Streamlining the checkout process will reduce shopping cart abandonment and increase sales, not to mention sparing you and your customer the unpleasant experience of falling through a trap door.
Pop quiz: How many pages does it take for your customer to go from carting a product to submitting an order?
You probably answered somewhere between two to three pages. I bet it's really more like five to six pages. We recently surveyed online marketers and 28 percent believed they have two checkout pages and 39 percent said three. In a separate study, we analyzed the carting process of 100 retailers (randomly selected from over 350 brands) and found an average of 5.6 pages existed between cart and checkout. I don't think our respondents were being misleading, but many marketers underestimate the number of pages customers must view before they see: "Thanks, your order has been received."
It's easy enough to step through your checkout process and count the pages. You know the drill. Cart a product, sign in to your account, enter billing and shipping info, review your order, and submit.
In addition to identifying the sheer quantity of pages, auditing the process will help you discover and eliminate inefficiencies so you can reduce abandonment. We all know the primary contributors to cart abandonment: sticker shock when shipping and taxes are shown, technical issues, saving an item for later…
But beware! There is a trap door hidden in the checkout process many marketers overlook that can take your customer out of the purchasing process…way out!
One of the first pages a customer sees during checkout is the option to sign in to her account or to check out as a guest. You will have a mix of returning customers who have existing accounts and first-time buyers who have created an account but have not yet purchased. These are two highly engaged audiences. But, what if the customer can't remember her username or password?
I recently experienced this while shopping and was forced through seven steps before I could get back to the shopping cart and complete my order. Here are the hoops I had to jump through to get back to my cart and a few tips for making the process easier for your customer.
Audit your checkout process at least once per quarter and evaluate each step that takes your customers away from the shopping cart. Streamlining the checkout process will reduce shopping cart abandonment and increase sales, not to mention sparing you and your customer the unpleasant experience of falling through a trap door.
Image on home page via Shutterstock.
Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!
As an expert in email, mobile, and social strategies, Jim brings 15 years of experience in online marketing, managing email and cross-channel programs for top retail clients. From strategic vision to implementation, Jim has led clients to successfully meet aggressive revenue and performance goals. As Bronto's director of research, he regularly publishes industry-focused white papers, research reports, and contributes to the Bronto Blog.
IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.
An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.
September 23, 2014
September 30, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT
October 23, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT