How to Build an Effective Ecommerce Checkout Flow for Your Business

September 24th, 2021 Comments off

Online sales are skyrocketing. In the first quarter of 2021, ecommerce sales increased by 39.1% from the same period in 2020. If you run an ecommerce business, there is a vast market where you can get significant revenue.

However, while your small business website has high traffic and your customers fill their carts with products, your sales might still be lower than expected. The reason? High cart and checkout abandonment rates.

This guide will explain how you can optimize your ecommerce checkout flow to guide customers from filling their cart to completing a purchase. You will learn what a typical checkout flow looks like, the difference between cart and checkout abandonment, and discover seven ways to improve your website’s checkout flow.

What is a typical checkout flow?

The ecommerce checkout flow consists of the steps your customers take to browse for products and make a purchase. The checkout flow transforms website visitors into buyers. It typically has seven steps:

typical cart checkout flow

The ecommerce business checkout flow serves two main purposes:

  1. Allow customers to pay for products
  2. Gather information about the customer, such as their name and email address.

You’ll need customer information for future promotions. Gathering customer data also allows you to make future purchases more convenient for the customer.

Checkout abandonment vs. cart abandonment: what’s the difference?

We’ve outlined the typical checkout flow, but where do customers abandon their cart or abandon the checkout in this process? And what is the difference between checkout abandonment and cart abandonment?

The difference between checkout abandonment and cart abandonment lies in when the user abandons the purchase.

understanding checkout abandonment

Image Created By Writer

Cart abandonment occurs when a customer adds products to their cart and leaves the site without proceeding to payment. According to Statista, customers abandoned an average of 88.05% of online carts in 2020. The typical reasons for cart abandonment include a lack of genuine interest in products or unstable websites.

In contrast, checkout abandonment occurs after the customer enters their payment details and before making the payment. Customers abandon the checkout process because of high shipping costs or additional fees, complicated processes, or forced account creation.

Luckily, whether you’re already running an online shop or plan on starting an online business, there are many ways you can optimize your checkout flow to reduce rates of cart and checkout abandonment and boost your sales.

7 ways to make your checkout flow more efficient

The first part of this guide sets the context. Now we get to the meaty part of the guide. What follows are seven strategies you can implement to make your checkout flow more efficient.

#1 Be upfront about extra costs

Extra costs at checkout, such as shipping, tax, and fees, is the top reason for checkout abandonment. There is nothing worse than being shocked by extra costs when they try to check out a purchase for customers.

top customer reasons for cart abandonment

Source: Baymard

Removing additional fees at the time of checkout doesn’t mean you need to shoulder the costs of shipping and taxes. However, you need to be transparent about costs before the checkout process begins. When customers view their cart, your site should display all the added fees, so there are no surprises at the end of the process.

Providing a way for customers to control these costs will help keep cart abandonment rates low. You could offer multiple shipping options such as USPS Priority Mail, increase your listed product prices upfront to account for shipping and handling, or waive shipping costs for orders over a certain amount.

#2 Optimize loading speed

If you want to buy a product, but the website keeps crashing or won’t load, there’s a good chance you won’t go ahead with the purchase. In addition, poor website performance can also damage your visitors’ trust in your business.

Many factors could affect your website’s loading speed. These include:

  • A poor web hosting provider
  • Third-party ads
  • Widgets and plugins
  • Large image and video files

The checkout flow has many steps and different pages, so all the pages in the checkout process should load quickly. You can use Google Pagespeed Insights or other free services to check your website’s load speed.

If your pages consistently take too long to load, it might be time to find the reason. If widgets, ads, or large images and video files slow your website speed, you may need to remove these. Otherwise, it might be time to upgrade your hosting or ecommerce platform provider.

#3 Don’t force your customers into creating an account

Many ecommerce businesses encourage users to create an account as it can facilitate repeat purchases and lets the retailer send marketing emails to the user. However, some customers would rather abandon their cart or checkout process than provide their email address as they feel it’s an unnecessary step.

example of cart checkout as guest

Source: UXdesign.cc

Giving your customers the option to check out as a guest will help improve conversion rates. You may also use an API to allow customers to register using their social media or Google account.

#4 Make the purchase sequence as simple as possible

A complicated and confusing checkout flow can be a killer for your conversion rates. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can streamline the purchase sequence to make checking out easy and fast for your customers. These include:

  • Offer multiple payment options: Letting your customers pay with a digital wallet such as Apple Pay, PayPal, or Klarna will make checking out more convenient.
  • Create a mobile app: More and more ecommerce businesses have dedicated mobile apps to allow customers to make purchases and access after-sales support.
  • Display cart contents in real-time: When a customer views their cart, they want to see thumbnail images, size and color selection, price and quantity clearly.

By making the purchase sequence clear and easy to follow, you make the overall experience more pleasant for the customer, which helps reduce checkout abandonment.

#5 Add trust badges to your checkout page

When checking out, ensuring that your website appears trustworthy to customers is essential to getting your customers to complete their transactions. After all, they are entering their payment details and are about to give you their hard-earned money. Online shoppers are increasingly wary of websites that could be stealing their data or scamming them.

Trust badges are a great way to show customers that you are a legitimate business. Some trust badges to add to your website include:

  • Money-back and returns guarantee: Adding badges to the checkout pages that remind customers you offer free returns and/or a money-back guarantee is a great way to reassure them while making their purchase.
  • Free shipping: A free shipping badge displayed on your website and at each stage of the checkout flow reassures customers that shipping will be free and they won’t encounter any surprises at checkout.
  • Accepted payments: This badge shows your customers the payment method your site accepts, such as Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, or American Express.
  • Third-party endorsements: Third-party endorsement badges show that your business is credible. The Better Business Bureau Accredited Business and Google Customer Review badges are both trustworthy badges to add to your ecommerce website.

Trust badges are a great way to reassure your customers that your ecommerce business is legitimate, trustworthy, and flexible in terms of payment methods, shipping, and returns.

#6 Send cart and checkout abandonment emails

Even if you’ve made your checkout flow simple and straightforward, a few are still bound to fall through the cracks. Cart and checkout abandonment emails can boost conversion by encouraging customers to complete their purchases.

sending emails for cart abandonment

Source

When customers abandon their cart or checkout, they tend to forget it altogether. However, sending a checkout abandonment email can help your business save abandoned transactions. One report found that 50% of users who clicked on cart abandonment emails pushed through with the purchase, proving that abandonment does not need to be a dead end.

To create that FOMO, you can provide a discount for a limited time. You can use an email countdown timer to add that extra bit of pressure to make them complete a purchase.

#7 Add an auto-save feature to your shopping cart

Sometimes customers need time to decide whether or not to buy a product. If they leave an item in their cart, leave your site, and return to see an empty cart, they probably won’t be inclined towards repeating their browsing experience.

Adding an auto-save feature to your online shopping cart means when customers return to your site, their cart will still have all their chosen products in it. An auto-save feature makes it easy and convenient for customers to continue with their purchases.

Removing additional fees at the time of checkout doesn’t mean you need to shoulder the costs of shipping and taxes. However, you need to be transparent about costs before the checkout process begins. When customers view their cart, your site should display all the added fees, so there are no surprises at the end of the process.

Providing a way for customers to control these costs will help keep cart abandonment rates low. You could offer multiple shipping options such as USPS Priority Mail, increase your listed product prices upfront to account for shipping and handling, or waive shipping costs for orders over a certain amount.

Wrapping Up

When you run an ecommerce business, it’s easy to focus your efforts on driving website traffic and optimizing your website’s appearance and usability. However, you should not forget to build an effective checkout flow to encourage your customers to complete their purchases.

The methods we’ve discussed in this article aim to improve your process flow by removing barriers to smooth checkout and reducing cart and checkout abandonments. While they may seem different, they all seek to make the process simple and convenient for your customers. When you accomplish this goal, you can expect an increase in orders and revenue.

Bio

Jimmy RodriguezJimmy Rodriguez is the COO of Shift4Shop, a completely free, enterprise-grade ecommerce solution. He’s dedicated to helping internet retailers succeed online by developing digital marketing strategies and optimized shopping experiences that drive conversions and improve business performance

Back-To-School Tips for E-commerce Sellers

August 10th, 2021 Comments off

After the 2020 pandemic forced many students to learn remotely at home, schools are finally reopening for in-person learning. Parents want a fresh start for their kids this fall and will set them up for success by making sure their K through 12 and college students have all the right tools and essentials. With the National Retail Federation expecting around $82.8 billion in back-to-school sales for 2021, sellers need to prepare for a season that will likely exceed pre-pandemic spending.

E-commerce sales for Back-to-School are expected to be 53% higher than 2019, according to a forecast by Mastercard SpendingPulse.

Let’s Look at the Stats
With parents feeling like their kids missed out last year and children excited to reunite with classmates, this year’s back-to-school and college seasons are expected to be the biggest ever. Many retail experts are projecting a sales growth of 6.7% from 2019 and 5.5% from 2020, with online shopping expected to be 53% higher than it was in 2019. Additionally, gone will be the days of wearing pajamas to the virtual classroom. Apparel sales will likely rise a sizable 78% with footwear up 21% from 2020.

Here are three tips for E-Commerce Sellers to Increase Back-to-School Revenue:

Tip #1 – Create a Back-to-School Landing Page:
Customers are looking for an easy way to shop for school supplies. A custom back-to-school landing page with items organized into convenient categories helps them find everything they need. You can categorize items using a variety of demographics such as gender, age, price or best sellers. Get people to return to your landing page by utilizing Google Ads, email lists and social media.

Tip #2 – Demonstrate How Your Products Fit Into People’s School Lives:
Get creative with your displays! You can boost your sales by taking the extra step beyond just showing your merchandise on a shelf or as a standalone item. If you’re selling pens, pencils and paper, arrange them on a school desk. If you’re selling bathroom decor, bedding or other furniture, create a dorm-like setting to stage your wares. Photograph your items in a classroom setting and use them in your marketing collateral.

Tip #3 – Market the Correct Products to the Right People:
When stocking items, think beyond the obvious back-to-school shoppers. There are a variety of people to keep in mind when it comes to going back to the classroom. Parents of younger students are looking for snacks, travel eating utensils, computer and audio equipment, stickers, paper, pens, uniforms and a variety of educational materials. College-aged students will shop for phone cases, bathroom supplies and sportswear while also looking to outfit their dorm rooms with desks, bedding and decor. Don’t forget about teachers! Cleaning products and general school supplies are always a necessity.

Final Back-to-School Thoughts
Besides the Christmas and holiday seasons, back-to-school season is one of the busiest and most profitable times of the year for online retailers. With in-person learning fast approaching, now is the time for retailers to prepare so they can ace this year’s back-to-school rush.

3 Live Chat Extensions for Your WooCommerce Store

July 29th, 2021 Comments off

If you’ve added WooCommerce to your WordPress website, you now have a fully functional e-commerce website.

Want to up your game even more? Improve customer experience and increase sales by adding live chat.

Benefits of Adding Live Chat to Your WooCommerce Store

Although online shopping is extremely convenient, it can sometimes be difficult to navigate. A live chat extension makes things easier by allowing customers to message a live chat agent directly for help. They simply need to click a window whenever they need assistance.

This immediate, real-time feedback is crucial to getting customers the information they need to make a purchase. As the site owner, if you don’t create a seamless purchasing process, the potential customer may just click away, go to your competitor’s site, and buy the item there. Live chat keeps them on your site and greatly increases the likelihood that they’ll buy from you.

According to the American Marketing Association, Live Chat on your B2B website will increase conversions by 20% on average!

What Live Chat Extensions Can You Add?

Here are three chat extensions you can add to your WooCommerce store.

#1 LiveChat

This extension is fully customizable, so you can choose a theme, pick a color, add your company logo, and more. The chat widget is attractive and user-friendly. Optional tracking settings allow you to see your customers’ cart details during a chat, including product information, quantity, and previous orders. You can send time-based invitations to hesitant shoppers, as well as motivational messages to those whose carts have reached a certain dollar value.

You can also hold multiple chats simultaneously, send prepared responses to FAQs, tag your chats, and send files through the chat widget. The monthly rate for LiveChat starts at $16.

#2 WhatsApp

With upwards of 2 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp is the world’s most widely used messenger app. Visitors to your site can use the WhatsApp extension to ask questions, and you can enable the WhatsApp Cart feature so customers can add items to the WhatsApp cart and even place orders on WhatsApp. It doesn’t replace your standard cart system; it simply provides customers with another option.

This extension allows you to customize backgrounds and label colors, choose which products and categories show the WhatsApp add-to-cart button, hide prices and the standard add-to-cart button, keep a record of all WhatsApp orders, and more. WhatsApp costs $49 per year.

#3 Woo Bot

This is a simple chatbot that helps visitors search for products. You can configure the welcome message and respond to all unanswered questions. You can also set offers and coupons in the welcome message, enticing visitors to look at products they wouldn’t otherwise consider.

Woo Bot’s features include product search, product thumbnails with a link to the product page, customizable themes and backgrounds, prepared responses to FAQs, email notifications for new questions, chat logs, and more. Woo Bot costs $29 per year.

Improve your website, enhance customer experience, and increase sales with a live chat extension on your WooCommerce store!

Stamps.com connects directly to WooCommerce!

Connect Stamps.com to WooCommerce and easily import, manage, and ship your E-Commerce orders. Here are great features to simplify your WooCommerce Shipping:

  • Import order data directly from WooCommerce
  • Print USPS and UPS shipping labels in one step
  • Automatically send tracking info to your customers
  • Automatically post back order and tracking info to your store
Categories: Ecommerce Shipping Tags:

5 Selling Tips For Amazon Prime Day 2021

June 11th, 2021 Comments off

It’s almost here! Amazon Prime Day 2021 will be on June 21–22 with sales for third-party sellers estimated to surpass last year’s $3.5 billion. Post-COVID items like luggage, makeup and apparel will be top sellers as well as items that were in shortage during the pandemic like fitness equipment, home-office essentials, laptops and gaming consoles. Additionally, the competition will be fierce with other big retailers like Walmart and Target participating in their own yearly sales events. It goes without saying, Prime Day 2021 will be huge. Are you prepared? Here are 5 selling tips to help your business have a successful Prime Day 2021.

Tip #1 Optimize Your Product Listings
There are many ways to optimize your product listing to increase traffic and sales:

  • Focus on short, catchy titles with clear descriptions and copy that is optimized for mobile.
  • Use bullet points to organize information and get to know Amazon’s character limits so you can optimize accordingly.
  • Utilize keywords that are significant to Prime Day as well as similar words people search for that are relevant to your product.
  • Take advantage of A+ Content if you’re enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry program.
  • Put emphasis on your product, not the offer.
  • Ensure the product details refer to the product itself—it’s a violation of Amazon’s Terms of Service to mention anything about Prime Day or discounts in the product details.

Your product image also plays an important role in optimizing. Take a look at top-selling products and observe the quality of their images. Your first image should show the product set against a white background while the other images highlight the product’s features. Customers always look at images before text, so make them look appealing.

Tip #2 Don’t Raise Your List Price
Savvy shoppers already use a variety of browser extensions to hunt down deals and track pricing. Raising your list price to show a greater discount not only looks suspicious to customers but can raise a red flag with Amazon, resulting in your account possibly getting suspended. If you can’t provide a discount, it’s better to highlight your product’s superior qualities.

Tip #3 Run Amazon Sponsored Ads
It’s good to have your product fully optimized before creating an Amazon PPC campaign. A PPC ad will increase visibility of your product by showing up when people search for similar items. Automatic campaigns can help you find popular keywords that can be used for your manual campaign with higher bids. To increase the chances of your ad getting seen, avoid bidding on overly popular keywords like “Prime Day.” Make sure to download search term reports and check your maximum bids regularly to ensure your ads are performing.

Tip #4 Run Off-Amazon Promotions
There are many different platforms you can use to drive external traffic to your Amazon Prime Deals:

  • Email blasts
  • Amazon wish lists
  • Blog posts
  • Influencers
  • Affiliates
  • Google Ads
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Organic social media
  • Facebook groups

If you don’t have a Facebook group or audience, Facebook Ads can help you reach potential customers. Something to keep in mind with Facebook Ads is that if you send the user straight to your product listing it can be difficult to track ad progress as well as can potentially undermine your Amazon keyword ranking. Instead, send traffic to a custom landing page that has the ability to capture email addresses.

Tip #5 Take Advantage of the Halo Effect
The halo effect of Prime Day can significantly help your business long after the event ends. Draw attention to your non-Prime Day deals with targeted ads for popular keywords. This can boost your products in the queue. Notice if your item is included in a “frequently purchased together” category and capitalize on the traffic overflow. Consumers are already in shopping mode during this time, so take advantage of it.

In conclusion, Prime Day 2021 has the potential to be the biggest shopping event of the year and with some research and planning it can be highly profitable for your business. So be prepared, stay focused, and follow the tips above to make it your most successful event yet!

Did you know? Stamps.com has a direct integration with Amazon!
Stamps.com allows Amazon.com third party sellers to easily print shipping labels at discounted rates for UPS® and USPS® shipping services. Get more info on Stamps.com’s Amazon Integration.

WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing – A Weird Way to Optimize Conversion Rates

May 20th, 2021 Comments off

Introduction to Dynamic Pricing

If you want your business to scale, you need to stay with the times. Nowadays, consumers are highly aware of the market and do their research on a brand before making a purchase. Thus, it’s important to be aware of the current online retailer trends to stay on top. One such common trend in today’s e-commerce competitive marketplace is dynamic pricing. Strategically adjusting the price of your product to match the current demands is a sure way to gain customers’ attention and make them choose you for their business.

So how does it work? Dynamic pricing curates prices for products by gathering large amounts of data regarding customer demand, competitors, and market conditions. So the prices are always changing depending on the market and time. This is especially beneficial for businesses related to traveling, e-commerce, transportation, etc.

But is it beneficial for consumers? Are there any disadvantages associated with it? And how to implement it? We are going to answer this and much more ahead, so keep on reading.

Dynamic Pricing Strategies

Dynamic pricing is available in multiple forms which you can implement depending on your business and product type:

1.    Time-Based Pricing

In the time-based pricing strategy, businesses can increase or lower the price of products based on their inventory available in their store or warehouse, date of release, and competitor price. Businesses can also use specific hours of a day to increase their sales, such as “happy hours” in a bar or offer same-day delivery with slightly higher prices.  

2.    Market-Based Pricing

Fluctuation in the market is a common thing and recent times have made us more aware of this than ever. Businesses would need to lower their prices if the demand decreases and increase the prices when demand is high.

3.    Segmented Pricing

Segmented pricing refers to setting different prices for the same product. This is done by segmenting the buyer into categories, such as prices that could be higher or lower based on location, delivery time, membership, high-value customers, and much more. You can also set prices for the services provided, such as faster delivery and quality. Through segmented pricing, everyone can afford your product on their terms.

4.    Penetration Pricing

Penetration pricing is perfect for new businesses who want to get noticed immediately. This strategy involves initially pricing the products and services at prices lower than those provided by the competitors. This results in increased visibility which helps startups gain the traffic they desire.

5.    Peak Pricing

Peak pricing is implemented when the demand is high and the competition is low. It is mostly employed during peak hours or seasonal sales where the products are priced dynamically to result in more sales. For example, during the holiday season, travelers buying airplane tickets normally see much higher prices than in non-seasonal time. 

There are many dynamic pricing plugins available that can set up different pricing strategies and analyze results to see which works best for your business.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricing can easily go sideways if not implemented property and thus along with advantages, it has few disadvantages as well. Let’s see if the pros outweigh the cons in this matter.

Advantages

1.     Increased Profit

By implementing dynamic pricing on your online store, you can benefit from increased sales and revenue. How? Because the machine collecting data to create a specific algorithm for your business makes sure your pricing is right. For example, if your competitor is selling the product for $3 and you sell them for $1. The dynamic pricing strategy will price your product at $2, which will be profitable for your business and also improve customer satisfaction as they believe they are getting a better deal from you.

2.     Knowing Your Competitors

Perfectly implementing a dynamic pricing strategy requires you to know your competitors. It is important to know what your successors have been doing. What are their prices? How do they price their products? When and how do they lower or increase prices? And much more. Once you have a clear view of your competitors, you can improve and implement these strategies seamlessly in your store.

3.     Customer Insight

The better you know your customers, the easier it will be to sell to them. Dynamic pricing provides you insight into your customer behavior, their shopping hours, their willingness to pay a price, their interests, and their demands. This helps you provide an optimum shopping experience to your customers and result in increased sales.

Disadvantages

1.     Increase in Competition

Dynamic pricing can easily get out of hand and start a price war. Now, what’s a price war? If a single business lowers its price to gain customers, similarly another business does the same and soon all other competitors follow which leads to incredibly reduced prices which are gaining no profit for the businesses.

2.     Distrust in Customers

These price wars lead to distrust in customers as well. How? If your loyal customers find out that someone else got the same product at half the price from another vendor, they will feel cheated. And no matter how loyal a customer is, a further reduced price is sure to get them converted to another business. 

To avoid these errors, make sure to have a perfect dynamic strategy in place and stay true to it because overdoing dynamic pricing could result in loss.

How to Implement Dynamic Pricing on your WooCommerce Store

There are many ways you can implement and integrate dynamic pricing into your online store. Setting up dynamic pricing cannot be done overnight. It is a long and laborious process of easing into the market, getting the customers, and increasing profit keeping the demand in view. Below we have mentioned a few strategies that you can implement on your site to properly enable dynamic pricing.

1.    Initial Pricing

As mentioned above, this pricing strategy is employed by new business owners, who introduce products at prices that are considerably lesser than the competitor. How? Because they take little profit at the beginning to gain customers and then once a strong client list has been established, the prices are gradually increased.

2.    Introduce Bundle Pricing

Another effective way to introduce dynamic pricing is by creating bundles. This is great for businesses that deal with clothes, food, sports equipment, etc. For example, an online store that deals with computers and their accessories, can bundle up a complete computer system and sell it for a slightly discounted price. This would help in increasing sales as your customers think they are getting a good offer and also increase the average order value. 

3.    Offer Discounts and Coupons

We all know customers love a good deal. Coupons and discounts are great for attracting the audience’s attention, but too much use of this dynamic pricing strategy could result in less profit, the difficulty of increasing the prices later on, and also makes your product seem cheap. Thus, it is recommended to occasionally and strategically place discounts depending on the need.

Final Thoughts on Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricing can be an ideal solution for the competitive e-commerce market, but it can also create customer mistrust in your brand  if misused. Thus, it is important to devise a proper strategy and work accordingly. Overdoing anything will have its consequences, such as running year-long discounts will give your customers the impression that your products are cheap or they won’t purchase when you increase the price. It is a continuous ongoing process and you need to improve and implement it on the way based on the supply and demand.

Stamps.com Connects Directly to WooCommerce!

Stamps.com’s direct integration with WooCommerce allows online retailers to easily import, manage, and ship your e-commerce orders. Benefits include:

  • Import order data directly into Stamps.com from WooCommerce
  • Print USPS and UPS shipping labels in one step
  • Automatically post back order and tracking info to your store

Make your WooCommerce shipping easier today by connecting your store to Stamps.com!

Author’s Bio

Xaviera Khalid is the content writer at WooKeeper.com. She is an avid reader and uses her creativity to write interesting articles about WooCommerce and its related topics. She focuses on SEO-optimized content and provides factual writing.

Categories: Ecommerce Shipping Tags:

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