One of the major challenges merchants face today is how to minimize checkout abandonment and maximize conversion on e-commerce platforms. A Tuesday afternoon session at the CNP Expo started by distinguishing between shopping cart abandonment and checkout abandonment: Shopping cart abandonment has to do with a customer shopping around, looking for the best price, ensuring that they want to purchase a particular merchant’s product. Checkout abandonment is when customers have made the decision to buy, they start to pay, and then something happens during the purchase process that causes them to walk away. Scott Fitzgerald, senior vice president of marketing at BlueSnap, noted that checkout abandonment can be caused by “friction, confidence issues, and false negatives.”
Rob Marriott, international payment consultant at Ingenico ePayments, said that according to their research, up to 57 percent of customers will abandon checkout if their preferred payment method is not accepted. Customers can also be frustrated if data gets erased when they go back a step during the checkout process.
Klarna’s Colin Luce cited research that shows the dopamine high of making a purchase apexes at the moment of deciding to buy, but fades as the consumer actually makes payment. He also noted that physically completing the purchase on a mobile device can be difficult if you have to enter your card number.
“Fat-fingering, and even just the difficulty of balancing your card and your phone at the same time, can create a real hurdle for consumers,” Luce said. “Any opportunity to reduce keystrokes will increase conversion.”
In northern Europe, Klarna implements a pay-later checkout option, not necessarily because customers can’t afford the product now, but because it encourages them to make the purchase on their mobile device, entering just an email address, and then they can enter their payment method later on their desktop in a more comfortable setting.
Fitzgerald urged merchants to spend as much time and money building and testing their checkout page as they do their home page to reduce as much friction as possible. Panel moderator Joe Walent, senior analyst at Mercator Advisory Group, recommended that merchants use their checkout page as an opportunity to re-enforce your brand experience. He gave the example of a pet store that used a “Pay Meow” button.