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Focus on Checkout to Increase Sales; Everybody's Doing It

Posted on 7.14.2009

It looks like retailers are going to be paying a lot more attention to how the shopping experience ends - that means the checkout process.

According to a survey scheduled for release this morning at Shop.org’s Online Merchandising Workshop in San Diego (conducted by Forrester Research), retailers plan to focus heavily this year on improving customers’ check-out experience. Companies will also place an emphasis on image enhancement on product detail pages and site search filters to help shoppers more easily find what they’re looking for.

According to the survey, eight out of ten retailers (79%) said enhancing the checkout process was on the top of their to-do lists for the remainder of the year, with 90 percent of medium-sized retailers* listing checkout as a top priority. 

The largest initiative in this area among retailers seems to be an emphasis on shipping, with retailers specifically increasing the transparency around shipping charges to reduce shopping cart abandonment. According to the survey, 88 percent of retailers will focus on providing more shipping information within the next year, including such details as when a customer can expect to receive a package and information about when products have left the warehouse. In addition, two-thirds of retailers (67%) said they would pay special attention to calculating the loaded cost of an order prior to checkout.

“Retailers realize that, particularly during an economic downturn, shoppers who understand shipping charges at the beginning of the checkout process are less likely to abandon their purchases,” said Sucharita Mulpuru, Forrester Research Vice President, Principal Analyst and lead author of the report.

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