14 Big Ideas to Bulletproof Your Checkout Process

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5. Use simple, clean call to action buttons

The golden rule of call to action buttons – keep them simple, strong and visible, and make sure they are uniform in placement, position and color on each page. You actually want to train users on your site to look for your call to action buttons in the exact places they’d expect them to be.

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6. No one likes a surprise (unless it includes winning LOTS of money :D)

Leave nothing to surprise. Make sure the actual text you use inside each call to action button describes exactly what is about to happen when they click on it. “Login and Checkout” or “Proceed to Billing” or “Review Your Order” is so much more comforting than “continue” or “next step”. This all comes back to keeping the user’s concerns at bay and not losing sales along the way.

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7. Provide links back to product pages

Have you ever tried some clothes on, proceeded to pay at the counter and then decided to re-try them on, or want to find out more about them before finalizing your purchase? Shopping online is no different. Just because customers are at the checkout doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the option to click back onto the product page and keep fiddling around.

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8. Provide reassurance, use thumbnails…

Yes, it’s true, pictures play a large role in reassuring the customer that the item they are about to buy is in fact the item they wish to purchase. Placing a thumbnail of the picture can help conversions by up to 7-10%. We humans are a very visual species. The more imagery directly related to the product the better.

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9. Provide shipping cost as early as possible

Given that the top reason for cart abandonment is due to unknown, unclear, or undesirable shipping costs, best practice is to let shoppers know exactly what the shipping costs are as early as possible. Ideally, you can display shipping on product pages. If that’s not your thing, you can display shipping fees or a shipping calculator on your checkout page before shoppers “Proceed to Checkout.” The last thing you want is to hide these fees only to be revealed right before you ask for a credit card.

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10. Are the items even in stock?

Another big mistake. Make sure shoppers never reach checkout just to find that their selections are actually out of stock. “Thanks for wasting my time” you can hear them say…. Most shopping carts today have the ability to place stock availability options on product pages. It’s wise to check this one off the list and make sure you save your customers the frustration. If it’s out of stock, don’t display it or provide an out of stock icon.

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11. Ability to edit the cart

Another typical behavioral reaction when buying items is to suddenly consider buying more, or better yet, other related products. Very simply, allow shoppers the ability to edit their order during their checkout. Why limit the quantity they have ordered when they might in fact want to order more which could possibly increase their basket value? Riiigggggghhhhhhhhhttttttt?

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12. Quick shop to cart buttons

Some shoppers know exactly what they want. Why bog them down with extra information and extra fluff? Provide these eager beavers with quick add to cart buttons and allow them to beeline towards the finish line faster. Why get in their way?

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14. Optional versus required fields

Providing shoppers with very clear messaging around what they are required to fill in and what is optional can sometimes make all the difference. Best practice is to have a “required field” message at the top of the page along with a red * next to each required field, just so there’s no confusion. Seems like a minor idea but it’s the little things that add up.

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14. Provide sample text inside fields

Never assume that over simplifying a process is a bad thing. You almost want a user to flow through the checkout without using their brain at all. A great way to help lower the brain drain is to include sample text in light grey of exactly what is required in that particular field. You’d be surprised at how effective this idea can be in eliminating distractions and keeping a shopper feeling warm and cozy while in your checkout process.

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Remember, don’t make your customers struggle to spend money on your site. They shouldn’t have to beg – begging is for the dogs, woof!

Want more optimization tips for your online store? Visit www.abandonaid.com  to learn how you can prevent and recover abandoned carts on your site today.

Rachel Oppenheim is AbandonAid’s Official Pep-Talker and Community Manager. When Rachel isn’t blogging for AbandonAid or managing the AbandonAid community, she is managing her own community of 9(!) children (oh yea, and a husband), doing yoga, or riffing on the electric bass. Rachel is passionate about writing, bringing people together, dancing, organization (hello, IKEA!), laughing, NOT cooking, doing 5th grade homework, and radiating GOOD VIBES. A native Texan, she studied education and midwifery at Binghamton University, moving on to graduate from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She eventually settled in the Holy Land, living life to its fullest in Israel’s capital city and is proud to be a part of the prestigious Israeli hi-tech revolution.

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