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10 Strategies For Effective Checkout In An Online Store

Checkout is the most important page on the customer journey. And if you do not work it out properly, then visitors will not be converted into customers, and the business will miss out on profits. Therefore, it is important not only to design, but also to test the checkout page.

What is a checkout?

In ecommerce, a checkout is a page where customers complete their purchases and pay for the order. At the checkout stage, buyers enter their payment information, select a delivery service, and enter delivery data.

At this point, the client must:

  • Clearly understand what needs to be done. The entire customer journey should be clear and transparent.
  • See the benefit, if any. Different delivery methods, the possibility of paying with bonuses or applying a discount – show how it is more profitable to make a purchase.
  • The ability to take a step back. Incorrectly entered information, return to shopping and add another item to the cart – there can be many different circumstances when it is necessary to postpone the checkout process.

As a rule, the checkout leads the client through the main stages. Whether you’re using a single-page or multi-page process, the steps are always the same:

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1.Login screen for new or registered user. If your customer is not logged in, they will need to go through the login page to get checked out. It may look different, depending on how the registration method is configured: register, sign in as a guest, or log in.

To place an order, you must log in to your account, register, or you can offer to checkout through guest access

2. Required information about the client, with required fields. It is usually used for delivery.

The second stage of the checkout includes information about the client, which is used for delivery

3. The choice of delivery method and the cost of each method. Entering the necessary data for delivery.

The next stage of the checkout is the choice of the shipping method

4. Choice of payment method. There may be a transition to a separate payment page, with a return to the checkout page.

payment methods
After the shipping method, customers are offered a choice of payment methods

5. Order confirmation. It contains a summary of the order, the status “Purchased,” it can also include tracking information and a thank you for making the purchase.

confirm the order
Payment confirms the purchase and completes the checkout

Why is the checkout page so important?

Baymard research shows that about 69% of users abandon their carts due to an inconvenient checkout. The most common reasons for failures:

  • high additional costs (delivery, taxes, commissions) – 48%;
  • you need to create an account to buy — 24%;
  • too slow delivery – 22%.
The most common reasons for abandonments are: extra costs, you need create an acoount, slow delivery

Proper development and testing of the checkout will help reduce the number of bounces. And the “Extended Email Marketing” add-on from Cart-Power will help bring visitors back to the site and remind customers about abandoned carts.

How to improve the online store checkout?

To reduce the bounce rate, we have prepared 10 strategies to improve the user experience at this stage.

1. Is your entire store mobile-friendly?

The checkout page should be no exception. After all, more than 50% of traffic comes from mobile devices. Many companies are guided by the Mobile First strategy when designing the interface of the site. In this case, prototypes are first created for small screens and then scaled up to the desktop version.

Mobile checkout
Mobile checkout should be as convenient as desktop version

2. Make registration on the site simple or add guest access.

In pursuit of loyal customers, don’t stop one-time customers from making a purchase.

Not all customers are ready to register, even if it is more profitable than a one-time purchase. And there can be many reasons for this: the reluctance to receive spam emails, the desire to try and test the product before becoming a loyal user. In addition, you can contact such buyers after the purchase and invite them to register in the system on the “Thank you for ordering” page.

simple registration
Guest access allows you to checkout faster

3. Check shipping cost and return policy

This is the most common reason why buyers refuse to purchase at the checkout stage – “Extra costs”.

If the return of the goods will require expenses from the client, warn him about it in advance. When making a purchase decision, buyers prefer to have all the information, and if you hide this information, your customer is likely to be disappointed and unlikely to make a purchase again.

Also, if you offer free shipping or free returns within a certain period, use that to your advantage.

all expenses
Mark all expenses in the checkout

4. Use the progress bar on checkout

This will allow customers to track at what checkout stage they are, how much is still to come. The progress bar will make the checkout as transparent as possible, customers will have an idea of ​​what it consists of and how much time it takes to complete a purchase. You can come up with an interesting design for the progress bar.

The progress bar will show the client how much time he needs to spend, and the design can be very diverse

5. Confirm security

About 18% of users refuse to make a purchase because they do not trust the site with their card details. Place security badges in a visible place, show them at the checkout stage. If you redirect the user to the payment system page for payment, warn about it in the disclaimer. Adapt the style of the payment page to your design to make the site seamless with the payment and increase the credibility of the service.

The disclaimer payment will warn the client about redirecting to another page

6. Field for a promo code

On the one hand, the field for entering a promo code should be visible and clear, the client must understand how to get a promo code. But on the other hand, it tells customers that they can get a better deal. PayPal research shows that 27% of shoppers have abandoned purchases in order to find a promo code or coupon.

As a result, if you give the opportunity to enter coupons, promo codes, provide the opportunity to receive them.

If you provide a field for a promo code, give the opportunity to receive a promo code so that the visitor does not refuse purchases, expecting better offers

7. Cart autosave in case of checkout failure

Not all categories of goods buyers are ready to purchase immediately. The more expensive and complex the product, the longer it may take to make a purchasing decision. Saving the cart will save your customers time, the customer will not have to look for the product again, add it to the list. At the same time, they can safely leave the site, conduct research on the characteristics of the product, and return to make a purchase.

save shopping cart
To allow the customer to make a purchase decision later, offer to save his cart

8. Form validation and error notifications

Report required fields, and notify in real time if fields are missing or incorrect. Even better, if you offer an example of filling, auto-substitution and do not take into account signs, registers.

Customers will be better guided during the checkout process, you will collect accurate data, as a result, the payment will be processed correctly, the order will be delivered to the right address.

Autocompleting of the form will avoid errors for the client

9. Request only the necessary information

To make the registration process not too long, request only what you need. Not all buyers of online stores are willing to share contact information, phone number or mail. How many newsletters have you deleted in the last week? Users don’t want to receive more spam.

If you ask for any information, explain what it is for.

information for checkout
Explain why you are requesting data

10. Report successful checkout.

This may be a window with confirmation of a successful payment, there you can add information on how to track the package or what will happen next with the order, whether the manager should call you back, here you can provide a discount on the next purchase, etc.

The “Order Confirmation” window will make your checkout as transparent as possible, and the bonuses that you provide to customers will help restart the sales funnel.

track your order
You can add order tracking information or offer a bonus on the next purchase

Successful Checkout Examples

Now let’s look at successful checkout examples to better understand how to improve and optimize yours.

LedOutfitters is a company that sells lighting and signaling equipment for vehicles of special services: police, ambulance, fire department, etc. Since buyers on the site are not only individuals, but also municipal organizations, the difference in checkout can be significant.

What is implemented in their checkout:

  • the ability to make a purchase through guest access;
  • separate checkout for individuals and legal entities;
  • the ability to return to purchases from the checkout;
  • notice about required fields;
  • the ability to enter a promo code.
Checkout at LEDOutfitters

Bed, Bath & Beyond is a large store of goods for the home, bath, kitchen. They use a multi-page approach in their checkout, but at the same time they are attentive to the client’s time:

  • use a progressive scale, which creates the continuity of the checkout pages;
  • the minimum number of fields to fill;
  • using an address from payment information;
  • use of information for checkout from a registered account;
  • detailed details about cost, discounts and shipping will definitely not raise doubts about hidden fees.
Checkout Bed, Bath&Beyond

Tommy Hilfiger uses a one-page checkout, while all the information is extremely clear and understandable to the buyer, and the “Up” button makes it easy to navigate through the checkout. The general order information displays all costs, including shipping and taxes, if applicable. The main ideas of the checkout:

  • the ability to pay for the order through guest access;
  • an explanation of why an e-mail address is requested;
  • the ability to save data for the next purchase;
  • examples of filling in fields with the necessary information;
  • drop-down lists for fields;
  • an explanation of why information about the phone is requested;
  • simple choice of delivery method with explanation of details;
  • unobtrusive fields for promo codes and gift certificates;
  • displaying the shipping and return policy;
  • the ability to contact the support service at the checkout stage.
Tommy Hilfiger
Checkout Tommy Hilfiger

Test, Verify, Adapt, Restart

To keep your checkout up to date, look at the best practices, adapt and implement them on your site, and conduct usability testing. This process must be regular and iterative in order to meet modern requirements.
Each audience is unique, and not all practices may fit your business checkout. Experiment and test to better understand your audience.

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