Shopping carts are an essential part of the customer experience. Yet for many merchants, shopping carts are an afterthought that merely serves to complete a sale. Some businesses make the mistake of investing most of their resources towards building their web store while overlooking their chosen shopping cart module. Providing a great user experience when potential customers browse your site is important; however, if the user experience suddenly turns sour the moment your customer tries to complete their purchase, they are likely going to abandon the process.
This is a surprisingly common problem. Nearly seven out of 10 consumers who’ve added products to their shopping cart will not complete their purchase. According to Baymard, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 68.81%, more than two-thirds of all customers. If your online store can get consumers to the checkout but they don’t seal the deal, your products and website are not the problems; it’s probably your shopping cart.
In order to ensure your shopping cart experience meets current best practices, consider conducting a shopping cart audit for your business. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
1) What is my Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate (SCAR)?
Knowledge is power. By knowing how many customers abandon a purchase, you can set a benchmark to gauge improvements to your store’s checkout process and know how significant shopping cart abandonment is for your online store. Measuring your SCAR is a simple calculation: take the number of clicks to add items to the shopping cart and divide that by the total number of products sold. Use Google Analytics to calculate and track this for you–here’s how. Once you know your SCAR, you’ll also gain a better idea of how much revenue you’re losing due to a faulty checkout process.
2) How frictionless is my checkout process?
According to Business Insider, the biggest cause of shopping cart abandonment is lengthy and/or complicated checkout forms that require customers to enter both personal and payment information. Complicated checkout processes cause “friction” at the end of the consumer’s path to purchase, which drives people away and erodes confidence in your brand. Platforms that introduced one-click checkouts have seen their SCARs plummet. The closer you can get to a single click, the more sales you’ll close. Given that Amazon’s patent stronghold on one-click payment systems will expire this year, frictionless shopping cart modules will become widely available in the near future.
3) How transparent are my prices?
Known as “sticker shock”, 61% of consumers abandon shopping carts because of unexpected costs added during the checkout process. Hidden fees, shipping costs, and taxes are the main sources of sticker-shock price increases. Free shipping goes a long way towards lowering your SCAR; so does eliminating fees as much as possible. But the main issue businesses must uphold is transparent pricing. The shock customers experience during checkout is due to the unexpected price increase rather than the amount of the added fees. Including tax and estimated shipping costs alongside the stipulated price on your website will do wonders for preventing sticker shock from driving your customers away.
4) How inclusive is my checkout process?
For the most part, factors that determine your SCAR boil down to whether your checkout process makes your customers feel comfortable when making a purchase. Including a wide range of payment methods is one strategy to ensure your business accepts a customer’s preferred—and most comfortable–payment method. Customers are also deterred by checkout systems that force them to open an account or set up a profile in order to make their purchase. While it may compromise your potential to onboard customers to your online store, allowing a guest checkout without the need to set up an account can result in more sales. More sales, in turn, will bring in more repeat customers who, on their second or third visit, may opt to set up a profile on their own volition.
Following your audit, you can now evaluate whether your chosen shopping cart module is best for your needs. There’s a lot of modules out there, so be choosy. For example, our payment platform provides seven modules for Payza-supported shopping carts, each having specific features and attributes. Do your research and consider the functionality of different modules. Also, consider if it’s worth your while to hire a developer to make a shopping cart specific to your business so that you have complete control over the customer experience.