Seven Ways to Optimize the Checkout Process on Your eCommerce Site

One of the most crucial aspects of eCommerce shopping is the checkout process. eCommerce websites which fail to create a highly-optimized checkout process are said to suffer abandoned shopping carts at about two-thirds of the time. If your eCommerce platform isn’t properly optimized for your shopper’s convenience, you’re doomed to lose customers – it’s that simple.

Imagine this: the customers you lose during the checkout process are most definitely ready to create a purchase. Don’t let them go by having a fragmented check out process.

Whether you maintain your eCommerce website in-house or through the services of website design experts, it would definitely help to read about website nitty-gritty that will help reduce shopping cart abandonment. Also, here are some useful tips to improve your website checkout process:

1. Never Force Your Customers to Register

While you may think that it will be easier for your customers to register before they purchase, some customers simply have reservations about creating an account. Account creation is usually deemed tedious and invasive as some websites require too many details from their users, leading some users to leave the website instead.

To help with account creation, it would be best to create a simple registration process and leave a brief explanation of the account creation process right before you ask your visitors to register. Integrating social media account validation through Facebook or Google Plus can also be helpful because it allows for a very seamless account creation process.

While getting more customers to register is good, letting them finish the purchase is a more substantial goal than simply having their details on-hand. Let your customers proceed to checkout as guests. After all, they’ll surely return and pursue creating an account should they find your products and services worth it and pleasing.

2. Don’t Redirect the User at Checkout

During checkout, you might have encountered other eCommerce websites that redirected you to a separate checkout page, probably to confirm your payment method. Certainly, this step necessary, but this usually confuses customers, especially first-time buyers, and may lead them to abandon the checkout process altogether.

Avoid confusing your customers by simply keeping them within your domain. If your eCommerce check out process is housed in a different domain, it’s time to talk to your web developers and put it under the same domain.

3. Disclose Hidden Charges or Fees

Customers hate having to deal with hidden charges even with brick-and-mortar store purchases. This is even more evident in the eCommerce industry, where 70.8 percent of shoppers cited hidden charges as a deterrent in completing their purchase during the checkout process.

Nowadays, customers are well-aware that there are certain charges that they’ll have to incur when shopping online, and are open to paying for those charges. However, what customers hate the most is when total costs aren’t as indicated due to surprise charges that only appear towards the end.

Customers expect your honesty in their purchase, especially since they already trusted you with sensitive personal information. Be straightforward with what costs and properly inform your customers of any necessary charges.

4. Highlight Your Security

As long as your customers realize they need to provide sensitive information, especially their credit card details, thoughts about the legitimacy of your business and the security in-place arise in your customers’ minds. This is why it’s important for you to tell your customers about which security measures are present.

Identify the relevant trust signals present on your website and provide a brief explanation of what it does and how it keeps your customers safe. You can indicate the following:

  • Your SSL certificates
  • Third party security validation (such as Norton, MacAfee, etc.)
  • Logos of supported payment options
  • Proof of local/national business accreditation, depending on the scope of operations
  • Merchant reviews and ratings

5. Offer Multiple Payment Options

As an eCommerce website owner, it’s more cost-effective to offer limited payment options due to high transaction fees charged by other credit card companies. However, do take note that most customers have preferences – and it’s your responsibility to provide the convenience of choice for your customers.

Thankfully, there are now new payment methods that let users be more flexible on the type of payment they use. Aside from directly entering their credit card details, platforms like PayPal allow users to simply provide a one-step log-in and use the payment details stored within PayPal.

By doing your own research, you can find the right payment alternatives suited for your business and your customers.

6. Optimize for Mobile Users

Even if 88 percent of mobile shoppers encountered negative mobile experiences while they were shopping, 34.5 percent of eCommerce transactions are still being made on mobile and is expected to increase up to 53.9 percent by 2021. This proves that, despite anything, mobile devices are definitely headed towards extensive utilization.

Don’t get left behind in the mobile revolution. Imagine just how many customers turn the other way upon seeing a poorly mobile-optimized website. Create plans to revamp your eCommerce website to integrate mobile-centric adjustments and improvements, if you still haven’t.

7. Help Customers Solve Errors

As you impress your customers with a pleasing user experience that incorporates an optimized checkout process, you’ll definitely see an increase in customers. As you do, there might be problems that arise along the way – problems which you should be ready to assist your customers with.

Create a customer satisfaction handbook that will proactively help your customers as they raise their concerns. On the other hand, you can also put features that help users prevent errors in place. For instance, if a customer is having issues with an incorrect product count they mistakenly entered before arriving at check-out, they should be able to easily modify their order and correct this mistake. This simple feature will have a great impact on customer experience and satisfaction.

Measure Whenever Possible

Integrate analytics to gather useful information about your customers and measure how everything performs. Collecting hard proof about your usability, dwell time, bounce customers, shopping cart abandonment, and conversion path is a lot easier if you have an analytics for your eCommerce store. Making data-backed decisions is crucial for your business success.

In the end, optimizing your check out process, much more your whole website, can be a tedious undertaking. However, by addressing some of these concerns, you’ll be able to minimize the number of abandoned shopping carts, which will help drive more revenue and help your eCommerce brand stay on top of your customers’ minds.


About the Author

Erin Feldman is an eCommerce business owner in California, specializing in activewear and yoga outfits. She has her own online clothing boutique. You can find Erin doing a Baddha Konasana somewhere in La Jolla Cove when she’s not busy with her business.