You’ve done the work to market to your target demographic online. You’re pleased with your traffic but, for some reason, you’re simply not making the sales on your website that you think you should be. Are you doing something wrong?
More often than not, it’s your checkout process that’s causing hiccups in your sales. The process might have too many steps and scare away shoppers, or there may be something broken in the process. Fortunately, these problems are completely fixable.
Start with Your Numbers
Before you assume that you’re turning potential customers away, you need to know what your shopping cart abandonment rate is. This is the percentage of visitors to your site who start the shopping process, put something in their cart, but then don’t complete the checkout process.
The average shopping cart abandonment rate is about 67 percent. So if your number is around or below this, you probably don’t have anything to worry about. If it’s higher, look at these possible problems and remedy them.
1. The Checkout Process Takes Too Long
How many steps are there from the moment a shopper puts an item into their cart until the purchase is made? If there are too many screens to read or too long a wait time to load, customers may go elsewhere to make their purchase.
2. You Require Too Much Information
Just because you can require customers to input their name, address, telephone, fax, credit card and other pertinent details doesn’t mean you have to. Stick to only what you really need to process the payment and you’ll see your sales rise.
3. You Limit the Types of Payment You Accept
Sure, many people use PayPal – and many don’t. If that’s the only form of payment you accept (or you limit which credit cards you take), you put up a gate, reducing the number of people who can buy from you. It’s worth the fees you’ll pay to process other types of payments to open up those gates to as many payment forms as possible.
4. People Don’t Feel Safe Buying on Your Site
When you’re competing against big ecommerce sites – like Amazon – that everyone knows are safe to make purchases on, you have to fight against the fact that many visitors to your site may not trust your brand if they haven’t bought from you before. Make sure to display your security logos to show that you’ve been vetted by a well-known brand, like Norton, to instill trust.
The best way to figure out if your checkout process is getting in the way of sales is to walk through the process yourself, as though you were a potential customer. You can ask friends or employees to do the same. Take notes: where did you slowdown in the checkout process? Was there anything that would have made you leave if you were actually making a purchase? Keep an objective mind, and use these notes to make changes for the better.
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Andrew Patricio is the founder and CEO of BizLaunch, a company that trains, advises and mentors entrepreneurs. Andrew has written two books on small business, started seven businesses, and has helped thousands of entrepreneurs in Canada get their businesses up and running. Andrew is not a Pitney Bowes employee and was a paid contributor.