Shopping cart optimization (SCO) is an analysis and potential re-visioning done to your website in order to make sure your shopping cart checkout process is timely and stress-free. Making changes or updating your online shopping cart process helps avoids bounce rate and improves search engine optimization (SEO). The fewer barriers and distractions you have during your purchase, the better. Small mistakes such as not having a 'guest checkout' option or a checkout process bar, allows for your customers to often leave the site before completing the transaction. On the Google Analytics side, we see this as a 'bounce' or 'bounce rate' where a customer left your website and went to another website or back to a search engine. Another thing to keep in mind when optimizing this process is that some customers may also be turned away due to privacy and security purposes. This is important, especially with e-commerce, to allow customers to feel completely secure during online transactions.
Digital marketing or Internet marketing companies, such as Brandmint, can access and track your bounce rate through Google Analytics. We can find out exactly where, during the checkout process, you lost your customers and in-return, use this information as a guide on how to get them to the destination.
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Q & A
Q. Why do customers worry about giving their credit card information during checkout?
A. Credit card theft can be stolen during these three transactions:
1. Stolen from the user’s computer
2. Stolen in transit
3. Stolen at the merchant’s site
Q. There are many privacy seals available but which is the best option?
A. Your website can have multiple privacy seals but it’s important on e-commerce websites to have at least one privacy and one security seal. The best ways to protect information in transit in through security seals.
1. Encryption algorithms – Process of converting a plaintext message into ciphertext, which can be decoded, back into the original message.
2. Protect transaction information
3. SSL (Secure Socket Layering) Certificates also known as TLS (Transport Layer Security) Functions of SSL – Encrypts data and authenticates the site
You can compare which type of SSL is best for your website based on which type of products you sell and the overall goal you want to accomplish
Larger companies have a flawless shopping cart checkout process including all privacy and security seals. Take a look www.amazon.com and their website, for example...
As soon as you visit their webpage, you’ll notice that this secure website by the URL at the top of the page. This secure site will include an “s” in the URL for secure after the typical http:// Another way you’ll easily recognize security is by the URL turning green.
This is important to avoid this immediate barrier, especially when selling expensive items to customers that may be apprehensive to give credit card information for.
- When you're ready to go through the shopping cart process, you’ll notice that based off of my location services; it’s already generated shipping location and cost. Since my location services are on, and I'm located in Rochester, NY, when viewing the total cost, the applicable shipping cost to my location will be generated. This is another was to avoid any barriers due to an upfront cost that wouldn’t alarm customers before putting in credit card information.
- Once you click on “Add to Cart” the next step would be to either sign in or create an account. Although this is routine, there should also be a “Checkout as Guest” option. This allows customers who are in a rush or even those who have an account and don’t remember their password a suitable option. Don’t worry; you’ll get all of their information regardless so this shouldn’t be a problem.
- Include a process checkout bar - This helps the customer get through each step, knowing exactly how many more steps need to be taken in-order to get to complete the transaction. We naturally love getting to the end of the finish line so this reduces bounce rate and reduces the likelihood of completing all of the steps except credit card information.
- Offer incentives for the customer – giving a gift such as free shipping or overnight shipping is a great way for your customers to feel better about making the purchase and offer them a reason to come back or purchase another item.
The examples listed are just a few of the countless ways Brandmint can help optimize and improve your online shopping cart process, along with overall user friendliness. Putting ourselves in your customers shoes is what Brandmint focuses on. Making improvements to ensure your customers have an effortless and timeless checkout process turns spectators into buyers.
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