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Moving customers through the checkout process effectively is a critical element toward closing any sale online. Providing your customers choose to order directly from your website rather than over the phone, the information you present to them during checkout is ultimately what will help them decide whether or not to complete the purchase.
Throughout this process you will need to continually reassure them, providing them with the necessary elements essential to developing trust and security. These elements are commonly called customer assurances. Their job is making the customer feel comfortable enough to complete the intended action (i.e. buying your product.)
Cart abandonment is a problem that all eCommerce sites see in some degree. The rate at which your visitors abandon depends on how effective you have structured the checkout process. Shopping cart abandonment is an important statistic that needs to be tracked as it could mean the difference between a profitable eCommerce store and a potential loss.
According to industry publications, average shopping cart abandonment rates are between 60% – 70%. Put in to sample numbers, if you have 100 people start the checkout process and 65% abandon it, you just lost 65 sales. To take that further, if your average order value is $49 you lost $3185 in revenue.
To further demonstrate the hit your business just took, not only have you lost revenue but you lost 65 potential new customers as well. This translates to an undeterminable amount of future recurring revenue through repeat orders.
Many factors that contribute to cart abandonment are out of the merchant’s control; however there are a number of factors you can concentrate on that will help reduce the overall effect on your store.
1. From a technical perspective, make sure your cart is working properly and is free of bugs. As elementary as this may sound, it is a vital component that often is not given the weight it deserves. Simple logic tells us that if a cart is not working correctly it will prevent a customer from being able to order. To alleviate this potential problem you should go through your order process and ensure it is free of bugs and works as you expect. It would be a good idea to also have others go through and test it periodically – especially after any updates to code or structure have been made that involve the checkout process.
2. Keep your pricing competitive. Customers are also shoppers. What I mean is they are always searching for and comparing similar products prices. Unless your product is totally 100% unique and not easily duplicated, you must be aware of the price you assign to it. With the increase use in shopping comparison sites by consumers and in light of the current state of the economy, competitive pricing is more critical than ever. If your prices are out of the ball park your customers won’t stay to watch the game.