Written by AJ Leale, Sr. Director eCommerce
Conversion is one of the most important metrics you’ll need to keep an eye on as you plan on building your business and increasing revenue.
However, conversion doesn’t just happen. It requires certain optimization and continuous monitoring.
Here are the best practices for eCommerce checkout that are guaranteed to increase conversions and boost sales.
1. One-Page Optimized Checkout
Offer a one-page checkout to streamline and speed up your order process.
- Build your checkout so that customers can quickly navigate through input fields and enter data once, without loading additional pages.
- This feature minimizes checkout friction by reducing page load time and removing opportunities for cart abandonment.
- Use autofill where possible.
2. Give the Option to Check out as a Guest
Once a customer has chosen what to buy, they want to finish shopping as quickly as possible. Forcing users to register or sign in before the checkout is a surefire way to reduce conversion rates. One retailer managed to add $300m in its annual revenues a 45% increase, simply by removing the registration button.
- As with checkout in general, try reducing input fields on guest checkout forms to the absolute minimum required.
- Avoid asking guests to confirm their email addresses by entering it twice.
- Use features such as an address finder to cut down input entry for addresses.
3. Avoid Clutter / Minimal Distractions
A cluttered website forces your customer to look at things that drive them away from conversion. You want to keep your customer’s attention on one thing – buying. Eliminate clutter as that can lead them off the page.
- Streamline headers and footers to clearly direct user focus to input fields.
- Remove additional navigation that drives customers away from the goal of purchasing
- Add clear call to action
- Keep cart summary sticky/ available even if the user navigates to other pages
4. Show That Your Site Is Secure / Display Trusted Seals
Add more confidence in people’s choice to buy from you, by showcasing how secure your site is.
- Security assurances increase store credibility and increase consumer confidence.
- These assurances can take form as badges or logos from Norton, Google or the Better Business Bureau (just to name a few).
- Although these badges are not required, they can help ease consumer worries and increase trust.
5. Avoid Surprises
Checkout surprises like additional taxes, shipping costs, promo codes that don’t work, can increase the cart abandonment and drive customers away from your site, for good!
- Do not surprise them with extra taxes, fees, and shipping costs. This will make them reconsider and even bounce.
- If possible, include these costs in the cart so your customer sees the estimated total and decides to pay that amount before they checkout.
- Use the user’s current location to determine sales tax, delivery costs, and any pickup options available.
- Do not sell any product where you have questionable inventory levels, keep a reserve in place to prevent surprise backorders.
6. Show All Payment Options at the Checkout & Show Many!
All of your payment methods must be visible on the checkout, sometimes even on the product detail page. Attract more visitors to buy by showcasing newer payment methods like PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.
- Customers want to shop how they want to shop, and pay how they want to pay. Gone are the days of cash or check. Today, retailers must embrace multiple payment methods that are used by their customers.
- There are benefits to some of the newer payment methods. Alternative payment methods such as Apple Pay, Google Pay or PayPal can auto-populate payment information and shipping addresses during checkout. These tools reduce checkout friction and can improve customer satisfaction.
- Allow for auto detection of credit/debit card type as this eliminates the step of selecting card type
7. Autofill Where You Can and Simplify Your Fields
Autofill can save time but also reduce errors. A/B tests have shown that autofill options can have a 4.85% lift in conversion. Browsers like Chrome and Firefox also have autofill functionality, enabling shoppers to fill out standard forms in one click.
- Google and Bing autofill should be able to complete the vast majority of your forms. This means the checkout process will last just a few minutes, giving your customers less time to change their minds.
- Use shopping address as billing address option, to avoid additional typing
8. Always Have Order Confirmation After Purchase
Add thank you note after the purchase was completed. It will make customers more confident and happy to buy from you again in the future.
- On the thank you page and even during delivery, explain what happens next before they get their product.
- Provide clear instructions.
- Remind them to check their email (spam/junk included) to access their goodies.
- Send emails about the delivery status or enable order tracking.
9. Highlight Free Return Policy (If Applicable)
Customers need to know that they will not be forgotten once they place an order. Retailers need to prove that they have a great return policy, provide excellent customer service, and follow through with product or order complaint resolution.
- Highlighting return policy in the checkout is a quick way to ease purchase hesitancy.
Optimizing your eCommerce checkout flow takes time. Understand your customers and what they want is primary to start this process. Consider the items above, and contact Visionet if you need help deciding which way to start first.
We are experts, Contact Visionet and let us help you!