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Shopping Cart Improvement Study: Enhanced checkout flow & increasing the throughput of transactions


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65% shopping cart abandonment rate w/ an average cart value of $109. Here is your challenge.
This pratical presentation is the one-stop-shop guide with data, best practices and latest trends in Checkout Flow Optimization.

Areas covered includes:
- Checkout process KPIs for retailers
- Top 20 reasons for cart abandonment
- Retailer checkout investment priorities for 2009
- 12 tips to minimize the drop-off spots
- 2 methods to re-engage customers
- Supposedly good ideas, think twice!

Published in: Business, Technology

Shopping Cart Improvement Study: Enhanced checkout flow & increasing the throughput of transactions

  1. 1. Shopping Cart Improvement Study Enhanced checkout flow & increasing the throughput of transactions
  2. 2. Presentation Overview <ul><li>Checkout process: retail numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons for cart abandonment </li></ul><ul><li>Retailer checkout investment priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Improvement suggestions & justifications </li></ul><ul><li>Good ideas? Think again… </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>Follow us on Twitter:
  3. 3. Checkout process: retail numbers The online retail sector in general registered dramatic drops in ecommerce activities in February 2009 compared to February 2008, YoY (Year over Year). The retail sector as a whole reported a decrease in average order value and in shopping cart conversion rate of 5.5% (for both). Among those consumers who shopped online, the number of items they purchased per order fell by a staggering 7.5% from the year before. These numbers show that the number of people willing to spend online shrank considerably and the online shopper spent less money than during the past year. Benchmark Industry Report for U.S. Retail by Coremetrics - February, 2009
  4. 4. Checkout process: retail numbers Consumers’ engagement with websites, measured by page views per session, product views per session and the average time they spent on sites, fell by 10%, 17% and 22% respectively. Website sessions in which shoppers added items to their carts and sessions in which they went on to complete orders decreased by 5 % and 10% respectively. Benchmark Industry Report for U.S. Retail by Coremetrics - February, 2009
  5. 5. Reasons for cart abandonment The PayPal Checkout Abandonment Study by ComScore (553 pers.) - May 12-15, 2009 The PayPal Checkout Abandonment Study by ComScore - March 25 to April 18, 2008 Shopping Cart Abandonment Study by WebSurveyor Services (orange) & Marketing Sherpa (blue) – respectively January 2006 & April 2007
  6. 6. Retailer checkout investment priorities More detailed shipping information (i.e. packaging deadline, shipping time & delivery date) is currently the main investment priority for 88% of retailers in the coming year. Then, 67% of retailers said that they would focus on calculating the loaded cost (i.e. shipping, taxes & surcharges) of an order before the checkout. Improvement to the Shopping Cart page redesign was also noted as a significant prerogative for 58% of retailers. A small percentage of retailers reported taking on a more time-consuming, and thus more costly, set of initiatives such as single-screen checkout. The State Of Retailing Online 2009 : Merchandising And Web Optimization by Forrester Research
  7. 7. Checkout Workflow <ul><li>Offline processes follow a logical order: users select a product, bring it to a register, and pay for it. Axance reported that asking for the invoice address before the delivery address confuses users who are most concerned that the product gets to the right address. </li></ul><ul><li>Also, some sites still ask for credit card information before showing the final price, like Digital River’s Sign in/billing/Payment page which asks for credit card details during site registration. The result is confusion and skepticism that can turn customers who would otherwise be Bookers into Lookers. </li></ul>Why: uncomfortable w/ the checkout process (8%) Solution: review order logic
  8. 8. Form completion workload Using’s guest checkout, required com-pletion: 10 fields on the 2 nd p. & 5 on the 4 th p. Digital River’s checkout: 16 fields on the 1 st p., 1 on the 2 nd p and none on the last 2 p. <ul><li>The key to form completion is to reduce workload’s feeling and help users focus on their ultimate goal: finalizing the purchase. </li></ul><ul><li>Eye-tracking studies show that users only focus their attention on a small part of a screen. Cluttered & long pages during the check-out process can create overload perception. </li></ul><ul><li>Digital River’s template is asking to complete 16 fields on the 1 st page. Why not make it more friendly & just ask the email? FYI, remarketing to abandoners yields up to 50% conversion of those who abandoned. </li></ul>Why: Checkout process too long (9%), uncomfortable w/ the buying process (8%) Solution: balance cognitive workload
  9. 9. 3 rd party logos <ul><li>Research has shown that 91% of US online shoppers recognize the VeriSign Secured Seal – making it the number one Internet security brand ( Synovate, 2008 ). </li></ul><ul><li>Another study showed that 97% of online shoppers feel confident sharing their banking details with a Web site when they see the green address bar - which is only displayed when you have an EV Certificate ( Tec-Ed, 2007 ). </li></ul><ul><li>B y combining VeriSign, BBB or local equivalents (TRUSTe for Europe / TUV for Germany) and logos of credit cards, consumer’s confidence is greatly enhanced and more visitors can be turned into buyers. </li></ul><ul><li>Hacker Safe claims a 15.7% average increase in orders - directly attributable to earning the certification. </li></ul>Why: Security Concerns (21%) & un- comfortable w/ the buying process (8%) Solutions: combining Verisign, BBB, TRUSTe & Credit Card logos
  10. 10. Single-screen checkout <ul><li>innovative approach to the multi-screen, frequently abandoned traditional checkout process, the self-contained checkout screen enables to prominently display promotions in the shopping cart to drive purchase behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Then, the shopping cart can show more detailed images of products and give the ability to edit those products without leaving the page. </li></ul><ul><li>In 2004, Molecular Inc created a single-screen checkout for T.J. Maxx that Adobe optimized for its Digital River Store. Besides offering an </li></ul>Why: Checkout process too long (9%) & uncomfortable w/ the buying process (8%) Solution: Single-screen checkout w/ right panel
  11. 11. Guest checkout <ul><li>Do not force users to register an account in order to complete their order. It is an unnecessary roadblock that is actually discouraging them to continue. Like the No. 2 online retailer (Office Depot), implement a guest checkout which is generally having 8% fall-off at this stage vs. 23% with a forced registration. </li></ul><ul><li>Another option, chosen by HP, is to allow users to finalize their order and then gives them the option to create an account by simply selecting a password. </li></ul>Why: Too long checkout process (9%) & uncomfortable w/ the buying process (8%) Solutions: guest checkout or option for password selection when finalizing order
  12. 12. Shipping: cost & deadline <ul><li>The primary reason that consumers abandon carts is that their ancillary costs - specifically shipping, taxes, and any surcharges - are not calculated until a consumer is deep within the checkout process. </li></ul><ul><li>By asking for the ZIP code, provide an approximating cost while consumers are browsing your product pages. They </li></ul><ul><li>want to buy, just answer to all their potential questions . </li></ul><ul><li>To satisfy the impulsive “I want it now”, indicate “this </li></ul><ul><li>Product usually ships in X days” or use “Estimated </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery Date”. </li></ul>Why: Shipping charges too high (43%), higher total cost than expected (36%) & hidden charges at the checkout (36%), no clear delivery details (13%) Solutions: shipping cost in prod. page & cart ETA
  13. 13. Save, print & email shopping cart <ul><li>With Wish List usage down, the shopping cart is being used to store items for later consideration. This has created a need for an alternative form of bookmarking or grabbing products for consideration, much like shoppers do in-store. </li></ul><ul><li>To increase the order completion rate, we should include flexible options to encourage a future session such as Save Cart, Print Cart & Email Cart features. </li></ul><ul><li>Moreover, a “Your Recent History” area can be docked to the bottom of the product page where items being previously visited stay in clear view & may be bought. </li></ul>Why: Comparison Shopping (37%) & no time to complete order (27%) Solutions: Save / Print / Email Cart w/ retarget-ting email & « Your Recent History » area
  14. 14. Prominent local phone number Telephone numbers can help in three ways: 1/ If visitors have a technical/payment difficulty during the checkout process 2/ Some consumers simply prefer to call in. Perhaps they have questions they need answered, or they want to make sure there's a &quot;real human being&quot; behind the virtual presence. Why: could not find Customer Support (22%), no phone provided (10%), shopping cart problems (8%) & payment issues (2%) Solution: toll-free number w/ working hours 3/ Many consumers simply trust a website more if there's a phone number. You show you are willing, ready and able to be contacted. They feel secure even if they never contact you.
  15. 15. Promotional code hunting Why: Wanted to look for a coupon (27%) Solutions: loyalty program, instant discount w/ registration, url parameter & less visibility There are 4 ways to prevent from promotional coupon hunting: 1/ Engage them in a loyalty program generating a win-win perception (i.e. accumulation of virtual dollars to spend). 2/ Ask them to sign up for your newsletter & send them the discount code right away (e.g. OfficeMax). You can also place a 5% discount code next to the “promo code” box. 3/ When a customer arrives via an affiliate or email link w/ a promo code, includes a parameter in the URL stored in the shopper’s session for promo box to appear. 4/ Make the box less visible (left side below the fold) & mix it with other usefull boxes
  16. 16. Alternate payment methods <ul><li>Represent 20% of total transactions: Paypal (70M active accounts on 175M), eBillMe (40M US people does not have a bank account / 21% of offline shoppers), BillMeLater & Google Checkout. </li></ul><ul><li>w/ </li></ul>3) Appeal to dominant customer segments: address offline clients (check or cash), target consumer preferring eChecks, Direct Online Bill Pay, Wire Transfer, Cash On Delivery, etc. 4) Retailer’s financial upside: SEM advantage & free interchange fees (Google Checkout). <ul><li>Represent 20% of total transactions: Paypal (70/175M active accounts ), eBillMe (40M US people w bank account, 21% of offline shoppers), BillMeLater & Google Checkout. </li></ul><ul><li>Drivers of growth are: </li></ul><ul><li>1) Avoid numerous keystrokes for customers (vs. CC) & no bank data saved by retailers. </li></ul><ul><li>2) Provide customers with valuable choices (flexibility in payment options & billing plans). </li></ul>Why: Missing preferred payment option (24%) & Security concerns (21%) Solutions: Offer more payment options & add other ways to collect the $
  17. 17. Unclear messaging <ul><li>Providing clear messages in the forms and noting fields that contain errors can pay off: login screen saying the email address is invalid, wrong password notification, credit card explanation in the wrong sub-section, bug in the credit card failure process to review and correct details, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>According to Tealeaf , resolving these kinds of common problems can boost conversion rates by 2% to 5%. </li></ul>Why: Uncomfortable w/ the checkout process (8%) Payment Issue (2%) Solution: clear error message & contextual help
  18. 18. Confirmation: re-engage customers <ul><li>FootSmart and have focused on developing an effective cart abandonment program to re-engage customers on the confirmation page with Free Shipping or Coupon Offer for the next order. </li></ul><ul><li>Relevant offers in shipping confirmation notices result in conversion rates as high as 2.5% for FootSmart. </li></ul><ul><li>You may also use </li></ul><ul><li>them in your confir-mation email to provide additionnal exposure and allow your customers to store them for a future purchase on </li></ul><ul><li>your website. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Confirmation: re-engage customers Popular Media, these viral tactics can generate a lift of 32% in the program's performance compared to traditional marketing efforts. <ul><li>Social Media provide email marketers with a powerful new tool in a new channel where they can engage existing customers, apprehend new customers and drive revenue. </li></ul><ul><li>Targeted Response Program aims at motivating shoppers to share their brands on Social Networks with a few simple clicks. According to StrongMail/ </li></ul>
  20. 20. Prevent login/password forgetting <ul><li>To prevent this, retailers should remember customer data across sessions (i.e. cookie). </li></ul><ul><li>Moreover, make it easy for customers to find out to get their forgotten password or how to reset it by indicating it in the sign in step. </li></ul><ul><li>Like Amazon Payments, you can also authorize purchases without a username & password. The process is called Payphrase using a familiar expression to enter shipping & payment info and a PIN to place the order. </li></ul>Why: Forgot login/password (9%) & un-comfortable w/ the buying process (8%) Solutions: cookie, password reminder or reset & Payphrase
  21. 21. Good ideas? Think again… <ul><li>Refrain from loading a discounting faked pop-up while your prospects are leaving the cart. You are depreciating your brand and altering your credibility by using such a prying mechanism. Preferably, retarget abandoners by email with a consistent value proposition. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid to have an automatic chat window opening when users are leaving the checkout process. It is particularly intrusive and annoying. Automated Chat Agents have their limits in replying to your questions. They may generate additional frustration for the dubitative visitors. </li></ul><ul><li>Instead, do it smartly by showing both a phone number and a disctinctive « Live Chat Agent » button (handled by your Customer Team) nearby your call-to-action button. Moreover, if a customer lingers on an FAQ page this is a good time to deliver a live chat prompt. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Conclusion <ul><li>Before & after to implement the following suggested shopping cart optimizations, you need to evaluate & test by monitoring these: </li></ul><ul><li>Visit-to-Cart Rate acting as a KPI to measure Customer Engagement Rate (visits that lead to an open cart). It will reveal the effectiveness of our site’s design, product mix, merchandising, and content to engage the user. </li></ul><ul><li>Product Page/Landing Page-to-Cart Rate will monitor our effectiveness by revealing if the customer expectations are being met prior to enter the checkout process. </li></ul><ul><li>Checkout Abandonment Rate show the number of open carts vs. completed orders. </li></ul><ul><li>Ratio between checkout page 1 (Sign In), checkout page 2 (Shipping), checkout page 3 (payment), checkout page 4 (confirmation) and test to decrease your drop-off spots. </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>