The holy trilogy of ecommerce - simplicity, speed, security

The holy trilogy of ecommerce - simplicity, speed, security

If there is one key rule of ecommerce, it must be to make it easy. Your customers don't want to spend hours completing online forms or to worry about data security while checking out.

Your customers want a simple, secure and fast experience

Recent research from the Baymard Institute suggests that shopping cart abandonment sits at about 68% – and that it is largely due to the length of the checkout form. The longer the form, the lower the conversion rate.

This represents a massive opportunity to online retailers of all sizes. Even a small percentage decrease of abandonment could affect revenue significantly.

Step 1 - Simplicity

Companies such as Evolve, Gousto and Uber have achieved high market share by ensuring payments are as easy as possible on their websites.

For example, an Evolve customer shops and checks out on the same page, meaning that they are fast-tracked to the point of payment as quickly as possible. Customers enter their card details once when they first checkout and they can order single or regular deliveries as many times as they like without seeing that form again. Payment processing is automatic when a new order is created.

The invisible no-hassle payment process and the custom one page checkout act together to simplify the user experience and decrease abandonment.

Step 2 - Speed

As with poor service in a shop, we know from countless studies that if online shoppers have to wait too long, there is a good chance they’ll go somewhere else.

Page load time is important but the user experience of the checkout process is more likely to have a significant effect on abandonment. Remember that the bells and whistles which you feel "make your brand" might just tip the balance and lead to lost sales.

Incredibly, a one second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions ([Kissmetrics}( If you extrapolate that data for a one year period, the impact is huge.

The crucial factor in monitoring basket/checkout abandonment is to set up Google Analytics to monitor all events on the page. By tracking every click and scroll, you build up granular data which can pinpoint problems with precision and suggest easy fixes which can increase conversions.

Step 2 - Security

Online shoppers are increasingly conscious of the security of their personal data.

This means that shoppers demand SSL certificates when entering personal data and may perceive the lack of SSL (or an SSL error) as a phishing attempt.

As a merchant, there is no need to handle customer payment data. Our preference is to use token based payment methods which ensure that credit card information remains on third party payment providers despite users being able to checkout on one simple page on the retailer website.

Delegating the storage of this information also vastly simplifies PCI compliance which can be an expensive administrative overhead, particularly for startups and small firms.

Integrating with a payments provider that incorporates the required compliance (not forgetting compliance updates) enables online retailers to focus on marketing and running their business.

To conclude

By the time a customer gets to a shopping basket, the retailer has incurred considerable expense getting them there. In order to maximise the return on that marketing expenditure, retailers owe it to themselves to get their checkout process right.

Topic: Ecommerce

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