In many aspects, online business does not differ from traditional bricks and mortar businesses. However, one unique and major concern that has hit online businesses is the rate at which people stop before completing their checkout processes.
Whether you call these abandoned shopping carts or orphaned baskets, the issue has raised considerable concern among online entrepreneurs. We would move close to solving this problem, if not solving it entirely, if we sought to find out why people abandon their checkout process before closing the purchase. Here are a few of the most commonly identifiable reasons and what can be done about them.
1. Complexity of the checkout process
Some shopping carts are very complicated. It seems like they are designed for people with a lot of technical knowledge of how the whole process works. In reality, a majority of the people that will be using the cart are of little technical knowledge.
It is therefore very important that the shopping cart process be made as simple as it can. A systematic organisation of the steps that the client has to go through to complete the buying process is crucial. There should also be no distractions on the same page as the shopping cart. While developing the checkout pages, ensure that the customer is kept focused on what they need to do to complete the process, as much as possible.
Something else that makes the checkout process complicated is the inclusion of complex financial processes such as currency conversions, tax payment and shipping costs. It would be very beneficial if these aspects are explained clearly, instead of taking the customer to a different page explaining them, a good idea would be to use pop-ups that will carry the information but return the user to the checkout page without them having to load it again.
2. A checkout process that is too long
Customers want to be treated like kings. They have very little patience and the faster things get done, the better for the business. Too many pages in the checkout process and forms that require too much information to be entered discourage customers and are likely to make them abandon the process. The solution to this is simply keeping the pages in the checkout process minimal and asking only for information that is necessary. It would also do you a lot of good if you had checkout pages that load fast, since most customers will leave a website if the web pages take too long to load.
3. Uncertainty in the customers
A buyer may go all the way to the checkout process to realise that they are about to enter into a deal, and give sensitive information to a person they know little about. The most rational reaction from such a customer would be to abandon the process at that point. Such a customer may not even go back to seek information about the company or business that they were about to buy from.
That is why it is crucial to ensure effective communication with the client before they get to the checkout page. Do not concentrate on telling the potential customer how good your product is and forget all about who you are. Introduce yourself and build the client's trust in you.
4. Browser security warnings
Due to the sensitivity of the information that customers submit during the checkout process, most of them become very wary of security warnings from their browsers. You should keep in mind that different Internet browsers handle security issues very differently. That is, a shopping cart page that is viewed as being secure on one browser may trigger security warnings in another.
Sometimes, the cause of these warnings could be things as simple as graphics on the page, but would still scare away potential buyers. To avoid losing out on such customers, ensure that your checkout pages are totally secure and checked over all browsers.
5. The shopping cart software
Some shopping cart software only supports limited payment methods. While credit card transactions have been the backbone of online business, having shopping cart software that bars other payment methods will cause you abandoned shopping carts from customers who would rather use those methods and none other. In fact, shopping cat abandonment, or what others call basket abandonment, can be, in many cases caused by the use of outdated software. Modern online marketing software can provide a solution to this problem by offering sophisticated features such as the ability to place outbound calls when carts are abandoned to discover the reason customers have left the process.