with nearly limitless options when it comes to shopping online, it is up to the e-commerce businesses themselves to offer that something special that convinces people to make a purchase.
One of the best ways to do so is to make that customer’s shopping experience truly unique and personal through customization. This has arguably the strongest effect on conversions – with 91% of customers claiming they would be more likely to buy from a site that offered some sort of personalization, such as product recommendations or targeted offers.
While there are some complex algorithms out there that can be used for truly personal experiences based on loads of consumer data, there are some more simple approaches that e-commerce sites can take. For instance, simply asking customers to create an account with an email address allows you to track their browsing and purchasing habits. From there, your marketing team can curate customized messages with related products that may interest them, or special offers based on items they have viewed. Offering loyalty perks can also increase the number of repeat customers.
These days, simply having a great product and reasonable price point is not enough to convince customers to convert. There are many other factors that will influence a customer when choosing to make a purchase, so if e-commerce businesses want to grow their sales numbers, they must be aware of these and how to use them.
At the end of the day, the experience that the customer has with your website is going to determine whether or not they convert. Since checkout is the very last interaction they will have before a conversion, your design and process must support a good UX that will lead to more buying customers.