If you want to increase sales, improve your checkout experience, says study
Barring dubious and possibly illegal online activities, which e-Commerce seller wouldn’t want to increase online sales?
E-Commerce services, as you would know by now, continue to explode in popularity, especially in the Asia Pacific. As extended lockdowns force more people to stay home, more businesses are moving online, hence increasing the demand for e-Commerce.
However, there are some teething issues remaining that would put customers off the entire shopping experience. This, obviously, would be a nightmare for e-Commerce companies — some of whom may be left wondering why potential leads aren’t converting to sales despite selling popular and excellent products they’d swear by.
The state of e-Commerce in the Asia Pacific
Whilst data-driven analytics can help with seeing to customer demand, businesses still need to ensure they provide the best e-Commerce experience because satisfied customers become repeat customers — who will always help businesses increase sales.
From the moment a user opens an e-Commerce application or webpage, the experience has to be seamless. Any form of delay or difficulty with navigating the site will often result in the loss of customers to another application or a competitor’s site, working against your best marketing efforts to increase sales.
After all, there are myriad e-Commerce websites and applications offering a variety of products and services today, so customers are far more likely to be impressed and remember sites that allows them the most satisfying online experience.
Furthermore, Asia Pacific’s e-commerce sales are expected to nearly double by 2025 reaching US$2 trillion, according to global market research company Euromonitor International. Digitalization, connectivity, and demographics represent the key drivers in the region’s shift into an innovation hub post-pandemic.
So what’s my checkout page got to do with increased sales?
Are you one of those businesses wondering why sales aren’t picking up despite an e-Commerce boom? If you want to improve sales online, then heed the following words.
Shoppers today want ease of access in everything they do. Regular patrons of e-Commerce services would usually already have their payment details saved on the application or site for a faster checkout process. However, a recent study showed that a vast majority of online sites have checkout issues.
According to the State of APAC Checkouts report by Stripe, 95% of e-Commerce sites had five or more errors on their checkout pages. Stripe conducted a detailed review on 500 e-Commerce websites across Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, and Malaysia.
The report stated that APAC consumers expect a fast, intuitive, and mobile-optimized payment experience, with as much as one-third saying they would abandon a purchase if it took more than two minutes to check out.
However, many merchants are failing this two-minute test, because over 50% of consumers have said that, on average, it takes them more than three minutes to complete a purchase. As a result, nearly a quarter of online shoppers have abandoned a purchase in the past year because of checkout processes that take too long.
In most cases, the most common errors had to do with payment issues. Many e-Commerce sites were not able to support digital wallets and did not offer a numerical keypad for entering card numbers on mobile devices. In some cases, transactions with incorrect card numbers or expiry dates were also allowed.
“The smallest glitches in a checkout page can create significant lost revenues, so even the world’s most successful e-Commerce sites struggle to perfect their checkouts.
“Bringing together the form of a simple payment, surfacing the right payment options for each consumer, and making the whole experience mobile-friendly takes a lot of focus and near-constant adaptation,” said Paul Harapin, Head of Revenue and Growth for the Asia Pacific and Japan at Stripe.
Are you meeting consumer demands?
Delivering what consumers want is key for any business that wants to increase sales.
As 90% of all online shopping carts are abandoned, fixing basic checkout page errors and removing all possible friction in the transaction process can yield huge upticks in eventual sales.
When it comes to payments, the study found that a lack of favorable and preferred payment methods resulted in 13% of checkout abandonment. A separate Stripe study found that businesses saw a 27% increase in sales when they offered Afterpay, a popular BNPL (buy now, pay later) payment platform in Australia and New Zealand.
In the subscription market, Stripe’s findings revealed that although APAC consumers have two active subscriptions on average, more than half of users were put off by the lack of a free trial and the ability to use e-wallets or direct debit.
Not surprisingly, security was also a concern as customers worry about the safety of their sensitive financial data. Some consumers are now able to identify payment sites that do not seem secure.
Ironically, imposing additional security steps such as MFA (multifactor authentication) after order confirmation adds extra friction and negatively impacts their experience as well — making them less likely to complete the purchase.
To deal with this, Stripe suggests that sellers allow customers to check out as a guest, reducing the amount of personal information that’s collected and stored.
Should businesses require customers to log in to complete a purchase, allow them to create an account or log in by connecting to their existing social media profiles — that way, their financial information is stored on their social media profiles instead of on your website. This SSO (single sign-on) method expedites the checkout process and helps improve sales on your site.
With most consumers shopping from their mobile devices, chances of cart abandonment are higher, and more than twice the rate of those shopping from desktops.
According to Stripe, this is because many sites aren’t yet mobile-optimized in terms of UI and UX (user interface and user experience), so this is also an area to improve on with your application developer.
Ultimately, efforts to increase sales have to come with some elbow grease involved — there are no two ways about it. Without a seamless checkout experience, e-Commerce sites will only be seeing consumers move to their competitors that may offer a better experience.
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