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5 Ways Ecommerce Sites Lose Customers At The Final Stage

Conversion Rate Optimisation

We recently did a webinar that highlighted some common mistakes that Ecommerce sites make in their online checkout process. In it, we discussed 5 key things that many sites get wrong and suggested ways to improve customer experience.

You can find the video recording of the webinar below:

Key takeaways from the webinar:

Top Navigation

It is a good idea to remove your main navigation once a visitor has entered the actual checkout process (the step after the basket view). This ensures that the visitor understands they are now in the checkout process and it also removes distractions that might cause the visitor to exit the checkout.

This also allows to make more prominent the important elements of the checkout itself, including trust symbols and the progress indicator. For more advice, read this Econsultancy article on why you should enclose the checkout process.

Progress Indicator

Adding a progress indicator to a checkout process is a great way to let your user know where they are in the process, and what they can expect at each step. It’s important that there be a logical progression for each stage and that there be a clear direction in the user’s journey.

Smashing Magazine discuss some best practices for progress indicators.

Validation and errors

First, the best approach to errors is to try and prevent them before they happen. You can do this in three ways:

  1. Having clear unambiguous labels
  2. Adding additional help text when needed
  3. Be as forgiving as possible with a users’ data input

When a user does make mistakes, having good error messages can vastly improve the customer experience. They should be helpful and let the users know what they did wrong (not simply say ‘invalid’) and also be tied to the field where the error was made. Baymard Institute call this adaptive error messaging. Smashing Magazine have also written about the frustration caused by error messages in online forms.

Asking too much

Cutting the fat off a checkout process is important to reducing as much friction as possible. This means removing as many fields as possible.

Asking personal questions can also lead to a high number of abandonments in your online checkout. For instance, a registration form that one of our users tracked asked for Date Of Birth as a required input. The form was around 18 fields in length, and this field alone caused over 1600 people a month to abandon the form, representing 36% of all the form abandons.

Coupon Codes

27% of online shoppers have abandoned an online checkout in search of a coupon. If you have a prominent coupon or discount code field as part of your checkout, there is a chance you are losing visitors who head out of your site, and do not return. For more information on the detrimental effect of coupon codes and advice on alternatives read our article The Perils Of Voucher Codes And Discounts.