From the TMI files: I had a physical this morning, which is why I’m a little later than normal posting a blog. The entire process was a bit cumbersome. Although they had shiny new tablets for me to use for check-in, the check-in and checkout process took longer for me, the patient/customer. It was probably easier for the administrative staff to not have to type the data in, but it got me thinking about things that some online retailers do that keep shoppers from becoming buyers. In particular, from start to finish, the eCommerce experience should be smooth and easy. I’ve been on a number of sites recently where both the start and the finish were needless painful. Here are a couple of tips to make sure conversions stay as high as possible:
Start the Shopping Experience Should Be Easy
Search should work really well. Make something difficult to find and shoppers will leave. During the UAT process make sure searches are not “canned”. Follow a testing script to cover the bases, but allow for some random testing off-script as well. I promise you your customers won’t search like you think they will.
Checkout Should Not Be Uncomfortable
If your checkout process makes a customer feel as if they are being poked and prodded for information, you’ll probably lose them. For reasons ranging from too much complexity, to no ability to save the cart, to wanting to checkout as a guest, shoppers will routinely abandon items in the cart. When add to cart conversion rates are hovering around 8% and only about 3% actually end up buying (source: Monetate eCommerce Quarterly), it takes very little motivation for shoppers to head in another direction. Make sure the checkout process is:
- Smooth: One page, if at all possible. Require only for what is needed to complete the transaction, unless the shopper offers more.
- Snoop-free: Don’t require a shopper to sign in using social media or create an account loaded with information they may not want to provide. Guest checkout is a must.
- Payment Friendly: Support as many payment methods as is realistic. Options are your best friend.
Keep it simple and transact the way the customer prefers and you’ll likely see conversion rates increase.