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Tips to Stop Abandoned Shopping Carts from Cutting your Profits
16 May, 2010 - Mumbai, India

Are you aware that whether you sell t-shirts, sweets or paintings, every day you lose revenue because of mid-process cart abandonment? Forrester research, found that 88% of online shoppers admit to having shopped at an online store then quit the purchase mid-process. This means every year, you to lose millions in revenue as these online shoppers abandon their shopping carts full of products that they fully intend to buy. The problem of mid-process cart abandonment has existed as long as online commerce but the good news is that with few simple steps you can minimize the chances of customers abandoning your shopping cart and increase customer satisfaction.

Here are some tips on how to tweak your website and payment pages to ensure maximum complete transactions:

Clear Navigation
Do you provide clear direction on your website? Think of visitors to your website as a tourist who is in dire need of a map to reach his destination, which in this case would be the 'Add to Cart' button to shop and the 'Pay Now' button to complete his purchase. By displaying these 'call to action' buttons prominently, you will not only prevent customers from abandoning their full shopping carts mid-process but also speed up the purchase-to-pay process.

Always keep in mind that if the visitor cannot locate your product list, your ‘add to cart’ and ‘pay now’ buttons, you will lose the customer and the revenue.

Geographic Limitations & Being Upfront

Who do you cater to? Most businesses have some limitations such as you only sell to customers living in India. If your logistics allows you to cater only to Indian customers then be upfront about this fact. No customer will appreciate learning that you cannot process his order because he lives outside your distribution network after spending couples filling his cart. This will only earn you ill will.

Customizing Payment Pages
When a customer chooses to make a purchase and pay on your website, he or she is entrusting you with his or her personal and card information. This trust is extremely tentative. The slight sign of inconsistency will make him back out of the sale mid-process. So, you have to do everything in your power to reassure him.

The first step you should take to reassure customers is customizing your payment pages to look like your website. This is easily achievable as most good payment gateways offer you customization tools that allow you to customize the payment pages i.e. modify colors, add logos etc. By making sure that your website and third-party payment gateway have the same look and feel, you ensure that you do not end up scaring the customer when he is transferred from your site to the payment gateway.

You should also consider adding a notice warning him that he is being transferred to a secured page for payment. So he will expect some amount of change.

The Payment Process
People of today lack patience. We are spoilt by the instantaneous nature of the technology. This makes us extremely impatient when we have to wait in long lines or wait for pages to load.

When designing your payment pages, clearly indicate the number of steps he will have to take. For example, select, book, confirm and status. This will mentally prepare the customer i.e. he knows what to expect and will not get frustrated mid-process causing him to abandon his shopping cart.

You can also enhance your payment pages by keeping them short and simple. Don't ask for irrelevant information such as fax numbers or how many children he has unless you really require it. Don’t be repetitive. If you can collect all relevant information using just 5 pages don’t stretch it to 10. If it is possible to auto-populate information (previous customers), do so, as it will gain you your customer’s appreciation. 

Moreover, keep the process simple, your customers shouldn’t require a master’s degree in IT to make a purchase from your website.

Payment Options
I’m not a big believer of credit cards. In this day and age, that may make me seem like a dinosaur but there are millions of others just like me who prefer to pay for their online purchases outright (in online terms this means through their debit cards or net banking accounts). There are even those prefer to pay using a cash card or their mobile payment account to avoid putting sensitive card details on the internet. These different attitudes means that you cannot reach out and capture the widest possible audience unless you offer multiple payment options from credit cards and debit cards to cash cards and mobile payments on your website. Tying up with all these different banks and financial institutions can be expensive. But with a payment gateway like CCAvenue you can get the widest range of payment options for a reasonable cost.    

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