Nov 19, 20183 min read

A game of frustration.

by Klarna.com

Are you ‘blocking’ customers at the checkout? Make it easy for them to win and build sales instead.

Life is full of frustrations and shopping online is no exception. Wherever effort seems more than reward or when personal goals get blocked, frustration soon sets in.

No one likes to be a loser

We’ve all experienced it and know the feeling. You want to buy quickly but have to register first. You’ve found the perfect gift but it won’t ship on time. Or you’ve been saving for an item but when you get to the checkout page it’s out of stock?

Your customer’s online journeys are filled with moments like these. No matter how great your products or how cool your site looks, if there’ anything to cause frustration, sales will suffer.

Why frustration’s a powerful opponent to sales

Frustration is a common emotional response to opposition. It’s closely related to anger, annoyance and disappointment. Watch a child that’s frustrated, they bash at their toys, pout, stamp their feet and shout. Frustrated online shoppers show the same types of behavior.

People can get frustrated with themselves. For example when they can’t remember passwords. Or with external things that are outside their control. For instance, compulsory registration that blocks progress and wastes time.

Frustration often sparks negative coping mechanisms like anger. Any customer service desk knows that frustrated customers often become the most insistent.

A winning game-plan

Shoppers may spend hours browsing and choosing their purchase. But they want to spend minimal time buying it. Many sources of frustration come at the checkout. But if you can avoid payment roadblocks, wasted effort and disappointment you can stop frustration eating up sales.

Here are some simple rules of engagement that help you win:

  1. Ditch registration
    Does your checkout start with a potentially jarring question: “are you new here or a returning customer?” then “What’s your password?” If they don’t remember, they’re already annoyed. If they have to request a new one – it’s an unwanted step that takes the shopper further from their goal. There are other ways to ‘know your customer’, using tokenization or a one-click facility for example.
  2. Be mobile-friendly
    Increasingly, consumers shop on their phones. Make sure your website is responsive and easy to use on any device. Reducing data entry will make the experience more positive for mobile shoppers.
  3. Show the moves
    Expectation is everything. Customers like to know how many steps it will take to get to the finish line. In many checkouts, there’s no indication when the customer gets started of how long the process is going to take. If offering one-click, or alternative payment, make sure it’s clearly displayed.
  4. Stay in step
    Many e-checkouts ask customers to fill in their billing information first. Even before asked for shipping information. This means the customer has committed before they know if a delivery is possible – not good.
  5. Beware stranger danger
    Does your site recognize and fast track returning customers? Or at least autofill data fields for them. Regular shoppers don’t want to have to start from scratch every time they buy.
  6. Stop surprises
    Make sure customers know how many items are in their basket and display the total value as they browse. If basket value is more than they expect at the checkout, they’re more likely to drop it.
  7. Offer options
    Nothing is more frustrating than not having the cash flow or credit to buy something as soon as you see it. If your site carries high-ticket items, consider offering instant flexible credit.
  8. Make it smoooth
    Remember, fewer clicks mean more sales. Less data duplication creates more conversion and faster checkouts stop frustration setting in.