June 25, 2014, 4:35 PM

Why don't they check out?

Online retailers often wonder why so many shoppers make it to the shopping cart—and then vanish. Data from Bizrate Insights show some of the reasons consumers don't complete purchases, and suggest steps e-retailers can take to raise conversion rates.

Getting checkout right seems elementary to most ecommerce veterans and newbies alike—and yet problems still abound. Checkout continues to be cumbersome or worse, unworkable, thwarting successful purchases. Fortunately, there are a few rules of thumb to improve checkout and the likelihood of a purchase:

• Be secure and ask permission. Save personal information for the next purchase—and then prepopulate!
• Have clear messaging. There is nothing worse than a customer investing time shopping with you only to find that the order won’t complete as expected at the final step.
• Have continual alerts and monitoring set up for all leading devices, OS and browsers—especially for the new browser versions that often automatically update.

Invest in checkout—it not only completes the purchase, but also significantly contributes to the likelihood of future purchases.

With strong security around personal information in place, get permission to save as much information as you can for future purchases. Look to Amazon, which is often cited as the most preferred checkout experience, for inspiration.

A 15% leak at checkout, most often due to coupon confusion or technical problems, can be fixed with better messaging, monitoring, and QA.

Coupons draw in consumers and can lead them to checkout, but if the coupons don’t work as expected, then confusion, dissatisfaction, complaints, and losses of sales occur.

Connexity, part of Shopzilla Inc., serves as the umbrella brand for consumer reviews service Bizrate Insights, advertising targeting system Aisle A and Connexity's media buying platform.

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