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There are big changes facing ecommerce sites this year – from growing retail media networks to leaps in AI integrations, retailers must continually improve their online presence to attract new customers and drive loyalty. One area of opportunity? Improving online cart sales conversions. Research from the Baymard Institute shows that a staggering 69% of online users who add items to an ecommerce shopping cart ultimately abandon their purchase.
While it may not be possible to convert every online window-shopper, the research indicates specific aspects of the ecommerce experience that actively hinder consumers from deciding to complete the checkout process. Consider these eight areas of improvement for your ecommerce sales.
Provide reduced or free shipping.
Research from the Baymard Institute* indicates that shipping fees are the primary reason that shoppers decide not to complete a purchase since these additional costs are viewed as unnecessary and undesirable. Further, research from Forrester* suggests that free shipping is more important to shoppers than the speed at which they receive their order – creating opportunities to reduce retailer shipping costs and adjusting delivery expectations.
Offer click-to-pay and guest checkout options.
Requiring online shoppers to create an account or sign into their existing account to make a purchase often causes cart abandonment. Consumers are increasingly wary of sharing personal information online, and often expose themselves to digital security risks* by using the same usernames and passwords on different websites. Instead, ecommerce retailers that offer click-to-pay* and guest checkout options see higher rates of purchase conversion – due to streamlining the experience and creating greater perceptions of security.
Be transparent about total cost of purchase.
Research from the Baymard Institute* shows that almost one in five shoppers have abandoned their cart because they couldn’t easily see the final cost, including taxes, shipping and discounts, up front. Consumers resent brands that are not transparent about the true cost of purchase* and are unlikely to return if they feel they cannot trust a retailer.
Enable multiple payment methods.
ecommerce customers increasingly expect to pay with numerous methods at checkout – influenced by their emotional state*, personal finances*, and more. In fact, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s 2022 Survey and Diary of Consumer Payment Choice* shows that the average consumer comfortably uses nine different payment methods each month to make purchases – including cash, credit cards, debit cards, mobile wallets, Zelle, and more. If your online store does not offer the payment method that customers prefer, you risk losing the sale while customers search for alternatives that meet their payment needs.
Prioritize security and technology updates.
Shopping online comes with a high level of trust between consumers and ecommerce sites* – consumers will only make purchases from online retailers who seem safe and prioritize data security. Further, frequent and persistent web errors and crashes will cause concern among shoppers about site reliability and safety. Therefore, it is vitally important to implement and continuously improve firewalls, security certificates, cookies, and other website components* to protect customer data and build trust with shoppers.
Enhance customer service.
From return policies to solving complaints, online retailers must make the customer experience* as simple and painless as possible; if your return policy is not clearly stated or it seems like it will be difficult to get support, customers are less likely to complete a transaction. While technology investments can help, remember that chatbots* and other automated servicing tools aren’t 100% of the solution – research shows that chatbots struggle to understand customer questions and often need questions repeated multiple times before they could process the problem. Make sure you are investing in people-driven customer servicing for your online store to create the best possible shopping experience and encourage repeat purchases.
While online cart abandonment continues to be a pain point for ecommerce retailers, there are steps you can take to increase sales conversions and drive loyalty. From transparency to security, there is much within your control to improve the online customer experience.
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