As an ecommerce business owner, you likely have products you believe in and a website you love. So when you see a high cart abandonment rate – research shows that the average rate is almost 70% – it can be quite frustrating. Those lost sales could have been thousands of dollars in your bank account.
Some of these instances are just a natural result of how people shop, since some people just browse without any real intention to buy. However, many are the result of a poor checkout process.
That’s good news for ecommerce business owners. Optimizing your checkout page presents a huge opportunity to convert those missed sales opportunities into paying customers next time around.
Still, it can be hard to know where to start. Sometimes you need a fresh pair of eyes to see what’s missing. This article will walk you through 15 different ways to optimize your checkout page so you can learn what elements you need to change to earn more business.
What Is Checkout Process Optimization and Why Does It Matter?
Checkout process optimization is the strategic process of updating and improving your online store to boost your sales conversion rate. Ideally, the changes you make will reduce friction that shoppers experience when they check out, as well as remove distractions and increase trust. This ultimately encourages shoppers to complete a purchase rather than abandon their cart.
When you enhance your checkout process, you address many of the reasons people abandon their cart, which can then increase sales. For example, 17% of shoppers report abandoning their cart because the checkout process was too complicated or too long. You can easily address these issues during optimization and save sales in the future, therefore boosting profit.
15 Ways to Optimize Your Checkout Process
1. Update Your Payment Methods
Every customer has a preferred method of payment. If you don’t offer enough options, you’re likely missing out on sales. In fact, 9% of customers report abandoning a purchase because there weren’t enough payment methods.
An additional 4% say they have exited the checkout process after the website tells them their card’s declined. These customers may have been willing to try another method of payment if it was an option.
You can correct this issue by offering a variety of payment methods, including:
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- Digital wallets, like Apple Pay and Google Pay
- Shopping apps, like PayPal
You can easily update your payment methods by using Pay.com as your payment service provider. All you have to do is click on the payment method you’d like to add, and it’s done. Click here to get started now!
2. Offer Guest Checkout
It can be tempting to opt out of guest checkout. After all, you want to encourage customers to create an account so you can get recurring customers and improve retention, right? While that is true, avoiding guest checkout is not the answer. In fact, you’re essentially turning down one-time buyers and losing out on sales.
Not every customer wants to register, even though they see the value in buying from you. To these shoppers, creating an account takes time and effort – it’s an obstacle.
What they really want is to buy the product they want with speed and ease. If they can’t get what they want, they’re likely to give up on it and shop with another company that will provide their desired experience.
With guest checkout, you offer a streamlined checkout experience that doesn’t require your customers to enter unnecessary details before making a purchase. This includes information like their birthday or password creation.
3. Go Mobile-Friendly
A reported 69.4% of customers shop using their phone or tablet – and that number is increasing. Experts estimate that mobile retail sales could hit $728.28 billion by 2025, which would account for 44.2% of all ecommerce retail sales in America.
Your website and checkout process must be mobile-friendly if you want to earn some of that money. To optimize your website for mobile users, you’ll need to first have a website with a responsive design. This type of design allows the site to automatically resize itself depending on the size of the screen users are viewing it on.
You’ll also need to make sure you increase button sizes so that people clicking with their fingers (instead of a mouse) are able to access them. This includes buttons for selecting different sizes and colors, adding to cart, and checkout. Finally, be sure to minify your code so that your website has fast loading speeds.
4. Be Transparent with Pricing
One of the most common reasons that people exit in the middle of the checkout process? Unexpected costs. You’ve likely experienced the same sticker shock before. You’re excited to make a purchase, but then your total at checkout is far higher than the initial price of the product because of surprise fees.
You can easily avoid this issue by clearly displaying a breakdown of the final price at the beginning of the checkout process. This should include:
- Retail price
- Shipping fee
- Price after discounts
5. Match Your Checkout Page to Your Brand
According to recent research, 18% of shoppers report abandoning their cart because they didn’t trust the website with their credit card information. Part of that mistrust stems from having a checkout page that looks different from the rest of your website.
Although the checkout process takes the customer to your payment service provider, they often don’t know that. From the shopper’s point of view, they’re making a purchase from your website. When you suddenly direct them to a different website with a totally different appearance and ask them to enter their personal information, they feel unsure of the security and leave.
If this is the case for your website, you must design your checkout page so that it looks and feels like your website. That means adjusting all of the branding elements, including font, color palette, logos, and more. This is easy to do with Pay.com. You can quickly customize a prebuilt checkout page via the Pay Dashboard, or use our developer-friendly APIs to integrate our system into your website.
6. Remove Unnecessary Form Fields
As an ecommerce seller, you have tons of competition, so you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to give you their money. When they encounter any kind of friction or hardship, they’re more likely to give up on the purchase.
An easy way to reduce friction is to limit the number of form fields that shoppers must fill out during checkout. Having too many can feel intimidating.
Aim to require customers to enter only essential information, like:
- Credit card information
- Billing address
- Shipping address
7. Use Google Inline Validation and Autocomplete
Google offers a couple of tools that make checkout easier for the customer. First, Inline Validation (sometimes referred to as Data Validation) helps customers avoid mistakes when entering their checkout information. When the shopper fills out a field and moves to the next one, this tool checks their work and adds notes in red if anything looks incorrect.
For example, if the user enters the wrong zip code and then moves on to fill out another field, red text will appear below the zip code box that reads “invalid zip code.” The shopper can quickly correct the issue and move on.
The other helpful tool from Google is Autocomplete. You can opt into Autocomplete on your website, which will then fill out a customer’s shipping address for them. They just need to enter the first line of their address, and Google will enter their city, state, and zip code. This helps speed up the checkout process and limits errors.
8. Increase Your Security
Online shoppers are quick to abandon a purchase if anything about the website feels suspicious. One way to help them feel more confident in their purchase is to improve your security measures and then showcase security badges on your website.
Visual representations of your security measures can boost your website’s legitimacy. It also gives your customers a sense of protection and the understanding that your business delivers on its commitments.
Pay.com takes security very seriously, which is why we have Level 1 PCI DSS compliance. This is the highest level of security, which involves regular independent auditing. We also support 3D Secure 2.0 (3DS2). This adds another layer of authentication to ensure that the person making the purchase is actually the cardholder themselves.
9. Offer 1-Click Checkout
By now, you understand that the most important thing to do during checkout page optimization is to reduce friction. Perhaps the most frictionless checkout option is the 1-click checkout.
With a 1-click checkout, your customers need to enter their details just one time. From then on, information will autofill every time they check out with you again. That means they no longer have to enter their name, shipping address, credit card details, or email. Of course, they must opt-in and allow you to save their details for this feature to work.
10. Track and Analyze Your Transactions
While you need to manage all your business finances, it’s also important to track your transactions. This allows you to do a few things – first, you’ll catch errors and incomplete information early on. If you notice a pattern of errors, you’d likely benefit from a tool like Google Autocomplete to ensure your customers get through the checkout process without payment issues.
This can also build trust with your customer. When you consistently track and analyze your transactions, you can spot issues that need correction, like a customer refund after an accidental double charge.
Additionally, this practice allows you to better understand your customer – where they live, how they shop, how much they like to spend, and which payment methods they use most. This can allow you to make further decisions like which payment methods to offer or whether a buy now, pay later option, like Afterpay, could increase sales.
While some payment service providers leave you to track payments and draw conclusions on your own, Pay.com makes this step easy. Pay.com gives you access to intuitive visuals, graphs, and charts, as well as useful reports in the Pay Dashboard. Then, you can use that information to notice trends and improve KPIs.
11. Display the Checkout Flow
Customers must go through a series of web pages to make a purchase with your business. As they move from your homepage to the product page to the checkout process, it can feel quite taxing. By the time the customer gets their credit card out, they may already feel burnt out by the shopping experience.
You can minimize this frustration by showing the checkout flow. This is a way for the customer to see exactly where they’re at in the checkout process and how few steps remain to complete their purchase.
You can display checkout flow in a few ways:
- Numbering the steps (e.g. step 1 of 3)
- Showing a progress bar
- Keeping all steps on one page with collapsible bars visible throughout the process
12. Include a Cross-Sell or Upsell
Aside from saving lost sales, checkout page optimization can also allow you to increase customer spending. You can accomplish this by showing your customers products related to what they’re already buying.
With cross-selling, you’ll show your customer a product that complements the one they’ve already put in their cart. For example, if your customer is already buying a necklace, you might suggest that they add the matching earrings to their cart.
The other way you can increase revenue is to upsell. Upselling refers to showing your customer a higher-priced product that’s similar to what they’ve already got. For example, you might suggest that they upgrade from basic headphones to a pair with advanced sound quality which also happens to be a bit more expensive.
13. Offer Free Shipping
More and more major retailers are offering free shipping. In turn, more customers are expecting free shipping. It’s also worth noting that one of the top reasons people abandon their cart is because the added cost of fees (including shipping) is too high. To avoid this issue, offer free shipping to your customers.
You can also use free shipping as a way to upsell. For example, when you offer free shipping over $35, customers are more likely to add another item to their cart rather than pay for shipping – even if they end up spending more than they would in shipping costs.
14. Provide More Shipping Options
Customers tend to save their shopping until the last minute, which means they need to be able to control the shipping speed. In fact, 22% of shoppers report abandoning their cart because shipping was too slow.
To address this issue, you need to offer multiple shipping options. Since different shipping services offer different delivery times, providing a choice between vendors can make a big difference for the customer. Some shipping services can even offer 1-day delivery, which could make or break a sale for you.
15. Send Cart Abandonment Emails
If a customer does exit your website and abandon their cart, you may still be able to win back that sale with a cart abandonment email. This is possible if they’ve already set up an account with you or if they used an app to initiate the checkout.
A cart abandonment email should be short and sweet. It only needs to include the product they’ve left behind and a link to a checkout page created just for them. You may also include a discount code or free shipping to incentivize them to return.
Be sure to give the email an enticing headline, such as:
- Did you forget something?
- We’re selling out fast
- The perfect piece is still in your cart
- Don’t let free shipping go to waste
The Bottom Line: Optimize Your Checkout Experience and Boost Your Conversion Rate
While a high cart abandonment rate can be frustrating, it can also be a positive opportunity. In fact, you can accomplish many of the above tips with just a few clicks. This is one of the easiest and fastest methods of increasing your revenue.
Some optimization options are an easy choice – there’s no downside to offering mobile checkout, for example. However, you may want to track and analyze your transactions to spot other checkout issues that you need to address.
When you use Pay.com, you get all the tools you need to provide an excellent checkout experience for your customers. This includes a variety of payment methods, a customizable checkout page, helpful insights into your checkout process, high-level security features, and more.