You spent a ton of money building a website for your business and countless hours promoting your products and services. It is all paying off as customer flock to your site to make purchases. Then you hit a snag: people struggle to complete their purchases and walk away. This happens to small businesses every day – and once a customer walks away, they rarely come back. So, how can you avoid this loss of business and improve the customer experience for online payments? Here are some tips.
There are a variety of studies on what percentage of shoppers abandon the shopping cart before finalizing a purchase (percentages range anywhere from 59.8% to 80.3%) and exactly which factors lead to abandonment. Some of the major reasons include:
- Lack of payment methods
- Required registration
- Concerns about payment security
- Declined payments
- Poor shopping cart design
Let’s take a quick look at each of these points and review how we can improve the overall customer experience and reduce shopping cart abandonment.
Lack of Payment Methods
Customers coming to your site to purchase will want a variety of payment options. When setting up your checkout process, it is important to choose a payment processing system that supports at a minimum, credit cards, PayPal direct, and checks. The best way to determine which payment methods you should offer, is to ask your customers. A quick survey sent to your customer base will help you to identify what your specific customers expect as well as their preferred payment methods.
Once you understand which payment options your customers want, take the headache out of setting them up by using a service like Simplify Commerce™, a platform that makes it easy for businesses to accept secure payments online, in app, and in person.
If you start the checkout process by requiring a new customer to register for an account or an existing customer to sign-in, you are setting yourself up for shopping cart abandonment. Anytime you insert a step between the decision to purchase and the ability to purchase, you create a barrier that may lead to the loss of a sale.
Another simplified checkout option you may want to offer customers is Masterpass by Mastercard. For those shoppers enrolled in the program, this offers a quicker checkout option – no need to type in credit card numbers or addresses over and over again. Additionally, retailers who use Masterpass become part of the network that helps to connect millions of consumers to merchants – a great way to generate new business!
Let People Know Their Payment is Secure
While the number of people shopping online continues to increase, so does consumer concern over security and fraud. You need to go out of your way to ensure that your payment processing is secure and to let your customers know that it is. Make sure you have a SSL certificate for your website and also consider adding Digital Secure Remote Payments (DSRP) that use EMV-based cryptography.
Whatever security measures you have in place, make sure you clearly display them on your checkout page. You want your consumers to have peace of mind.
Avoid Declined Payments
A credit card decline can be one of the biggest deal breakers and reasons a consumer walks away from your website. Unfortunately, many of the reasons for the decline are out of your hands. That doesn’t mean you just give up. It means you get strategic.
First, access your checkout process to ensure that the information you need for each credit card is clear and easy to enter. One major reason for declines is the entry of incomplete or inaccurate information, which can be avoided if your forms are simplified for the consumer.
Next, for those declines that happened for reason outside of your control, quickly contact the customer to see how you can help facilitate completion of the purchase. This may include offering an alternative payment method or offering to process the order manually. By reaching out, you not only secure the sale but also show the customer that you care about serving them.
Make Sure Your Shopping Cart Design is Spot On
How does your shopping cart look? Is it consistent with your website design and branding? If not – fix it! Consumers want a seamless experience and if your shopping cart checkout pages look like they are not integrated with your main website, they may be inclined to leave.
By taking a few simple steps to clean up your checkout process, you can dramatically increase your customers’ experience and see a major upswing in successfully completed online purchases.
Ramon is a small business evangelist at Infusionsoft, publisher of Smart Hustle Magazine, and blogs about technology and small business at smallbiztechnology.com. He is passionate about helping small business entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Ramon is a bestselling author, journalist and freelance writer, and a frequent event producer, speaker and host. Ramon’s third book is the Amazon.com bestseller, “Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing.” Ramon has shared the stage with Seth Godin, Daymond John, Guy Kawasaki, Simon Sinek, JJ Ramberg, Peter Shankman and other celebrity entrepreneurs. He interviewed President Obama in the President's first live Google Hangout.