For an e-commerce website, one of the most common times a shopping cart is abandoned is at the point where the client is required to fill in a registration form. In truth, everybody hates having to complete them, but there are a few ways to make the process a little less painful.
The very first thing to do is to create some good reasons for your client to register with you, other than just to make a purchase. Make the benefits clear and explain what they will be getting that non-registered visitors do not.
One main concern that clients have is security, so make sure that your website clearly displays any security badges in a prominent position (not tucked away in the footer) and offers a link to a separate page that clearly lays out your company’s verification and policies. Some people are really hot on Internet security these days and they will want to read them.
Once they are happy to continue, make the process very easy to complete. You do not need to know their mother’s maiden aunt’s eye colour; stick to relevant, necessary information and where required, tell them why you need it. Offer help in terms of highlighting when a mistake has been made and explaining how to correct it.
It may even be worth adding a ‘widget’ that informs them how many steps there will be to the process and moves to show them exactly where they are and how far they have to go to complete your various forms.
Make your registration form logical. It makes sense to many people to enter their details in a particular order and to do so only once. For example, nine times out of ten, the delivery address will be the same as the billing address, so keying it in once is more than enough – offer a one-click tick box option to confirm if they are the same.
Creating a password is another major customer complaint. The average Internet user will often want to use some sort of variation on a common theme so that they can attempt to remember it! Whilst we are on that point, people also regularly forget their passwords, so make your reminder/recovery process easy for them to use as well.
One more very valid comment – although it is great to capture loads of information from your website visitors, be very aware that some people will just not play with websites that insist on a registration. A sale is better than a bounce, so offer a ‘guest’ option where people can purchase from you without the hassle and using their own off-site payment method, PayPal, for example.
If you can put yourself in a user’s shoes for a few minutes and think about which particular things really annoy YOU about purchasing online and registration forms specifically, the process of making it right for your clients will become a much simpler and less stressful one, for all concerned.