How to Add Simplified Revenue Opportunities During Checkout
How simple is your checkout process for customers? Is it an arduous task, or perhaps the opposite and everything is handled on a single page? This is a critical aspect of e-commerce that can’t be overlooked. A complicated checkout process could mean lost business.
In fact, a recent study conducted by UPS found that 20 percent of shoppers left items in their cart because the checkout process was too confusing. Before e-tailers take this statement to heart and strip down the entire checkout process for simplicity, consider what’s at stake. The checkout process must strike a balance between simplicity and opportunity to increase average order value (AOV).
What’s Your Path to Purchase?
Before you can figure out how to maximize AOV, consider the steps required to make a purchase. Profitable e-tailers make it easy for customers to purchase. Today's customers expect a seamless shopping experience. As such, each e-tailer’s mission should be to better understand their customers’ overall preferences, then construct a path to purchase that best positions them to service these empowered shoppers.
And while it’s easy to think mobile may offer a more convenient path to purchase, desktop and laptop shoppers remain more focused on the task at hand. A recent Microsoft study shows mobile users are more distracted, which could lead to increased cart abandonment. In addition, the UPS study shows that shopper satisfaction for desktop/laptop customers is 84 percent vs. just 65 percent for mobile customers.
Keep Customers’ Eyes From Wandering
A shopper's desire to stay on your site begins with your range of products, and how those products are priced. Assortments need to be inspiring. From there, smaller e-tailers really have an opportunity to elevate their chances of not only converting visitors into customers, but increasing AOV. Consumers searching for products certainly want a good deal, but they’re also looking for items specific to their lifestyle, such as technology enthusiasts. They’re more interested in protecting their investments and willing to invest in additional tech support, for example.
How to Add More Value to Your Products
Profitable e-tailers understand they need to provide more than just a good selection of products at a good price. They need to add “value” to their customers’ lives – and purchases. However, this needs to be done in a way that enhances the checkout process, not hinders it. Remember, a complicated checkout process will drive away customers, in spite of adding the right value.
Adding value to a purchase can be as simple as bundling complementary items or services. These can include free shipping on orders above a certain minimum value; special training sessions on products (e.g., computer hardware or technology); memberships to a community of like-minded users; newsletters; and technical support. Loyalty programs are a nice added touch and have been proven to lift revenue for retailers.
Add Trust AND Increase Revenue
An additional way of adding value, as well as increasing AOV, is to help customers build trust and loyalty. A great way to accomplish this is by adding protection plans or warranties for products at checkout. Customers will appreciate the sense of security knowing their investment will be protected should something go wrong in the future. This sense of security builds trust and loyalty with the brand, increasing the chances of future purchases and developing long-term customers.
It Has to Be Simple
Increasing AOV is good for the bottom line, but the process needs to be convenient for the shopper. Find the right integration partner who can help enhance each product page or online shopping cart so that adding these product enhancements is automatic or as easy as a single click. Even though they’re technically additional steps, the one-click option makes customers feel like they’re getting something extra without the hassle of a complicated checkout process.
In conclusion, smaller e-tailers that offer the right products with added value are able to better compete with larger brands. However, this strategy can only work when the shopping and checkout process is efficient with minimal complications. Brands that identify opportunities to make these enhancements to their websites will begin to realize increases to their AOV.
Matthew Pufall is director of product for Assurant Solutions, with a focus on developing and marketing Assurant Product Protection, a technology solution that integrates easily into online retail platforms to help SMBs offer revenue-generating protection plans to their customers.
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