Too often, ecommerce transactions are spoiled by abandoned shopping carts. Several studies have placed neglected shopping cart transactions in the 60 to 80 percent range industry wide. Christian Holst, the founder of Baymard Institute, is an ecommerce expert who set out to study why users fail to complete their transactions. He sat down with web shoppers, observing them as they shopped online, and he was able to identify a number of ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment. Here are five top tips:
- Do not require registration. The study found that shoppers deeply resent being forced to register; in fact, every single research subject showed great frustration when required to do so. Forty percent of shoppers expect that signing up will lead to spam, making them pause. They also are wary that companies will hold onto personal information forever.
- Make the checkout process linear. Do not branch or double back. Take the shopper through the process step by step, and do not return to a previous page. Doing so makes shoppers think something is wrong.
- Do not require more personal data than you need. This raises another trust issue, and it simply makes shoppers suspicious and worried when you require information that does not affect the sale. Explain why you need the info requested. Designate optional fields clearly.
- Give visual clues to reassure customers that using your checkout is secure. Tint areas on the checkout page where you ask for credit card data, for example. Use icons of padlocks. Even if your security is very good, you need to communicate that to your customers.
- Format your credit card request fields exactly as they appear on shopper?s cards. Use two digits for month and two for year. Put a forward slash between the month and year, to boost the resemblance to the credit card. Familiarity breeds reassurance, in this case.
Overall, keep in mind that shoppers want to feel comfortable and safe as they shop online. By following these guidelines, you can reassure your customers when they click that BUY button. Further tips on reducing shopping cart abandonment can be found in the original article on SmashingMagazine.com.
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