When it comes to optimizing your ecommerce site, don’t overlook the checkout process. As the last step your customers take before purchasing your product, checkout is essentially your site’s big make-or-break moment. Keep reading to learn the best tips for ecommerce checkout optimization.
Why is Checkout Important?
The success of your eCommerce site hinges on your ability to build trust with customers—after all, you’re asking them to purchase your product without having actually seen it in person yet. You can dazzle online visitors with flashy pictures, web design, and catchy product descriptions all you want, but if the ensuing checkout process is overcomplicated or vague, many customers will lose trust with you and simply forgo completing the transaction.
It’s estimated that eCommerce retailers lose around $18 billion each year due to cart abandonment. And in addition to lost revenue, your checkout page also serves as a valuable method for gathering customer data too; when customers decide not to complete your checkout page, you lose potential information that could have benefited your marketing team.
The best checkout process should balance both customer conversion and data collection. So if you really want to sell merchandise, generate revenue, and cultivate a trusting relationship with your customers, you need to ensure your checkout process is streamlined and secure on multiple levels.
Here are the most helpful methods to optimize your eCommerce checkout experience
Streamline the Checkout Process
A study by Baymard Institute found 21% of online consumers said their reason for abandoning checkout was due to the process taking too long or being too confusing. This statistic is telling. Customers want a streamlined experience.
Consider where checkout fits into the overarching customer journey. By now, if your website is well-designed, they should have already browsed your site, viewed your products and prices, and selected items to purchase without any ui/ux hiccups. In order to ensure they follow through with completing their purchase, make sure the checkout process is simple, clear, and free from any confusion.
Streamline your site’s checkout by sign-posting all steps throughout the process. Prioritize making it easy for your customers to review their shopping cart, enter contact and delivery information, and confirm payment details. Increase both visual appeal and user convenience by including a checkout timeline. A checkout timeline gives customers a full overview of the checkout process, marking which steps are complete and which are not. By giving customers an idea of where they’re at during each step of the process, you increase their likeliness to complete it.
Go even further by providing express lanes at checkout. Express lanes remember customer information, so returning customers can confirm future purchases with one simple click. This checkout shortcut is a great way to reward your loyal customer base while also incentivizing new customers to return.
Collect Data Strategically
While some customers will be comfortable providing additional information to create member profiles, others might prefer to limit the info they give down to the bare minimum. Regardless, all the data you collect on the checkout page goes to help your marketing team in the long run. Try creating a ‘guest’ checkout option for shoppers who’d rather provide minimal information. This way, you won’t miss out on converting shoppers who just want to make quick, easy purchases without providing much personal information.
You can also optimize the data input stage with auto-fill sections, like automatic zip code or postal address lookups. The easier you make it for customers to fill out their checkout information, the more data you’ll have to analyze and structure your business accordingly.
Provide Clear Shipping and Payment Info
As discussed previously, trust is the key to forming positive customer relationships. And for most people, trust begins with cost transparency. Research shows that 50% of customers cite extra costs as their main reason for abandoning an online shopping cart. In other words, customers don’t want their checkout process riddled with hidden charges or fine print fees. Always provide clear and upfront signage regarding all tax charges, shipping costs, and payment methods. Also, try offering free shipping for purchases over a set amount. This gives you the opportunity to sell more products while also satisfying customers with the benefit of free shipping.
Furthermore, try to provide an honest time estimation for delivery. Little satisfies a customer more than a package that arrives on time; likewise, little annoys a customer more than a package that gets delayed without notice. Make sure delivery messaging is clear on your checkout page, along with an option for customers to stay updated on their package’s whereabouts via text or email.
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