E-commerce Survey – What stops a buyer buying?

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ecommerce usabilityAfter our  ‘Forming a form‘ series, we decided to incorporate into our survey a section on issues users have encountered when completing an Internet purchase and whether that led to them abandoning an online purchase. Our previous research through Google told us that users have most frequently abandoned an online purchase due to shipping charges being too high or unexpected and we wanted to see if this was the case for our participants.

Our findings are in the table below:

Broken checkout that stops purchase completion 45.16%
Checkout requesting too much information
Confusing Checkout – too many steps 24.19%
Lack of company information, returns info etc? 20.97%
Unexpected shipping charges
Other 17.74%

Among the ‘other‘ category, our survey participants reported encountering issues such as:

  • Their own credit/debit card not working
  • A feeling of a lack of security
  • Restrictions on delivery address (must be same as cardholder)
  • Forgot Mastercard “Securecode”
  • Items not actually being in stock despite being advertised as such
  • Site looking “dodgy”

What is in your hands?

In our results above you can see that a broken checkout is the main cause of abandoned online carts. Important as this figure is, we’re going to skip over it for now in favour of the points below. Reason for this is that a broken checkout should be caught during testing and is to do more with functionality. We’re interested in the actual design of the checkouts and how you can use our data while developing your e-commerce solution.

Too much & too many

Almost 39% of you have taken offence to a cart requesting too much information and approx 24% have found checkouts to be confusing. When developing your checkout, try to use as few steps as necessary. This can occur naturally if you really trim down the information you are requesting in the first place. The nature of an online checkout means that there is going to be more required information than with say, a newsletter. But, everyone who has ever shopped online expects this, what they don’t expect is to have to complete information other than the bare minimum for authorising payment. So, trim down the information you are requesting and see how it improves your shopping cart completion rate.

Other steps worth trying include a one page checkout or separating out your information into small bitesized chunks with progression indicators as per the image below.

form stagesWho are you!

It seems that a lack of trust is a huge issue with users but having some simple information clearly displayed on your site could combat this. Always have your company information and shopping procedures clearly displayed on the e-commerce cart. Ignoring the fact it’s a legal requirement, it instills confidence in your company by showing you are actually a legitimate company and the goods they order will actually arrive!

Shipping Charges

Approx 51% of you have been put off with unexpected shipping charges. We’ve all been there, gone through all stages of the cart, got to the paying part and discovered there’s another fiver added on for shipping. Try to make it as plain as possible to users what your charges are from the offset. If you have a set shipping charge you could advertise this through a graphic on each page, clearly have a shipping/deliver costs page or even detail shipping on each products page. Anything that keeps your visitor from getting an unexpected shock is worth adding!

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