In a world where even groceries can be ordered online and delivered to your doorstep, the process used to make and place orders online is essential to any business involved in eCommerce. From PPC ads to the check-out page, the eCommerce process is all about what your customer is expecting to see. Meeting those expectations is vital to online success.
Shopping Cart Optimisation
If you look at well-known businesses such as Amazon or eBay, they’ve had success with their online check-out systems because they’re completely optimised for the customer. Shopping carts are the vital last step that a customer can take. If that last step is too complicated, it’s very possible for customers to lose interest or become frustrated and abandon their orders. Once that happens, the likelihood of attracting that customer again is very low. Nobody wants to sit through ten pages of forms to fill out. It’s frustrating and time-consuming and people want to order their products and be on to the next activity in their fast-paced lifestyle.
If you’re just getting your online business started, it might be a good idea to use an ecommerce tool, like the ones listed at Entrepreneur Magazine. eCommerce tools are already set up and relatively easy to use. Before signing up for an ecommerce tool, take into account what your product line and business model is.
Making Your Cart User-Friendly
Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to make sure that a customer doesn’t get fed up with your check-out process, as this Forbes article suggests.
- Make it mobile-friendly. A mistake that so many businesses make is to ignore the functionality of their mobile site and ordering apparatus. More and more business is completed from mobile devices. If your app has a problem, it’s vital to get it solved right away. If possible, don’t even launch without complete mobile functionality.
- Show customers their progress in the checkout process. It’s a psychological trick, and some of the best shopping carts tell a customer how many steps they have left and offer encouragement to continue. If a customer believes they have already placed their order when they actually haven’t, frustration will run rampant.
- Make it clear what the customer is ordering, and what they are paying for. They should always be able to access a clear list of their shopping cart contents as they shop. Once they enter the shopping cart screen and see their total, the customer should be able to see where the total comes from.
- Have multiple payment options. Make sure that you have credit card processing options with low transaction fees. This leads to more options for your customer and reduced overhead for you.
- Be careful about requiring a membership login. Bigger companies can get away with it, but as a start-up your business is better off asking for a less invasive ordering process. If you offer a membership, make sure to make it an option to order without creating a customer profile.
- Include security features and make sure they are visible. If you have ordered from another site, you’ll notice that the bottom left or right corners will have logos of security features. Protecting the information that a customer gives you is required to establish any sort of protracted customer-retailer relationship. Particularly in light of recent credit card fraud at huge retailers like Target, valuing your customer enough to protect them while they are using your services is a key to retaining returning buyers.
- Only request essential information for checkout. For instance, an address is essential for billing and shipping purposes, but asking “how did you hear about us?” or any other questions not directly related to the transaction are excessive, necessary and can ultimately lead to loss of sales.
If you undergo these steps and attempt to see it from a customer’s perspective, it will make the process much more user-friendly and efficient. Expect feedback on your first try, and know that you’ll need to adjust your shopping cart to fit the needs of your customers. It’s not always about what’s most convenient for you, but what’s convenient for the people who pay you!Posted in Blog