Checkout Conversion Rate: What Is It? And How Can Online Businesses Improve It?

Income is the bloodline of every online store. There are many factors that influence an e-business’s profitability. Today we will introduce you to an element that has a great impact on your business: checkout conversion rate.

Let’s say that your online store has hundreds of visits per week, but only a few of them make a purchase. How can you persuade more of your visitors to buy your products? Read on to find out what checkout conversion rate is and strategies to improve eCommerce conversion rate. 

What is a checkout conversion rate?

The checkout conversion rate is an important metric for every e-commerce business to follow. It refers to the percentage of customers that start and finish the checkout process in a particular amount of time. 

Online businesses can monitor patterns and inconsistencies by tracking conversion rates on their checkout page over time. With this approach, e-businesses will be able to learn more about which components of the checkout experience resonate with their consumers and which might be improved. As a result, a slight improvement in checkout conversion rate can substantially increase income.

Shopping cart abandonment is directly linked to e-commerce checkout conversion rates. This represents the percentage of consumers who add products to their shopping cart but never finish the transaction. We’ll learn more about shopping cart abandonment in the next section.

Why do customers abandon their shopping cart?

Cart abandonment is a common issue. For one reason or another, customers often leave an e-commerce site without making a purchase, even when they’ve put goods in their cart. According to research company Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate is 68.8%, which means that nearly seven out of ten customers have put items in their cart but don’t finish the transaction. 

Here are some common reasons:

  • High extra costs (shipping, tax, fees, etc.) 
  • Too much information required
  • Slow delivery time
  • Complex checkout process
  • Lack of trust in website security
  • Want to save the items for later
  • Lack of preferred payment option
Reasons for shopping cart abandonment ( Source: Baymard)

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4 strategies to improve checkout conversion rate

  1. Convert to a single-page checkout process

The checkout procedure should be as quick and smooth as possible for your customers. People are busy, and whatever you can do to save them time and speed up the process will help you secure a sale.

This is when a one-page checkout comes in handy. Here are some benefits a single-page checkout process offers: 

  • It’s shorter and gives customers an incentive to complete the transaction.
  • It has all the fields on the same page, avoiding unnecessary complications for users.
  • It requires fewer clicks. Behavioral research shows that the fewer the number of clicks required to complete an action, the higher the conversion rate.
  • It reduces the chance of website errors occurring between one checkout page to the next. 

The famous hypermarket Walmart has an excellent single-page checkout. It has a 3-step process with each step including a minimal form that is easier to navigate. 

Walmart single-page checkout (Image source: Ecommercebooth)
  1. Skip the mandatory sign-up

Due to the fear of personal data being leaked or tracked, online shoppers are becoming increasingly hesitant to provide their personal information to your website. Though customers may enjoy your items enough to purchase them, only a small percentage of them want to register an account right at the start of their buying journey.

Despite this, many e-commerce businesses continue to force their potential buyers to create an account for user information collection and to send newsletters. Rather than being excited to take advantage of a newsletter with deals and promotions, this forced account creation may actually lead to prospective customers giving up on buying altogether.

If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to develop a user database without mandatory sign-ups, keep in mind that you can always request a buyer’s contact information during the checkout process. The essential thing is that you give them an option, not an obligation.

If customers had a good shopping experience, they’ll come back and realize the value of having an account. You can also send them emails to encourage them to join your program.

  1. Offer free shipping

The delivery fee is one of the most common reasons for online shoppers to abandon their shopping carts. Customers visit a store and put items into a cart, but at the end of the checkout process, if they discover that they don’t qualify for free delivery or that the fees are too high, they will ditch the deal. 

Free shipping is what most online shoppers value. Shoppers are thrilled when they find a good deal and will take advantage of every opportunity to save a few dollars. Therefore, though it involves a cost for online businesses, offering free shipping significantly boosts eCommerce conversion rates. Besides, it’s not too difficult to calculate and work in the price of shipping into the product price

  1. Use shopping cart recovery emails

Sometimes, all it takes to bring back a customer to your site and entice them to complete their purchase is a little push. Enter shopping cart recovery emails. These shopping cart recovery emails are emails sent to a visitor who has abandoned the checkout process halfway through with the promise of a special deal or promotion for them to close the purchase.

Shopping cart recovery emails are incredibly successful. According to statistics, 46.1 percent of all such emails are opened (the mean open rate for all emails varies from 10-25 percent across industries). One out of every eight of these emails is clicked, and a third of those clicks result in a sale.

To get the most out of a shopping cart recovery email, online businesses should tap the customer when the lead is still “warm.” Typically these emails are sent 1-3 hours after the abandonment when your brand and your product is still fresh in the visitor’s mind. One important note is that you should check the items they’re interested in are still in stock before sending out these emails.

The bottom line

To every online business, the checkout conversion rate is a key metric that affects their ability to turn visitors into customers and close sales. That explains why e-businesses always look for methods to improve this point. For those looking for tactics to increase checkout conversion rate, following the advice you read in this article will be just what you need.

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