You’ve heard the term, “last but not least” before. It’s an expression used to clarify that an item, though mentioned last in a list, is just as important — if not more — than anything else. You’ve seen it used often in the many listicles and clickbait articles available online. But few situations warrant it as much as when it comes to your checkout process. It may be the very last thing your customer does on your e-commerce site, but it’s one of the most important steps of making a sale.
You can’t neglect this part of your website. Even just a single issue can cause your customers to exit out of their windows without completing their purchases. If your analytics show your customers abandon their shopping carts, you could be making one of these two mistakes in your checkout process.
Slow service is driving off customers
When the iPhone X launched, Apple fanatics lined up for days to have the chance to buy the new handset. When Amazon opened its “no-checkout, no-line” store, people unironically waited in lines to be the first ones to shop its shelves. These launches are proof that people are willing to wait to get the goods they want.
But there’s a catch. People are only willing to wait if it’s in person. Their behaviour online is totally different. The internet has come a long way since you first used dial-up to check your Netscape mail on the family desktop. This isn’t the 90s, when users were willing to wait 10 minutes for a single picture to load, pixel by pixel. The year is 2018. Now people can do more on the Internet with a device they keep in their back pockets, and they expect a fast connection.
Any kind of delay disrupting your customer’s checkout can cost you a sale. According to KISSmetrics, a single second delay in loading time can result in 7% reduction in conversions. They did the math. If your site generates $100,000 per day, one second could cost you $2.5 million in lost sales each year.
That’s a huge loss balancing on such a tiny fraction of time. Don’t slow down your shopping cart by asking your customers to update item counts, shipping fees, or coupon codes. Adopt a dynamic shopping cart that updates in real time, like the Cart.js used by Shopify stores.
Exorbitant shipping costs
Your customers may be shopping from their office. They may be shopping from the couch as they binge-watch The Crown. They may even be shopping from their spot in their bathtub, surrounded by bubbles. Though they may be shopping from anywhere they get Wi-Fi, they still expect their sale to ring up like it would if they were in store. Once they click through to purchase, they expect to see roughly the same price as the cost of their item plus taxes. They don’t want to see the price jump because of shipping costs.
There’s just one, very obvious problem. Shipping is a necessity because they’re shopping from home. And if your customer isn’t paying for it, somebody else is: you!
Letting shipping costs eat into your profits can help you boost sales. But depending on what you’re shipping, these costs could slash your margins so low it’s not worth staying in business. That’s because when you search on your own for low-cost shipping, most small parcel and LTL (Less-Than-Truckload) couriers won’t offer their discounted rates. Your small business doesn’t ship enough parcels in any given week.
To see the discounts high volume shippers get, you can speak with a shipping courier broker. They liaise with small businesses like you and couriers like DHL, UPS, and FedEx. Since they represent so many small businesses, they’re able to tap into high volume discounts with some of the biggest couriers and LTL carriers in North America.
Some brokers, like those that make up netParcel, have such a great working relationship with these couriers that they’re able to save up to 70 percent on shipping costs. Not only do they make it cheaper to ship, but they also make it easier, too. Over 7.5k customers appreciate how simple it is to integrate online stores with the netParcel rate comparison tool and shipping platform. To learn more about how this works, check out netParcel.com and review their services. They’ve streamlined a process that can be clunky elsewhere.
When you find a dependable broker that consistently negotiates deeply discounted rates, offering free shipping to your customers won’t have as much of an impact on your profits. The number of sales you gain from this bonus may even cover these costs — and more!
If your shopping cart abandonment rate is high, it’s a sign your checkout process is in need of a giant overhaul. Though it’s last, checkout is definitely not the least of your worries. As the final experience, your customers have with your brand, it needs to go above and beyond their expectations. Fast service and free delivery are just two ways to impress your customers. Take the time to curate a quick and convenient checkout experience to win more customers.