Having a great e-commerce website with quality products and competitive prices, unfortunately, doesn’t always reflect on the actual sales performance. One of the main deterrents for customers not completing their purchases and abandoning ship is a less than great checkout experience.
No matter how awesome your product and website are for browsing customers, the issue is what happens when someone actually adds a product to their cart?
Your checkout pages are equally important to the rest of the website, so don’t neglect the importance of design, UX, and technical perfection for this part of your website:
An effective e-commerce checkout process has to run smoothly in a simple and intuitive manner so users aren’t discouraged from buying and don’t abandon their cart throughout.
- Don’t require shoppers to register in order to checkout. Forcing them to create an account before they complete their order is just an additional stumbling block.’
- If you have several steps in your checkout process, show a progress indicator so the user knows exactly what steps they need to take.
- Include shipping prices which update automatically in the cart as the user adds more items or adjusts quantity. Free shipping can have a huge effect on conversions.
- Let customers know an approximate delivery time before they check out. Include tracking numbers if possible.
- In your confirmation email, include information on how users can modify their order before it’s shipped.
- Allow visitors to zoom in on a product to see its detail, as well as the possibility to see the product from different angles.
- Include video of your product to see how the item is being served.
- Test putting your order form on the same page as your sales letter, so that customers don’t have to click to another page to buy.
- Including miniature thumbnail pictures in your shopping cart reduces the likelihood of shopping cart abandonment (probably because it makes products seem more tangible).
- Put your refunds/return policy or guarantee below your checkout button instead of on a separate page or on a customer service page.
- Can you recommend other products that would complement what the customer just ordered?
- Cross-selling can be highly effective before an order is fully placed.
- How else can people order on your website? By phone? Fax? Catalog?
- Not everyone has (or wants to use) Paypal. Summarize the benefits of your product or service as bullet points before you ask for the order.
- Can you shorten the number of steps the user needs to go through in order to complete an action (like checkout, subscribe, order, etc.)?
- Offer bonus discounts at checkout. Offer free shipping or a percent-off discount to customers on their next purchase.
- Don’t require registration in order to buy. Some sites require users to complete a registration form in order to make a purchase.
- Be sure to offer a one-time, “”express”” checkout to minimize potential roadblocks.”