How E-Commerce Businesses Can Thrive Amidst a Retail Crisis

Online shopping rates have never been higher as consumers continue to abandon traditional brick and mortars in favor of online e-tailers.

Online shopper

The current retail crisis has created a real demand for speed, convenience and optimization in e-commerce, and in response, retailers are increasingly leveraging tech capabilities to create new ways to engage with consumers and boost satisfaction levels. However, one crucial feature that stands to be improved by online retailers across industries is the checkout process—the last and arguably most important step in the online customer journey.

But which tools and features are best for increasing conversion rates, decreasing cart abandonment, and attracting more customers? A recent guide authored by Addressy outlines the essentials.

Avoid the dreaded cart abandonment

According to the guide, the third biggest driver of cart abandonment is page-loading time, site errors, and crashes. Studies show that a one second delay in page response can result in a seven percent reduction in conversion—meaning every second a site spends loading, businesses lose customers and revenue.

What you can do: Ensure your checkout page is coded to load quickly on both desktops and mobile devices. Faster loading times will help enhance mobile conversion rates—only 16 percent of carts on mobile devices translate to a successful order—and increase company revenue. Additionally, cutting down the number of checkout pages means fewer pages that need to load as a shopper nears the end of their shopping journey. Finally, only request data that is absolutely necessary, that way checkout takes less time overall.

Show shoppers you’re trustworthy

Since online shopping requires customers to provide their personal information and credit card details, retailers need to ensure customers trust them. An online site—particularly the checkout page—is an important tool for building credibility. Shoppers want to feel like their personal and payment information are secure. If they don’t, they’re more likely to abandon their carts.

What you can do: Make product and customer service reviews visible to establish trust and highlight your business’ transparency. When it comes to the checkout page, make sure you promote all security measures and include the logos for payment options—this may seem trivial, but it makes a site appear more legitimate to consumers. Last, always link to customer support pages and FAQs so shoppers know you’re available to answer security questions. This may address concerns before customers end up abandoning their carts.

Mobile optimization

Form fields are a recognizable and necessary part of every online checkout page. Shoppers expect to see spaces to enter their names, addresses, and credit card information. Yet, these fields can often be a major source of customer frustration for a number of reasons. According to Baymard study a “too long/complicated checkout process” is the number two reason shoppers abandon their carts.

What you can do: Cut down the amount of manual typing a customer needs to do at checkout. Businesses that use address verification technology will have no problem doing this—the technology auto-populates forms and provides address options that narrow down with each keystroke. Ensuring all forms are visible and easy to navigate will also optimize the checkout process on a mobile device. Mobile shoppers often waste time zooming in and realigning their screens to view forms.

Make it personalized

Your shopping cart page offers a key opportunity to engage and connect with your customers. Every customer that makes an online purchase, no matter who they are, where they’re located, or what they’re purchasing, must navigate their way through the checkout page. Therefore, including personalized messages and offers at this point is a good way to increase sales and customer satisfaction.

What you can do: Use your checkout page as more than just a place to finalize a sale. Remind customers of products they previously viewed but did not add to their carts. You can also make personalized product recommendations based on search and purchase history. Aside from taking steps to increase the likelihood of a customer purchasing additional items, the checkout page also offers an opportunity to connect with consumers through personalized offers and coupons—increasing customer satisfaction.

Ensuring your checkout page is a seamless, streamlined process can take a significant amount of time and energy. With so many features to choose from and customer preferences constantly changing, it can be difficult to know which tools will translate to a better online experience. Retailers who invest in their checkout pages and keep up with the latest tech capabilities will prosper—improving the customer experience enhances conversion rates and results in a larger, happier customer base.

About the Author

Tom Mucklow leads the Addressy team in offering comprehensive and effective solutions to online shopping and delivery frustrations in the U.S. The cutting-edge address verification platform optimizes and streamlines the checkout process for online retailers and their customers by auto-populating address information, narrowing results with each keystroke, and verifying accurate address data for over 240 countries worldwide. As the leader of Addressy, Tom works to convey the cost-saving, user-experience, and data quality benefits of predictive address verification technology to businesses across the U.S.

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