9 Ecommerce Checkout Best Practices To Boost Conversions

Your store is attracting a good number of visitors. People are spending a good time on various pages. Many of them are adding products to the cart.

But then you see a big gap between products in carts and actual sales. And, you wonder…what’s wrong? Why are people abandoning carts or leaving your site mid-way through the checkout process?

It’s simple. Your checkout page needs a revamp. You need to optimize it to help conversions.

Why People Abandon Carts?

Baymard Institute gathered 37 stats on cart abandonment rates. The stats were from various studies done in the last decade. Some studies reported cart abandonment rates to be as high as 80.30%. The lowest rate reported was 59.80%.

The average of all the 37 stats gathered comes out to be 69.23%.

And here’s why-

The same study says that a better checkout design can boost average conversion rate by 35%.

WHY SHOULD YOU OPTIMIZE YOUR CHECKOUT PAGE?

Ecommerce space is competitive. In a competitive market space, the customer is the king. I know you heard it before but this is the time when the customer is ruling.

When products and prices cease to be differentiator, experience and trust matters. Your checkout page should offer the right experience to your customers. And it should help build trust for customers to shop with peace in mind.

Want to reduce cart abandonment and lift conversion rates? These best practices can help you avoid common checkout pitfalls.

1. Keep The Page Focused

What’s the goal of a checkout page? It’s making the purchase. To sell. Build a checkout page that focuses on this goal. The page should help your customer complete the purchase process easily and quickly. So strip the page of all the elements that are not necessary for achieving the main goal. Some elements that can be removed from the checkout page are-

  • Header Menu
  • Footer Menu
  • Product Offers

Koovs does this well by removing every clickable element on the page and narrowing user focus down to the “Checkout Button”.

2. Allow Shoppers To Purchase As Guests

Modern day marketing requires you to make your customers signup to your website. It helps as you collect some customer details in the process. You can use the data to connect with him and build a long-term relationship.

However, not every customer, specifically new buyers, would like to share their details on the first visit. So give them a choice of buying as a guest. You can request them to sign up for your website later once the purchase is complete. But don’t make sign up a barrier in your checkout process. Also, you can use this email to target users who have abandoned carts.

3. Display Progress Bar

Customers want progress bars. A survey by Lightspeed Research and Kantar, on progress indicators, shows that people want progress bars as it:

  • Boosts user satisfaction.
  • Boosts engagement.

When users in the no-progress-bar group were asked whether they prefer to have some indication of progress, 75% responded in ‘yes’.

Made.com keeps it simple by showing a 3 step progress bar on top.

List out all the steps involved in the checkout process. But keep it to the minimum. Don’t include any steps that are unnecessary on the checkout page. Knowing where they are in the process gives users a sense of control. Also, knowing what stages are yet to come will give clarity to a user and eliminate confusion.

4. Provide All Necessary Information

Providing your customers with all the necessary information in the checkout flow can help improve sales. A lot of time due to lack of information on the checkout page the customer has to move back and forth on the website. This creates unnecessary confusion and resulting in cart abandonment. Necessary information on the checkout page may include-

  • Product information like size, type, images
  • Price
  • Quantity
  • Shipping
  • Taxes
  • Delivery Time
  • Payment Options

This help a customer know that he is buying the right product. And hence eliminates confusion. He need not go back and forth to confirm the accuracy of his purchase.

Also, allow your users to edit the order like increasing/decreasing the quantity, changing the size etc., on the checkout page.

5. Ask Only Relevant Information

There is a temptation among store owners to collect as much information as possible from customers. The data helps owners understand their customers and sharpen their marketing strategy. But a checkout page is not meant for that. Also, the more information you ask for, the longer will be the checkout process resulting in cart abandonment. So ask information that is good enough for the purchase.

Also, don’t ask for the same information again. Use autofill to populate form fields for which you already have information, say billing and shipping details. Always remember that your customers want to buy the product as soon as possible. You need to ensure that you deliver it.

6. Display Trust Factors

Your customers would be sharing some private data like credit card or bank details while making the purchase. And they might have concerns regarding the security of their data. You need to assure them that your store is a trusted one. How?

Get certifications/badges on site and payment gateway security and display it on your checkout page. Place it near to form fields where customers will fill their credit card or bank details.

UrbanLadder uses safety certificates on the cart page to give users a nudge of confidence.

7. Show Your Return Policy

63% of American consumers check the return policy before buying. 48% would shop more with retailers that offer hassle-free returns.  

Your return policy is an important consideration in shopping. Buyers want to shop at stores that have an easy return policy. But it is not just enough to have a return policy. You also need to communicate it with your customer so that they can shop with complete peace.

Source: R & W Media

Your return policy is a detailed document. Give a link to your return policy document from the checkout page. But most of the buyers are not interested in knowing all the details. So, concise your return policy with key information like refund period and charges if any. Place it in a prominent place in the page.

8. Provide multiple payment options

24% of online shoppers abandoned a transaction after not finding a preferred payment option.

Source: Baymard Institute

I can talk from my experience that non-availability of your preferred payment option is a big reason for cart abandonment. People have their choices. Some want to shop using a mobile wallet. Some pay by credit card, bank transfer, PayPal etc. The more choices you offer, the better it is.

Recommended Read: How to Use Digital Wallets and Mobile Site Optimization Tactics to Stamp Out Cart Abandonment

9. Pay Special Attention To Mobile Checkout

Mobile is a key channel for any ecommerce store. And it is going to retain its significance as more people shop using their smartphones and Tablets. But mobile is different from a website. The screen is small. Filling information is not easy. And people use it on the move. So you need to design a different checkout process for mobile.

Here are a few tips to optimize your checkout-

  • Keep the form fields to minimum
  • Use minimum images
  • Use dynamic caching for faster transitions

10. Provide Real-Time Support

Be it desktop or mobile, provide real-time customer support using call/chat. Customers will have questions/issues while purchasing. A live customer support can help you address them. There are many automated chat plugins available in the market. Pick a live chat plugin compatible and place it on your checkout page. Also, give a link to your FAQs page from the checkout page.

Next Steps

  1. Find out your cart abandonment rate. You can track your Cart Abandonment Rate in Google Analytics.  Set up enhanced eCommerce Tracking to start tracking your Cart Abandonment. Once set, all you need to do is navigate: Conversions -> Shopping Behavior.
  2. Begin with a thorough analysis of your existing checkout a from customer point of view. This will help you identify bottlenecks and barriers in a smooth checkout.
  3. From the 10 recommendations discussed above, check how many of them you have already implemented in your page. Start implementing the others.
  4. Monitor your cart abandonment rate on a weekly basis.

The checkout process of your store is important to the success of your business. Keep working on it to streamline and quicken it.

And keep learning. Here are a few articles to help you improve your checkout page-

5 Remarkable Live Chat Plugins To Impress Your Customers

Stop Losing Sales: 10 Quick Sure Fixes To Reduce Cart Abandonment

The Anatomy of The Perfect Mobile E-Commerce Checkout Page

After working 7+ years as a digital marketer for startups and large enterprises I quit my job to start EcommerceYogi. Here I share the exact same tactics which I have used to drive millions of users per month to e-commerce stores. Follow me on Linkedin and Twitter to stay connected.