Shopping cart abandonment is an all too familiar challenge for many marketers in the ecommerce sector. Typically, abandonment rates are measured using tools such as Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics, giving you a numeric indication of when and where potential customers leave your shopping cart.
However, the only way to identify the real reason your visitors are leaving is by asking them. Shopping carts are abandoned for various reasons. From excessively high shipping costs (which, according to studies, is the most common reason for abandoned purchases in e-commerce at 62%) to long waiting times or, for example, when none of the preferred payment methods are available. However, as long as you don’t ask your customers for feedback, you can only guess. Of course, the explanations also differ depending on the webshop. By incorporating feedback into this funnel, you will start understanding why your shoppers are leaving.
In this article, we will show you the following examples of what must be observed during the checkout phase of a webshop and how feedback can help you during the different stages:
- Availability of products
- Voucher codes
- Address input field
- Payment methods
- Confirmation at the end of the purchase
A digital journey through the check out process
For the ecommerce industry, it is really important that you offer visitors a unique online experience. The largely digitised retail sector is struggling with various challenges such as online security, fierce competition and complicated order processing. So let us help you offer your customers the ideal customer journey so that you have time to focus on the other challenges.
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Today we take you on another digital journey… And once again we will put ourselves in the shoes of your potential customers (or website visitors). In our last post, we took you through the research phase using the example of a drill – showing you how to optimise your e-commerce website within this phase. However, in this next post we want to define the most critical touchpoints during the actual purchasing / checkout process. Where do your visitors encounter obstacles and where can you solve future problems in the Customer Experience (CX) once and for all?
Let’s analyse the online shopping process again using a specific example. Today we want to buy a carpet. And the carpet that you like is even advertised at a discount!
And here’s your first struggle…
Availability of the offered products
The product is offered with a 25% discount on the homepage, but when you try to add it to your shopping cart, the carpet is sold out. Sure, it can happen that products are sold out. However, it is important here to adapt your webshop so that you do not advertise discounts on the homepage once they are sold out in the shop. Always be sure that your website discounts are actually available on the website. In this case, it can be helpful to place a feedback button on the website. Feedback can help you quickly discover problems or mistakes on your website and solve them before too many customers have left your website because of it.
After informing the company through the feedback button that you are unhappy with them, you go on with your search. Fortunately, the first carpet is not the only one that you like and you can quickly find one in the right beige tone for your newly furnished home office. And hey, the website does offer 1+1 for free. You add two carpets to your shopping cart and that brings us to the next challenge.
Clearly visible voucher codes when checking out
Once you click your way through to the shopping cart, you notice that the voucher code that you saw before was not added. As a web shop owner, we’ll give you a quick tip: Make the check-out as user-friendly as possible. From making the “go back” button fully functional to reducing or even removing the header and footer on checkout pages to help remove distractions, there are many ways to support your visitors during this process. This also means that the voucher codes have to be clearly visible during check-out. This is good for the transparency of your company, but also for turning your visitors into buyers. Many visitors leave your webshop when checking out to look for voucher codes. If you don’t find it right away, you often don’t bother to restart the check-out process or you may find the product cheaper elsewhere. With a feedback button during the checkout process, you can be always aware of what your customers are experiencing during checkout. If you really want to find out why your customers leave during the checkout, you can leverage exit feedback which is triggered by mouse movements.
So, let’s assume you found and added the voucher code. It’s time to finally buy this lovely fluff of a carpet..
Nearly every ecommerce website asks you to create an account. This is – of course – very useful for personalisation efforts and the data you can collect. However, it’s usually a rather tedious process for the user. Odds are you’ve forgotten your password and nothing was saved. The website doesn’t not offer “Check Out as a guest”, so you have to request a new password, log in and now you are ready to go.
According to Kibo Commerce: ”Voluntary” remains the key word. While the percentage of shoppers who object to forced account creation has dropped, it still hovers at 22% –meaning that more than one in five potential customers may abandon their cart if required to create a username and password before buying.”
And we could not agree more. Make sure to give your customers a voice! With the help of feedback, you will discover if you have a high rate of shopping cart abandonment because of the need of creating an account.
This is probably a familiar one for you all. Nowadays there are so many payment methods, and yet the check-out process is still often difficult. Just ask your customers what their preferred payment method is. Feedback is a great way to optimise this step.
Let’s have a look at the most common methods:
- Credit cards: Still one of the most popular and easiest ways to pay both offline and online.
- Direct Debit: Customers can use their bank account details and get it charged directly to their account.
- Alternative methods: This includes wallets like Paypal, Google Pay and Apply Pay and buy-now-pay-later solutions like Klarna, Afterpay and so on
Whether you’re just starting or you are already an established ecommerce business, payments are at the core of your business and should be a priority. With help of feedback from your customer base, you can figure out what their preferred payment method is and if there are some changes needed.
Clear confirmation page and email at the end of the purchase
Done! You have successfully purchased the new carpet that will finally give you that homey feeling in your home office.
As a last and final step, a clear landing page for your customers is very important: Thank you for your purchase, your carpet is already looking forward to being shipped to you … This is followed by a confirmation by email. In this step there are many things that have to be taken into consideration. It’s definitely worth the effort, to spend some time on creating the ideal confirmation emails. Whilst it’s important to manage your customers expectations and inform them about the next steps in our experience, this is where things go wrong for many webshops (especially in these difficult times when most purchases can only be made online).
For example, have you ever experienced – as a buyer – an overwhelming amount of emails coming in from the purchase of just one product? That’s because some webshops send out emails after every step of the process post-purchase. Many of us have recently experienced it ourselves:
- 1st: As a confirmation of the purchase from the shop
- 2nd: Confirmation that the item has been given to the delivery company
- 3rd: Confirmation from the delivery company that they received the product.
- 4th: Delivery is on its way.
- 5th: Package has been delivered.
- 6th: Another confirmation from the shop that the package has been delivered.
And although we agree with you that it is good to inform your customers how and when the carpet will be delivered, we want to draw your attention to the fact that it can be a bit of an overkill. Often these emails are not personalised enough and too standardised. However, as mentioned in the beginning of this post, for every webshop, different things come up.
Online feedback can help you with this step of the checkout process too. You can embed a feedback survey into your emails where your customers can leave their comments to this process. Using the insights gained from these surveys, you can then optimise to their needs.
Feedback can continuously improve your webshop
We hope you see the challenges your customers face while shopping from a different perspective. During the checkout process there are loads of small steps to take into account and analyse in order to understand how your customers experience this funnel. Each of these hurdles can be tackled with the help of feedback. Need more support? Be sure to try some of these UX strategies to reduce shopping cart abandonment.
Stay tuned for our next blog post, where we’ll discuss the aftersales phase and what to look out for.
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