5 Ways to Optimize Your Checkout Design
February 9, 2017
Most visitors who visit your ecommerce store are random window shoppers who will probably never buy from you. But, for those who are seriously interested in your product, only one things stands between them and a purchase: the checkout process.
When a customer adds something to their cart and proceeds to checkout, they’re telling you that they are ready to buy. However, many of these would-be-customers often abandon their cart and leave your website. Your job as an ecommerce website builder is to figure out why and reduce the likelihood of it happening again.
Here are five ways you can optimize your checkout design so your customers can successfully make a purchase from your ecommerce store:
Self-Host Your Checkout
Shoppers expect to checkout on your website, not a random third-party site. Don’t redirect your customers off-site to complete their purchase. It’s confusing, disruptive, and a very negative experience for the user.
Online shoppers are often very concerned about giving out their personal information. If they see they are leaving a website they’ve come to trust for a website they don’t know, they’re likely to abandon their purchase altogether.
Many ecommerce website builders have a self-hosted checkout process built in. Make sure to take advantage of this feature to reduce your cart abandonment rate.
Avoid Hidden Fees
Nothing provokes cart abandonment quite like hidden fees. Taxes, shipping, and other fees that appear in a customer’s cart during checkout can feel like a betrayal of trust.
The best thing to do is to avoid fees altogether, but that’s not always possible. Still, you can prepare your customers for additional fees so they won’t be surprised to see them during checkout. No hiding!
Consider displaying your shipping fees in the product descriptions. You could also offer free shipping for orders over $75, for example, so shoppers will expect to pay for shipping otherwise. Keeping your fees clear and simple will help build rust and set realistic expectations for the price at checkout.
Offer a Guest Checkout Option
Many users do not want to take the time to create an account with you to check out. Maybe they don’t want yet another account online or maybe they’re just in a hurry. Either way, if you want them to complete the checkout process, offer them an easier option.
Checking out as a guest instead of creating an account makes the process quick and easy. It reduces the amount of fields a buyer has to complete and gets straight to the most important part: completing the purchase.
Display Security Signals
It takes a certain level of trust for a customer to hand over their personal details to an unknown merchant online. Lucky for you, you can build your credibility and trust by displaying security signals on your website and throughout the checkout process.
First and foremost, make sure your website has an SSL certificate to properly handle sensitive information. Also, display trust seals on your website from third parties like McAffe, BBB, or TRUSTe. Of course, make sure you are processing payments through a trusted partner like PayPal or Stripe.
The checkout process is often a multi-page affair. It’s easy for customers to get lost if they don’t know where they’re going! Give them a map to follow. At the top of the checkout screen, display the step they are on and how many steps they have to go to complete their purchase. They’re more likely to continue if they know they only have a little ways to go.
By following these tips, you can reduce your cart abandonment rate and move your customers all the way through the checkout process. That means more revenue for you, and less disappointment for them. Win-win!