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Abandoned Cart Be Gone: 6 Ways to Improve the Checkout Experience

By Haresh Kumar
Business.com / Sales / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Need to make your checkout process more user-friendly? Here's how to ensure your customers always buy what's in their shopping carts.

Retailers are losing $18 billion annually due to shopping cart abandonment.

Research shows over two out of three users who add items to their online shopping cart leave without making a purchase. The numbers are even worse on mobile where conversion rates are 70 percent lower than desktop.

So why are consumers leaving right at the point of sale and what can companies do about it?

Even multi-million and multi-billion dollar companies are failing to implement some of the critical best practices for checkout.

At Moovweb, we've incorporated the findings of leading research center on e-commerce usability Baymard Institute to categorize six types of best practices that you can apply to your mobile checkout and increase conversions up to 25 percent.

Related Article: Sell With a Click: Easy Tips for Building Your First Ecommerce Website

1. Messaging

92 percent of the largest U.S. e-commerce sites fail to have adequate messaging throughout checkout. Use clear, direct language to help consumers understand what they need to input and why. Enhance form field labels with short descriptions (e.g., “Your security code: a three-digit code found on the back of your card”).

Avoid generic error messages such as "Invalid." And explain why you require a phone number (for shipping issues) rather than leave customers guessing.

2. Context

Consumers are often interrupted on mobile devices, as they are doing other things. To meet expectations for fast and easy transactions, brands must provide experiences that match the mobile users' contexts with smaller touch-based screens and in-the-moment needs. Save mobile users time and taps by auto-detecting card type based on their card number and auto-detecting city and state based on zip code. Disable auto-correct for name fields and provide numeric keyboards for phone and credit card information.  

3. Design and Navigation

Mobile customers expect a checkout experience that is user-friendly and seamless. 25 percent of shoppers abandon shopping carts because the website navigation is too complicated. Ensure the font is legible - never use one below 11 pts - and provide adequate spacing between clickable elements. Offer a guest a checkout option. 30 percent of users abandon their cards if they are asked to register up-front. One final tip on this point - make it easy for mobile users to keep track of where they are in the checkout process by labeling each step (for example, "Step 1 of 3.") Avoid using a coupon field, as it prompts shoppers to coupon hunt. Many will abandon their carts to look for a coupon and fail to return.

4. Trust/Security

Creating a sense of trust and security is key during checkout. 17 percent of shoppers ditch their carts over concerns about payment security. Include credit card logos and site seals from anti-virus software brands. Consider encapsulating certain fields to make them feel more secure. Add a padlock icon to reinforce users' sense of security. And give customers one last chance to review what they ordered and ensure they entered everything correctly before they proceed with their order.

5. Funnel Insights & Analytics

Insights on where in the checkout process drop-offs are happening are the key to minimizing shopping cart abandonment. Use field-level analytics to track in which fields (name field, address field 1, address field 2, etc.) customers drop off. Analyze user behavior by segment (e.g., traffic source, geography, device, returning vs. new) and tailor the checkout experience to their needs. For example, if they came from an ad promoting a sale, fill in the promo code for them.

6. Testing/Iteration

When testing your mobile checkout, be sure to set up statistically significant tests. You should not call tests before you’ve reached a 95 percent confidence interval or higher. Run your tests for at least 1-2 business cycles. Determine the sample size in advance and run the experiment until the predetermined sample size has been reached. One useful tool for calculating sample size is www.testingsignificance.com

Related Article: The Essential Checklist: Must Do's When Starting an E-commerce Website

Moovweb has developed deep expertise in the checkout process, gained by powering over 300 mobile experiences for leading brands such as Macys, Bloomingdales, 1-800-Flowers.com, Charlotte Russe, Petco and Forever 21. Our significant insights into online shopping behavior show businesses big and small are failing to meet the demands of mobile shoppers. These six ways will give companies a clear roadmap to better checkouts.

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