eCommerce Magento

Collect Sales Tax on Magento without Screwing up your Checkout Experience

by Mark Faggiano

TaxJar recently introduced Sales Tax Automation for Magento sellers. When we talked to Magento users about how to make the best sales tax extension we possibly could, they talked time and time again about how most sales tax extensions slow their Magento stores’ checkout processes down.

We always listen to our customers first and foremost. So for this reason, our sales tax extension app works directly with Magento. There are no calls to our servers during the checkout process, which means TaxJar’s Sales Tax Automation will never cause any delays or time outs for your customers as we calculate sales tax due.

Why did we consider this a vital feature of our Magento sales tax extension?

Shopping Cart Abandonment

Shopping Cart Abandonment

When a customer visits your website and browses around, they’ll often load up a shopping cart. These aren’t always items that they’ll buy – they just want to keep them in one place so they can remember them for later. That way if they do decide to buy stuff they can just head to the shopping cart.

Of course not every shopper is going to buy those items. In fact, they’re going to leave and forget about the shopping cart they loaded up entirely. Dividing the number of orders placed by these abandoned carts leaves you with a percentage called your abandonment rate. The web is loaded with shopping carts that have items left in them.

Sound like hyperbole? According to data from Forrester, about 7 out of 10 shopping carts are abandoned sometimes during the checkout process. Worse, cart abandonment has increased over the years. The holidays are even worse, as some put the cart abandonment numbers in the 80% range.

This phenomenon affects every type of ecommerce business, be it a huge corporation like Amazon or the local crafter trying to get their startup off the ground. While some abandonment is natural and cannot be avoided, you can lower the rate by paying attention to your website.

Shopping Cart Abandonment and Website Speed

As stated above, assuming your website works fine and is fast enough for your customers could be a bad idea. This goes the same for “regular” websites on laptops and desktops as well as mobile websites on smartphones and tablets. In fact, as time goes by, mobile websites will be even more of an important element to focus on as online shoppers head toward their smartphones and tablets.

Think about the last time you visited an online store you had no particular connection to. How long did you give the website to load before you took off for another store just like it? If you’re like most web consumers, even a two second delay put you off that website forever. This small delay is enough to skyrocket the cart abandonment rate up to 87%.

In fact, among the myriad of reasons why customers leave full shopping carts without buying anything, slow websites contribute around 18%. That may sound low in of itself, but if there was any other aspect of your website effectively erasing 18% of your sales you would attack it immediately. Yet many small business owners choose to just ignore slow websites for whatever reason.

You want the path from first click to final checkout click to be as short and simple as possible. Independently check each portion of your website to verify that it’s as quick as you can make it. Perhaps there’s too much security, or too many page objects, or – as in the case of most Magento sales tax extensions – too many third party websites contacting your store for various reasons. Don’t give your customers any excuses to click over to a competitor.

As a result, you should see an increase in customer loyalty: up to 46% of online shoppers used website speed as an indicator of whether they would return for a second sale.

Do you know your shopping cart abandonment rate? How have you combatted shopping cart abandonment in the past?

To find out more about the Sales Tax Automation Magento extension, check out our free Sales Tax 101 for Magento Sellers guide.

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