o Increase Conversion, Don't Neglect the Human Factor

Direct feedback from customers who abandoned their shopping carts at checkout is vital to understand and optimize conversion rates, according to a new white paper from online and mobile payments provider Ingenico ePayments and e-commerce provider Astound Commerce. E-commerce experts that talked to the companies for the white paper acknowledged the important role data plays, but said numbers don’t always get to the core of why a certain customer abandoned a shopping cart.

“You might find the reason for cart abandonment in your traditional analytics data but machines, despite the advances, aren’t very good at reading people’s minds,” the authors wrote. “Sometimes the only way to find out is to talk to your potential customers directly. What happened to make them go? Were they confused by the process? Were they put off by third-party payment verification (e.g. 3-D Secure)? Did they have trouble entering their address details? Single percentage point improvements in cart abandonment rates can have a huge positive impact on the bottom line and so it makes sense to use all of the intelligence you have available. The empirical data is extremely important but so too is direct customer feedback and experience.”

The paper offers several key factors that affect checkout success including a simple and flexible platform, a seamless experience, increased automation and a variety of payment options.