Picture a checkout that has the following pages:
Login/User Name Select
Thanks for Purchasing
The dropoff looks like this:
33% don't go from cart to login
10% don't go from login to billing
10% don't go from billing to confirm
1.5% don't purchase from the confirm page
When its all said and done, only half the people who get to shopping cart end up purchasing.
The first two steps in this process, getting someone to add to cart and then getting them to leave the cart and start checkout, are the two toughest steps.
In both of these steps, the person has not said I am prepared to buy. They have only said I am prepared to look at products, and sometimes will set a few aside.
Now here is a question, say only 10% of people who visit your site add anything to bag and only 50% of them end up purchasing.
Should you try to improve checkout so that 75% of the people end up purchasing, or should you work on getting 15% of your visitors to add to bag?
Unless your checkout is horrible, I don't think you'll be able to get from 50% completion to 75% completion. Too much of that process is affected by the buyer and their credit. I did a decent amount of work on improving the checkout process and found the needle only moved 5%.
Anyone have any experience on which is easier to affect?