If you want to make money online, you’ve got to make it easy for people to give you their money. And if you want your website to be the perfect eCommerce purchasing machine then you need to make it easy to get their money; that means an easy shopping experience and a fast and simple checkout process.
The sad truth is most small business websites do a TERRIBLE job at taking money. … which means they end up taking nothing, even if they have a kick-ass product, even if they are working their butts off getting heaps of traffic. But it can be turned around, and it isn’t that hard. Want to learn how? Keep on reading my friend!
You need to read this blog if:
- You sell physical products online
- You sell information products online
- You sell a subscription/membership online
- You sell anything that requires an online transaction
If you’re a seller of anything online, then my advice today is going to be crucial to your success and here’s why: If people are looking but not purchasing, you’re not profiting! I’m focusing on the shopping cart/checkout process in eCommerce today because that’s where you get the moola. The shopping cart is the most mature part of your sales funnel… it’s the ‘do or die’ point of all your marketing efforts. And yet it’s often the most overlooked and under optimised part of an eCommerce website and that just seems crazy to me. Now, just to recap in case you didn’t read my blog on the online sales funnel earlier this year, the perfect sale funnel is where you: Grab ‘em, convert ‘em, sell ‘em… and get their cash. Cha-ching baby!
To start, let’s make a few assumptions about your next web visitor:
- They’ve found exactly what they’re looking for on your website
- The price is right
- They trust your site as legit
- They’ve got the money
- They click ‘add to cart’
Right now, you’d be rubbing your hands in glee, right? You’d think your sale was guaranteed, wouldn’t you? Wrong. The sad news is that even if all the stars are in the right alignment, it doesn’t mean they’re going to buy from you today, or at all.
One in six people who place an item in your shopping cart won’t check out. (source: Emarketer.com)
It doesn’t take a genius to realise that every time someone leaves your funnel at the shopping cart you’re losing money. But the happy news is that you can stop a lot of those dollars from escaping by making a few simple design tweaks to your checkout process.
What causes people to abandon their shopping cart?
Most cart abandonment occurs when you’ve accidentally slowed your customer’s forward momentum. In my experience that ‘forward momentum’ is often slowed by visual design problems during the checkout phase. Here’s the big 4 reasons why someone doesn’t finish their checkout process:
- The shopping cart process is poorly designed and confusing, forcing the customer to ask ‘am I in the right place?’ or ‘what am I supposed to do next?’
- You have forgotten to visually remind your customer how awesome your product is while they’re going through the checkout process… and they’ve gotten cold feet
- You aren’t making your customer feel safe about their upcoming purchase
- You’re showing them too many options at the 11th hour when all you should be doing is getting them to buy now
Remember the typical sales funnel starts slow and gets faster as they progress through. It’s a bit like a whirlpool in the ocean, you barely even notice you’re being pulled in, and suddenly you’re heading for the center and you’re going doooown. Or at least that’s the idea! :) Anyhow, my point is they should be going at supersonic speed by the time they’re at the payment stage. It should be easy. It should be single-focused. It should just happen! Instead, if you’ve committed one of those 4 sales sins, you’ve now completely screeched them to a halt. This is bad news for your bottom line.
Here’s a solution. Phone a friend. Yes, really!
It’s surprising what you can learn with a little bit of testing. How to check your checkout process:
- Get a friend over (who has never bought from your site) and ask them to browse and then buy something off your site
- See what they do, note where they pause
- Do they get through the browsing process WITHOUT getting lost?
- Can they get from the product page to the purchase page without getting confused?
- Can they quickly buy the product without much fuss?
- Repeat with another friend just to be sure
- Pay attention to EVERYTHING, and if both friends have the same problem at the same spot then you’ve got some work to do!
So now, you need to do some creative thinking. What can you do to improve those sticking points?
How do you get your web visitors to cough up the cash and buy straight away?
Do you need better wording? Simpler payment or shipping options? Are the steps to purchase logical and easy? Or are you confusing them with too many choices at the very moment they should be handing over their credit card details? Never fear, whatever the problem is, it can be improved; you just need to put your thinking hat on. And it’s worth the bother because…
Little gains in the shopping cart often have more impact to your revenue than big changes at the beginning of the sales funnel.
What would it do for your business to get a 10% increase in sales overnight? Or a 25% boost in sales? I’d suggest it’ll make a massive difference for you; I’ve seen it happen. If nothing else, please just remember this: you need to make it ridiculously easy to buy from you. The faster you can get them to the shopping cart and then through the checkout process, right through to the thank-you page, the better! Good luck and until next time ABN’ers! Bianca