Sunday, 5 August 2012

Tips To Optimize Your Checkout Process

One of the most common reasons why Ecommerce websites don’t do well in terms of profits and conversions is because they don’t pay attention to their checkouts. Hence, instead of setting other business goals – it would be wiser to provide for the needs of customers first, and earn later. This is a more effective and longer lasting business strategy.

In effect, making your site’s checkout process better will mean effectively catering to the customer and will bring in success in the end.

Here are some simple tips on how to improve your checkout:

1. Don’t Require Customers to Register

We all know the importance of obtaining contact information from customers, especially for remarketing and for an email list. But if you want to ask for the customer’s email information, do that after the customer makes the purchase, and not before.

The idea here is to avoid cart abandonment, which means one must provide a simple buying process wherein you no longer require customers to register to complete the purchase. Otherwise, you might end up with a customer terminating his purchase.

These are 3 important factors in during the purchasing process:

1.Quick


2.Easy


3.Secure


Always remember that customers are in your website to make a purchase, not to make friends with you. Hence, they get satisfaction when they are able to make a purchase in a quick manner.

It is after the purchase that you can then ask the customer if he/she wants to attach his/her email details to receive emails about upcoming products and upgrade. In this manner, the customer willingly agrees to receive newsletters, without the risk of car abandonment.

2. Avoid Distractions on Your Checkout Area

You have to make sure that when customers are in your checkout page, and that they stay there until they complete their purchase. Hence, make sure that your customer can do the process quickly.

To avoid distractions and have a faster transaction:

1. Don’t put links on your checkout page- you don’t want your customers to be directed somewhere else and not finishing the purchase process.


2. Provide simple instructions –give simple step by step instructions on how to complete the process.


3. Design complete and understandable forms

Make sure that you only ask for relevant information in your filling forms. Otherwise, the customer might suspect that you are asking their information for fraudulent activities.

If you have existing checkout forms, you can further improve its effectiveness by including the following:

1. Use Asterisks to emphasize the importance of information on the mandatory fields.


2. Attach an option button.


3. Provide drop downs for customers to navigate for options.


4. Don’t put too much color on your filling form; simplicity is effective.


5. Align labels correctly.


6. Provide proper guidance and information on the importance of the information being asked.


4. Costs of products and shipping must be clearly stated.

One of the worst things that can happen is that you did everything right except you didn’t state the cost of shipping. This is another reason why customers abandon their cart.

And aside from cart abandonment – you also run the risk of getting a negative feedback and zero referral from the unhappy customer. This means you are losing not only 1 customer but other upcoming customers as well.

What you need to do:

1. Inform your customer of shipping cost, which part of the globe you do not send the product, like shipping to US or European territory only - and how long it will take to get there.


2. Provide a product price page, wherein the customer can see how much the product actually costs.


3.When promoting freebies, inform customers whether the shipping is free or not.


5. Assure Customers their personal information are safe.

Identity theft is very common nowadays, and that remains one of the most constant fears of online buyers, knowing that they have put in their card details and other information.

Ways to assure customers details is secure:

1. You can assure your customer that their car details are safe by putting logos of security credentials.


2. Provide encryptions and padlocks.


These are just some of the things you may need to take into account when looking to optimize your checkout process. Just remember that if you are able to please your customers first – then you can expect to reap great benefits (and profits) later on.

Image by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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