I ran across an interesting article on the Internet Retailer website just today. It seems online retailer RugSale.com decreased their shopping cart abandonment rate from 65% to 45% and increased their average ticket by 21% — simply by streamlining their checkout process.
Do you make any of these mistakes?
RugSale.com’s original checkout process took seven steps — which they reduced to two. Each new page your customers have to click through in order to check out, you lose additional sales. Make sure your shopping cart doesn’t require any unnecessary steps.
RugSale.com used to force customers to type in duplicate information. For instance, customers were required to enter both a shipping address and a billing address, even if both were the same. Now they automatically populate the billing address fields if the customer indicates the two addresses should be the same. If possible, configure your shopping cart to eliminate duplicate data entry requirements.
RugSale.com used to require customers to open an account in order to purchase a product. They found customers didn’t really want to set up a user ID and password; they simply wanted to (in the words of their CEO, Charley Kaoud) “check out quick and move on.” If you want to give your customers the option of setting up an account, that’s fine, but to maximize your sales you shouldn’t require account setup.
It pays to test
No matter how good you think your shopping cart is, there’s a good chance you can find some way of streamlining the checkout process. Evaluate the steps your customers have to go through, the information you require them to enter, and eliminate anything that isn’t strictly necessary. Then test, test, test and see if there’s any improvement.
If there is, you know you’re on the right track. If there isn’t, try something else.
The important thing is this: don’t assume that your checkout process is already the best it can be. It’s likely there’s room for improvement — and as RugSale.com found out, the improvements can be significant.