What To Include In An E-Commerce Checkout

Studies indicate that most online shoppers don’t browse beyond the first page during checkout. This high exit rate at checkout stage may be common, but many websites lack vital elements that can improve online customer retention and conversions. To enhance the user experience on your e-commerce website, there’s no better way to do that than streamline the checkout process and increase conversions. A suitable ecommerce website needs several elements to make checkouts stress-free. Take a look at this list of 11 elements to get your website ready to sell online and support a buyer’s journey;

1. E-commerce Online Security

Those who land on your website might buy from you online, if your e-commerce store is 100% secure. They don’t want to hear that from you alone, but also from authoritative and third-party entities (think: Google Trusted Store, Norton Secured, astra, Signifyd, GeoTrust, TRUSTe, Comodo). For this reason, ensure you run a certified online store with a secure system stamp.

Person sitting at desktop computer screen doing e-commerce online shopping

You may want to design a trust-proof checkout page if you don’t want to invest in expensive online security certification. Future Now outlines how you can create a secure checkout page. A study by the Baymard Institute also evaluated the most popular security seals for e-commerce websites and their level of trust among customers. That can give you an idea of the certification to choose.

2. Minimize Data Entry

Your online store’s checkout page should epitomize minimalism. Eliminate elements that don’t help transactions take place. If you must add suggestions to the checkout page, ensure they enable related sales without affecting the focus of a current transaction. Amazon’s checkout page is an excellent example of how clean and lean a checkout page should be.

3. User Journey Testing

If your customers find error messages barring them from proceeding during the checkout process, they’re likely to give up. That’s particularly the case if the error message appears two or three times. For this reason, ensure everything with credentials, such as phone numbers and ZIP codes, works. User feedback at this stage is critical. It’s encouraged to ask for customer reviews to identify pain points and problems in the checkout process.

4. Include a Progress Bar

You may have experienced this yourself; time waiting feels shorter when you know how long you have to wait. The same cannot be said if you’re just left waiting. Likewise, incorporating a progress bar into your checkout page, allows online customers to monitor time. Progress bars featuring page labels help customers know what’s expected of them as they shop. For instance, they can tell how long it will take to place an order and the information they’ll need to provide during checkout.

5. Call-to-action

Customers might buy elsewhere if you leave them wandering around your online store, unsure about next steps you want them to take. Some customers may find their way around, but newbies and inexperienced users may struggle to find what they want. An easy way to lower exit rates is to provide directions on your checkout page.

There’s no better way to do so than adding a call to action with concise wording like “Submit,” “Next Step,” or “Buy Now.” These should be in highlighted to provide customers with the incentive they need to proceed to checkout. Be precise with the wording, and ensure it relates to the action you want users to take. Avoid anticipating the process with wording like “Order Now” when customers are still halfway through the process. Calls to action should be clear to spur your customers into taking the desired action.

6. Allow A View/Edit Shopping Basket Feature

The last thing you want when shopping in an online store is unwanted items or quantities in your cart. Then being unable to fix it. When this happens, most people opt out of the shopping cart, not wanting to spend on items they don’t need. As an online store owner or manager, you could be missing out on revenue by having a checkout page that doesn’t allow customer edits. Ensure everything on your e-comm checkout page is editable.

7. Allow Guest Checkout

Avoid mandatory sign-up. Not everyone who shops on your website wants to subscribe to your emails or share their identity. Some are one-off buyers who prefer the relative anonymity online shopping offers. Such shoppers are likely to look elsewhere if your store has mandatory sign up.
Avoid subjecting your shoppers to a lengthy signup process or asking them to provide their details during checkout.

A study by Econsultancy highlighted that eight out of the top ten American retailers allow guest checkouts. Over 25% of online shoppers point out that they’re likely to abandon an online store with mandatory registration. Once again, the rule of thumb is to make it easy for customers to buy. Think of it this way; what is your pick between collecting customer data and making more online sales?

8. Avoid Unnecessary Marketing During Checkout

From a marketing perspective, e-news is excellent if you want customers to be reminded of your brand, products or services. This plays a critical role in relationship building, customer aquisition and conversions. Signing up for a newsletter is something few online shoppers appreciate, especially if it’s via a pop-up that occurs during checkout. An opt-in at the last step of the checkout or none at all, is a better solution.

Avoid e-marketing pop-ups during online shopping checkout

9. Multiple Online Payment Options

Your customers should be able to pay for items in different ways. That should be the case for online stores too. Allowing multiple payment options and flexibility here, enables more people to buy from your site.

10. Cart-saving Options

For any e-commerce retailer, securing sales ASAP is great. However, your customers may not be as ready as you are – especially for products or services which require larger commitments. Allowing them to save their carts for later, is an excellent strategy to not lose a customer who may come back to purchase at a later time. Consider sending automated emails as reminders of the items in their saved cart.

11. Provide Live Chat Support

There will always be cases where some online customers don’t understand directions or your checkout process. Additionally, customers may have unanswered questions about their online shopping UX, from personal data collection to shipping information.

Live chat support can help you support and resolve these type of online customer inquiries. (At a minimum, provide a solid FAQ page answering common questions). Incorporating live chat into the buyer funnerl or checkout page allows customers to ask you questions as they complete the buying process. When they have answers, customers are more likely to convert. The chat operator can also suggest related items or upsell.

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