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Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment: Checkout Optimisation

January 31, 2022 4 min read
Purchasing and general commercial behaviour has drastically evolved in a short period of time. With such a competitive environment, the need for a seamless checkout can be the stamp which seals a sale.
Unlimint Experts
Your payment experts
Unlimint Experts
Your payment experts

E-commerce has exploded internationally in a short period of time, furthered by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, people abandoning their shopping cart is a continual issue, with an average of 69.57% of carts abandoned in 2020.  In 2021, this was valued at a loss of $18 billion in sales revenue for ecommerce businesses. With so many advancements to help us learn customer behaviour and influence the decision-making process of customers, the ecommerce market is astoundingly affluent and prospective. 

Shopping and checkout processes are similar but vary depending on the product. Customers can ditch the purchase at any point throughout the process, but it is commonly seen for numerous reasons at the checkout stage. A common flow for checkout includes the following steps:

What are some of the biggest reasons which drives a shopper to ditch their cart?

  • Unexpected costs: Added costs (tax, shipping costs and services charges) deter customers and can cause them to reconsider their purchase
  • Untrustworthy sites: Customers want to be assured that their details will be handled with care and used securely. Simple inclusions of assurances, such as security company badges, can be the reassurance to make a purchase
  • Having to create an account to complete a purchase: Not only does creating an account slow down the purchase process, but sometimes it can even halt the purchase entirely
  • Lack of payment options: Paying with a preferred method, which a customer feels safe with is essential. Without the availability of the right payment options, a customer may be unable to complete their purchase.

Unlimint has a checkout optimisation checklist which will enhance your checkout process and help close a sale. There are numerous reasons before checkout which can drive shoppers away, such as poor website navigation, but to keep things simple, we’ll be focusing on the checkout experience.

Checkout Optimisation Checklist

Avoid surprise costs

What’s worse than thinking you’ve found something within your budget, only for shipping to tip you over? In 2019, Baymard Institute found that 60% of online shoppers abandon their cart because of unexpected costs. Avoiding unexpected costs is poignant to minimise last minute cart abandonment. 

Let your shoppers pay with different payment options

Speaking from experience, we know how important the right payment offer is. Too many, and you’ll lose a bored customer who doesn’t have time to scroll through numerous options. But too few options means that if customers don’t have access to them, they’ll be forced to abandon their purchase. Take into consideration where you are and where your customer is from so that popular local payment methods are at the forefront of your checkout. 

The most efficient approach would be to place focus on the region of your expansion and audience, or partner with a payment service provider who has a well-versed understanding of the regions in which you are expanding. Taking the approach of a local focus will rapidly enhance your understanding of your customers’ payment preferences and shopping habits. Thus, allowing you to create an appealing customer experience. 

Keep the checkout refined with redirection

The personal experience and feeling valued is essential to a shopping experience. Thus ensuring each purchasing experience is relevant, easy and secure will seal the deal. Keeping the checkout relevant with customers being redirected as necessary to ensure the purchasing experience is gratifying. This could be achieved through a variety of means, including:

  • Immediate purchase with a ‘buy now’ button, instead of adding to cart
  • Guest checkout
  • Livechat
  • Targeted redirection to the relevant page.

Buy now option, as well adding it to your cart when on the website can be a powerful tool for a fuelled customer. Somebody who knows what they want can be in and out, minimising cart abandonment. 

Similarly, one-time buyers and those in a rush are more likely to use a guest checkout. As a merchant, you don’t want to discourage this option because it can deter potential returners. A guest checkout has a simple email address input and their payment details before completing the purchase is completed – an ideal, time-efficient method. Baymard research suggested that 37% of shoppers abandon carts at the last moment because they are required to create an account.

Live chat is an important customer service tool, and customers can engage with your business before purchasing. Whilst this isn’t solely a checkout feature, it is commonly used within the sale process. The added benefit is that in the long run you are furthering your learnings of your audience and will be able to reflect the information in a products’ description.”

Utilisation of data can aid targeted direction of advertising and redirect customers appropriately, creating a more unique experience. Redirecting customers to purchase with a pay by link or bespoke URL on social media and promotions mitigates several touch points within a website. Unlimint’s API has a smart interface, with live data detailing payments and further analytics. Using payment data, you can better target the right markets, in the right areas, through the right avenues. 

Mobile-friendly experience

Statista noted that the number of smartphone users is above 3.5 billion, so it’s safe to assume that a large number of ecommerce shoppers will be using their phones. Mobile commerce (sometimes known as m-commerce) is a major sales driver in our digital world, with over 50% of online shopping being done via a mobile device. The convenience of a smartphone or tablet is a huge influencer for ‘on-the-go’ sales. Many experts believe that we are living in a ‘mobile first’ world, which then is pivotal to website creation. However, mobile users have a high abandonment rate of 85% in 2021. 

Having a navigation which is simple for mobile devices, fitted with Google Pay and Apple Pay will drive sales. Customers have data stored on their mobile devices for ease of access and making a purchase through that device is far easier for them. Keep in mind that devices vary, so having the optimal process is key to create accessibility to your audience.

Minimise form fields

Optimise checkout by simplifying the number of form fields which require completion. Cutting those forms down means that customers won’t feel bogged down before they can place their order. Ways in which this can be achieved, include:

  • ‘Scan your card’ feature, to reduce card inputting time
  • Add a ‘save details for future’ feature
  • Make the shipping address the same as the billing address by default, with the added option to enter them differently.

Want to know how Unlimint can support you with financial services and offer the right payment methods for your business? Get in touch today.

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