Saturday, May 21st, 2022

7 best practices to increase conversions

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.

But first, some statistics

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.

How to Design an Effective Checkout Page

In the following, let’s see how you can make the best of this important page.

1. What should be on the checkout page?

First, let’s talk about what elements customers should be looking for when trying to check out.

checkout page design example

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.

  1. Ways to input billing and shipping information
  2. List of products in shopping cart
  3. Available Delivery Methods
  4. Ability to input payment information
  5. Help option to get help if needed

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.

2. Basic Checkout Optimization Tips

We already have two articles on eCommerce UI Design and eCommerce Mobile Design. They already have some tips for better checkout pages:

  • Offer Guest Checkout – No one wants to be forced to open another account for potential one-time purchases. This is the second most common reason for abandonment of cart and should therefore be optional.
  • keep information to enter at least – Ask for only the information you actually need to complete the transaction. For example, reduce the number of form fields to just the required. This keeps the amount of effort on the part of your customers down.
  • show progress – People are impatient, if they don’t know how long it will take for their purchases to expire, you can lose them along the way. So, either go for a one-page checkout (where they can see all the steps they have to complete in one go) or give them a pointer to the progress they are making.
  • emphasis on safety A common concern of online shoppers is their information being stolen. As a result, your job is to calm their mind. You can do this with the help of Trust Seal, Social Proof and use of HTTPS/SSL.
  • make it mobile friendly More than half the traffic comes from mobile devices. Mobile users need special assistance to make checkout suitable for them. This includes using native tools to enter information (like the picker wheel for a date of birth or showing a number keyboard for credit card numbers), the ability to scan credit cards, and more.

3. Highlight Profit and Support Options

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.

Highlight benefits in checkout page design

Doing so can act as a final nudge for them to decide whether they really want to go through with their purchase. Other examples are links to your privacy policy, shipping details, FAQ, return policy, etc.

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.

Live chat as checkout page design example

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.

4. Make Things Easier

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.

autofill shipping form example

How can you do this? Here are some ideas:

  • Remove or shorten your header and footer – Eliminate generic headers and footers as they can be distracting and take the customer away from what you are trying to make them do. Also see what other distractions you can eliminate.
  • Let the customer use their billing address for shipping – Because no one wants to input the same information twice.
  • Use data validation and autocomplete – It’s very annoying to find out that you’ve entered something wrong after trying to complete a purchase. You can also allow form fields to be autofilled for quick checkout.
  • Offer Express Checkout, One-Click Shopping — This is especially suitable for frequent customers who are logged in so that you have their information available to you. Hey, if it works for Amazon, why don’t you?
  • Save information at checkout — If customers hit the back button in their browser to add more to their cart, the worst thing you can do is have them re-enter all of their information.
  • Provide a variety of payment options — The more possibilities you provide, the more people have the opportunity to complete their purchase. Start with major providers like credit cards and PayPal, but also mention smaller providers that you accept. You can also use something like Adian to automatically display the most popular payment solutions for certain locations.

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.

5. Display cart contents and provide the ability to modify them

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.

Editable product list on checkout page

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.

6. Be sure to follow up

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.

abandoned cart email example

7. abt – always test

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.

Final Thoughts: Checkout Page Design

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:

  1. Include All Required Elements on Your Checkout Page
  2. Follow basic guidelines for ecommerce UI design (including mobile)
  3. Highlight the benefits and methods of support you offer
  4. Make your checkout page easy to use
  5. Show cart contents and make them easy to modify
  6. Follow up on purchases (both complete and incomplete)
  7. Run A/B tests to keep improving your checkout page design

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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