I want to shorten the time taken for my online customers to complete the payment process. How can I achieve this?

For the online shopper, a quick payment process is essential. If the process is slow and cumbersome, the risk of basket abandonment shoots up.

Insufficient website capacity is a common cause. There are many ways to tackle this – one is optimising it so that if the site is busy, more capacity is given to those checking out rather than just browsing.

Another irksome process during checkout is the 3D payment systems such as Verified by Visa which must be completed after a customer has sent their order.

3D payment systems can be sluggish

3D payment systems can be sluggish

These pages can sometimes take an eternity to load, so how the retailer sets this up within the website so that it is virtually instantaneous will also help reduce the risk of abandonment.

Another option – and one which is sometimes overlooked by retailers – is the often laborious task of typing in postal and billing address information. Often, there is the option to save such personal information for future purchases, but many customers remain concerned around data safety and don’t always want to. Such administrative tasks can increase the overall checkout time for the online customer.

Emma Gooderham, managing director of WorldAddresses.com, says that implementation of software that allows users to search for their address by postcode can “reduce address entry times by up to 80%”. She adds: “Speeding up the data entry process via accurate and easy-to-use address completion functions will not only improve the customer’s experience of the etail site, but also customer retention.”