checkoutsuccessEcommerce is a tough business. It moves fast, changes frequently and relies on outside factors, which are often beyond our control. Such as Google screw ups.

I have often told clients, and I believe fully that the best time and money are spent on getting the most from the shoppers you already have. Think about it, maybe you are getting 50 unique visits a day, sure that’s not a lot, but how many sales? 1 a day maybe?

What difference would it make to your business is you could increase that to 3 or more sales a day?

Do you check and watch your checkout abandonment rate? Do you even know how?

Diagnosing the barriers that shoppers have with your website is hands down the quickest, cheapest and easiest way to increase your sales. Then you can use the additional revenue to work on increasing your daily traffic.

Number 1: Google Analytics Checkout Abandonment

We have yet to find a client who uses this awesome tool to even half of it’s potential. As a shop owner you should have dedicated and be spending at LEAST 30 minutes a week poking around in Google Analytics. If you’re not, you have failed yourself.

Want to learn how to calculate your checkout abandonment?

  1. Login in to Google Analytics and select the account you want to diagnose
  2. From the left menu select Content >> Overview >>All Pages
  3. In this list on the top right use the search to locate your first page of checkout by searching for it’s url, such as login.php. There may be several in the list, total the Unique Pageviews Column and write it down.
  4. Next use the filter/search box to search for your second page such as checkout_shipping and write down the unique pageviews.
  5. Do this for all of your checkout pages including the last checkout_success.
  6. Do the math….

So I used a customer’s account to give you an example. They are running a short, no-login and super easy checkout experience that we built for them. See the results below.

checkoutabandonmentCheckout Page 1: 1776
Checkout Page 2: 1509
Abandonment: 15.03%
Checkout Page 3: 1360
Total Abandonment: 23.42%
Checkout Conversion Rate: 75.58%
Loss of Abandonment Revenue: Page 1 (1776) – Page 3 (1360) = 416 X Average Sale $111.58 = $46,417.28 Lost Revenue!

How does your store compare? What do you do if it sucks?

  • Reduce the number of pages in checkout
  • Remove barriers and distractions from checkout
  • Increase trust:
    • Security Seals
    • Phone Number has High Visibility
    • Live Chat
    • Good Direction Words in Text and Buttons. Go to, Buy Now etc (tell them what you want!)
    • Fast Website Performance…. Nobody Waits Anymore!
    • SSL Certificate, If You Don’t Have $10 a Year for an SSL You are in the Wrong Business!
  • Payment Options. People are (in our own internal study) are about 34% Less Likely to Checkout if you ONLY offer Offsite Payment Options such as Paypal. In talking with folks it seems that they are concerned that if you only offer Paypal then you are not a “real” business.
  • Clear, First Person Helpful Product Descriptions. I Tell Clients to Describe their Products Just as they Would if I was on the Phone with them.
  • Nice, Big and Awesome Product Images.
  • Good, Competitive Pricing.
  • Easy to Follow Design, Menus and Navigation.