If buying online isn’t super easy, customers simply won’t bother to progress their purchase through to that elusive payment confirmation. Savvy companies know they must impress their customers as much at checkout as in the rest of the site.
You may have fantastic products and super-speedy delivery, but that’s not enough. If your payment process is anything less than frictionless, you are likely to lose customers in those all-important last few seconds of the sale
And if your customer entered an incorrect address name and data, your delivery might never get to them resulting in disappointed customers – and returns cost money.
This is where an integrated Harmony Hosted Address Validation service can help optimise your checkout process.
- The wonders of Address Validation
All it takes is one little error during checkout to disrupt your delivery process; upsetting the customer; costing you money and potentially damaging your reputation.
Real time Address Validation software like Harmony Hosted enables an easy, fast, successful checkout.
Smart autofill assists customers as they type their details, automatically checking addresses to make sure they are accurate and complete; and cross checking them against other records.
An integrated Address Validation service has proven to improve conversions by 5 percent; speed up checkout by 20 percent; and reduce returned goods by 25 percent. The shopping experience is simpler and more effective – giving customers a real reason to come back for more.
Extending your Address Validation service with email and phone validation will also maximise your ROI on email marketing campaigns; and improve customer call centre productivity by checking data in real time against a variety of records to ensure input errors are eliminated. Harmony Hosted Address Validation offers all three services seamlessly integrated – address, email and phone validation.
2. Look into ‘Contextual Commerce’
Giving your customer the right message at the right time makes communication more personal and relevant, and applying the principal to the purchase process could make all the difference.
‘Contextual commerce’ is the new buzzword for online retailers. It’s the potentially game-changing idea that merchants can seamlessly implement purchase opportunities into everyday online activities at the moment of discovery. In other words, people can buy anything, anytime, anywhere, with the click of a button … or by just using their voice. It’s the concept behind the buy buttons you’ve seen rolling out on platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.
Essentially it decentralises shopping even further and is slated to be the next revolution in e-commerce.
3. Getting error messages right
This is a case of ‘keep it simple, stupid!’
Don’t send your customers down a rabbit hole. Use error messages which are clear, simple and easy for everyone to understand.
Bold ticks and crosses are quick, effective ways to tell a customer whether they’re on the right track.
Always give the customer clearly marked solutions to the problem. Repeated error messages with no obvious exit are infuriating.
And be kind to your customers. Nobody likes cold, unfriendly commands when they’re in a tangle. Use kind, conciliatory language to help them out of a jam. They’ll reward you with repeat custom.
4. Allowing customers to assess progress
Keep customers informed about where they are in your checkout process – at every stage.
Designing your online forms using clear structures and friendly, instructive language is a great starting point.
The minute a customer feels trapped in an online void you risk losing them. So, make sure your entire process flows smoothly and carries the customer along in a logical, supportive way.
5. Employing trust and security badges
The rise of online fraud has scared many shoppers away from e-commerce. Even devoted online shoppers are hyper-aware of the pitfalls of dodgy retail sites.
A 2016 report showed that Australia has the world’s highest rate of shopping cart abandonment – more than 76 percent.
That’s one of the reasons companies are increasingly using trust and security badges in their checkout process to reassure shoppers they are legitimate.
Some badges just indicate endorsement by a third party. Others offer payment processes backed by technical security systems which actively protect the shopper.
6. Ensuring visibility of shopping cart items
Your shopping cart should be visible at all times. After all, this is where and how you get paid. Shopping cart fulfilment is far better than shopping cart abandonment.
That’s why customers should be guided every step of the way. As soon as an item is selected, the customer’s eye should be directed to a prominent shopping cart.
‘Added to cart’ notifications or animations are a good way to show the customer that their selection has been successful. The colours you choose are also important. They should be in bold contrast to your site’s background colour, so they don’t get lost.
7. Crystal clear delivery fees
Major online retailers including Amazon have been found to be misleading customers over delivery fees.
Customers get frustrated and even irate when presented with complex or misrepresentative shipping costs, and you are likely to lose them in droves.
Being faced with unexpected costs ranks as number one in top reasons to abandon shopping carts. So, don’t be tempted to hide extra fees. Make sure all taxes, duties and shipping fees are clearly displayed in your cart at every stage. And, of course, strive to offer value there as everywhere else.
If you’re struggling to get your checkout process performing to its potential, Harmony Hosted Address Validation is already integrated for e-commerce platforms, is easy to use and has already benefited leading online retailers. We bring all the elements of optimising the checkout process together, making checkout faster for your customers, reducing errors and costs and boosting your sales online sales conversions.
Our Harmony Hosted Address Validation service is easily integrated into your eCommerce platform, offering global address validation in real time, optimised for desktop and mobile. We also offer email and phone validation.
Best of all? You only pay for what you use.
- Pay only for validated address transactions with our scalable fees
- Save 50% on fees for a limited time. With our current Power Retail special offer you’ll pay as little as $6.25 per month
- Enjoy a one-month free trial
Our Power Retail special offer ends October 31, 2018 so don’t miss out!