Online retailers challenged on Checkout experience


Online retailers challenged on Checkout experience

As the festive season draws closer, many Kenyans are gearing up for the Christmas Holiday shopping spree. A new trend has been catching on in the country – online shopping.

The worry for many consumers who have embraced online shopping is the checkout process by online retailers as they seek to receive a seamless experience lest they abandon the retailer hence adversely affecting their bottom line.

A recent study by Baymard Institute calculated average online shopping rate abandonment at 68 percent – demonstrating how critical seamless checkout is for retailers in converting sales during buy periods.

What are the key reasons why shoppers select products then walk away without buying? Sometimes they don’t find their preferred way to pay online – for example, they may not want to use a credit card or they may not feel confident that the site has secure processes for personal information.

And mobile shoppers may also not finish a purchase because it is challenging to complete a purchase on a small screen or the checkout steps are complicated.  American online payments system PayPal is challenging online retailers with 6 tips they can use to improve their checkout process to ensure shoppers complete their purchases.

Here is your cheat sheet:

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. When you’re creating your online store, you spend a lot of time making it appealing to customers: Are you selling the right mix of products? Are you building an attractive and well-designed website? Is your supply chain as efficient as it can be? However, it’s just as important to consider the customer experience.Try out your own checkout process to identify and eliminate steps that can frustrate, confuse or annoy customers.

Streamline and simply checkout. When you design an e-commerce website, the little things matter. Focus on removing obstacles on the path from product selection to completed purchase: Keep it simple, reduce the number of steps it takes to check out, remove having to retype lengthy amounts of information – use autofill, and store shipping and payment information.

Offer favorite ways to pay. Showing shoppers that you offer their favorite ways to pay can improve conversion rates – and sales. Provide customers with every way that they may want to pay to help improve conversions and drive repeat business. It might be using cash, mobile money services like M-pesa or using their credit cards. Paypal is a secure service that allows you to safely carry out transactions online without having to enter your card details every time.

Weigh the desire for customer data against the need to complete the sale. Now that data about customer habits and preferences has become easier to gather, it’s tempting to use it in your business so you can better serve shoppers.However, avoid asking for information upfront that isn’t absolutely necessary for the purchase as it can deter some consumers from continuing their shopping experience at your store.

Make checkout easy for mobile shoppers. Streamlining checkout is even more important for mobile payments, where small screens and buying on-the-go create an environment ripe for cart abandonment. To make your site mobile-friendly: Design for the small screen, use larger fonts and buttons, minimize data entry and remember to test, test, test!

Give customers the right information at the right time. Customers like to know what’s happening when they begin the checkout process: How long will it take to make a purchase? How much information will they have to hand over? How many online forms will they need to complete? Minimize confusion by telling customers what’s happening at each checkout stage.

That just about summarizes tips PayPal believes will give Kenyan online retailers an upper edge, especially as the shopping craze starts to catch on during the Christmas festivities.

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