- The average time for e-commerce checkout using mobile devices is getting faster, decreasing by 12 seconds to 2:25 minutes in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of the year, according to the Checkout Conversion Index (CCI) report from Pymnts.com.
- Of the 673 merchants in the study, the ones with the best CCI score were most likely to offer eight key features: free shipping, quick add-to-cart, product ratings and reviews, progress bar, inventory status, live site help, rewards and guarantees or refunds. These are features that improve the customer shopping experience, provide a sense of comfort and trust and build upon the merchant-customer relationship, said the report.
- Merchants who offered a greater number of payment options attained a higher CCI score. In Q2 2018, the top 30 merchants in the index accepted an average 8.2 different payment methods, while the middle 30 merchants accepted an average 6.5 payment methods, and the bottom 30 accepted an average 1.4 payment methods.
Abandoned carts are the bane of retailers' online existence. The challenge in e-commerce is converting shoppers who have put something into their shopping carts into paying customers. This hurdle is greater for mobile commerce because of device limitations of screen size and speed, and the significant growth in usage for shopping.
"The necessity for mobile optimization has not gone away but has evolved," the report stated. "Online merchants still need to focus on improving their mobile checkouts, but they also need to think about new ways to differentiate themselves. This may be achieved by offering customers a wider range of checkout features, or by reducing the time it takes for them to complete their online purchases."
A characteristic of better scoring merchants is checkout consistency across multiple online shopping visits, whether though a standard desktop site, a mobile channel, or a mobile app. According to report findings, the bottom 30 merchants in the study had a checkout process that varied significantly from quarter to quarter. This inconsistency had an impact on their conversion rates, and they trailed the leaders by a wide margin.
The CCI report also found that the number of merchants offering autofill features on their sites has started to decline, but this coincides with the emergence of that feature being offered on major browsers, Chrome, Safari and Firefox.
In terms of retail channels in Q2 2018, mass merchants, sporting goods, and hardware and home improvement attained the highest CCI scores, while software services, subscription retail and gaming were at the bottom of the list. "Retailers should take care to consider exactly what experience their customers are going to them for, and to design their checkout process so as to best support that experience," the report said.
There are two pitfalls for retailers to avoid when designing an online checkout experience for their customers. One is requiring customers to create an account before they can purchase, as this takes the time that shoppers value. Research showed that they will go elsewhere. The second is failing to keep the desktop checkout process current, as shoppers use many types of devices and they expect a consistent experience from merchants on each one.