5 steps to help convert shoppers into buyers

Attracting a shopper to your site is only the first part of the conversion journey. In today’s competitive market where options are seemingly limitless and attention spans are short, guiding a potential buyer from initial interest to final purchase requires a strategic approach.

From promoting relevant financing offers to browsing shoppers, to simplifying the checkout process to offering diverse payment options, here are five steps you can take to transform casual browsers into committed buyers.

What impact can a negative shopping experience have?

A single negative shopping experience can unravel months of brand-building and customer engagement efforts. The repercussions of a negative encounter can be far-reaching – retailers may face:

  • Increased cart abandonment. Frustration with complicated checkout processes or unexpected costs can lead customers to leave without completing their purchase.
  • Loss of repeat business. Customers who have a bad experience are less likely to return, reducing the lifetime value of each customer.1
  • Negative word-of-mouth. Dissatisfied customers are likelier to share their negative experiences with others, potentially deterring new customers.2
  • Damaged brand reputation. Online reviews and social media can amplify the effects of a negative experience, affecting your brand’s image on a larger scale.

Combined, these factors can decrease shopping cart conversion rates, directly impacting a business’s bottom line.

Common problems that lead to cart abandonment

E-commerce may offer convenience and variety to consumers, but retailers face a significant hurdle: cart abandonment. With an average of 70.19% of all carts abandoned, understanding its common causes can help retailers devise strategies to increase conversions.3

Complicated checkout forms

Whether because they’re overwhelmed or strapped for time, 17% of shoppers abandon their carts due to complicated or lengthy checkout processes.4

To combat this, try to minimize the number of checkout fields, requesting only necessary information such as names, addresses, and payment details.

Limited payment options

9% of shoppers say they abandon their carts when a retailer doesn’t offer diverse payment options, whether that’s digital wallets, PayPal, or buy now, pay later plans.4 This underscores the importance of meeting consumers' expectations for flexibility and convenience at checkout.

Unclear shipping costs

In one survey, 48% of respondents said they abandoned their carts when extra costs, such as shipping fees and taxes, were too high.4 This highlights the importance of knowing how to choose the right shipping pricing strategy for your business.

However, it's not just the magnitude of these fees that matters; the manner and timing of their disclosure may play a crucial role in consumer decision-making as well. Shoppers may abandon their carts if extra costs are revealed too late in the checkout process.

Security concerns

Trust plays a pivotal role in online transactions and shoppers need assurance that their personal and payment information is secure. Red flags such as poor website design, the lack of an SSL certificate, an unrecognized payment gateway, or a lack of social proof (such as reviews) can deter customers from completing a purchase.

Inadequate mobile optimization

With mobile purchases now comprising 60% of all e-commerce sales,5 optimizing the checkout process for mobile users is essential. A seamless, responsive design that adjusts to various screen sizes ensures the shopping experience is convenient and straightforward, regardless of the device used.

5 ways to help turn shoppers into buyers

Businesses can significantly increase their conversion rates by addressing the common hurdles shoppers face during the checkout process. Use these five strategies to convert shoppers into buyers.

Consider guest checkout

With lengthy checkouts a top reason for cart abandonment, introducing one-tap, fast guest checkout options can significantly improve the shopping experience.6

By allowing customers to purchase without creating an account or even entering a username and password, streamlined processes can be the key to converting hesitant shoppers into eager buyers.

Make returns easy

Remove the fear of commitment with easy returns. When shoppers know they can return items without hassle if their expectations aren’t met, they’re more likely to try out products they’re unsure about.

Allow people to save carts for later

The frustration of having to refill a shopping cart because it was automatically emptied after a period of inactivity can deter potential buyers. Allowing customers to save their carts for later encourages them to return and complete their purchases at their convenience.

Offer preferred payment methods

Beyond credit and debit card payments, accepting alternative payment methods, including digital wallets, vouchers, and buy now, pay later, accommodates different consumer preferences and financial situations.

Learn more about accepting payments with PayPal.

Consider shipping tracking and show upfront costs

By being upfront about all shipping costs and providing detailed tracking information, businesses can foster trust, reassure customers about their purchase, and encourage them to complete the transaction.

To help both better manage your shipments and reduce shipping fees, explore PayPal shipping.

Streamline your operations with PayPal

Transforming casual buyers into loyal customers requires time, effort, and resources. Fortunately, there are tools that can help manage the many needs around online payments so you can stay focused on growing your business.

PayPal Complete Payments is an all-in-one payment solution that can help optimize your transactions, keep pace with new payment methods, and enhance payment security, freeing you to focus on what matters most.

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