Today, the first Monday in December, traditionally marks the start of the Christmas season shopping spree. British retailers need to brace themselves for a record 1,000 visits online every second, during a frenzied day of bargain shopping dubbed “Cyber Monday”.
This is the busiest and most important day in the world of eCommerce with the most intense amount of traffic. The question is will your website handle the influx of shoppers and more importantly can you convert these thrifty browsers into sales?
Shopping cart abandonment is an issue that has plagued the eCommerce world since it began. Just when you are on the brink of closing a sale, the shopper abandons their cart and decides not to buy. If this sounds all-too familiar for you, perhaps it’s time you took a second look at your online store – before the manic rush takes over!
In the past, shoppers seemed to be confused with the online process, or worried about security. While security remains a concern, the newest research suggests that an over-complicated payment process is the main cause of cold feet. And rightly so! Nothing can quite kill the excitement of getting your hands on your Christmas pressies than an over-long and complicated payment process.
The following are six simple ways to turn your abandoned carts into completed sales, increase sales and revenue, while spreading some holiday cheer!
Reduce the steps
A checkout process with many steps can appear daunting and difficult. Reducing steps in the checkout process is sure to improve your conversion rates this year. We would recommend no more than five steps in the whole process.
Don’t over-complicate it
The best forms will only ask for the information they absolutely need, splitting the process into manageable chunks. (Address auto-fill technology also speeds it up!)
Enforcing customers to sign up before they buy is another huge no-no. 38% of consumers are unprepared to do this, and again would abandon their cart if sign-up was insisted on. The Christmas period is certainly not the best time to conduct any kind of market research.
Show the status
Cyber Monday-shoppers are renowned for being an impatient bunch. So anything you can do to improve this is sure to win you some brownie points. Let your customers know where they are in the process. Use a progress bar or tell them what step they are on to stop them hitting that back button!
Don’t distract your customers from anything else other than paying for their presents. It’s fine to include your normal site navigation in the checkout process – if you really must. But it’s not OK to include unrelated offers, links down the side or flashing banners. These will just distract your customers away from their purchase.
In a bricks-and-mortar shop a customer can pick up, try on and hold their gifts. Online, they obviously won’t have this luxury, so it is up to you to provide this experience for them. Customers respond more quickly to images than to text, so providing pictures of the products in the shopping carts will remind them of their purchase and the reason for it.
The main thing that will put off your shoppers this Christmas is the sometimes-agonizing experience of delivery. It’s vital you are able to provide the customer with a choice of how their goods are delivered, offering the best level of customer service. People are far more inclined to buy if they know exactly how long it will take to deliver, and if the gift is likely to arrive in time for the big day.
Amazon and fashion giant Karen Millen have both got this right and are very good at pointing out how quickly you can get your package with express shipping.
Giving your customers an agreed window of delivery can really give your company a competitive advantage against others currently on the market. Our research suggests that nearly two-thirds of consumers see timed deliveries as an important factor in their purchasing process.