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A successful eCommerce checkout graphically depicted

2019 Best Practices to Boost eCommerce Checkout Page Conversions

A simplified checkout process can massively boost your bottom line.

Introduction

Checkout pages in eCommerce websites are nothing but digital versions of a checkout counter at a brick and mortar store. The customer pays for the items purchased on the website “here.” Imagine as a shopper, if the checkout process at a brick and mortar store is complicated or inefficient. You may think of abandoning your purchase and look for other, easier options. 

The same mindset applies to a user who’s shopping on your website. As a retailer, you don’t want a potential customer to quit half-way through a purchase. It is in the best interest of your business to make the checkout process simple for users so that they become happy customers. 

One of the hard truths of the eCommerce world is that 69.57% of potential customers abandon their shopping carts for some reason. Consequently, optimizing the checkout experience you provide becomes paramount. The best way to do so is to follow certain guidelines. 

Although there are certain external factors such as customer mindset and price range that affect a decision to buy, It is a fact that there is a 35.26% increase in conversion rate through better checkout page design.

For your checkout page to convert, it must follow certain guidelines pertaining to design, usability, features, & security. Read on to learn more about these guidelines and to see some examples. 

An infographic listing the four things that make a great checkout page

How simple is the checkout process on your site? Does it meet the guidelines mentioned here? Click To Tweet

1. Design

Design elements have a significant impact on website conversion, particularly for checkout pages. Good design catches a viewer’s attention on a page without distracting them. 

One of the primary elements of good design is blank, white space. Users dislike cluttered checkout pages as they result in misclicks. Displaying call-to-action buttons in contrasting colors is another good design ploy.

B&H Photo Video is a good example of displaying the call-to-action button in a contrasting color to avoid confusing the user.

B&H Photo video's product page, with call-to-action button in contrasting color

Yet another good ploy is to show visual error indicators in real-time, thereby helping users correct their mistakes while filling their forms. Zara does this on its site, as shown below.

Zara showing visual error indicator while filling forms

Finally, on the checkout page, obtain only essential information from the user. Keep a frictionless checkout process in mind and act toward it. Fewer the form fields a user has to fill in, the smoother the checkout process will be.

2. Usability

The next critical parameter that has a bearing on checkout page conversion is usability. 

The term usability here refers to the user-friendliness of your checkout page. Your checkout process must be simple enough for all site visitors. 

Your site’s user should be able to reach the checkout page at their liberty and complete the buying process quickly. In the simplest terms, there must be lit-up signs (not literally of course!) that say “this way” for lost customers to reach their destination. 

The usability of your checkout page can be increased by making certain provisions on it.

  • Multiple Checkout Options – In Staples’ checkout page (shown below), the user can either click “Checkout” or “View Cart”. Additionally, Staples’ utilizes its checkout page to the fullest by marketing similar products to make customers buy more.

Staples' Checkout Page with multiple checkout options, directly or via cart

  • Add / Edit Cart Option –  Beyond providing multiple checkout options, eCommerce sites must make provisions for users who change their minds and choose to continue shopping for a different product cost.
  • Guest Checkout – A large number of users abandon their cart for the sole reason that eCommerce sites prod them to create an account. This can be avoided by enabling guest checkout. Exclusive discounts can be offered to users who register and create an account. Here’s an example from Sears (below), which allows its users to checkout as a guest.

Sears giving a Guest Checkout option to the users

  • Pre-Filling – Enable pre-filling of form details such as the city and the state once the user has entered their zip code. Pre-filling can be enabled even for guest users when they visit the site to shop for a second time.
  • Product Availability – Give your user a heads up on the availability of a product in the store. “Sorry, we’re out of stock” messages after the user checks out, will frustrate them. In the case of a fast-selling product, you can display the number of items left in stock or the number of business days in which you can replenish the stock. The below example from Zara shows that the fast-fashion retailer’s website has a great option of checking the availability of a specific product, by just entering the zip code.

Zara showing availability of a product in nearby stores by just getting the zip code from the user

3. Features

Apart from essential functions, the additional perks a website provides are its features. It is like a 48-megapixel camera to a phone that has a touch screen. While the former provides comfort and user-friendliness, the latter gives the user something to brag about. Good features are what separate a good eCommerce site from the competition.

Providing a product summary with size, color, and other specifications gives the user detailed information. Here’s an example from Lowe’s website, where the user can compare multiple similar products to obtain a summary.

Lowe's detailed summary by comparing three products

Displaying the final price (inclusive of all shipping and taxes) is key to making a user buy the product as over 20% of users abandon their cart just because of an inability to calculate their total order. 

Wishlist – 54% of shoppers would buy a product on the cart if given a discount. Providing offers for these customers would be a great down selling technique, as you would have a chance to convert a prospect into a repeat customer.  

Zara is a good example when it comes to providing multiple shipping options. Giving users a choice on their budget and delivery date expectations is better than forcing them to go with only one option.

Zara's multiple shipping options with the cheapest in store pickup set as default

4. Security

A secure checkout page gives psychological satisfaction to users and increases the amount of trust they invest in a website. According to Baymard‘s study, 17% of users who abandoned their cart didn’t trust the site with their credit card information. This situation can be dealt with by offering various payment methods with their logos along with a secure connection certificate (the lock icon) This confirms that the information on the site is secure.

 Crate and Barrel (left) provides multiple payment options with their logos for credibility, and B&H Photo Video (right) displays payment trust badges from sites like Norton and McAfee.

Crate and barrel's multiple payment options with their logos and B&H Photo Video's trust certificates

Displaying a last-mile certification badge on the checkout page of your website can help you win the trust of your buyers – a validation that can immediately eases the fear and mistrust of online shoppers and increase your conversion rate by up to 5% and repeat purchases by up to 12%.

When we talk about psychological satisfaction, nothing provides a greater sense of relief to the user than their order being confirmed. You can display the order confirmation on your website or can send an email or message simultaneously to the user. Providing the option of printing or downloading the order confirmation page as a PDF document is also recommended. 

Following the checkout process, you can improve customer experience and loyalty in the post-purchase stage by tracking your parcels in real-time and informing your customer of expected delays with the help of a solution like LateShipment.com.

A Little about LateShipment.com

We at LateShipment.com work hard to make “parcel shipping & delivery” transparent and help businesses be fully in control of their last-mile success.

Some of our high-impact offerings are:

  • Automating refund claims from your shipping carriers for service failures to help you save money on shipping.
  • Giving you full control over delivery delays that harm your brand and sales. You can now predict parcel delays and even fix them by keeping customers informed.
  • Reporting at every stage of “shipping & delivery” to enable you with critical supply-chain insights.

The value we add to businesses is most evident when experienced first-hand. Learn more about our solution here.

Conclusion

A quality checkout page is not born overnight as mere implementation will not suffice. Frequent testing and optimization are necessary based on variables such as demographics. Always consider the need for improvement. Compare all of your features and bring those that boost customer experience to the forefront. Look for ways to get feedback from existing customers. Also, stay in touch with them regularly by updating them with upcoming offers.

Also Read:

Sashank Ravindranath

Sashank Ravindranath

An Aficionado of movies and series, who will literally watch anything to kill time. Additional information includes a Superhero Savant and Comic Book Cognoscente, who has found a new passion in writing.

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