Get Higher Conversion Rates with these Checkout Page Best Practices

June 27, 2019
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If you’re not converting as many shoppers as you would like, take heart, because you’re far from alone. A recent study, conducted by the Baymard Institute, found that the average cart abandonment rate was nearly 70% and Business Insider found that trillions of dollars worth of merchandise was left sitting in carts, with potentially over 60% of that being recoverable.

Statistics show that eCommerce retailers can take concrete steps that will have a massive impact on their conversion. From optimizing accessibility to utilizing advanced digital tools, there are many options to choose from and we will review a few of these best practices you can start doing today to help get your checkout process optimized and on the road to stronger conversion rates.

1. Guest checkout is a must

  • Required account creations causes 37% of consumers to abandon their card
  • According to Commerce Cloud’s customer data, 85% of checkouts are made by guests
  • If you want to add account creation, consider leaving until after the checkout process

2. Be transparent about products, costs, and the overall checkout process

  • Letting shoppers, especially first-timers, see the checkout steps reduces dropout over fears of a too complicated or long checkout process
  • According to Forrester’s report, over 20% of shoppers will abandon a cart if the total cost, including fees, shipping, etc., is difficult to understand or see
  • With that, provide sufficient product details to assuage any fears the customer may have regarding purchasing the wrong item(s)

3. Cut your form to a more digestible size

  • Forrester recommends an average of 12-14 form elements (including only 7-8 total fields) in your checkout flow, way below the average US checkout flow, which contains 23.48 form elements displayed to users

4. Don’t highlight coupons

  • Transparency is good, but don’t draw too much attention to coupon fields as this will cause your customers to leave your checkout process in the search of savings

5. Optimize your checkout form

  • Use the inputted shipping address as the billing by default with a collapsed option to add a different address
  • In general, try to keep all optional form fields collapsed
  • Make errors stand out to avoid confusion
  • Utilize Google’s Geolocation API to optimize address input

6. Make sure your buttons are clear and visible

  • Keep your call to actions/button texts simple and use trigger words that make what they’re going to do clear
  • In terms of visual hierarchy, try putting a button above and below your cart to ensure proper visibility

7. Make sure your checkout is safe

  • Baymard found that around 19% of visitors abandon checkout pages because they don’t trust sites with their payment information. The first and most obvious step is to make sure your site is fully secure.

8. Utilize seals and images that make people feel safe

  • Highlight trust, security, and SSL seals, such as Norton’s, VeriSign, or GeoTrust
  • Use images that convey a sense of security (i.e. padlocks, etc.)

9. No redirects!

  • Keep them on your site and avoid redirects, which regularly prompt a warning message that will scare customers away

10. Stand behind your product or service

  • A Zendesk study found that the number one factor impacting vendor trust was their customer service, which highlights the need to showcase value by highlighting return policies, customer ratings, guarantees, etc.

11. Test, test, and test

  • Make sure you and others are regularly testing your checkout process looking for errors or bugs
  • 17% of shoppers have cited website errors or bugs as their main reason for abandoning their cart

12. Employ simple, mobile-friendly UX tactics

  • The average index finger is around 50 px, make sure your checkboxes, menus, etc. account for that with appropriate sizing, margins, and form fields

13. Get on the cutting-edge

  • Have you heard of location-based marketing? If you have a brick-and-mortar store you may want to look into it.
  • Time for a mobile app? In a recent survey, 78% of those surveyed said they prefer making their purchases via an app versus a mobile browser.

14. Get personal

  • Google found that 61% of mobile shoppers want personalized offers
  • Marketing automation services, such as Samba, provide a wholly personalized shopping experience throughout all touch points, including email, web sites, and more

15. Hire some chat bots

  • Messaging apps now have a higher MAU than social networks and according to a BI survey, over 70% people surveyed were willing to receive customer support and nearly half were open to making a purchase through a bot
  • Learn more about chat bots and how to get started with them here

16. Start using automated, targeted abandoned-cart emails

  • According to Salesforce, sending an abandoned cart email within 24 hours recovers 60% of lost sales and according to Listrak, initial emails, sent within three hours after a consumer abandons a cart, average a 40% open rate and a 20% CTR
  • AI-powered tools, like the aforementioned Samba, automate and optimize this process, sending emails based on the history and preferences of each individual

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