How to increase sales through optimized checkout experience

As e-commerce surges, retailers like you are trying to increase sales in a fiercely competitive market. And, just like you, they’re asking themselves:

  1. How do I increase basket size?
  2. Is there any way to minimize cart abandonment?
  3. What can I do to get these customers back to finish checking out?
  4. How can I build loyalty?
  5. Can I attract new customers without losing profit margins?

The good news is that Canadians are spending more and more online—an average of $2,700 CAD a year, in fact. That means there’s plenty of opportunities to increase sales—and makes it even more urgent to improve all aspects of your online business.

This ebook will highlight some proven methods to improve key metrics such as conversion rates, AOV and LTV. As you know, there are plenty of ways to increase e-commerce sales—increased marketing budget, refreshed product mix, persuasive emails, etc.—that are important to consider. But there’s also one lasting investment that can be made that won’t require ongoing cash outlays: enhancing the checkout experience.

The Product Browsing Phase

Let’s start by considering the shopper’s goals. They may be looking for a specific item or just window shopping—and everything in-between. This is your chance to leverage e-commerce best practices that get shoppers to discover your products and add them to their baskets. Here are some customer-centric strategies to push them along their buying journey.

  1. Improve conversion through design. Create engaging product previews that use high-quality images. Test your image crops to highlight specific features. Add video where possible. Re-examine your navigation and try exposing your core categories so users can better see the breadth of your products.
  2. Pop up your promotions. Use catalog promotions for seasonal sales, a special day or other themed promotions. Create landing pages for the promotion and link to them through a banner or pop-up. 

Inside the Shopping Cart

With items in their baskets, your shoppers aren’t yet your customers. They’re close, but the shopping cart poses one of the biggest challenges for retailers.

We all know that cart abandonment will never be reduced to zero. After all, some people enjoy today’s version of window shopping. But moving even 10% more shoppers into checkout can be huge for customer acquisition, loyalty and revenue. What can you do to increase your conversion rate? Here are the top tips you can implement right away:

  1. Use scarcity and urgency to your advantage. Highlight low inventory by noting “Only 2 in stock.” Now’s a good time to highlight your return policy as well as to remove any further obstacles. “Don’t like it? Just return it to us, no questions asked.”
  2. Add a “save for later” option. Many customers use their carts for window shopping. Some like to save things they want to buy at another time. Make sure it’s easy for them to come back and complete their checkouts. If a customer abandons, send an email immediately assuring them you have saved their items. This proactive communication, combined with retargeting, is the best way to regain these customers.

During the Checkout Process

With a full cart, the still-not-quite-your customer is close to crossing that magic line and hitting the “place order” button. Now is the time to do everything you can to streamline the payment process. Best practices include:

  1. Forced sign-in or account barriers. Demanding users to create an account or sign-up to check out is a surefire way to lose a sale. Offer express checkout with only an email or phone number for status updates. Another great alternative is to use social login.
  2. Offer a variety of the best of today’s payment options. Consumers want to use their preferred methods, which may vary depending upon purchase value.

And what would these payment options be? Credit cards, Interac e-Transfer®, Buy Now Pay Later (such as Klarna, PayBright), mobile or digital wallets (PayPal Apple Pay etc), and crypto. Each one has its own appeal—yes, even crypto—and will allow different types of shoppers to buy from you.

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