common problems for business website owners and how to fix them

Our 5 Pro-Tips on Fixing eCommerce Failed Transactions at Checkout


A common concern amongst eCommerce site owners is why many transactions fail to go through at the checkout stage. In many cases, these failures are costing businesses significantly in lost sales and repeat custom leaving customers to move-on to competitors.
But things can be done if you’re a site owner to mitigate the problem.
A failed transaction can happen for a number of reasons but doesn’t need to spell the end with that customers engagment. Here are some of our top pro-tips to help you improve outcomes with a bit of technical intervention and smart thinking.

Tip 1: Address Validation

Many payments fail because of customer address issues, make sure you use an address validation/address autocomplete plugin to pre-validate miskeyed or bogus addresses. An example of one geared for the UK/US market is Here . There’s usually some kind of subscription involved, but it’s in the sub $150 range and definitely worth it.

Tip 2: Abandoned Cart Reminder

Use an abandoned cart automated email for when customers fail to complete their transaction. Often customers forget or get distracted during online shopping and need to be reminded to checkout. Emails should be sent out within an hour for best effect and statistically they are quite effective.

Tip 3: Outdated Plugins & WP Versions

Outdated plugins, theme files can causes authentication issues on the site leading to failed payments. This can easily happen when the backend is not fully maintained. Plugin auto updates and wordpress version updates should be enabled where possible.

Tip 4: API Key Problems

Problems with API keys. Payment integration with merchant services, Stripe, PayPal etc all rely on API keys to work properly. Issues can arise when test or debugging mode is left on. It’s good to engage with a developer for this one depending on your comfort level as it’s easy to interrupt payment gateway service with missing or mistyped keys.

Tip 5: Site Hosting and Design

Site slowness and poor UI. Poor site speeds and design of eCommerce platforms can have a significant impact on customer experience. No-one wants to navigate through mult-step forms or timeout waiting for a 3D secure/verified by Visa iframe to load. It’s always a good idea for someone else to give you feedback on what the checkout experience is like for them. Issues such as poor quality hosting can have a major impact as Google predicts that 30-40% of visitors will abandon your site if it takes more than 5 seconds to load.

Of course there are many more factors to consider when it comes to failed payments. Many times transactions fail on account of more mundane problems like insufficient funds (NSF), expired cards and account credit limits. In these cases it’s always a good idea to have a chatbot or whatsapp number listed at the checkout page to assist customers with alternate payment method suggestions. That way customers will be more likely to buy from you rather then surf to your nearest competitor out of frustration.

Further Advice

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