The checkout process is the final hurdle in the online shopping experience. It's the point at which a customer can make a final decision to purchase and complete their transaction.
This is an important part of your conversion funnel because it determines whether or not a customer goes through with the purchase.
But it’s also one of the most neglected areas of an eCommerce site. Many store owners don’t realize that their checkout process could be optimized to help them convert more customers at every stage — from cart abandonment to payment.
Experts estimate that conversions can be increased by over 35% by implementing the right checkout page optimization strategies.
Your checkout page is the last chance to get your customers to buy before they leave your website. The last chance to earn the sale.
But it's a very busy page and it can be intimidating adding up multiple shipping costs, taxes and other forms of payment. However, there are some great checkout process optimization tips you can implement to optimize this page for conversions.
14 Underrated Hacks To Optimize Your Ecommerce Checkout For More Conversions
Here are some eCommerce checkout best practices to help you optimize your online store for more sales -
1. Offer all popular payment options
It might seem obvious, but offering multiple payment options will make your eCommerce store more attractive to customers who want their money in different ways.
If your customers are having trouble checking out with their preferred method of payment, they may just go elsewhere to find a store that offers the option they prefer.
That's why it's important to offer as many payment options as possible to deliver an easy checkout process.
The more payment methods you offer, the more likely you'll get repeat business from happy customers!
PayPal, Apple Pay, and other popular digital wallets are great options for increasing sales because of the convenience and security they offer.
Including these payment options reduces friction at checkout and increases the likelihood of a sale. But at the same time, also make sure you have a PayPal order tracking sync app like TrackiPal in place from day one.
2. Show checkout progress
Most customers prefer online shopping because of the convenience it comes with; don’t miss out on this integral component of the online shopping experience in your checkout process.
Showing progress at each stage of the process helps reduce anxiety and increases trust by reducing the amount of time spent thinking about whether or not they want to complete the sale.
This tiny design implementation on the checkout page is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce abandonment rates. It can help them stay engaged and feel confident about completing their purchase.
The best way to optimize your eCommerce checkout is with a progress bar that shows all of the steps that need to be completed before an order is confirmed. You can also display notifications at each step of the process, for example, "Your order has been received", "We're processing your payment", and so on.
3. Guest checkout option
Don't force your users to register before they complete their purchase. The only thing this will do is decrease the number of sales you make.
According to research conducted by the Baymard Institute, 24% of consumers abandon their carts at checkout due to the necessity of having to create an account.
To combat this, you can use a guest checkout option that allows customers to complete their purchases without having to create an account. This is one of the best checkout process optimization tips out there.
Guest checkout allows them to make purchases without leaving their comfort zone — and they don’t have to remember their login details or enter them again.
However, ensure to collect their relevant contact information for smooth communication about their shipment so it doesn’t hinder their experience of shopping from you.
4. Capture the buyer’s email early in the process
The most common mistake merchants make when optimizing their eCommerce checkouts is not realizing that they can capture more emails at different points throughout the order process.
You should capture your buyer's email address as soon as possible because this is one of the most valuable things you'll get from them at this point in their journey with your brand. You can also encourage them to enter their email address by offering an incentive, like a coupon or discount code.
If someone leaves their email address at any point during your checkout process, it will be stored in a separate list in your store. You can use this information, later on, to send out marketing emails that are personalized and relevant based on what they've purchased before and how much they've spent with you so far.
You can also send them strategic cart recovery messages at any time in the future — as long as they haven’t unsubscribed.
5. Keep the back button fully functional
It's very common for eCommerce websites to disable the back button on their checkout pages, forcing users to complete their purchases before they can go back to their search results or browse other products on the site. This is done in an attempt to increase the likelihood of conversion by reducing distractions and improving focus on completing the purchase.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again - customer convenience is everything when it comes to online shopping; not your convenience.
To optimize your eCommerce checkout, make sure customers can easily return to their shopping cart or previous pages if they need to.
If you're using a pop-up or modal window for your payment information, make sure it's easy for them to close it if they change their mind about making a purchase. Keep
in mind that customers may be on mobile devices, so make sure your pop-ups work well on those too.
Keep this button clean, and free from clutter, and make sure it works well so customers don't have to search for it. This will increase user satisfaction and lower your bounce rate.
6. Add microcopy to guide users
Many people are intimidated by the checkout process, and they need help to move forward. You can provide this guidance by adding a microcopy that explains what you want them to do, and how they can do it.
Microcopy is the text that explains what is going on in an interface. It can be used to explain why certain actions are required, how the interaction works, or what happens next.
These are short messages that appear near the form field — to guide users through the process and help them complete it successfully.
This could include instructions like "Enter your email address," "Choose a password," or "Create a username."
7. Display trust signals throughout the checkout process
Trust is an important part of the buying process.
When people are checking out online, they are skeptical about whether their personal information is safe and secure. So, you need to bridge that gap.
Many online stores use security badges or logos on their order confirmation page to help reassure shoppers that they're dealing with a reputable company. This can be a great way to increase trust among shoppers who may be concerned about giving their personal information over the internet, especially if they've never purchased from your store before.
Furthermore, display information about delivery times, and returns policies early on in the purchase process so customers know exactly what they’re getting into before they click “buy.”
8. Summarize cart details
Make sure that all the items in your customer's shopping cart are clearly visible on the checkout page.
If there are multiple items in the cart, list them out in order of their quantity and price.
When a user sees the contents of their cart, they can easily see what they are buying and how much it costs. This will allow your customers to see how much they have spent on each item and help them make informed decisions.
This makes them feel confident about their purchase, which leads to more conversions.
Summarizing cart details is a great way to make your checkout more user-friendly and ensure that customers don't miss any important information during the checkout process.
9. Prevent shipping cost surprises
When it comes to shipping costs, customers always want the best deal possible.
They also don't want to be surprised by extra charges when they're checking out of their shopping cart.
One of the most common frustrations among online shoppers is not realizing how much they'll actually be paying for shipping until they've entered all their information and submitted their order.
In fact, extra costs on shipping, tax, and other fee are the leading reasons for cart abandonment.
If you can avoid this problem, you'll save your customers a lot of time and frustration and boost your conversions.
So make sure that your shipping options are clear and visible so that customers can see them before they enter their payment information.
10. Incentivize the purchase
To do this, use what's called a cross-sell offer. This is when you offer the customer an incentive for buying more products at once, such as free shipping or discounts on future purchases.
Also, add a time constraint to this offer with texts like “Only valid for the next 24 hours” to further push them towards completing the purchase as soon as possible.
People tend to put off buying when there's no urgency involved. As humans, we tend towards procrastination and often avoid making decisions that require us to take action right away. You can fight this tendency against your customers by offering limited-time offers that encourage them to buy now before it's too late!
Furthermore, many people want to make their first purchase on an eCommerce site but are hesitant to do so because they don't know if they will like it enough to come back again.
Offer a discount on the first purchase. This will incentivize them to buy now, rather than waiting until they've had time to browse around and make sure this is the right site for them.
11. Use data validation and autocomplete
Data validation features such as dropdown menus are nice ways to let customers know what they need to do next to complete their purchase. It prevents them from making mistakes while they fill out their details.
Autocomplete makes it easier for them by suggesting possible answers based on past purchases and behavior.
These features can save visitors a lot of time by eliminating typing errors, and they also encourage them not to leave the page before completing their order — since they don't have to enter data again, they're more likely to abandon their cart if they see that it takes too long or requires too much effort.
Both of these features help increase conversions because they keep people focused on their task at hand rather than trying to figure out what's required of them.
The less time a visitor has to spend filling out a form, the better.
12. Use error notifications
If customers enter incorrect information, don't just let them go ahead with their purchase without any warning. Instead, use error notifications to let them know they've made an error so they can fix it before proceeding to check out.
If you do this right, you'll improve customer satisfaction and reduce returns and complaints later on, which will save you time and money in the long run.
For example, if a customer enters an invalid email address or ZIP code, they'll be notified immediately so they can fix it before submitting their order.
You should also let them know if there's something wrong with their payment information, such as an invalid card number or expiration date.
13. Prioritize the mobile experience
It’s no secret that more and more people are shopping online from their phones and tablets.
Did you know that mobile eCommerce sales crossed $3.56 trillion in 2021?
And it is estimated that by the year 2025, mobile eCommerce sales will cross $7.28 trillion and account for 44.2% of retail eCommerce sales in the US.
Mobile commerce is undoubtedly growing in popularity and you want to make sure your site is ready for it. Make sure that your checkout is optimized for mobile users.
When people shop on their phones, they want to get in and out as quickly as possible. So it's no surprise that more than half of all mobile searches lead directly to purchases within a day. That means if your website isn't optimized for mobile devices, you're missing out on potential sales.
Did you know that 4 out of 10 mobile users abandon their cart if they face any trouble while inputting their information during checkout?
Optimize your eCommerce checkout by ensuring that your website is responsive and your checkout process is easy to navigate on phones and tablets, and don’t make people scroll through a long page of instructions when they’re trying to buy something quickly.
You should make sure that everything on your site is optimized for mobile devices and screens, including images, buttons, and text size.
14. Connect customers to support
Sometimes things go wrong during an online purchase, and customers need help resolving their issues. If your site doesn’t have a dedicated support page (or if the links are buried), create one now. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy — just a list of common questions with answers will do.
Also, provide them easy access to directly contact your support staff, if needed.
Add these support links to your checkout page for better UX.
When you do this, you eliminate any questions they may have, which will make them more likely to complete their purchase.
If you give them an easy way to contact support, you can decrease the number of abandoned carts and increase sales.
Conversions begin with an optimized checkout flow, but they don't end there!
Overall, checkout page optimization can be a very effective tactic to help boost your conversion rates. If you aren't currently using any of these tactics on your site, you should definitely consider giving them a try.
The best part is that they're all easy to implement and they usually carry with them very little risk, so you don't have much to lose by trying something new.
Remember, optimizing your checkout flow should be an ongoing process that you revisit regularly.
Nevertheless, only optimizing the checkout page is not enough.
When it comes to the checkout process, most people focus on optimizing the front end—automating payment options, improving the design, and so on. But less attention is paid to what happens afterward.
You will also need to ensure a good post-purchase experience to ensure there is no cancellation, return, etc. The bottom line is that the consumer experience on your eCommerce platform should be intuitive and rewarding.
That is where PayPal tracking apps like TrackiPal come in.
TrackiPal helps you -
- Sync order info to PayPal in minutes
- Track live sync status and impact
- Get your PayPal funds 10X faster
Boost your sales by also ensuring smooth cash flow. Install the app today!