How To Increase Your Checkout Conversion Rate

Online shoppers aren’t necessarily as fickle as you might expect. In fact, recent research from A.T. Kearney indicates that 25 percent of consumers spend more money online than they initially planned to when making a purchase.

But that number pales in comparison to the reported 87 percent of brick and mortar shoppers who regularly make impulse purchases. It’s not hard to see why. For every impulse buy successfully completed online, there are countless others which remain stalled, stagnant, and ultimately abandoned. And it’s not necessarily due to a last minute decision. It has to do with the checkout process.

Uncompleted purchases are on the rise, with the average cart abandonment rate soaring to nearly 70 percent, according to recent data from the Baymard Institute. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not just additional fees which can result in cart abandonment. A poor checkout experience will ultimately ruin your conversion rate altogether.

Why Your Checkout Conversion Rate Matters

If you’ve established a fail-proof sales funnel, then all your customers have to do is simply click “pay” correct?

Reality paints a different picture. A recent survey indicated that the average conversion rate benchmark across both mobile and web was roughly 1.5 percent, with a 3.5 percent or higher rating placing stores within the top 20 percentile. But that doesn’t take into consideration the average add-to-cart conversion rate. And that’s for a very good reason.

There isn’t one. Add-to cart conversion rates vary by both product line as well as seasonal sales, with metrics including market saturation and demographic growth impacting your bottom line. It’s easy enough to calculate your add-to-cartAdd-to-cart rate by simply dividing the number of purchases by the number of sessions. It becomes harder when those purchases are incomplete.

Why Do Customers Abandon Shopping Carts?

It’s been reported that eCommerce storefronts lose approximately $18 Billion in revenue per year as a result of cart abandonment, with the total value of products being abandoned predicted to be as high as $4 Trillion. And while the high cost of additional fees including shipping, taxes, and applicable service charges continues to be the primary reason behind abandonment, recent studies indicate that over 70 percent of online shoppers in the US have experienced issues with checkout flow & design which resulted in their failure to finalize a purchase in 2021. But that same research found that some $260 Billion worth of merchandise could be recoverable through improving the checkout process and design.

A 2020 poll from Nielsen found that some 30 percent of first-time online shoppers were now making multiple purchases a week during the pandemic. And the frequency of those purchases will be likely to increase in spite of loosened restrictions. But even relative newcomers to shopping online expect an experience that is custom fit to their needs. Customers demand personalization in all aspects of their shopping journey—including the ability to pay exactly how they want with a method that's right for them.

How to Improve Your Checkout Conversion Rate

Optimize Your Mobile Design

It’s been predicted that mobile devices will generate 73 percent of all global web traffic by the end of 2021, with some estimates that it will account for 54 percent of all eCommerce sales this year. Yet poor design still continues to hamper mobile checkout, with some estimates placing cart abandonment rates as high as 85.6 percent. Slow load times are a common problem with mobile eCommerce storefronts, with pop-up redirections only serving to aggravate users. While designing a storefront for a separate mobile app is ideal, you may want to consider the following tips to improve mobile accessibility:

  • Place all key elements of your page to be accessible by fingers, not a mouse.

  • Ensure your form fields are vertically aligned to ensure ease of navigability.

  • UI elements, including wider buttons and increment selectors, are more mobile-friendly than a desktop drop-down menu.

  • Increasing your font size for mobile accessibility, as well as enduring you’re using larger and tappable buttons, can improve accuracy during the checkout process.

  • Reduce the number of images on your checkout page for a faster loading form.

Simplify the Checkout Process

One of Amazon’s chief strengths has always been one of sheer convenience—a convenience that makes a decisive impact on the overall customer experience. And that extends to their checkout process, as well. One-click shopping may seem like an amenity. But there’s a psychology behind it. A single-page checkout gives the appearance of being a much shorter process, adding an unspoken but urgent incentive for customers to complete their purchase before FOMO sets in.

Few customers have the time or patience to fill out multiple forms once they’ve made their mind about a purchase. In fact, it’s among the top 5 reasons why carts are abandoned in the US. Similarly, 24 percent of consumers ultimately abandon their carts after being requested to create an account. Over 48 percent of online retailers have indicated that guest checkout options have been critical to increasing checkout conversion rates while integrating autocomplete and smart forms (including Google Autofill) for return customers can drastically reduce the time between curiosity to a completed transaction.

Offer Multiple Payment Methods and Options

Not every customer is comfortable with credit card transactions online. 56 percent of online shoppers have indicated that limited payment options affect their purchasing decisions, while 85 percent of retailers have cited poor payment experiences as the chief reason for lost sales. With over 35 percent of digital consumers using e-wallets in 2020 during their shopping experience, the importance of integrating non-bank payment methods can’t be understated.

Nor can allowing multiple payment options—particularly for larger purchases. While recent purchasing models such as BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) have allowed an estimated 43 percent of US consumers a flexible alternative to big ticket purchases they normally wouldn’t consider, they’re not without drawbacks. Smaller businesses, in particular, need to weigh any profit margin made on payment installments against the fees charged by third party financial tech providers. Brands that are just starting to establish themselves may not see any revenue lift whatsoever, while certain product lines won’t see any profit margin at all.

Brand loyalty is built on customer experience as much as it’s built on your brand. And customers want an experience that’s flexible and tailor-made third-party for their lifestyles. Because conversion rates don’t end at the checkout page. They last the entire life cycle of your brand.

Color More Lines provides white glove, global account management of Amazon, Walmart, and other eCommerce platforms so mission-driven companies can focus on new product development, branding and growth strategies. Find out more at Color More Lines.

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