So you’ve decided to offer cross border shipping.
You have your shipping network in place. Maybe you’ve even localized your website to attract shoppers in your target market. Your analytics show that potential customers in your new market are definitely clicking around your store. Sounds like offering cross border shipping should be on the table.
Before you move forward officially, you find out conversions just aren’t there yet. What’s the deal? It could be your checkout process.
This post will go over how to simplify your checkout to offer customers a user-friendly cross border shipping experience.
Before Customers “Add to Cart”
Simplifying your checkout for cross border customers shouldn’t start when they hit “Buy Now.” Instead, you want to start by offering your future buyers an optimal experience when they are still merely browsing your store.
There’s nothing worse than trying to enter payment information only to be presented with zero shipping options and no explanation.
Instead, be proactive by using geolocation if you don’t ship certain products to specific countries or regions. This can prevent customers from going through the whole checkout process only to see “Sorry, we don’t ship our jet skis to Peru” at the end.
1. Promote Trust
While cross border purchasing is gaining steam, your customer may still be antsy about buying from someone in another country. In a PayPal study, U.S., German, French, Mexican and Japanese buyers all mentioned “suspicious checkout” as a top concern when it comes to buying from an international merchant.
Promote trust by keeping customers on your branded site during checkout. Sending them off to a vastly different page when it comes time to enter payment information can leave a customer skittish about parting with their vital information. They want to buy from you, not a generic checkout page.
On that note, a study by PayPal and Magento found that simply adding a security icon to the checkout increased mobile Revenue Per Visitor by 17.37% percent against a control group of the same websites. RPV increase by 7% with desktop and tablet shoppers.
Also feature symbols of trust such as customer reviews, trust seals, and a clear way to contact you should your buyer have questions or issues.
2. Minimize Form Filling
Require that customers provide you the absolute minimum amount of information to complete the order. In most cases this is email address, name, shipping and billing addresses and payment information. After all, you probably don’t need to know your customer’s birthday and nickname in order to get their product to them. Minimize friction and keep your forms simple.
3. Don’t Require Account Creation
Don’t interrupt the flow of the checkout process by requiring that your customer enter a password and create an account. If this is their first experience with your store, they may not know if they want an account with you yet. There’s plenty of time to encourage them to create an account after the transaction has processed.
However, do obtain an email address as early in the checkout process as possible. This will allow you to later send abandoned cart notifications or discounts to try and win the customer back.
4. Simplify Entering Addresses
Addresses around the world come in different formats. For example, a 9 digit US zip code is all numeric and looks like this: 30348-2129. And a UK postcode features a combination of letters and numbers and looks like this: NR14 7PZ.
If you require all numerics in your postal code field, you’re going to run into a problem when your UK customers try to enter an address. And customers who encounter errors entering shipping and billing addresses during checkout are likely to abandon the confusing cart and take an easier path to purchase.
Or, they might take a stab at an address and hope for the best. A study by Loqate found that 80% of customers don’t realize that their failed delivery was caused by entering their own address incorrectly. Instead they blame the merchant or the courier. Ouch.
But you have some options here. You can localize your checkout so that each customer sees the correct address fields for her country. Or you can use ShipperHQ’s Address Auto-complete feature that autofills addresses based on information the customer enters.
You can also minimize the amount of fields a customer has to fill out by automatically copying the billing address they entered over to shipping address fields (or vice versa), then giving the customer to option to change the shipping address if needed.
5. Offer Multiple Payment Types
Buyers in different countries prefer different payment methods. For example, a Pitney Bowes study found that buyers in Spain prefer to pay with credit cards like Visa, Mastercard and American Express. But only about 30% of German eCommerce buyers prefer to pay with credit cards. Mobile shoppers, an increasing percentage of online shoppers, may find it easier to pay with mobile wallets rather than typing in a credit card number. And many customers in India and Central Europe prefer to pay cash on delivery.
Preferred payment methods are as varied as your buyers. Ensure you’re not losing customers during checkout by providing the payment options they feel most comfortable using.
6. Be Upfront about Shipping, Taxes and Other Fees
You’ll find many occasions when selling cross border where either your or the customer are required to pay import duties. If the customer is required to pay these duties, be sure to warn them upfront so they aren’t met with a nasty surprise before they can pick up their package.
You can also choose to show or hide fees strategically. Do you cover duties? Then you may not want to include a line for customs & duties at checkout. For example, say you are selling on a fully localized site. A customer who didn’t realize their item is shipping from overseas could get antsy and pull the plug on a sale.
Want to be more transparent about duties & taxes? With our new partnership with Zenda, you get access to an exciting cross-border shipping solution that provides DDP (Delivery Duty Paid) delivery and shows duties & taxes right at the checkout. Contact us today to find out if Zenda is the right fit for your business.
7. Show Pricing in Local Currency
According to PayPal, 75% of cross border buyers say they want the option to buy in their local currency. And 62% say they check prices in local currency before placing an order. Anytime your customer navigates away from your site during checkout, you potentially lose them. Showing prices in their local currency keeps them in your checkout flow.
8. Optimize for mobile
Forty percent of mobile shoppers abandon their cart because they have trouble entering information. All the checkout options we’ve mentioned above will help mobile shoppers enjoy a seamless checkout experience, but you can do more.
Design your checkout with large, easy-to-see and press buttons, highly visible fonts and a fixed navigation bar so your customers can easily navigate your site and checkout on mobile.
Because on average of 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned at the checkout, you have to give customers delivery options that fit their individual needs while also showing them upfront when to expect their items.
Well guess what? Both are possible with ShipperHQ’s new Enhanced Checkout.
With the Enhanced Checkout, you have access to out-of-the-box support for options like click and collect, estimated delivery dates and date and time selection. Meaning your odds of keeping customers on your site and adding to their cart just got better. Sounds like a win / win right?
New and existing Enterprise Customers can sign up for ShipperHQ’s Amazon-style Enhanced Checkout through our Early Access Program for launch in early 2019.