How small tweaks to the checkout user experience can deliver potentially big conversion gains.

A lengthy or complicated checkout accounts for 28% of online cart abandonment. In fact, it’s the third most common reason for abandonment after hidden costs at checkout and having to register before buying, according to research.

It makes no sense to lose customers, who actually want to buy from you. So, let’s look at how you can optimise the user experience at checkout to maximise sales.

When it comes to the checkout process, less is definitely more. Fewer steps mean fewer clicks and a shorter path to purchase.

Your main objective is to streamline the process. So firstly, strip out all unnecessary elements. That means reducing the number of screens needed to complete an order. Reassure customers that checkout won’t take long, by showing where they are in the process with a progress bar or stage indicators.

Secondly, reduce distractions. When the customer wants to check out, it’s not the time to be cross-selling or up-selling to them. Or encouraging them to click away to other parts of your website. Remove on-screen clutter, such as navigation bars, search boxes etc. If it doesn’t contribute towards the customer completing their purchase, ditch it.

Thirdly, only ask for necessary information. Having to register before buying is the second most common reason for cart abandonment, so offer a guest checkout option. And make as many fields optional as you can. What more do you really need to know to fulfil an order, other than address, delivery options and payment?


Optimise payment acceptance

When it comes to payment, make the payment form look easy and secure. Clean, easy-to-understand layouts are best. Display trusted logos of the security vendors you use and the website SSL certificate. Showing the logos of well-known payment methods you accept also helps convey trust.

However, it’s not just a matter of accepting international payment brands, such as Visa, Mastercard, Amex and PayPal. You don’t want to lose customers at this late stage because they can’t pay you. Offer multiple payment options, including local payment methods, to close sales. Our previous blog has more on how to choose the optimum number, order and type of payment methods to offer.

The same principles apply to payment information as above. Only ask for necessary information. For card payment, that’s the name on the card, the card number, expiration date and 3-digit security code.

Automatically prompt if a customer has not entered the correct number of digits or if a card has expired. Turn off auto correct for name, address and email fields.

Other convenient, time-saving tips, especially if the customer is checking out on the small screen of a mobile device, include offering one-click ordering for returning customers. Replicate the billing address as the shipping address by default. And offer to remember the customer’s payment details for subsequent orders. Ask us for more information on benefits of tokenizing card numbers.


Want to know more?

To request a free 30-minute consultation on improving checkout UX in your business, email or complete your details on the contact form below.