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6 Steps To Creating An Ecommerce Checkout Page That Converts

The checkout page is the final stage of your customer’s online buying journey, but is arguably the most important one. It is where they will confirm their purchase, meaning another user you can safely say has ‘converted’ into a sale. Although ads, landing pages and everything that comes before the checkout are just as important to moving the customer along the purchase funnel, the checkout is your store’s moment of truth.

At the start of 2019, the Baymard Institute aggregated results from 41 studies to work out an average figure for ecommerce cart abandonment rate. It was stated within the report that the average figure stands at 69.57%. This means that only an approximated 30% of users who add items to their cart and reach your checkout page will end up purchasing.

Considering this figure, there is no need to freak out over a seemingly large proportion of people abandoning your site on the checkout page.

Why do users abandon ship on the checkout page?

According to US consumer research, some of the top reasons for abandoning a cart on the checkout page are as follows:

  • Shipping rates become added on to the total price of the order, and it gets too expensive.
  • Customers want to reach the checkout page to know your final price, before heading to other sites to compare.
  • The order did not qualify for free shipping.

Customers should be expected to shop around for the best deals, so include a feature that will keep yours front of mind, or even prevent them from needing to look elsewhere. They also won’t be best pleased if unexpected costs rear their ugly head during the checkout process. Apart from these more obvious fixes, what else can be done to ensure a well-converting checkout page?

How to design a killer checkout page

There are definitely things you can implement in order to improve your chances of increasing checkout page conversion, however. Let’s take a look at some of the most well-researched tactics.

#1) Test a single-page checkout

Checkout processes that span several pages are more at risk of losing the customer. It is well-known that the more clicks a customer needs to make, the more likely they are to drop off. If you can work product, shipping, and payment information into the one page, you might be onto a winner.

6 Steps To Creating An Ecommerce Checkout Page That Converts

If you must have a multi-page checkout for whatever reason, give your shopper a visual progress indicator to show them what step they’re in. This at least gives them some sense of how many steps they have left in the checkout process, alleviating any frustration over the multi-step interface.

#2) Make sure the checkout is a secure experience

With more people becoming increasingly aware of online fraud, security signals are your best bet for ensuring a potential buyer isn’t thrown off by fears over their data. Some of the security features most people would look for on a product page include the padlock symbol in the HTML bar, or security badges from the likes of McAfee.

With almost half of Americans having fallen victim to credit card fraud over the last five years, you need to make sure that your checkout page is a place where everyone can feel their payment details and personal data are secure.

A secure checkout experience fosters trust, which is one of the pillars of conversion.

#3) Give the option of a guest checkout

By not forcing users to create an account with you, you can eliminate the problem caused by the second largest bar in the chart below.

6 Steps To Creating An Ecommerce Checkout Page That Converts

As tempting as it is to gather as much information about the people who browse your site, you can collect email addresses later. Showing users a sign-up page just before they are about to checkout is a huge disruption, and something which a large portion of people aren’t prepared to go through.

#4) Be flexible with your payment options

It won’t serve you well only to offer payment via one type of card. If a user wants to purchase a product but they cannot see their preferred payment method listed, they likely won’t take their interest any further. Make sure to accommodate alternative payment options like PayPal or Stripe – these are increasingly popular.

#5) Limit form fields to only necessary information

If you do present your shopper with a form to fill, only include the important bits. A customer that catches a scent of unnecessary form fields for advertising metric gain, is only going to repay you by closing their browser. Keep things limited to name, delivery information and email address.

#6) Save your upsells for afterwards

Post-purchase upsells are given that name for a reason. You really don’t want to distract a customer on the brink of purchase with a couple of different offers, before they have even finalized the primary transaction. This could only end up clouding their vision and sending them off to other sites in the name of comparison.

Testing is crucial

None of the tips mentioned throughout this article are guaranteed quick-fixes to your checkout page’s conversion rates. Simply put, they are well-researched ideas which have been proven to raise checkout conversion rates on many ecommerce sites. In order to achieve the same effect on your site, monitoring key statistics while you implement and test changes will be the answer.

To get a clear idea of how your changes perform, ensure that you test mobile performance as well as desktop. Many people now browse ecommerce stores from their mobiles, so you will want to nail down the checkout page on this platform too.

Author Bio: Ellie Batchiyska is a PR Coordinator for Conversion Giant, a digital marketing agency that specializes in conversion rate optimization for a variety of ecommerce clients across the U.S.

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Why Localization Is So Important When It Comes To Ecommerce

a few months ago

For nearly a decade, ecommerce in the United States has grown at a yearly rise of over 15%. In 2018, global web sales neared $3 trillion. While every American has Amazon in their favorites, they are not alone in their use of the internet for shopping. China is the world’s leading ecommerce market and will not be slowing down anytime soon. In China, online global sales increased by 28% from the previous year.

The rest of the world is near the same level or working their way there. According to Roy Morgan, 9.4 million Australians purchased something online within just one year until March 2018. Australia had not seen this much growth in the ecommerce market since 2014. The significant jump in online shopping indicates that trends won’t be changing anytime soon.

India represents a huge potential for online sales. Indian consumers spent $38.5 billion online in 2017, and in 2026 they are projected to spend $200 billion. Less than 65% of the country has an online connection, but the reach of the internet is expected to double by 2021. By 2034, experts believe India will be the second-largest market for ecommerce in the entire world behind China only.

Given the worldwide trend towards ecommerce, it comes as no surprise that international retailers are growing 1.3 times faster than those who sell only in a single country. Experts project that, through 2020, international ecommerce will grow twice as fast as domestic online shopping. Recent research has revealed that 67% of online shoppers in the top global markets have made a cross-border purchase within the past 6 months.

With online shopping becoming increasingly global, the importance of localization has come to the forefront. The customization of a domestic site may not be optimally adapted for a foreign one for a host of reasons. Language quickly comes to mind when one thinks of localization.

While translating a site for local speakers is important and can increase online sales, the truth is that localization involves so much more than that. There are many factors involved in tailoring a site for the customers of a specific area and these will have a huge influence on the success an online retailer enjoys.

Address Forms

The United States has zip codes, which are required for shipping, but not all countries do. Furthermore, not all zip code formats are the same in countries that do have them. In China, zip codes are six digits long. In Canada, Ireland, and the UK, zip codes include both letters and numbers.

Prices

Many shoppers will abandon their carts when they discover that prices are not shown in their local currency. Furthermore, the expectations of how prices are displayed (i.e. if they are rounded to a whole number or end in a .99 or .95) changes from country to country and within countries as well.

Retailers need to be able to customize the shopping experience down to the cent. The difference between $15.99 and $16.00 can be the difference between a customer feeling like they’re shopping from a domestic site and not an international one. This may seem small, but combined with other factors, could lead to cart abandonment and a drop off in sales, which is why retailers need to test all these details across their sites.

It is important the brand builds trust with their customers by presenting their websites in a way that adapts to local cultural norms. Creating a local experience goes a long way to create customer loyalty and boost retention.

Culturally Appropriate Visuals

Different populations will deem different items offensive for a variety of reasons. It is important to learn about local customs so as not to offend your customers in a foreign market. For example, in more conservative countries, consumers could be offended seeing product imagery with a model and might prefer seeing visuals that only show the product.

Additionally, a logo or image that is perfectly acceptable in one region could be offensive or taboo in another. Beyond that, certain colors may work better in one part of the world than another depending on their cultural significance or meaning.

Holidays

Shopping holidays vary from country to country, and missing out on an important holiday in one region could be a missed opportunity. The United States has Black Friday and Cyber Monday in November around Thanksgiving, and while these holidays are gaining ground in other parts of the world, these are not necessarily the biggest shopping days worldwide. In Australia, Click Frenzy Day began in 2012 and is on the third Tuesday in November.

Similar to Cyber Monday, buyers can expect deep discounts, and ecommerce sites should expect heavy website traffic. Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day might be important in the U.S., but in China, they celebrate Children’s Day. In contrast, Eid-Al-Fitr is an important Muslim holiday. It is important that global ecommerce merchants plan their promotions to coincide with the major holidays in each market where they have a presence.

Duties and Taxes

Collecting taxes can be tricky as well. In the U.S. and Canada, prices represent the base price before adding sales taxes.

However, in Great Britain and France, the listed price usually includes all applicable taxes. A British shopper may see the sudden addition of tax as a sneaky surcharge. Unexpected surcharges can be a key factor influencing cart abandonment.

The Importance Of Localization

Localization is an important way to connect with your customers and increase your online sales. It can be a challenging process, with different aspects to consider. Many of these factors are not obvious and come as a surprise to online retailers when they decide to take the plunge and enter a new market.

It is usually best to partner up with an advanced cross-border ecommerce platform to localize your site for global shoppers. The investment will be worth it in the end, as your retail reach broadens with your customer base.

It all comes down to the experience. In fact, it’s best to think about customizing the shopping experience for each country. This is because when shopping online, everything from pricing to taxes, shipping and payments, and especially customer service, is part of the experience.

A global ecommerce business will not be as successful without localization. However, localization can be challenging. With global sales increasing dramatically over the next few years, a successful ecommerce business cannot afford to ignore it. Leading technology platforms like Flow are worth the investment for ecommerce businesses with global aspirations that are serious about seizing international opportunities.

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Tips For Launching A Successful Multi-Vendor Ecommerce Marketplace

Today, you can buy and sell anything online. Amazon is one of the best examples of an online platform where you can buy and sell both physical and digital products. Inarguably, digitization is the superpower behind this on-going trend.

According to BrizFeel’s 2018 research report, 57% of people prefer to shop online. There are several reasons why people prefer online shopping over the offline option, some of which include price transparency, better customer service, and convenience of ordering.

For the aspiring entrepreneurs who are still dreaming of becoming a successful entrepreneur in the ecommerce industry, building an online multi-vendor marketplace is a profitable and prominent business idea. The idea is even more lucrative if you don’t manufacture any special and unique goods.

The unprecedented success of multi-vendor marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba isn’t hidden from anyone. According to Internet Retailer’s report, the sales on these multi-vendor marketplaces accounted for 52% of global online retail sales in 2018.

However, starting a multi-vendor ecommerce marketplace is not a walk in the park. Entrepreneurs face two major challenges when building a multi-vendor marketplace—1) when finding a cost-effective platform and 2) when figuring out ways to attract vendors to their marketplace. I will discuss in detail about the two challenges in the later part of this post.

First, let’s understand how a multi-vendor marketplace business model is better than a single-vendor ecommerce store model.

Benefits of A Multi-Vendor Marketplace Over A Single-Vendor Store

What are the benefits to the Marketplace Owner?

  • No inventory management headache
  • Plenty of sellers with different products
  • Large customer base
  • Commission on each product’s sale

What are the benefits to Sellers?

  • Personal dashboard for each seller
  • No web-store setup cost
  • No headache of marketing
  • Wider target audience means more sales

What are the benefits to Customers?

  • Variety of products from different sellers
  • Purchases at competitive prices with comparison of products’ pricing at different sellers
  • Better shopping experience
  • Improved customer service

Types of Multi-Vendor Marketplaces

B2B Online Marketplaces

On B2B online marketplaces, businesses sell their products or services to other businesses at wholesale price.  Alibaba is a reputable B2B marketplace.

B2C Online Marketplaces

Amazon, Flipkart, and MakeMyTrip are a few of the well-known examples of B2C online marketplaces. On B2C marketplaces, sellers from different industries or regions sell their products or services across demographics.

C2C Ecommerce Marketplaces

C2C marketplaces are those where customers sell directly to other customers. OLX is one of the best examples in this category.

Horizontal Marketplaces

Horizontal marketplaces can be B2B or B2C. On a horizontal marketplace, you can find products under different categories from different sellers. Amazon is one among the best examples of a horizontal marketplace.

Vertical Marketplaces

Vertical marketplaces can also be B2B or B2C but on these kinds of marketplaces, you will find a specific category of products from a particular seller.  The audience size on vertical marketplaces is narrower as compared to that on horizontal marketplaces. Uber & Airbnb fall under the category of a vertical marketplace.

Revenue Models for Multi-Vendor Marketplaces

One question that every multi-vendor marketplace owner asks is, “How will I earn money?”

Therefore, I’ve listed below the best possible revenue generation channels for a multi-vendor ecommerce marketplace:

Subscription

You can charge a monthly or yearly subscription fee from sellers to sell on your marketplace.

Feature Products

You can charge a certain fee from sellers who are interested in featuring their services or products on the home page of your website.

Commission

Amazon or Flipkart use this revenue model. It helps you earn commission on every product sale from a seller.

Sell Your Own Products

Again as Amazon and Flipkart do, you can start selling your own products at your marketplace.

Advertisement Channels

Apart from the above, you can earn big bucks by adopting different advertising methods such as Affiliate Products, Banner Ads, and Adsense Ads.

How to Start a Multi-Vendor Marketplace?

Once you find your ecommerce business niche, the next step is to build the online marketplace.

There are many tested solutions in the market for starting a multi-vendor marketplace. If you have time, money, & sound technical understanding, you can hire a web design and development company to build your online marketplace.

However, many startups and entrepreneurs prefer to choose a ready-to-launch multi-vendor marketplace platform instead of hiring a custom web development company. Readymade marketplace solutions are a cost-effective, scalable, and easy to use option, especially for those who don’t have time to deal with programming and technical matters.

YoKart is one of the best multi-vendor marketplace platforms that provide a number of built-in features while ensuring great flexibility. Among all the readymade multi-vendor ecommerce platforms, YoKart is the most cost-effective marketplace solution. Before making a final call, you must choose to try a demo.

Basic Features of a Multi-Vendor Marketplace

  • Order tracking
  • Single page checkout
  • Coupons/ discounts
  • Multiple payment options
  • Mobile apps
  • Location-based search
  • Reviews & ratings
  • Import & export (for sellers)
  • Vendor dashboard
  • Product catalog (for sellers & Admin)
  • Analytic & reporting
  • Multiple administrative accesses

Note: The feature list can be expanded as per a business’s requirements.

How to Attract Vendors to Your Multi-Vendor Marketplace:

Once you have launched your ecommerce marketplace successfully, another big challenge is how to attract vendors to your multi-vendor marketplace.  I am sharing a few quick tips that will certainly help you to get more vendors on your marketplace:

  • First, run surveys through online polls or go to the market yourself to understand sellers’ pain points in the traditional market.
  • Share your business idea with sellers. Help them understand how your web platform can solve their problems.
  • Show them the other benefits such as wider audience reach and increased sales.
  • Start running social media or email marketing campaigns to approach sellers who are already associated with other web platforms. Highlight to them the benefits of selling on your ecommerce marketplace.
  • Conduct training sessions to make the sellers aware about your marketplace features.
  • Offer zero subscription or commission charges in early days.
  • Share your sellers’ success stories on different platforms to encourage other sellers to partner with you.
  • Try other offline marketing techniques like distributing pamphlets, investing in hoarding ads, and attending trade fairs to build relations with other merchants.

If you have any other tips to share, write to us in the comments section.

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AOV vs. LTV: Why Customer Lifetime Value Matters More Than You Think

a few months ago

There’s no question that most marketing techniques are focused on making sales larger and more frequent. Offering free shipping increases sales, bundling boosts order size, and ad retargeting brings your eCommerce audience back into the fold.

These are all great marketing tactics, and they work toward the same goal. But there’s one eCommerce metric that often goes unaddressed in marketing and sales: increasing the lifetime value of your customer.

The lifetime value (LTV) of a customer often goes overlooked because it is more complicated to incorporate into eCommerce metrics. But it is well worth your time, since LTV can better account for your long term profitability.

Short Term Boost of Revenue or a Long Term Boost of Profitability?

Average Order Value, or AOV, is the average amount of an individual customer order in your eCommerce store. In contrast, Customer Lifetime Value, or LTV, is a measure of the revenue or profit generated by a single customer over the course of their lifetime with your company. Gross LTV refers to the revenue from a single customer over their lifetime, while net LTV measures the profit earned from during that lifetime.

AOV is important because the higher your AOV is, the less effort you need to spend on finding new customers. You need fewer customers overall to make the same amount of profit. However, focusing solely on AOV can be a mistake since it gives a picture of short term revenue rathre than a long term boost of profitability.

LTV is important for eCommerce brands because it determines the worth of a customer over time rather than the worth of an individual purchase or interaction.

Companies with high customer LTVs need fewer customers to make a profit. This can help determine how much money can be spent on marketing geared towards new customers, as you’ll know how much they’re worth long term.

You’re more than likely already well versed in optimizing your storefront and marketing to boost AOV. But what can you do to maximize LTV?

8 Ways to Maximize LTV for Your eCommerce Brand

Make brand loyalty a primary business goal

If you start with the question “How can we keep customers coming back?” the potential answers will span marketing, sales, customer service and everything in between.

Make marketing channels more efficient

You don’t want your marketing efforts to feel like marketing to current customers. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t efficiently bring customers further down the funnel. Any marketing efforts should add value to customer interactions with your brand — birthday wishes and special offers in a targeted drip campaign comes to mind.

Make customer feedback a closed loop

Even negative reviews can lead to better ratings if they are handled correctly. Take the time to respond to reviews, find ways to make it right with dissatisfied customers, and incorporate feedback into your processes and products.

Make personalization a key part of your martech

Personalization is all about making the customer feel known and understood — by design, this keeps them coming back. If you don’t already have the tools in place to deliver personalized landing pages, drip emails and special offers that’s your first step.

Make customer service a business pillar

According to a recent survey, nearly 90 percent of companies expected to compete primarily on the basis of customer service. Customer experience is the new marketing. Your business with a customer isn’t done once they checkout — you need to continually show them why they should come back.

Make customer transactions easy

An easy checkout process will help increase AOV and an easy account creation process should increase LTV, as it gives you a foot in the door for returning customers. It’s as simple as that.

Make use of your customer data

 From how far down the funnel they make it to demographics, you have customer data at your fingertips. You should bring all of this together on a customer data platform to realize the benefits of acting on data in real time will offer your eCommerce brand. On the other side of the same coin, you should be using data analysis and big data to assess how each tweak you make — from paid campaigns to personalization — affects your profitability.

Make an investment in high quality content

 If you’re paying for SEO content on your website, you’re probably hoping to increase page clicks and views. But if you’re doing SEO writing well, you’re also creating a wealth of high-quality content related to the products and services you provide. If readers are coming to your site for accurate and in-depth information, they’ll also come to your site for products and services that they trust.

AOV and LTV is not necessarily an either/or conversation for eCommerce brands. The real question is which you should be using at any given time or to make any given decision. Both metrics have their time and place in most companies.

 

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