Optimize your payments and checkout page for the festive season
One of the major Indian festivals, Diwali, is fast approaching and all the e-retailers are gearing up to woo the 73.9 million Indian audiences, giving their final touches to their respective marketing strategies. According to a holiday shopping online sales forecast earlier this week, e-commerce sales are expected to rise between 8 and 11 percent this holiday shopping season. CashKaro.com, India’s leading cash back and coupons site conducted a survey as per which as high as 83% of respondents are planning to shop online this Diwali.
But did you know that two-thirds of shopping carts are reportedly abandoned at the payment stage? Very few buyers tolerate friction at the point of purchase; others would just abandon and move to a better website.Your payment stage is where visitors become buyers; it is crucial that you get it right.
Here are some guidelines to make sure you don’t lose any customers to your competitors because of payments page.
Keep things SIMPLE!
- Make the payment details page appear as fast as possible and reduce friction.
- Reduce clutter on your payment form by including only elements that are absolutely necessary for the transaction.
- User-friendly form – If the customer wants to enter the card number with hyphens (or without), they should be able to either way. Your form should be very accepting of how users enter their data
- On some sites, the calls to action are drowned out by other elements on the page like content and images. Maintain un-cluttered pages with all the calls to action are highlighted in a specific color. This makes them distinguishable, so that the customer can easily locate them and proceed to next step without any confusion.
Anticipate and Mitigate the probable Error Zones
It’s always a better strategy to anticipate the probable errors from the other end and make things error proof. As an online shopper, I find it extremely annoying when a site wipes out the entire form after I type in wrong information by mistake in one of the fields. Customers are sure to turn-off if the same happens especially when they’re inputting their credit card details. You can easily solve this with the help of AJAX forms, which allow you to preserve form information without storing sensitive financial data on your servers.
- Form design is also as important as other elements on the website, they should be easy to complete and should not ask customers for too much information.
- Populating forms with the information previously submitted help a lot, remembering address and payment details from previous purchases help customer to checkout easily and quickly.
Additionally, there may also be times when customers want to go back a step or two in the checkout to check the address details they’ve entered, change the email address etc. It should be easy to do this without losing the information already entered.
Less Distraction More Actions
- Consumer surveys have a time and place: Consumer surveys in an e-commerce site hold lot of importance as they yield valuable insights about customers. But there is place and time to ask customers to do the survey. In the middle of a checkout process is definitely not the place. They are a) annoying and b) a barrier to purchase when placed within the payment stage. Getting the customer through the checkout process is more important than the survey at this point.
- Register later: A recent study found that 25.6% of online consumers would abandon a purchase if they were forced to register first. By offering customers guest checkout with the option of registering later, you avoid the barrier of registration, but still allow easy registration once customers are through the process.
Reaffirm Prices and Delivery Charges
This allows customers to quickly check on the contents of their shopping cart and the final payment before they complete the checkout. Some customers may need reassurances about shipping times and costs, or returns. This information should appear constantly on every page during checkout but at the same time should not interrupt the checkout process. An example is shown below:
Coupon codes can make or break your strategy
Coupon codes are very attractive for customer acquisition especially in festive season, but there can be drawbacks. Here are two suggestions for managing coupons:
- The search for existing coupons may lead customers to abandon the sale altogether. So, if there is a coupon which customer can avail; place the code next to the purchase box, where customer will be able to view it easily and can redeem it.
- If you are placing the coupon codes in a coupon site, please link that to your own coupon page. This keeps customers onsite, and you will have the benefit of SEO and also not distract the customer.
Speed Up Payment Processing
When customers finally click that ‘place order’ button on your site, do they end up watching a spinning circle for 5, 10, even 15 seconds before being taken to the confirmation page? The longer the spinning circle goes on, the more anxious customers get.
So, reduce your customers’ anxiety and make them see the confirmation page almost instantly, especially when transaction has been made via credit card (customers feel anxious when using a credit card)
Optimize Mobile Payments
Payment pages are tricky on smaller screens. According to a research done by SeeWhy, 99.5% of mobile users will bail out before buying. And a major cause of friction is any place where the user is required to enter information.
Here are some things you can do to improve the payment process for mobile buyers.
- Don’t make account creation compulsory to check out, but if you do remember customers’ account details from the last transaction details. And if it’s a new user, should have a ‘Guest-Checkout’.
- Use technology to pre-fill information like pre-fill the location according to the postal code entered.
- Provide shoppers with several payment methods.
- Show progress indicators and let them know their status.
- Minimize frustration by having bigger text fields and buttons and clearly indicating the fields which might cause errors.
Optimizing your payment process may be one of the least exciting projects you take on during this final pre-holiday push, however, it is the one that will have a bigger impact on your sales.