Are visitors adding items to their carts only to see what the shipping costs or delivery options would be - and then abandoning?
- Quick win: Make it easy to find a page that spells out your shipping options and prices, and delivery times. Feature prominent links to this page so visitors can find this information quickly.
- Go a step further: Integrate a calculator for shipping cost and delivery time based on the customer's zip code.
User Experience: Play to your audience
Some first-time customers might want to make a quick purchase from your site without having to create an account, share personal details, and remember yet another password. Forcing would-be customers through a lengthy and demanding account creation can be a big turn-off. They just want to buy - don't make it hard.
- Quick win: Limit the number of required fields in your account creation form. For example, only ask for a mailing address when it's necessary, like on the shipping page.
- Go a step further: Consider offering anonymous guest checkout to let users purchase without creating an account. Also, consider using a longer-lasting cookie that auto-populates ID and password fields. Facilitating sign in with cookies creates a more streamlined purchase experience for those who log into or create their account, leave their basket for an hour or two, then come back to pay.
Don't take for granted that users need to be directed: Never forget the value of clear and directive navigation. When visitors have decided to purchase, they want to know the next immediate steps. Money in hand, they're ready to pay - so make it clear and make it quick.
- Quick win: Once users are in the process of paying, you can eliminate any unnecessary exit links (like "What's new" or "Our brands") from the checkout pages. They're there to wrap up, so don't distract them.
- Go a step further: Clearly outline the next steps in the checkout, and show customers where they are using a breadcrumb trail. For example, if your checkout process contains 5 steps, always show the customer where s/he is ("Step 3 of 5"), and what's left to do.
Today's consumers use multiple devices to browse, research, and buy - so make sure the checkout experience is great on all devices.
- Quick win: Incorporate "responsive design" principles into your regular site to enhance its usability on tablets and phones. Favour a simple layout that automatically adjusts according to users' screen widths. Study your digital analytics reports to know which devicemanufacturers and modelsandscreen resolutionsare most common among your visitors.
- Go a step further:Offer a separate, mobile-dedicated site for on-the-go customers, paying special attention to your mobile checkout process and its form fields.
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