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Optimize Your Checkout Page to Convert

January 2, 2018
Online shoppers are fickle: in 2017 their average cart abandonment rate was 67%! Worse still, most customers abandoned their carts at the eCommerce checkout page. Why do so many customers leave right before completing their purchase? While some were ‘just browsing’, the most likely scenario is that the checkout experience was poor. Slow load times, tedious information entry, and limited payment options are all enough to make a customer think twice. And drive them away. According to Baymard Institute, the top reasons customers abandon their carts are: unexpected costs (60%), having to create an account (37%) and a complicated checkout process (28%).

So, how do you avoid these hazards and encourage more conversions? By optimizing your eCommerce checkout page for ease of use!

Amit Bhaiya, CEO of DotcomWeavers says, “Your checkout page is your money page, literally and figuratively. You need to focus on streamlining its performance.”

Keep reading to discover winning strategies to optimize your eCommerce checkout experience.

Streamline the eCommerce Checkout Page Process

You’ve already reduced the clicks customers must make to browse, add to cart, and go to checkout, right? Good. Now apply the same streamlined approach to your eCommerce checkout page.

Keep checkouts to a single page. The fewer ‘steps’ customers must take to get what they want, the fewer chances they have to reconsider their purchase.

Harshal Shah, Lead UX Designer at DotcomWeavers, says, “Steps equal friction and friction equals abandoned carts. Ruthlessly eliminate the number of steps it takes for customers to complete a purchase.”

Make sure you ask for information in an order that is comfortable for the customer. Start with their name and shipping address. An easy way to improve customer convenience is by integrating Google Maps API. This enables predictive address lookup, so customers have less information to enter manually.

Give them the option to mark their billing address as the same as their shipping address. Once they’ve started the process and it is going smoothly, they’ll be more likely to finish.

Next, allow them to enter a coupon code or gift card. When customers see the price of their order drop, they’ll feel even better about the purchase.

Now it’s time to ask for payment information. Most experts agree that asking for payment information should come last, once the customer has completed the rest of the checkout form.

Finally, remember to create thumbnail fields where customers can see the items in their cart. This will remind them of the items they are getting in return for their payment.

Reward Customer Registrations (but don’t demand them)

Creating an account is personal. It can also be tedious. After all, every eCommerce website wants customers to sign up for this or that, and people get tired of entering their information repeatedly.

Let customers checkout as guests if they want. For customers that may not be ready to give their loyalty to your brand but still want to make a purchase, this can help prevent abandoned carts. You can, of course, remind them that an account lets them view and track orders with ease, but don’t require registration.

Another convenient option that customers love is to enable social media logins. With a single click, customer information from Facebook or Google is used and there is no need for the customer to enter their information manually.

Some eCommerce checkout pages allow customers to create an account during their first checkout. This effectively cuts their effort in half. Talk to your developer to see if this is possible for your website.

If you really want them to sign up, try sweetening the deal. Giving customers a registration incentive such as 15% off their first purchase is a good exchange for their effort.

Emphasize Security

Make your customers feel like security is something you take seriously. You should have an SSL certificate and make sure customers know it. Besides the “https” in your web address, there’s nothing wrong with a badge or statement on the checkout page that says, “this is a secure 128-byte SSL encrypted payment.” Your privacy policy and terms and conditions page should also have your security policies spelled out in full.

Store Customer Information

Once a customer creates an account, make sure you offer benefits such as saved shipping addresses and credit card information. With less information to enter on future purchases, they’ll be more likely to become repeat customers. When people don’t need to enter their shipping or billing info, buying becomes a 1-click process. Just ask Amazon! They have eliminated friction for returning buyers who are much more likely to buy than new visitors.

Note: if you store credit card information in your system, you must deal with PCI compliance.

Offer Multiple Payment Options

In addition to the standard credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express), we advise offering at least one other payment option. Some customers simply prefer one payment method over another, while others like to feel free to choose how they pay. (Remember, less friction = fewer abandoned carts.)

Consider allowing payment options such as PayPal, Google Wallet, Dwolla or any one of the hundreds of other options out there. You can also use third-party integrations such as Amazon Pay to allow customers to checkout with their Amazon details.

Optimize for Mobile

Mobile and tablet orders make up about 33% of all eCommerce transactions. And that number is on the rise despite a study that revealed that 88% of mobile shoppers have had negative mobile user experiences.

Don’t be one of the many online retailers who consistently ignore the urgent need to optimize their mobile experience. Make mobile shopping and eCommerce checkout UX optimization a priority in 2018. You will stand out from the competition and see a reduction in the number of abandoned carts.

Help Them Solve Errors

Despite your best efforts to limit their occurrence, sometimes errors happen. When a customer encounters an error during checkout, the error message should not be generic. Instead, it should provide a short explanation of how to solve the specific issue. This will reduce customer frustration and keep them moving along their checkout journey.

A (nearly) Perfect Checkout Experience

Even if you don’t like Domino’s pizza, you must respect their online checkout game. They have a near-perfect eCommerce checkout page experience. What makes the Domino’s online order checkout so great?

  1. Optimized for Mobile Devices
  2. No customer registration (it remembers your email)
  3. Easy forms to fill in
  4. Saved payment details
  5. Fast load times
  6. Friendly to repeat customers
  7. They even offer a ‘zero-click’ app. The app remembers your ‘go-to’ pizza. When you open the app, it automatically orders your favorite pie after a 10-second Crazy? Maybe. But Dominos customers love it.

Your eCommerce Checkout Page Optimization Checklist

Now that you understand why you need to streamline your eCommerce checkout page, here is a handy list to keep in mind as you implement the changes.

  • Reduce the number of steps required to checkout
  • Remove unnecessary form fields
  • Make check out feel secure
  • Enable address lookup / predictive entry tools
  • Copying shipping address to billing address to save time
  • Save customer shipping and billing information
  • Offer multiple payment options
  • Making account creation a part of the process
  • Never require customers to create an account just before purchase
  • Allow for guest checkouts
  • Optimize for mobile
  • Implement clear error messages and provide answers to help users solve problems
  • Thank them for their order!

If you make eCommerce checkout page optimization a priority, it won’t be long until you see a reduction in the number of abandoned carts!

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