If you noticed that your online store has been generating a lot of traffic, yet it still falls short when it comes to sales, you might want to take a look at your checkout process.
A long and complicated checkout will lead users to abandon their carts at the last minute without ever making a purchase.
With that said, instead of focusing your efforts on advertising your products and generating more traffic, you should first make sure your store’s checkout process is as optimized and as user-friendly as possible.
So, let’s take a look at ten steps you need to take to optimize your store’s checkout process.
1. Be transparent about shipping costs
63% of shoppers abandon their carts because of shipping costs. That doesn’t necessarily mean that customers want you to cover the shipping; it can also be a transparency issue.
Most online stores mention shipping costs in the last step of the checkout process. This puts users in a state of shock because they’ll have to pay more than they originally anticipated, making them abandon their carts altogether.
If you happen to be one of the stores that do this, but you can’t cover the shipping yourself, be transparent. Specify the shipping costs right from the start, and you should see an increase in sales.
2. Add a Thank You page
A Thank You page is a great opportunity to ask customers for feedback via completing a survey.
After all, if they’ve just purchased a product from you, they will likely take the extra time to give you their suggestions on how you could improve the purchasing experience in the future.
Although many online stores tend to overlook this part of the checkout process, the Thank You page can bring you many benefits if done right. Consider working with a web design company for the best results.
Consumers mostly make their purchase decisions based on recommendations from their peers. You can use this to your advantage by asking customers to share your website on their social media accounts, as this will bring new potential customers in.
Lastly, this is a great time to introduce first-time buyers to your loyalty program. After all, they’ve just made a purchase, and they’re excited about it, raising the chances of then joining your program.
You can couple your Thank You page with a rewards system, and we’ll cover the basics later in this article.
3. Allow guest checkout
Having a long or complicated checkout process will make 26% of shoppers abandon their carts.
So, requiring people to create an account to buy from you will do nothing but drive them away from your site. In their eyes, this is time-consuming, frustrating, and redundant, especially for first-time buyers.
With that said, you should allow users to sing in as guests. Or, in situations where an account is necessary, like in subscriptions, for example, you should give users the ability to quickly log in via their social media accounts.
4. Remove unnecessary form fields
Asking users for too much information when they’re about to order a product will most likely lead them to abandon their carts. After all, you wouldn’t feel like filling in a page’s worth of information so that you could buy something.
That’s why you should keep the number of form fields at a minimum. Besides removing unnecessary optional form fields, you could also use a “full name” field rather than separate first and last name fields.
It’s a good idea to give users the ability to write their full address in one line.
By doing this, you’ll give buyers the impression that they have less information to fill in, even if you’ve only decreased the number of form fields.
5. Implement a one-page checkout
This allows visitors to add or remove products from their cart and complete payment without ever leaving the page and having to wait for another one to load.
In other words, by implementing a one-page checkout, you will get to shorten the buying process and generate more sales.
6. Offer multiple payment methods
If you happen to offer only one payment method, you are most likely driving a lot of customers away. 42% of online shoppers use digital wallets like PayPal, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay, while the rest use credit and debit cards.
Appealing to your customer’s preferences is crucial for getting them to buy from you. With that said, keep in mind to include as many payment options as possible.
7. Keep payments on the site
Speaking of payments, you should avoid using a gateway that will send customers to a third-party platform. That’s because they’ll get distracted more easily, increasing the chances of them abandoning the checkout altogether.
What’s more, this payment method is out of fashion, leading customers to question your professionalism and security.
8. Build trust
Having mentioned professionalism and security, you will need to get users to trust your business to encourage them to go through the checkout process and make the final payment.
You can start by making return policies and contact information visible straight away. By doing this, potential customers will be able to tell that you’re reliable and honest.
Furthermore, make sure to display testimonials and even implement a scoring or review system. That’s because 83% of consumers will make their purchase decisions based on recommendations from their peers.
In other words, allowing visitors to see the previous experience customers had with you might give them that extra push they need to generate a sale.
9. Implement a reward system
Giving people an incentive to buy from your store will do you wonders. You could do this by implementing a point system that will provide buyers with future discounts or free items. This method is great for taking over your competition.
After all, if a user struggles to decide between you and one of your competitors, giving them a future discount may be just enough to win them over. Not only that, but you might also get customers to add a few more products to their carts.
Remember that repeat customers usually spend 67% more than new customers, so integrating a reward system is great for creating a loyal customer base.
10. Show the purchase progress
Letting users know how many steps they need to take until the purchase process is complete will motivate them to go through it.
However, it doesn’t mean that showing a progress bar in a 10-step long checkout process will solve your cart abandonment issue. You still need to focus on making the purchase process as fast as possible.
The progress bar will mainly assure the user that it won’t take long until they can make the payment.
All in all, the checkout process of your online store shouldn’t be treated as just an afterthought. As we’ve seen, a long and cumbersome checkout will have a significant impact on your sales.
Besides the tips we’ve shown in this article, consider sending follow-up emails to prospects who previously abandoned their carts, maybe offering them discounts in hopes of earning them back.