We have benchmarked the performance of the standard Magento basket and checkout process, using data from Google Analytics between March & May 2015.
The significant and valuable learning from this data – compiled as it is from a wide number of websites with the same technical and functional characteristics – is that the results achieved from checkouts per se vary hugely and therefore are influenced largely by other factors.
In summary, we have looked at 2.5m visitors to over 13 websites in the last 60 days (April & May 2015), all of which have the standard Magento checkout (essentially, an “accordian” step-by-step process on a single page), although each website has been customised for each brand within the standard wireframe. All the companies measured are niche brands and sell lifestyle goods with an average order value of £71.
Amongst the websites in the sample were: Atterley Road, Baldwins, Bella di Notte, Christopher Ward, Donald Russell, Force 4 Chandlery, Loake Shoes, Micro-scooters, Moss Europe, the RSPB, This Works & Van Dal
These 2.5m visitors viewed 15m pages & placed over 90,000 orders.
Magento basket statistics
The average conversion ratio was 3.66%, ranging from below 1% to close to 10%.
The average basket page views was 3.78%, representing at least a strong interest in a product and at best an intent to purchase. Note that the action “add to basket” is not recorded in Google as standard by Magento (although at Screen Pages we have started adding this as an additional piece of analytics tracking). The distribution on this metric is 1-10%. Basket page exits is the next meaningful & easily acccessible metric. The average is 10.8% with a range of 7-15%. This measures the % of visitors who leave the site at the basket page. There are a number of factors that can influence this:
– Simple lack of real purchase intent
– Poor communication of delivery charges (or perceived high charges)
– Lack of customer service information (on returns, fulfilment)
– Concerns over security & data protection
– Poor layout: standard Magento includes the main site navigation as a whole
– Weak messaging overall
Another statistic we can reliably compare is the overall ratio of orders to unique basket views. The average orders to baskets 41%, with a range of 22-63%. This implies an average abandonment rate of 59% with a range of 78-27%.
At the end of the day, success – as evidenced by the wide range of results on fundamentally identical checkouts – depends more on the brand, product and service rather than specific technical or functional characteristics. In particular, if consumers are of a mind to purchase, they will. In fact, they will overcome all sorts of classic conversion issues to purchase. They key is persuading people to buy – often before the checkout begins. That said, it is important to study visitor flows to stop potential purchasers abandon for reasons that can easily be prevented: remove any emotional, technical and practical objections to completing the order.
Does Magento have a “good” checkout? In general yes. However, it is important to include additional messaging and to work on improving the layout and terminology (for example the “R-word” is used natively for registration – a known inhibitor). Some elements – such as the US-oriented delivery calculator – should be suppressed.
10 recommendations for optimising standard Magento checkouts
1. Customise the designs/look-and-feel
2. Make the “action” buttons more prominent and double their number
3. Modify the language (for local conditions or to make it “softer”, for example remove the “r” for registration word)
4. Install post code look-ups (Screen Pages uses Postcode Anywhere)
5. Set up Paypal (more convenient for some customers and can avoid 3D, which is a nuisance on mobiles)
6. Include additional content blocks for friendly sales-oriented communication and incentives
7. Suppress the standard top navigation – it can confuse and gives more options
8. Explain the 3D authentication (if you have it) by adding a content block to
9. Add more analytics tracking to record more events
10. Add a “step back” button to make the intra-checkout navigation more easy