While attracting customers to your site and convincing them to make a purchase is crucial for the success of your e-commerce business, this doesn’t always guarantee a sale.
For many websites, it’s usually the shopping cart and checkout page design, along with a site’s functionality, that can make (or break) a customer’s purchase.
So, how do you optimize the guest checkout flow to make that sale? In this post, we’ll walk you through some helpful tips on how you can design a successful checkout page that converts. But first, let’s start with the basics:
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Why is the Checkout Page So Important?
Optimizing a checkout page experience for your customers isn’t always as easy as it looks. It would be best to consider several factors to improve your conversion rates. One of the most important things to consider is the overall checkout experience that you can provide to your customers or clients.
Customer cart abandonment is a serious issue, causing businesses to look for ways to streamline the checkout experience. According to the data by Baymard Institute, seven out of ten shoppers won’t complete their transaction.
Essentially, cart abandonment happens when a customer abandons the payment after initiating the process. So, if a customer goes all the way to the checkout page but doesn’t push through with the purchase, then you need to ask what you’re doing wrong.
That’s why optimizing your checkout page is one of the most critical steps you need to take and can go a long way in generating revenue.
Why Do Users Abandon Their Carts?
Shopping cart abandonment is a vital metric affecting your business’ growth. There are several reasons why users choose to abandon their carts. It includes, but is not limited to:
Complicated checkout process
If your customers need to jump through hoops before they can reach the end, then they’ll likely abandon the process midway. Not only that. Long and complicated checkout processes are annoying to customers.
Having them complete unnecessary forms can reduce their unease and confusion, so make sure that you keep the checkout process simple.
Couldn’t find a coupon code
Some of your customers want to chase deals and discounts. If they have trouble finding the coupon, or promotional codes, they’ll likely look for better deals elsewhere.
The best solution to this is to integrate auto-apply coupons. Usually, most carts allow you to pass through parameters through the URL and attach it with emails or pop-ups.
Delivery time was too long
Data shows that 1/4 of all online consumers tend to abandon their carts because the products wouldn’t arrive fast enough. Most people online today want fast shipping and delivery times.
So, if you fail to deliver those expectations, it’s highly likely that they’ll leave their carts and look somewhere else.
To avoid cart abandonment, you need to be competitive in delivery times and shipping reliability. By offering flexible delivery options are premium prices, like expedited shipping, you can quickly meet your customers’ expectations.
Experienced a technical issue or error
Similarly, your site can also be prone to errors, crashes, and slow loading times- all of which are significant deterrents in completing a purchase.
That’s why focusing on the customer experience is essential. Make sure that you regularly go through your site, from your home page to the checkout, to ensure that your site remains updated with no issues.
Most of your customers are lazy. That’s why you should make your checkout page easy and seamless. Moreover, data shows that 8% of customers will abandon their carts if they can’t see the payment method that they want.
So, if you’re only offering your customers limited payment options, it’s highly likely that they won’t purchase again if their payment is declined.
That’s why you must offer them several payment options to choose from so that those shopping carts can reach the final stage. Make sure that you cover all major credit cards while also offering alternative payment methods like Paypal, Apple Pay, and GooglePay.
Another helpful tip is to provide a guest checkout option. Most of your customers have come this far to purchase from your e-commerce store. They don’t want you to ask them to create an account. Make sure that you’re only asking for essential information.
Lack of customer support
Lack of customer support can be detrimental to shopping cart abandonment rates. Most people want service and convenience from a company or brand that they’re purchasing from. So, most of them will likely purchase if you offer them some form of customer support, like a live chat.
If you do not offer live chat, another great alternative is to experiment. You can offer 30-day free shipping, invest in the technology for a month or two, and then measure any lift in sales.
Another reason why people tend to abandon their shopping carts is hidden fees. If they reach the end of the checkout only to find out that an additional fee was added to the overall costs, likely, they won’t push through with the purchase.
Doubts in security
If you’re not providing secure payment methods or the right trust signals, then chances are, there’s also a high risk that people will abandon their carts.
Major suspicions for security include design flaws, missing images, no SSL certificate, or an outdated layout. You can prevent this by offering social proof that you’re a trustworthy store. Utilize product reviews, customer testimonials, and product endorsements.
Also, include your contact information and bios of your employees to let them know that they’re working with real people who care about their customer experience.
13 Best Practices for Designing a Successful Checkout Page That Converts
Here are the tops on how you can design a successful checkout page that converts:
Use a clean and simple layout
High converting checkout pages are those that have a simple and minimalist design. They have fewer distractions and appear to be more streamlined.
At Sytian Productions (web design Philippines,) we tell clients that ideally, the checkout page shouldn’t be overwhelming. Leave out the complexities. While you might want to add additional promotions and other recommendations, it deviates your customers’ minds and, at times, forces them to hit the back button. If you want to recommend something to your customers, you can do so, but you can do it on the cart page.
Limit the number of fields
So, let’s say a visitor wants to make a purchase. They’ve already made up their mind. Don’t give them the chance to change their mind and abandon your cart. If you have a long and complicated checkout process, then it’s highly likely that you won’t get high conversion rates.
But if you simplify the entire process and get rid of the unnecessary steps, you’ll be making more money in the long run. You should also ask your customers’ information to complete the purchase. If their name is needed in the payment process or shipping information, then don’t ask them for the exact details twice. If the billing and shipping information are the same, you can add a checkbox that indicates that, rather than having them type their address twice.
You also might want to consider integrating a two-step checkout process by asking for your customer’s name and email information on the first page and then asking for their credit card info on the second page. This strategy works because people feel they have already given you their information on the first page. Therefore, they might as well give you the rest of the details.
Even if they don’t complete the checkout process, you can still email them later to get them back on your site. You can then use retargeting tactics like offering coupons or deals to get their attention.
Make checkout buttons clear and prominent
The process of ranking design elements is known as the visual hierarchy. You can apply its principles on your checkout page. Ideally, your checkout button should be readily noticeable.
Similarly, you might want to use contrasting colors to make it stand out. For instance, a shopper can easily spot that red button in a sea of white.
Keep the users on the product page
If a customer places an item on their cart, don’t take them on a separate page. By keeping them on the product page, you’re accomplishing two goals.
First, you don’t distract your shopper’s focus on your products. Second, you don’t interrupt their shopping experience, which can be frustrating on their part, leading to a negative UX.
Provide product attributes
Another excellent way to create a more positive UX is to make your customers feel confident about their purchases. You can do this by providing them with details about the products as much as possible.
You can also include product attributes like dimensions, color, and the material used. You can also have descriptions to help maintain clarity.
By including specific descriptions of the product, shoppers can quickly verify whether or not they’ve chosen the right product or not.
Being specific with product attributes is essential if you’re offering similar products. If a user places the wrong item because the product name is confusing or there’s an incomplete description, then they’ll feel that you’re the one that’s responsible for that mistake.
So, make sure that you specify product names and descriptions to help you build trust. Doing so increases brand loyalty, leading to increased sales and higher ROI.
Offer autofill for shipping and billing information
Another way that you can offer a smooth checkout experience is by providing an autofill for your shipping and billing information. Filling up complicated forms takes time, and most customers feel that the item they want to purchase isn’t worth the trouble.
It’s also worth noting that e-commerce sites that require their customers to re-enter their shipping information will lose at least 30% of their customers.
Web browsers will securely store credit card numbers and store addresses for faster and easier checkout. The simpler and less complicated your checkout process is, the more customers will make.
So, make sure that you provide your customers the option to autofill their billing address. If it’s the same with their shipping address, include the check box that includes previously entered information.
Allow users to save products for later
As much as possible, allow shoppers to get rid of selected items from the checkout by saving a “Save for Later” button, and let them add specific products on their “Wishlists.”
Doing so enables customers to come back for these items later on.
Let users edit
A lot of shoppers wanted to make edits on the checkout page. For instance, they wanted to update their delivery address, change the size, the number of items they’ve ordered, and so on.
It’s crucial that you provide them with this option since going back and forth from the checkout and storefront can be frustrating.
If your page doesn’t allow users to completely delete items by pressing the ‘remove’ button, then at least give them the option to change the quantity of the product to “0.”
Add multiple checkout buttons
For site visitors to make a purchase, they must navigate your checkout page.
That way, as soon as someone decides to make a purchase, they can easily add the item they want to their shopping carts. Ideally, you want to let them keep on shopping so that they’ll be spending more.
But if your checkout buttons aren’t labeled clearly, customers might ultimately leave items on the cart without pushing through with the purchase.
Make the checkout page look secure
Security should be one of the top priorities of your e-commerce site. If these pages appear untrustworthy, people won’t be willing to purchase anything.
People are constantly on high alert when protecting their security online. So, if your checkout process isn’t secure, they won’t feel safe entering their credit card information, which you need to make a sale ultimately.
Therefore, all of your checkout pages should be secure. You also need to include security badges like McAfee, Norton, or everything else that you’re using to protect your customers.
Allow guest checkout option
In the same way, you should also build momentum for the shopper to purchase. Let’s say that an interested buyer lands on your site, find an item that they love, and clicks, ‘Add to Cart.’
Everything is going well until you create friction by letting users register to your site before purchasing. Doing so causes unnecessary interruptions to buyers who are eager to buy.
Moreover, adding a guest checkout allows you to continue with the natural workflow of your customers’ shopping experience since it gets straight to the payment forms. By not having to register, you’re not creating that extra roadblock that will make them stop and think about whether they want to continue.
Optimize for mobile devices
We’re now living in a highly mobile world. Mobile is now the default shopping platform for many of your customers.
Focusing on your mobile conversion rates should be one of your top priorities. That’s why you need to design a form that can fit on smaller screens. Here are some tips that you can try:
- Use bigger, ‘tappable’ buttons.
- Vertically align your form fields to make navigation easier.
- Get rid of menus and complicated multi-step checkouts.
- Make date selection easy by using the native date UI of your phone.
- Decrease the number of images used to make your form load faster on mobile.
- Use mobile UI elements as increment buttons or selections rather than the drop-down menu to select the quantity.
Show the order summary during checkout
It’s standard practice to keep your customers informed of their order summary. Doing so keeps them updated on every step of the checkout flow.
Shoppers wanted to be sure that they were purchasing the right items. By reminding them of these items every step of the way, you’re preventing them from being sidetracked and leaving the checkout page.
You’re also encouraging customers to maintain an emotional connection with the item they chose even during checkout by displaying an order summary.
Finally, showing the order summary allows you to bypass a review page. So, unless you want to confirm a vital shopping detail, we suggest you skip the final review page to eliminate the extra step in the review process.
Over to You
So there you have it. These tips will allow you to streamline your checkout process and maximize your online sales.
While optimizing your checkout page might at first seem complicated, it isn’t. The most important thing is paying attention to what your customer wants and taking inspiration from the earlier points.
You can easily overcome e-commerce challenges that might come your way by doing so. Good luck!