Why am I not completing my purchase on your website?

Online shopping has increased dramatically over the past 18 months. At some point recently, we have all found ourselves purchasing something online that we would normally head to the high street for.

For many of us, the return to the high street was a long-awaited pleasure. However, a lot of people have found themselves making permanent shifts to the online world.

With that can come myriad of frustrations along the way. In this post I will discuss some of the main frustrations that can hold us back from making that all important final click.

1. Where’s the guest checkout section?

I buy many different types of products online, meaning there are a few websites I will visit once for a very specific item with no intention to shop on that website again in the future.

On these websites, creating an account is of no benefit to me. I want to click the button for a ‘guest checkout’, give you the minimum information required to make a purchase and be happily on my way.

Not having the ‘continue as a guest’ option can be a massive deterrent to completing sales for people who just want a quick and easy ‘no-frills’ purchase.

Of course, it’s great if people do want to sign up and provide this information to you as it can help you better personalise their experience. Just don’t provide a barrier to sale by not allowing them to skip past if that’s what they wish to do.

2. I’m sorry, it costs how much to deliver?!

There is nothing more annoying than going through the whole journey of finally finding the item you want, at the right price, completing all the mundane details required at the purchase stage - only to find out that the £11 sale dress comes with an extortionate delivery charge of £5.95…

For me, and probably most people these days, that’s back to square one and let’s face it, I’ll probably never check that website again.

Being upfront with delivery and click and collect fees at the results page or in the basket, so that consumers see a true price before making their final decision, is something we don’t see enough of and could easily reduce this very common frustration.

You might not be able to reduce your delivery fees – but managing the user experience throughout by being honest and open will build much more trust with the customer and goes a long way.

You can easily AB test where is the most appropriate place to provide this information as each site is different and what works for others may not necessarily work for you.

3. This promo-code does not apply to your purchase

If you offer promo-codes, please make sure there aren’t 100 hidden minimum requirements for your customers to meet before it works.

I recently received a voucher offering £25 off a £100 spend. No further T&Cs were shown, and it wasn’t until I visited the site, went through to the checkout and applied my code that I was told it wasn’t eligible. No further information provided. If you don’t tell me why I can’t use it, I won’t use it – and probably won’t buy anything from you at all.

Additionally, it’s frustrating if I can’t apply this code until the very final page of the transaction, especially when it then won’t work.

Having this option much earlier in the checkout so your customers know they are heading towards making the purchase with the correct amount on their screen is a much nicer journey.

Example of a promo code not working and having unclear information on why on a retail website

4. Would you like fries with that?

We are all used to being upsold these days. It comes in many forms on the high street, from McDonalds’ extra fries to the sales assistant in Superdrug trying to add perfume and make-up sets to your meagre deodorant purchase.

Online shopping is following this example, with many companies trying to upsell items to improve their AOV.

As a consumer I don’t see this as a problem at all as long as it’s offered in a simple and efficient way, where I can easily accept or politely decline with one click.

There are websites where you must scroll through up to 5 pages of ‘no thanks, next page please’ before you can get to the payment screen.

These endless offerings can put many customers off from making it through to that all important final checkout page and there are many variations you can test to strike the right balance that works for both your bottom line and the customer’s experience.

5. Product descriptions can leave a lot to the imagination

No matter what product we are searching for online, it’s vital that it comes with appropriate additional information that is easy to find.

If I’m buying an office table, I need to see straight away what all the dimensions of the table are before I will even consider purchasing.

If the information isn’t obvious, clear, and engaging, I’m not going to waste time searching for it, especially if there is another website making this step much easier for me.

Pictures are great, but they aren’t enough on their own. Make sure the key information on any product or service you are selling is obvious and visible.

In summary

There are many reasons shoppers will add items to a shopping basket but not complete their purchase.

Or in many cases, they will complete their purchase, but you’ll never see them visit your website again because of the struggles they encountered on their journey.

Testing different experiences and optimising your customer experience to ensure it is the best it can possibly be is vital to inspire brand loyalty and keep customers returning to you site time and time again.