E-commerce is on the up, with purchases up nearly 54% late last year, and the market is expected to continue accelerating and maturing in 2022.
By WP Engine Country Manager ANZ Mark Randall.
WP Engine Country Manager ANZ Mark Randall.
From Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, fiscal year-end to Christmas and Boxing Day sales, shoppers are increasingly expecting a seamless omni-channel retail experience during key sales periods, and many may be put off by a complicated shopping process, resulting in shopping cart abandonment on the web. With end-of-school sales slowing and Valentine's Day sales approaching, now is the time for retailers to eliminate any annoying website errors or oversights that are hampering their customers' shopping experience.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
Ensure scalability and speed
Google reports that the best practice is to keep load times to three seconds or less. The results show that a load time of 1 to 3 seconds increases the likelihood of a bounce (a user who immediately abandons) by 32%.
When ecommerce stores encounter a large number of website visitors during a peak sale period, it can cause a website to time out or slow down. Not only does this lead to incredible frustration and a drop in customer satisfaction, but a slow website can also result in cart abandonment if the customer is in the checkout process during a website timeout.
To fix this there are several things you can do. First, run a website speed diagnostic with a tool like the WP Engine Speed Tool, which performs a custom analysis of how fast your website loads and provides specific speedup recommendations. Invest in a content delivery network, compress images and shrink your code, and you can also partner with a digital experience platform that can improve an ecommerce store's website performance by giving it the necessary provides scalability and speed.
Streamline the checkout process
Even when an ecommerce store is driving phenomenal growth, retailers are still losing potential sales because of cart abandonment. Cart abandonment occurs at a staggering global average of more than 70% of all shopping transactions. That's roughly $4.6 trillion worth of goods and services that go unpurchased every year.
Some research suggests that more than 60% of cart abandonment should be recovered through a better checkout process. Other research shows that users tend to abandon their shopping cart because the shipping costs are too high. It is important to let the customer know in advance or at the beginning of the ordering process what the shipping price will be. Better yet, offer free shipping to create a greater incentive to complete a purchase or to motivate the customer to earn free shipping by spending a certain amount (e.g. "Spend $50, get free shipping"). In today's world of overwhelmed logistics, build long-term trust and loyalty by letting customers know all the details upfront.
To minimize cart abandonment, provide a guest checkout option for those who don't want to create an account (avoid forcing customers to log in or create an account), add a "For later Save” or “Add to Wishlist” if customers want to save their wishes for future purchases and offer multiple payment options, including alternative methods like “buy now, pay later”.
Implement superior site security
Data security and privacy is one of the top priorities for retailers this year. Strong security measures not only allow the website to be protected, but allow retailers to run their website at peak performance during sales hours. First, install a security plugin. A plugin is a third-party feature that customizes a website to better meet visitor needs. For WordPress users, install a plugin like Sucuri that minimizes security vulnerabilities.
Adding a security badge to the checkout page can also inspire confidence from a shopper who might be afraid of data theft and website security. That being said, it's important for retailers to clearly communicate the security measures they take to ensure a secure checkout process. The mention that you don't store any credit information, that your website is SSL certified and that there is a "100% money back guarantee" gives consumers confidence in the safety of the ecommerce store and ultimately leads to a final one Purchase.
About Mark Randall
Mark Randall is a true tech veteran with over 20 years of experience in the technology industry. Prior to WP Engine, Mark held senior positions at web hosting organizations such as Bulletproof and Rackspace. Mark even helped create a hosting platform in his early 20's shortly after graduating from high school. Mark is an experienced General Manager, Country Manager and Sales Executive with a proven background in the information technology and services industry, experienced in leadership, sales, cloud computing, web/digital technologies, software as a service (SaaS) and business planning.
About WP Engine
WP Engine, the world's most trusted WordPress technology company, offers the freedom to build on WordPress. We offer the most reliable and trusted branded and developer-focused WordPress products for businesses and agencies of all sizes including Atlas, Flywheel, Local and Genesis. WP Engine is headquartered in Austin, Texas with offices in Brisbane, Australia; Krakow, Poland; Limerick, Ireland; London, England; Omaha, Nebraska and San Antonio, Texas. Read more at www.wpengine.com.