Merchant Services: Improving Virtual Shopping Cart Performance
Is the virtual shopping cart on your e-commerce website operating at peak efficiency? What is its abandonment rate? What can you do to improve its function? These are all questions you may have asked yourself, and merchant services provider Merchant Express® has some answers.
The Baymard Institute, a publishing group that conducts research on how to improve conversion and web usability, reports that the average virtual shopping cart abandonment rate exceeds 65 percent. If your rate is lower, congratulations for beating the odds! If your rate is the same or higher, it’s time to consider some things you can do to get online customers to stay on your site and complete their purchases.
One of the top concerns for e-shoppers is security. Anyone who enters their personal and credit card information into a payment page deserves assurance that it will be handled securely throughout the transaction and beyond.
Savvy customers look for basic security features like “https” in the URL. Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) combines Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) with SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security) protocol, which has become the standard for payment transactions on the World Wide Web. SSL encryption is highly recommended before you start accepting credit cards online.
Once you have established secure credit card processing on your site, make sure your customers know it. Prominently post security information on all your product pages as well as at checkout to instill confidence in shoppers that their transactions will be processed safely.
Requiring cardholders to enter the 3 or 4-digit CVV (Card Verification Value) security code printed on the back of their credit card on the payment page is another positive indication to your customers that you protect their sensitive data. CVV also reduces your risk of accepting a stolen credit card in payment. The more confident customers are about the way you operate your business, the more likely they are to complete their transaction and return in the future.
By keeping shopping and checkout procedures simple, you make it easy for customers to complete the sale. All directions should be concise and clear. Buttons should unambiguous — if clicking them adds an item to the cart, they should be labeled thus. Keep the website design simple, too, so that it doesn’t overwhelm the business at hand — sales. If a site is too confusing, shoppers can get frustrated and leave for a site that’s simpler to navigate. You may get only one chance to impress a visitor to your site, so make it count.
Finally, solicit information from your online customers about what they like and dislike about your site, then follow through on their reviews. Set up a comments section on the site, a prompt that pops up as they’re leaving or ask for their input in the confirmation email you send after the sale is complete. Then work with your web designer to tweak your site to reflect their comments and criticisms.
Hopefully your designer knows your site as well as Merchant Express knows credit card processing. We’ve been a merchant services provider since 1998, giving us the expertise, products and services necessary to meet the credit card processing needs of all types of businesses. Talk to one of our representatives today about how we can help your business and your bottom line.