Attracting customers can often seem like fishing, and your online store is the lure. Your website’s layout and design catches their eye, and your selection and prices convince them to take the bait. As soon as they add a product to their shopping cart, you know that they’ve bit.
But this isn’t the end of the process. Just like in fishing, you have to reel these consumers in, and you do this with a checkout process. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that you’ll end up succeeding. If the process is too much of a struggle, for the fish or for the shopper, they’ll eventually break loose and get away. In online stores, this results in a shopping cart with abandoned items. If you rack up too many of them, it may be a sign that you need to make small changes to your interface.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to ensure your website remains efficient. Here are five ways you can keep online shoppers from leaving your site with items in their carts.
1. Customers Have to Register for an Account to Buy Products
When you design your checkout process, you need to strike a delicate balance between convenience and safety. If the procedure requires too much information, customers are more likely to abandon your site out of frustration and impatience. But if it doesn’t include relevant information, they may believe it’s a scam and leave anyway.
To understand this dilemma, look at sites that make customers register before they can buy products. Ideally, the extra steps in this measure would scare off scammers and fraudsters. Instead, it just inconveniences consumers who can buy products elsewhere. This problem also ties in with the next point …
2. There Is Not Enough Security (Or There’s Too Much)
When asked why online shoppers left a website without paying for an item, 17 percent said that they weren’t satisfied with the website’s security measures. Indeed, the risk of identity theft and credit card fraud looms large over every internet purchase. Websites need to anticipate this anxiety and beef up their security.
But don’t go overboard. In the same survey, 18 percent of respondents said that they left a website because there were too many security measures in place. Remember that this is a push and pull process. Keep adjusting your security measures within reason and you’ll hit the right levels for your consumers.
3. Websites Aren’t Optimized for Mobile Shoppers
While you already know about e-commerce, you may not know about m-commerce. This term refers to mobile shopping, and it’s getting bigger than ever before. Business Insider predicts that by 2020, consumers in the U.S. will spend $284 billion with their mobile devices.
If you don’t want to miss out on these profits, you need to optimize your site for mobile. This won’t just make your pages look more appealing on phones and tablets, but it will also help you rank higher in search engine results.
4. Websites Crash or Stall
Online shoppers are busy people. They’re not going to wait around all day for your website to load or recover from a crash. You need to ensure that your website runs smoothly, without bugs or glitches.
5. Page Design Is Not Functional
Poorly designed pages are a nightmare. You try to click on a link, for example, and you wind up enlarging the image that hangs above it. Online shoppers hate to lose control over their buying process, and nothing strips them of that power more than dysfunctional web layout. Before you design your store, look at other websites and see what they do well. You should also do plenty of testing before your site goes live so you can see how intuitive your interface really is.