If you’re an eCommerce business then you might be familiar with the common process of seeing a customer browse your website, add items to their cart, and then suddenly abandon it right before they’re about to check out. The eCommerce checkout process is somewhat different for every business, but there are a number of things you can do to ensure your customers’ carts aren’t getting abandoned.
If you’re like most eCommerce businesses, you’re always looking for ways to improve your checkout process and reduce checkout abandonment. After all, the more customers who complete their purchase, the more revenue your business will generate. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to optimize your checkout flow and keep customers on track. We’ll also provide some tips for reducing cart and checkout abandonment. So, here are 20 different examples of ways you can better optimize your eCommerce website. Let’s get started!
What Is A Checkout Process?
An eCommerce checkout process is the sequence of steps that a customer takes to complete a purchase on your site. This includes every step a customer goes through, such as adding an item into their cart, adding shipping information, and finally, checking out with payment information in order to complete the transaction. This process can be optimized to make it as easy and seamless as possible for customers.
The eCommerce Checkout Steps
The checkout process on an eCommerce store typically includes the following steps:
- Add To Cart: When a customer adds an item to their cart, they should be taken to a page that shows the items they’ve added, as well as the total cost of the items, including shipping and tax. This page should also include a checkout button that allows the customer to move on to the next step in the checkout process.
- Shipping Information: When a customer adds their shipping information, they should be taken to a page that shows al of the shipping options they have and the costs and timeframes for the items they’ve added.
- Order review page: An order review page is a page that allows customers to review the items they’ve ordered, as well as the shipping and payment information they’ve entered. This is where you may even want to consider an “upsell” option.
- Payment Method: One way to make the checkout process easier for users is to make the payment method selection process easier. You should also be providing a list of popular payment methods that customers can easily select from. Lastly, make sure your checkout button is clearly defined so that there is no confusion on the next step.
- Review The Order: The last step. Make sure all of the pertinent information is available to the user.
- Complete The Order: You just made some money! Congrats!
Why Are Customers Abandoning Their Carts?
If a customer takes the steps to fill a cart and click check out, what are some of the reasons they end up ditching that cart last minute? Understanding the “why” is a good place to start when it comes to perfecting the eCommerce checkout process and getting the sales you deserve!
It’s crazy but true that 1 in every 5 online shoppers will abandon their cart because of a long or complicated checkout process. They may abandon their cart if they encounter additional charges they weren’t expecting when they first started the process or at least make them second guess their purchase. Non-inclusive shipping and pricing options can also have a similar effect.
If customers are forced to create an account it creates additional steps for them which can deter them, along with anything that makes for an overly complex checkout. These days, customers are looking for a fast checkout experience, especially since they’re likely going online to shop out of convenience.
Not having the proper security or encountering errors and crashes during their purchase can also be major factors that lead to abandoned carts. No one wants to feel like their information could be stolen. They want to feel safe while shopping online!
20 Ways to Optimize Your eCommerce Checkout Process
Understanding why customers abandon their carts is important. But learning how to fix those problems and optimize for the best performance is the ticket to eCommerce sales success! Follow these eCommerce checkout process optimization tips. You’ll be well on your way to getting the sales you’re looking for!
Do your best to simplify the process and then do it again
Simplicity is everything when it comes to a successful eCommerce checkout. If your customer feels like the process is too complicated or that there are too many obstacles in their way they’ll quit before they make a purchase or head somewhere else to do so.
Even if you think you’ve made the process as smooth and seamless as possible, try simplifying it even more. Customers are looking for the quickest and most efficient option for their purchases.
Provide a guest checkout option
The “check out as guest” option is simple to integrate. It can do wonders for getting customers to actually go through with their cart. When you force them to register for an account you add a ton of extra steps that can deter them from wanting to actually purchase.
Guest check-out makes their purchase even quicker and more accessible, and ultimately makes their steps shorter.
Offer autofill addresses and information
Is there anything better than clicking to enter your information just to see the form filled out through autofill? Providing the autofill address and information option helps to speed up your customer’s checkout process in a big way.
It also helps to ensure the accuracy of the information and keeps you from having to validate an address. There won’t be any confusion about which address goes with billing vs shipping and the time spent will be almost none!
Provide the option for social account sign-in
To take autofill even one step further, consider integrating social account sign-in. Again, allowing for this option just means there’s another way for users to quickly get their information entered and their purchase made. They won’t need to create an account and will be quickly confirmed and verified as they go along.
Not only that, you might even make a connection for your business’s social media accounts!
Make the mobile user experience a part of your strategy
If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re not doing it right! And that especially applies to eCommerce websites. Many customers will be looking to complete their purchases through their mobile devices. In fact, most customers are now shopping via their phones or other mobile devices!
Be sure to follow best practices for creating a great eCommerce mobile experience and you’ll be well ahead of the game.
Provide a summary of cart contents and details
If a user gets to the end of the checkout process and is suddenly concerned about what’s in their cart, they’re going to have to click the back button if their cart content and details aren’t readily available. This could lead to a lost sale which is definitely something you want to avoid!
Instead, be sure to display each of the products in your customer’s cart throughout the checkout process along with the payment and shipping information they’ve provided. This will give them a clear picture. It’ll keep them from having to navigate away from clicking that final “Place Order” button.
Make the process visual
Many people are visual learners and take to visuals when it comes to things like the online shopping experience. Rather than using text, make things obvious with distinct visuals and provide visual cues wherever possible.
This can help your users to retain information more quickly and therefore complete the eCommerce checkout process more quickly. This ultimately leads to higher conversions for your business!
Show your value wherever possible
With the help of a content marketing firm, your website content effectively works to show value to your customer, and that goal doesn’t stop when it comes time to make a purchase! Be sure to remind them about the value you provide. Whether that be something special your business offers or a certain product or service that helps you to go above and beyond.
The more you can motivate them, the more likely they are to agree that the purchase they’re about to make it a good one!
Include a clear call to action buttons throughout the eCommerce checkout process
A call to action is everything! Once your customer has entered the checkout process on your website, you should still try to work towards capitalizing on their purchase wherever possible. Include clear calls to action that help your customers work toward their purchase.
Sometimes it’s those last words of encouragement that go the longest way!
Get familiar with error notifications
No one likes to see an error pop up on their screen. But not using error notifications could make a big difference in whether or not a customer goes through with their purchase. Why? Because if they’re to enter incorrect information they’re therefore unable to move forward in the process. This means they’re not likely to take the time to figure out where they went wrong and then move ahead.
Error notifications let the customer know exactly what information is missing or incorrect. That way they can quickly fix it and then move on.
Ditch the registration requirement before checkout
Getting customers to register before they checkout could be the reason for your demise. Registration alone causes a lot of holds up for customers so try ditching the option altogether. Your customers will appreciate being able to enter just a little bit of information before they head on their way to their final purchase.
Get your customer’s email early on in the process
This one might not be one you think of right off the bat but it’s definitely important for your other areas of marketing! Get your customer’s email early on in the process. You’ll be able to save it for future sales and build a tighter relationship with them down the line.
Ensure your back button is always fully functional
If your customer goes to hit the back button and suddenly all of the actions they’ve taken on your site are erased, they’re going to be frustrated with the process. AKA a big negative when it comes to final purchases.
Your back button should work with you and keep everything saved rather than against you.
Show trust signals throughout the eCommerce checkout process
It’s up to you to make customers feel comfortable with your business as they go through the checkout process. Displaying signals of trust such as the credit card logo can make a big difference in the level of trust your customer feels with your brand. In fact, without them, it could be a red flag for some customers.
Stay away from any alternative navigation during checkout
Alternative navigation refers to the flow of the checkout process. If you are to navigate a customer elsewhere or to another page during their checkout they could end up feeling lost. Again, it’s important to keep things as simple as possible and follow a consistent flow.
Offer live chat or some form of real-time support
Don’t let customers become frustrated in the eCommerce checkout process and not have anyone to turn to to help them. Instead, have live chat or some form of real-time support readily available to them so they can head there should any troubleshooting be necessary.
This support should be clearly displayed on every screen so it’s easy for them to access should they need to.
Add some incentive to making the purchase
Sometimes it’s that last push that helps a customer to feel confident in their purchase and go through with it. You might offer complimentary items or even a coupon code in return for making a purchase.
Provide multiple payment options
Limiting payment options means you limit your customers. You should have multiple payment options readily available for them. Whether it be multiple different types of credit card payment options, apple pay, or PayPal. Your guests will not only appreciate having multiple options to pay, but they will also feel a lot more trust in their purchase because of it.
Make asking for payment information the last step in the process
When making a purchase in person, the payment is the last step in the process. This should apply to online purchases as well. Users will feel a lot more comfortable adding in their payment option once the rest of their information has been finalized. They know their product will be heading right to their given address.
Follow up on payments and make the next steps as clear as possible.
A confirmation email does wonder when it comes to instilling confidence in your buyers. It lets them know their purchase is official.
The next steps, whether it be packaging their items or shipping them out should be made clear. That way they have distinct expectations around what to expect next.
Moving Forward in the eCommerce Checkout Process
At the end of the day, you work hard to get valuable customers to your eCommerce website. This means getting them to stay there and complete a purchase at the end of their visit should be the result of your efforts.
Make the checkout process as fast as possible, do what you can to keep customers from leaving last-minute, and design your website in a way that encourages purchases. These general tips are great knowledge to have, but executing the smaller optimization tips that make them possible is sometimes easier said than done!
If you want to work towards optimizing your eCommerce website for better results, you’re not alone! Blue Water Marketing in Stuart, FL is here to help you understand where the pitfalls of your current website may lie and help you implement these optimization tips to help enhance your shopper’s behaviors. Be sure to give us a call and our team of experts will be happy to connect with you for a consultation on the best ways to increase your eCommerce conversion rate. You can also click here to read all about our eCommerce services and learn more about the options available to you!