Selling Online? Here’s the Checkout Conversion Index You Don’t Want to Miss

by Scott Conti on Feb 12, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Retail, Support Services

Selling_Online_Heres_the_Checkout_Conversion_Index_You_Dont_Want_to_Miss-748977-edited.jpgeCommerce is expected to reach a total of $327 billion in revenue in 2016 and according to Forester, will account for almost 9 percent of total retail sales. If you’re an eCommerce merchant, how are you going to get a slice of that pie? Reducing checkout friction and payment processing declines are two of the most important factors to consider.

Digital commerce and the influence of connected devices are changing the way consumers shop and pay. Making it easier for them to buy online can help you save sales and customer relationships, not to mention stay one leg up on the competition.

By making it easier for shoppers to pay by eliminating checkout friction, increasing consumer confidence and eliminating potential payment declines, you can increase sales on your eCommerce site by as much as 42 percent!

But how do you know if your customers are experiencing checkout friction on your site? What do my shoppers need to feel confident? And how do you know what is causing payment declines? By first identifying the areas causing friction, distrust and payment decline triggers you can then create a strategy for remediation and start increasing sales.

Checkout Friction, Consumer Confidence, and Payment Declines Are Losing You Real Money

Checkout friction is typically the reason shoppers abandon a full shopping cart pre-sale and is caused by a number of factors including:

  • Too Many Steps/Fields – Do shoppers really need to enter their address four times to make a purchase?
  • Local Currency Isn’t Displayed – Your shoppers want to know what they are really paying.
  • Limited Payment Choices  (i.e., wallets or alternative payment types aren’t available).
  • Not Offering Free Shipping – According to an E-tailing Group study, unconditional free shipping is the #1 criteria for making a purchase!
  • Consumer confidence
  • Local Language – If shoppers can’t read your page, adios!
  • Security Logos and badges
  • No Coupons – Many shoppers won’t buy without them.
Payment processing declines on the other hand, take place post sale and occur after the shopper has hit the “buy” button. Payment processing declines occur for a host of reasons. Most frequently because of:
  • One Bank Connection – If you are connected to only one bank, international transactions are less likely to be approved. Connections to multiple banks are key to higher conversions.
  • Retries & Failovers – With multiple connections to acquiring banks, you can see an uplift of 3 percent with failovers.
  • Aggressive Fraud Rules – Make sure you have proactively managed fraud rules, and are staying current with the latest fraud patterns so you can avoid false positives.
  • Currency Mismatch – Processing transactions in local currency can increase conversions up to 10 percent.
  • Large Transaction Amounts – By breaking up large payments such as subscriptions into monthly or quarterly transactions as opposed to yearly transactions, you can decrease the chance that the payment triggers a fraud alert.
Together payment processing declines and checkout friction combine to create what is called the Checkout Abandonment Problem. And most eCommerce merchants don’t even realize what causes it. 

Fortunately, there is a new report that outlines the areas that are causing the most friction for more than 650 retailers.

Introducing the Checkout Conversion Index (CCI)

The CCI reveals the website attributes that are most responsible for creating problems during the shopping process and measures the friction that they cause. Having shopped over 650 U.S.-based eCommerce sites of all sizes across 14 merchant categories (who account for more than 70 percent of all U.S. eCommerce spend), the CCI was able to identify over 50 attributes that were used to score merchants on how easy (or hard) it was going from discovery to checkout on their site.

What’s in the Index?

The CCI found many things, here are a just a few of the key findings:

  • The best sites deliver results in a speedy 134 seconds – just over two minutes.
  • Size doesn’t matter: the average Index ranking between small and large companies was relatively similar.
  • Ninety-three percent of the best sites provide trusted security logos when checking out to let their customers know that they care about their financial data and will safeguard it.
  • The Automotive Parts & Accessories industry came in with the highest score of 91.
Photo by stockimages/

Interested in how your eCommerce site measures up? BlueSnap will be at The Great Ideas Summit 2016 in Orlando. Be sure to stop by Table 14 to learn more.

Scott Conti is the VP of Sales at BlueSnap, a global payment processing provider.
Scott Conti's blog
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