What is Happening Across the Industry
As online sales continue to grow for businesses, the ability to acquire and convert web visitors into buyers is all the more vital. However, up to 68.8% of online shoppers abandon their cart, according to a study by the Baymard Institute. Ponder that for a minute, for every 10 people that put products into a cart, 7 won’t buy. And out of this, nearly a third don’t checkout because they find the checkout process too long. Whether you are in retail, fashion, travel or the restaurant business, this is cause for concern, but it doesn’t stop there.
74% of people in the UK access the internet via smartphones, and a third of online purchases are already happening via mobile. Ironically, in this mobile first era, businesses convert less customers on mobile than they do on desktops. Why? Well for starters, the average website takes 15 secs to load on mobile; while research by Google shows that slightly over half of web visitors will abandon a page that takes more than 3 secs to load. Why should businesses care? According to a study by Forrester Research, businesses are losing out on $18 billion worth of sales revenue every year due to abandoned carts. Additionally, for every 5 online shoppers that are dissatisfied on a visit, 4 are unlikely to buy again . For a growing business, this is like filling a broken hourglass where the sand never stops running.
What are the Causes of Slow Checkout Systems?
Unfriendly checkout page designs can slow down and distract users from the checkout process. Use of heavy, un-optimised images is a common culprit. A 2017 study by Google found 2 out of every 3 mobile pages to be over 1MB; some with images as big as 16MB. A balance between an attractive design and seamless functionality is vital for an effective checkout page. A maximum of 500KB is considered best practice. In other cases, online shoppers are forced to take more time than needed on checkout due to disorganised systems that don’t reveal details such as shipping costs, expected dates of delivery or possible discounts early enough. When users don’t find such info quick enough, they are encouraged to leave. Businesses are further slowing down the checkout systems by requiring customers to fill too many form fields. How do you define too many? According to a 2016 survey by the Baymard Institute, the average US checkout system has 15 form fields. Yet the study, surveying some of the top performing ecommerce companies found the ideal checkout form to have 7 fields. Meaning, businesses have more than half the number of necessary checkout form fields on their websites.
Improving Checkout Systems With PSPs
One way businesses can improve their checkout systems, without losing focus on the core product is through working with a Payment Service Provider (PSP). A PSP handles the collection, storage and transmission of payment details, connection to both local and international financial institutions, as well as the implementation of security measures on behalf of businesses.