At Mediarun we often tell our fashion clients that “If the internet were a supermarket it would be a nightmare getting to the tills through the sheer number of shopping carts abandoned just before purchase”. It seems the vast majority of internet shoppers – more than 70 per cent suggest some surveys – get cold feet at the point of payment and make a run for it. It’s a uniquely internet phenomenon and one which will continue to lose a lot of money for sites that fail to explore why it is happening and what they can do about it. Here are a few lessons that all fashion retailers should keep in mind when looking to see improved conversions.
Identify the Problem
Start by identifying where those could-be customers are abandoning their shopping. Tools like Google Analytics will help determine whether it is on the pay now page or the shopping cart page. This page should be the first to be checked for glitches that might be putting customers off and to be optimised to ensure it offers a smooth and straightforward shopping experience. Publishing a customer service number prominently on your pages, or using live chat technology to intervene when someone is having problems, can also help reduce the number of people who would otherwise simply give up and leave.
Researchers have found the single biggest reason for ditching a shopping cart is the surprise of a high delivery cost, often not revealed until a customer gets to the check-out. Transparency throughout the process, with delivery costs and times listed clearly alongside the product, will help enormously in saving the sale. If the delivery options are too complex to list prices, offer help through live chat so a shopper is aware of the total cost from the start. The same goes for product information – any surprise about manufacture specifications or quality of finish that the shopper discovers late in the process could be the deal breaker that has them running for the door.
Once a shopper has decided on their purchase it is human nature that they will want to pay and get out of there as soon as possible. A check-out process with too many steps or too much form filling is a big turn-off – figures show a quarter of all customers give up when asked to register – so keep it as easy as possible and offer a simple guest check-out for those who don’t want to sign in. Ideally you want the checkout done on a single page with easy-to-follow navigation taking the customer smoothly through the process – and make sure it is optimised for mobile which is where a lot of people do their shopping these days.
No one likes handing over credit card or other payment details so it is important to create an obviously safe and secure check-out environment. Display security seals such as SSL prominently, publish customer testimonials, offer trusted multiple payment methods and make your refund procedure clear and easy to follow. And don’t give up if you still lose them after all this work – follow up with an email or use ad remarketing to keep their interest alive and encourage them back for a second look.