Future-proof your checkout with these 5 tips
We are all too familiar with the drastic ways in which the eCommerce industry has changed and changed again over the last two years. However, as things become more stable, certain trends are proving their longevity beyond lockdowns etc. Future-proofing your eCommerce isn’t about building one site that will last you forever, it is about understanding the direction in which customer desires and behaviours are headed and aligning your store’s user experience with that direction.
The journey (a seamless checkout experience) is just as crucial as the destination in the case of eCommerce conversions.
If a shopper changes their mind and leaves a full cart behind, you’ll lose not only a transaction, but also a prospective new customer and any future sales with that customer too. Unfortunately, the checkout page is the most vulnerable to sales loss. Depending on the industry, the typical shopping cart abandonment rate at the checkout page is reported to be between 65-96 percent.
We have laid out some areas to focus on to try and future-proof your checkout by decreasing the friction for the user experience, speeding up the checkout journey, and guiding customers through to a completed transaction.
A simple user experience
Although experts will disagree about what the ideal checkout process looks like (it may vary depending on the type of goods you sell or your target market), one thing that everyone can agree on is that less is more when it comes to checkout fields.
A top recommendation is to use a singular “Full name” field, to set the “Billing address = Shipping address” as default, and to collapse your address line two and company name behind a link, if they are needed.
Ideally, compulsory sign-ups or site memberships should also be removed before payment is made. We advocate making “guest” checkouts the most accessible option or the default, as usability research has shown that when consumers are prompted to sign up before checking out, they are more inclined to leave their carts.
In a survey released by the Baymard Institute in 20211*, consumers said that if the checkout process is deemed to be excessively long or confusing, 18 percent will abandon their cart. Nearly one out of every five shoppers falls into this category. By installing address auto-complete technology, where the user can quickly and easily choose their address, conversion rates can dramatically increase due to the simpler user experience. What’s more, the customer will be more inclined to return to your website. Even if they check out as guest and don’t save their details to an account, they know how simple the form will be to fill when they make their next purchase.
When considering online merchants, delivery can drive more repeat sales because customers want to spend their money with sellers who are convenient and reliable. A variety of delivery alternatives allows people to choose the delivery method that best suits their needs, while also ensuring that you can follow through on your promises and ensure that products arrive when your customers expect them to.
It’s critical to ensure you have the infrastructure and technology in place to handle multi-channel order fulfillment, so you can ship goods quickly and provide customers with tracking information, via their chosen delivery method. So many delivery options are available to consumers now, not just Royal Mail, but many courier/delivery companies like UPS, FedEx, Collect+ etc, each with their own set of time and pricing options.
Having a variety of payment options makes it easier for your consumers to check out because the appropriate payment gateway for their specific needs will be ready for them, often at the tap of a button. They can either click over to make a purchase using a digital wallet, such as Apple Pay or ShopPay, or enter their credit or debit card information manually.
A simple purchase journey improves the consumer experience, encouraging them to revisit and order again.
Another significant advantage of accepting multiple online payment methods is the increased confidence it confers on your company’s brand. When a customer sees multiple trusted payment alternatives on their checkout screen, it reassures them that your website is efficient, reliable, and secure.
A customer arrives on your page, spends some time looking around, and then leaves abruptly. Another consumer adds the items to their shopping basket but does not complete the transaction. These are opportunities to generate fresh leads and potential consumers that have been missed. That’s why it’s crucial to figure out why they left without making a purchase.
Exit-intent surveys can help reduce bounce rates and increase conversions in this situation. They assist you in identifying website user interface and customer experience issues, conducting form analysis, and reducing the risk of cart and form abandonment.
How to use exit-intent surveys to gather feedback
- When a customer is going to leave the website, promptly display the survey.
- Enquire whether they were able to locate what they were looking for.
- If a consumer abandons their cart, send them an email with a follow-up survey to find out why. You can even provide them discount vouchers to entice them to return and finish the transaction, however this is only possible if their email address has already been obtained.
Consumers like to shop on sites that are familiar to them, and will feel most comfortable with retailers that offer their preferred language, currencies, and payment methods. According to a new study, over 40% of Europeans never buy goods or services in a language other than their native one.* By ensuring your website is accessible in a number of languages (if you’re providing products and services outside of your native language country), you’re opening up your business to a wider audience and making it easier for international customers to finalise their purchases. Including Address Auto Complete in your checkout will assist in this with global search that will find, validate and correctly format postal addresses for the customers chosen country, wherever in the world they may be.
The future is bright with Address Auto-Complete
We’ve covered a number of ways to improve your eCommerce checkout experience for your customers, improving the user experience in line with industry trends. But let’s not forget to implement one of the most crucial pieces of technology – an address search and validation API.
Whether you prefer the UX of Address Auto-Complete or Postcode Lookup, either one will make the checkout process for your customers much easier and quicker. Address validation puts their mind at rest knowing your business has the correct delivery information.
With UK Postcode Lookup, the customer need only type in their postcode and select their address from the drop-down menu. With global address auto complete, they can begin typing their address from any point, whether the street number, the postcode, or the business name, and the type-ahead algorithm will instantly begin providing suggestions based on the characters typed. As soon as the correct address is suggested the customer clicks on it and the address form will be populated correctly with validated address data. This has the added benefit, not only of improving the customer experience, but also reducing failed deliveries caused by mistakes at checkout*
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We are a pioneer in SaaS address lookup and data validation solutions. We process millions of data transactions each day for thousands of clients ranging from small e-commerce startups to large household brands such as Heinz and RBS. Our flagship products Address Auto Complete and Postcode Lookup reduce friction on checkouts, leading to increases in conversion rate of up to 40%, and helps reduce failed deliveries by as much as 75%. Since launching in 2008, we have differentiated by our ease of integration and exceptional support. We provide a full suite of data validation solutions including Phone Validation, Email Validation, UK Bank Validation, and Data Cleansing.