A lot has been written and said about the ways of eCommerce conversion rate improvement. You’ve probably browsed various articles that tell how to skyrocket your sales through designing eye-candy landing pages, investing into SEO and promoting your store via various types of marketing channels.
However, as it often happens, the most obvious places for optimization are frequently overlooked. Organizing the process of order placement being one of them.
As you know from understanding the elements of a well-optimized conversion path, taking an order is the last and most important step of the sales funnel. Hence, this step should be properly organized with the consideration of your potential customers’ requirements.
These are the most common (yet often ignored) things to do:
When getting to the initial step of placing an order, customers may face a number of barriers that can make them leave without finalizing a purchase. Usually, that happens because of the necessity to create a user account with too many fields to fill out.
You can simplify the procedure in two ways:
- Let a customer purchase as a guest
- Add alternative sign up options (e.g. via social accounts)
Thus, shoppers can either avoid filling out boring sign-up forms or automatically populate them with the data taken from their Facebook, Twitter or Google+ accounts.
However, regardless of how you may shorten this step, there is one thing that you certainly can’t exclude. That is requesting customer shipping address. Luckily, the modern eCommerce technologies let you capture customers’ geographical location (a country, state and city) and automatically add these details to the corresponding fields at the checkout. All that is left to do is to request a customer to enter a house number and a zip code.
It may often happen that a customer can either incorrectly enter some data or skip filling out certain order form fields. If you have a Magento-based store, you can use this Magento Order Management extension to solve this issue. With the software you can edit any existing order details (without canceling it), add the missing data or create new orders with the correct customer’s details.
And an Order Placement Progress Indicator
In case it’s impossible to simplify the initial stage of placing an order, you can add a progress indicator to show a customer how much is left to do.
On the one hand, the indicator has an informative function — it relieves frustration and tells customers where they are in the process. On the other, it has a psychological effect — the progress indicator motivates shoppers to finish what they’ve already started, and thus get to the very last step of placing an order.
Provide a Choice of Payment Options and Ensure Payment Security
When it comes to cyber payments, shoppers want to have a wide range of options to choose from.
So, you need to ensure that your store customers can pay not only with the most common methods but also using a new, progressive ones.
In addition to accepting credit card and PayPal payments, you may experiment with electronic checks, gift cards, Google Wallet, internal store credits, and more.
And don’t forget about ensuring the security of any type of the above mentioned payment methods. Add trust signals to every step of the order placement process. By putting a “trust badge” on the checkout page you guarantee potential customers that the payment process is safe and secure.
Generally, these badges are associated with SSL or secure sockets layer and indicate trust from a third party.
Take Care of All Possible Errors
Placing an order online hardly ever goes smooth and 100% error-free.
Customers may often enter a wrong number of their credit card, forget their user account password, make a typo in the shipping address or choose a wrong configuration of a product.
That’s why you should do your best to either prevent these errors or assist a customer when something goes wrong. That can be done by:
- An error message display that describes why it’s impossible to move further and what should be done to solve the issue
- Adding tooltips/ promoting notes telling in which format data should be entered into a particular field
- Offering communication by live chat software, so shoppers could immediately contact your support team is something goes wrong, or if they need assistance with placing an order.
Be Honest with Your Customers
We all know that honesty is the best policy.
Avoid surprising your customers when it comes to the process of placing an order in your store. Don’t hide any fees, display delivery rates & time and charges in advance and re-confirm the total costs at the final step.
Remember that any unexpected nasty surprises will make your potential customer to disappear and your store reputation will be irrevocably spoilt.
These are the easiest, and most effective ways to optimize your order process. Do you have anything to add? Feel free to share your thoughts and experience in the comments below.
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