Elements of a Winning Checkout Experience

logo-made-in-ecommerceYour visitor’s checkout process is as important as your website’s landing page. When configured correctly, you will be able to overcome cart abandonment issues, and increase conversion rates. A perfect checkout experience requires a lot of tweaking, but it’s all about removing distractions and making the ordering process as easy as possible. If something goes wrong, or if the customer finds the process too complicated, he or she will leave.

In order to drive conversation rates, your checkout page should include the following:

  • Clear Security Measures – In light of our current technological climate, this is perhaps the most important aspect of an ecommerce website. As a merchant, it is your responsibility to make sure visitors feel comfortable and safe during the checkout process or they will choose another vendor. Include third-party reinforcement logos such as VeriSign and SSL certificates to show your visitors you take their security seriously. Test the placement of such logos to identify possible conversion rate difference.
  • Diverse Payment Options – Allowing customers to choose different payment options decreases shopping cart abandonment. Make sure you’re able to accept all major credit cards and popular digital payment systems such as PayPal. Some customers are uncomfortable paying digitally altogether; give them the option to call or fax orders in.
  • Calls to Action – Ensure you are creating friendly and clear calls to action. Keep them consistent, concise, and prominent. Make it easy for buyers to see the next step. Be sure never to place the ‘checkout button’ next to the ‘remove from cart’ button.
  • Flexibility to Make Changes & Back Links – Make it easy as you can for the shopper. Empower them to move freely about on the product pages and within the checkout process. Make changing details on the checkout page easy, fluid, and intuitive.
  • Thumbnails/Product Information – Include thumbnails so customers know they have selected the right item(s). If they are forced to hit the back button to remind themselves of what they added, they may never come back. Additionally, allow them to be able to edit selections from the checkout page.
  • Progress Indicator – Number the steps so customers can visually track how far they are in the process. Customers are more likely to complete the full process if you at least let them know how they’re doing.
  • 24/7 (FREE) Live Help | Customer Service Contact Information – Some customer need to have all the facts; some customer just need a little reassurance. No matter the need, have someone available via live chat or toll-free number to address shoppers’ questions and concerns. Make sure they contact info is prominently displayed.
  • Cross-selling – It is important not to come off as too pushy, so be very careful where and how you cross-sell. A perfect approach would be to offer suggestions on styles/products similar to what is in their cart or what other buyers of the same product also purchased. Relevance is key!
  • Save the Cart – Many customers use the cart to quickly save ideas for future purchase. Or they need to use a different card, or they’ve simply gotten distracted. Don’t punish your visitors for taking their time. Give them to option to review their selections at a later time, or to email goods that pique their interest.
  • Clear Shipping & Delivery Expectations – If you have a free shipping offer, state it clearly! If you’re charging, are the costs reasonable and competitive? Make sure you highlight store ratings and fast shipping messages to let shoppers know you are committed to getting their order to them in a timely manner. When visitors are provided clear expectations on when their shipment will arrive, they will be more likely to convert.

The bottom line: remove distractions and make the process as intuitive, effortless, and fluid as possible. With these elements, your website should see a decrease in abandoned orders and an uptick in completed orders.

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