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Ecommerce is tough business. From rising expectations of online shops to cart abandonment, it’s not always easy to convert visitors into paying customers. A central element here: checkout page design.
Think about it: You’ve probably invested a lot in sourcing products, web design, and building traffic. However, in the end, the checkout page is the last part of your website that customers will interact with. After a lot of effort to get them there, it can really make or break whether someone buys them or not. If they don’t, all the work you’ve done before is in vain.
To give you the best chance of getting them from camp to camp, in this post, we’ve compiled several best practices for checkout page design. Below, you’ll find tips on creating a checkout page that, while it won’t eliminate cart abandonment, could at least increase the number of people you convert into paying customers.
Before talking about how to improve your checkout page design, let’s talk some numbers that show why it’s a good idea.
According to the Baymard Institute, the overall shopping cart abandonment rate is about 70%. While this sounds like a lot, you need to bear in mind that some amount of abandoned carts are normal. Too many users simply shop around, compare prices, and look for inspiration instead of seriously considering buying something.
However, for those who really wanted to make the purchase and decided not to, here are the main reasons for them to go:
We talked about this a lot already in our article on cart abandonment. One thing that is particularly relevant to this post is that 20% of shoppers leave their cart because the checkout process is too long or complicated. Nearly the same number of people leave because of a lack of faith and because they can’t see the whole order in front. In the end, 7% did not find the number of payment methods satisfactory.
The special thing is that all these can be solved to a great extent through changes in the checkout page design. As a result, that’s where we’ll try to make a difference.
In the following, let’s see how you can make the best of this important page.
First, let’s talk about what elements customers should be looking for when trying to check out.
There must be a lot of content present for this page to be effective and usable. Some of it is about the information you need to collect for a successful sale and some is important to customers.
Of course, you can add a lot (and we’ll even give you some tips on that) and the devil is in the details. However, your checkout page should contain these basic five things.
Depending on what type of checkout process you use (one-page, multiple-page), these can also be spread over multiple steps. Below is more information for those cases as well.
We already have two articles on eCommerce UI Design and eCommerce Mobile Design. They already have some tips for better checkout pages:
To make it more likely that a customer will complete checkout, point out the things you offer that make your life easier. For example, it could be free shipping and returns.
You can also consider the live chat option. That way, if customers have pre-sales questions, they have the ability to clarify them with a representative at the same time.
For those who may not be comfortable with live chat, provide a phone number or email address. Also display any relevant information like order numbers so they can easily pass it on to a support person.
Friction is the enemy of sales. The more annoying your checkout process, the less likely customers are to complete it. For that reason, one of its motto when you design your checkout page is to make it as simple as possible.
How can you do this? Here are some ideas:
Remember, you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers. If they get too annoyed with your checkout page, they’ll have no trouble going to your competition.
We have already mentioned above that it is important to show the customer what is in their cart before checkout. However, the way you provide this information also matters.
If it’s a monotonous, text-only list of SKUs or product numbers, it won’t be very useful. Instead, give them all the details they need to make sure they have made the right choice. This means details such as size, color, and other variations as well as images.
All this allows customers to check whether their order is correct or not. Also, if they think something is wrong, allow them to make changes there and there. They should be able to remove goods from cart, change product quantity and other details. Most importantly, don’t force them to hit the back button to make these changes or you may lose them!
In addition, allowing customers to save items in lists can also be helpful. Many people initially use their carts as glorified wishlists, so why not enable them to build a real cart? This may lead to more sales in the future.
Also, offer a review page where they can see all their information, products in their cart, etc. To make sure everything is as it should be. A nice touch is the gift wrap/message option as well, especially around certain holidays.
Part of the checkout page design is also what happens after a customer has left it, either leaving their cart or through a purchase. In the latter case, you can try to get them to register for your site and/or sign up for your newsletter one last time.
You’ve already gathered all the necessary information, so it’s basically just about letting them set a password (which can be auto-generated and changed later) and collecting consent. Try to do this on the page itself rather than on an intermediate one, as exit popups don’t always work.
For customers who started entering their information but ultimately decided not to buy, you can follow up via email, and give them an added incentive, like a one-time discount.
The problem with all design is that no one knows what will work in the end. Sure, there are proven rules you can follow, but it’s still no guarantee that your customer base will respond to them. In the end, we’re all just making educated guesses – the only way to be sure is to test.
For this reason, it is important that you try out modifications to your checkout page design regularly. Do one of the above changes or whatever else you have in mind and run A/B tests against your current version.
This will show you if there is any way you can further improve the customer experience so that they will be more inclined to buy from you.
Important: Do not test too many things at once. Just make one or two changes and run tests on them. If you do more, you won’t know what the scales are and no one will be the wiser.
Checkout page design is a central consideration for anyone running an online shop. It’s the kiss-off page for site visitors and the last thing they interact with before becoming a customer – or not. Use the tips above to make sure it’s not a kiss of death idiom.
Let’s review what we’ve covered once more:
Hopefully, by now you have plenty of ideas for improving the makeup of your own checkout page. We wish you the best of luck in implementing them.
What is one common feature of checkout page design that you should change and why? Tell us in the comments!
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