At the end of the day, e-commerce and commerce in general, are about the end result, clicking that “buy” button and completing the transaction. But it’s easier said than done and there are several reasons why this last step may not occur. In general, we use the term Friction to refer to any variable, website quality, or user behavior trend that is slowing down (or entirely halting) the progression of your company’s sales cycle. This friction (often caused by anxiety) is the main reason why a consumer will slow down the transition and eventually stop and “drop” their shopping bag before checkout. What triggers anxiety is often a range of obstacles on the website and the list is long, so here are a few of our favorites and some solutions to match.
Surprise! You’re paying more!
The biggest friction point (58% of consumers agree) is when you think you’re buying a product for a certain price but when you reach the checkout point, the shipping and VAT kick in and suddenly your purchase is much more expensive than what you intended. This relates to the issue of trust. More money equals more anxiety and anxiety equals mistrust, friction and cart abandonment. So, how do we fix this? Simple. Write the total amount from the start or as early in the process as possible! Consumers prefer honesty than to think they’ve been tricked into choosing a specific product.
Security is key
Anxiety, which leads to friction points, can be caused by several reasons; the shoppers don’t have a sense of security, they may not be receiving enough information or perhaps it’s just because the UX isn’t smooth enough and makes them feel edgy. Let’s take a moment to talk about security. For example, consumers will feel more secure if the payment is done through a company they know and trust such as Paypal (and while you’re at it, add a few more options), as opposed to writing in their card details and hoping the site is secure. Focusing on communicating how secure your checkout is, is crucial. Besides using Paypal, another way to instill trust is to add a Google certified shop badge. This way an e-commerce merchant endorsement that shows that Google “identifies and stands behind stores that provide a consistently great shopping experience” and we all (well most of us) trust Google.
It’s all about timing
Here’s another little tip, at the checkout point, add a phone number to contact. You’ll be surprised how many buyers, especially new ones, have questions at checkout and if you’ll be available you just might be sidestepping another friction point and saving a lot of potential cart abandonments. Though having a live person available would be the optimal situation, it’s not always possible. Thankfully, a trend that will be growing strong this year are the chatbots, and when placed strategically at checkout they can offer the consumers the answers they need, reassuring the customer that he or she can trust the process.
Another way to ensure trust is reviews. Sometimes on websites, users may be skeptical as to whether the reviews are real as are the users writing them. If all reviews are superb it also may cause mistrust as opposed to if there is a healthy mix of reviews with mostly satisfied customers while still having a few that were less so. Using voice in reviews can make them much more trustworthy since the consumer gets a real sense of the buyer’s opinions. Credibility is key and that’s why a lot of companies display the reviews in a central location on the home page as well as the specific product page. Another tip is to have the reviews in the checkout section as well. This way there is direct context and positive reviews to give them the boost to checkout. If you’re missing any of the above on your website, you’ve got some work to do.
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