The quality of your checkout page design can make or break your sales. It’s the final and most critical step in your sales funnel and improving the design will increase your conversion rate.
Did you know that 70% of customers will abandon their shopping carts on your checkout page?
The fact that they have reached the checkout page means they are interested shoppers, but there’s clearly something wrong going on that explains why they are not completing their purchase.
You can continue optimizing your checkout page and discover new things to improve on along the way, but try to keep in mind these 7 checkout page design strategies that will not only put an end to abandoned checkout pages, but ultimately, boost your sales in the long run.
Strategy 1: Keep the checkout page clear, neat and simple
21% of shoppers leave ecommerce sites without making a purchase because the checkout process was taking too long. It proves the point that an ecommerce checkout flow should be concise and easy to navigate through and accomplish.
It’s easy for shoppers to get frustrated if your checkout page is isn’t. What can you do to make it clear, neat and simple?
Use asterisks for mandatory fields. Make it clear for your shoppers which fields in your checkout forms they need to fill out by indicating it with an asterisk.
If they skipped anything, indicate it with a red validation error so they know which ones to go back to. You can place a question mark symbol next to it as well that will explain to them why it is mandatory once they hover over it.
Store credit cards in your system. Especially for returning customers, storing their credit cards and their billing information will make it easier for them to checkout.
You may need to comply with the strict rules of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), but doing so can be very rewarding for your conversion rates in the long run.
Agoda presents this feature very conveniently on their checkout page.
Eliminate unnecessary page elements. Since your customers are already on the checkout page to seal their purchase, eliminate page elements, such as the navigation, product categories, latest offers, today’s deals and others that can distract them from completing the process.
Compare how Amazon’s shopping cart page looks like with its neat checkout page after sign in.
Make the form as short as possible. Ask only the right amount of information in your checkout forms. According to a 2014 Form Conversion Report by Formstack, the average number of fields in an order/payment form is 19.
Topshop sticks to the basics when asking for delivery details. It even has a way of finding the customer’s address based on the postcode that will be entered.
Tell them what they can expect. Asos does a good job of reminding customers the good things that can be expected from them. They remind them of their free next-day deliveries, their free returns and their site’s security.
Display cart contents properly. Just before they proceed to the checkout page, display the contents of your customers’ shopping carts for one final check. For clarity, show the product image, product name, color, size, quantity, and total cost after taxes.
Additionally, allow your customers to modify their shopping carts like removing certain items or changing the quantity.
Strategy 2: Provide a guest checkout
Did you know that 23% of shoppers will abandon their shopping carts if you require them to create an account before they can checkout?
A quick solution to this is to provide a guest checkout option. Refusing them to shop just because they do not want to create an account will definitely affect your conversions.
Apple’s Guest Checkout option allows customers to checkout, purchase their items, and hold the option to create an Apple ID after.
You can also have an Express Checkout where customers can easily proceed to checkout and purchase their items without the option of registering an account at all.
Unless you insist on having your customers register an account, wait until they have checked out.
You already have their name and email address (on top of their address and contact number) by the time they have checked out. To have an account, all they need to do is supply you with a password and confirm the creation of their account – a simple, 2-step process.
Strategy 3: Make hotline or live chat available
In a survey conducted by Forrester, 44% of its respondents say that a live customer service representative answering their concerns while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features any ecommerce site can offer.
Additionally, 91% of them who have used the live chat of a website were satisfied in its ability to help them make informed buying decisions, in resolving service or tech-related issues, and in addressing product concerns in a timely manner.
With hotline or live chat available on the checkout page, it is easy to resolve any doubts and concerns a customer may have at the crucial point of their shopping experience.
Especially for high-ticket and technical products, you must be able to answer your shoppers’ questions up front so you can help them finalize their decisions.
Strategy 4: Make it easy to fill out forms
We previously mentioned that 21% of shoppers abandon their shopping carts if they find that the checkout process takes too long to finish. A feature of a checkout page that can influence this lies in the forms your customers need to fill out.
Forms can be naturally extensive. You want to ask for as much information as possible to ensure a smooth and successful checkout. And while it is hard to control the length of the forms that needs to be filled out, there are things you can implement to simplify it.
Pre-populate fields with available information. If they are new customers, knowing where they are located through geo-tagging can help pre-populate address and zip code fields.
If they are returning customers, pre-populate form fields with information they have already supplied before.
Indicate optional fields as optional. If it won’t affect the success of the checkout process, indicate fields that can be left out as optional, such as delivery address landmarks or alternate contact numbers.
Use asterisks. As mentioned earlier, indicate with an asterisk the fields that are mandatory in the checkout page form.
If a mandatory field was missed out, indicate it with a validation error. Make sure to save the details entered in the other fields as well. This way, customers won’t have to go through the process of filling out the form all over again.
Strategy 5: Make the checkout page usable on mobile
Did you know that 50.3% of e-commerce traffic comes from mobile? Which leads to the next question, is your checkout page usable on a mobile device?
Differentiate “Checkout” and “Continue Shopping” buttons. Especially if it is placed close to each other, have different colors for both buttons to avoid confusion.
Have the proper radio buttons for new and registering customers. Although at this point, we all know that they should have included an option for a guest checkout as well.
Automatically set the needed keyboard. If a field is asking for a name, the alphabet keyboard should appear. If a phone number is desired, the number keyboard should pop up.
Pre-populate applicable fields. Unless the previously entered address is different from the delivery address, pre-populate it on the delivery field or better yet, allow shoppers to check the option “Deliver to the same address” so they don’t have to enter it again.
Additionally, auto-detect data whenever possible by providing a drop-down list. This applies usually in the address field.
Strategy 6: Use some principles of psychology
One of the conversion rate optimization tips you have probably been exposed to is using psychology in influencing purchasing decisions. As part of the shopping process, consider using certain psychology principles in your checkout page to make it more effective and high converting.
Minimize your customers’ risks. Show your guarantee or return policies. Your customers should know that there is a solution should they feel unsatisfied with the product they received. Having a refund policy is also helpful in this scenario.
Give your potential customers reasons to trust you. Especially when it comes to people visiting your ecommerce site for the first time, you have to give them a reason to trust you because they won’t.
Work on your ecommerce site’s social proof in the form of customer reviews, third party trust badges, and SSL certificates.
Remember: share only what’s real. You can’t earn your shoppers’ trust if your facts are false or misleading.
Additionally, if you are selling a service, have logos of companies who are indeed using your service for validation.
Provide instant gratification. You can apply the principle of instant gratification when it comes to filling out forms on the checkout page.
Also, visualize the checkout process for your customers and have a progress bar to motivate them to finish. It’s also a good way of informing them of what’s coming up next.
Strategy 7: One-page vs. multi-page check out
In a checkout usability report by Baymard Institute, there seems to exist cases when a one-page checkout performs better than a multi-page checkout.
However, they also found out that users in general had relatively few problems with a multi-page checkout provided that the form was concise and asked for just the right information.
So which one should you go for – a one-page checkout or a multi-page checkout?
We previously discussed the pros and cons of each, and to find out which option you should implement is a matter of testing on your site.
A one-page checkout may have increased Vancouver Olympic Store’s conversion rates by 21.8% over its initial four-page checkout, but it may not guarantee the same results for you.
Boosting conversion rates is essential on every page of an ecommerce site, but more importantly on the checkout page as this incorporates the last few crucial steps that will ultimately turn your shoppers into actual paying customers.
And like always, perform regular testing on your ecommerce site to see how your visitors will react to any checkout page optimization strategy you are implementing to see if it is helpful or not.
What about you – what strategies have you implemented with success on your checkout pages?