Updated: Sep 14
Most marketing efforts that lead users to your website are measured by the bottom line of conversion and sales. In a physical store, the customer adds the necessary items to a cart and pays through cash, card, or coupons at the POS. In digital sales, replicating this model for purchase and checkout can be rife with challenges. This article’s goal is to help you make your users' checkout experience online as simple and seamless as possible.
Be it simplifying the form fields, reducing the number of steps in your checkout process, or making it mobile friendly - building customer trust and confidence to complete the purchase will leave a lasting impression on your brand, and may just encourage repeat purchases.
Here are a few ways to optimize your checkout experience
1. Streamlining Navigation
A good checkout page should also be easy to use and navigate, with clear and simple instructions, and the optimum number of steps to complete the purchase.
Some basic principles like a consistent layout across your pages, a progress indicator to show the user they are on track, and a validation check to ensure the accuracy of data, are vital elements to include.
The content and length of the checkout page too will be different based on your business needs. Some businesses may choose to use a single-page checkout, while others may opt for a multi-page checkout. Each approach has its own set of advantages and disadvantages and the right choice depends on the business needs and the target audience.
A short-form, single checkout page condenses the entire process into one page instead of multiple web pages and this results in increased conversions due to fewer steps involved. Most consumers also prefer single-page checkouts because it feels less tedious.
That said, a single-page checkout flow does not allow you to cross-sell or upsell, and also limits your visibility into what aspects of the checkout process are working well. In some cases, it can also lead to slower page load times, and these are all instances where you must consider multi-page checkout. If your products are twice as good when paired with each other, multi-page checkout is surely the way to go.
2. Facilitating Guest Purchase
Whether it is lack of time or the need to not disclose identity for privacy reasons, not all your users will want to log in or sign up when making a purchase. By eliminating the need for your customers to create an account, one-time purchases will also be convenient and faster.
According to Capterra’s research, 43% of consumers prefer a guest checkout. We have also seen that consumers who buy through the brand’s mobile app don’t mind creating an account and logging in, but for everyone else, guest checkout is their preferred mode of completing the ordering process.
3. Clear Order Summaries
There’s usually nothing worse than heading all the way to the checkout page and finding out that shipping charges apply.
Particularly when the cart contains more than one product, a clear order summary just before checkout out ensures that customers do not have second thoughts. In general, when we purchase offline, we are not keenly aware of the total of our purchases until it is time to pay. In the online context, however, customers still have a chance to change their minds.
The way to prevent this from happening is to be extremely clear and precise about everything from the product’s pricing to taxes, additional charges, and more.
4. Coupon Codes And Payment Options
Apart from being an effective marketing tool, coupon codes are vital in collecting information about your customer behavior and patterns that will add value to your marketing efforts. Coupon codes offer a new way to increase customer loyalty and repeat business, manage inventory by providing offers on your stock during the off-season, and allow you to test the uptake of your offers when customers visit the website or marketplace from several different channels.
On the checkout page, seeing a compelling coupon code pop up may just be the conversion lever. However, we do recommend using this tactic with caution, as not all customers for all products will be looking for discounts. In such cases, you can consider offering coupons that go beyond discounting, and encourage them to share an interesting offer with a friend.
When it comes to payments, users' preferences should be accommodated by offering a variety of payment options, such as debit cards, credit cards, PayPal, digital wallets, and other methods of common use. It is a good practice to provide a clear and detailed order confirmation page after the purchase, along with the option to download or print the receipt.
Going Beyond The Obvious
While we would love nothing more than an excellent checkout experience, it isn’t always easy to know what to optimize for. For example, if indeed customers are falling through at the checkout stage, this could happen due to a variety of reasons which may not have anything to do with the page at all- customers may be browsing multiple websites simultaneously, they may be looking for a compelling offer, or they may actually be struggling with UX.
The Graas Predictive AI Engine - Turbocharger takes the guesswork out of checkout optimization by observing user behavior to recommend the changes that are most likely to create maximum impact. Therefore, brand owners like you end up spending less time dissecting the issue while also focusing on growth, and make calculated decisions about what workflows to follow to improve conversions at this stage.
As an integrated platform, the AI Engine also allows you to see business data on one dashboard, and uses predictive analytics to help you make decisions on how to optimize the various aspects of your eCommerce presence. Sign up for a demo of the Graas Predictive AI Engine - Turbocharger here.