E-commerce is a seriously lucrative online strategy, able to bring promising returns into any viable retail venture. That’s only if you play it right, though. One of the most basic, yet ultimately influential factors of an e-commerce website is the checkout system: how it works, what it does, and why people will keep coming back.
Therefore, your e-commerce plan has to save a fair amount of effort for getting the checkout feature spot on. Getting it wrong at the final hurdle of a purchase will do you no favours, so here’s what to avoid at all costs:
Endless forms to fill
Companies always want to know everything about us. We’re constantly filling out forms to jump virtual hoops for public bodies, retail giants, and charities, all of them claiming they need our details when the smallest interaction takes place.
Take pity on your customers in this regard: they don’t want to do this again when they’re just about to hand over their money. Email accounts, delivery addresses and bank details are all well and good, but don’t go over the essentials. It might help to condense all of your questions onto one page, providing a smooth and fuss-free transition to the till.
This is tricky ground to tread over because pushy selling techniques are going to rile someone up at the checkout stage. However, by giving a few suggestions for items that’ll match what they’re buying – such as batteries for an electronic gadget - you add a veneer of expertise as if the site can’t help but cater for the customer’s full satisfaction.
Think of it this way – if your website’s able to upsell relevant items, what’s there to lose? A small cycle of similar products placed below the ‘shopping cart’ icon could net you an impulse buy, or at the very least reinforce a sense that you know what you’re doing.
Hidden or confused charges
It’s almost a given that shipping and delivery costs will factor into the overall price. But consumers resent being hoodwinked; for example, leaving a mandatory charge to reveal itself right before an order is confirmed leaves a sour taste in the mouth, as if the site’s running on false pretences.
From the outset, make them aware of what to expect for certain price bands or special orders. Managing expectations is key in the world of online retail, so be transparent wherever possible.
Limited payment options
A final turn-off for shoppers is limited or unsecured payment options. It’s always worth presenting clear, multiple payment methods at the checkout. Handling PayPal and foreign bank details with little trouble will allow you to reach a global audience while ensuring your customers can find the easiest and safest way to process their transaction.
When all’s said and done, the main lessons of successful e-commerce models boil down to speed, security and knowing where the customer stands. As long as your website places user interactivity above snazzy advertisements and features, the checkout will be a breeze to countless great sales, time and again.
How can you make that happen? By hiring a coding expert, of course! The Code Guy can design and implement your checkout system from scratch, or modify what you already have. Tell us what you require, and we’ll get back to you pronto.