Shopping cart abandonment costs online merchants a lot – approximately $18 billion a year with an average of 68% of shoppers leaving checkout pages without hitting “purchase.”

While these numbers seem grave, ecommerce businesses can do something about it.

There are many changes you can make to mitigate the most common causes of cart abandonment and boost your revenue. But before fully committing to significant changes to your purchase path, it’s important to gauge the effectiveness of your current process against potential changes through split testing. To give you some ideas on what to split test on your checkout page, here are three elements that have been used with great success to reduce cart abandonment.

1. Trust and Security Seals

Adding a reputable trust or security seal to your checkout pages instills confidence that your business can be trusted to safely handle a customer’s personal details. In a 2013 survey with 1,286 responses from American adults, the Baymard Institute found that Norton’s seal gave customers the best sense of trust followed by McAfee, TRUSTe and BBB Accredited. Test the use of these seals in a readily visible area within your checkout to determine if their presence successfully reduces hesitation in the minds of your customers and, in turn, reduces cart abandonment.

Buyakilt used this strategy and increased conversions by 17% through the addition of the “Norton Secured” seal to their checkout page and an additional 12.49% after replacing that Norton seal with a “Comodo Secured” seal. Combined, the use of the security seals delivered a six figure increase in revenue over a 9 week period.

TESTCONTROLVARIANT

2. Inline Form Field Validation

A daunting and unintuitive form can quickly inject second thoughts into the mind of a motivated shopper. While the capture of details like name, address and credit card number are critical to the completion of a secure transaction, it’s important to avoid overcomplicating your form to the point that it frustrates your customers out of a purchase decision.

Luke Wroblewski found that forms which indicate in real-time whether a field had been completed correctly or incorrectly (known as inline field validation) rather than forcing the user to wait until pressing the form’s “submit” button, had a dramatic impact on the experience of the 22 average users he included in his test.

FORMVALIDATOR

The form with inline field validation improved the form’s success rate by 22%, decreased field completion errors by 22% and decreased form completion time by 42% when compared to a standard form. Since online checkouts that take too long to complete are one of the primary reasons  shoppers abandon carts, the use of a form with inline field validation has a great potential to lower the abandonment rate of your cart and is worth testing on your customers.

3. Live Chat

When shopping at a typical brick and mortar store, it’s helpful when employees offer to help you find exactly what you’re looking for and answer any questions you may have. If you have questions and can’t find anyone to help you, it’s more likely you’ll leave out of frustration and search for another store where you’ll hope to be more successful.

The same logic can be applied to your online checkout process. If a shopper is confused with an aspect of your checkout, needs assistance but can’t find an answer, they may simply choose to leave and visit a competitor’s site. In these situations, a live chat agent can serve as the equivalent of a brick and mortar store employee and save the sale by providing answers to urgent customer questions in real time.

In fact, a study by Forrester found that “44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a web site can offer.”

Intuit, a leader in financial software, tested the implementation of live chat within its checkout and saw average order value increase by 43%.

Intuitbc

So, test the addition of a live chat agent on your checkout pages for a limited time to identify whether there is a positive impact on key metrics like abandonment rate, average order value and revenue per visitor. It may prove to only be a distraction to your customers and actually lower your conversion rate. Even if your test doesn’t show significant support for the use of a live chat agent, at the very least you will be able to review the questions your customers asked and identify where you should focus future optimization efforts.

Key Takeaway

Trust and security seals, inline field validation and live chat all have the ability to reduce cart abandonment but until they are tested within your checkout, you will never know what impact they have on your business. Test these elements one by one over a period of time to give you enough data to determine if they deliver a boost to revenue.

Find out how optimized your checkout is! Take our 2 minute assessment and get your free report.

Contact us today for more on how we can help you increase conversion rates, or watch or super short video below!