You’ve created an amazing brand. You’ve developed your online store. Everything looks great and is ready to go! So, now you can sit back and enjoy the benefits, right? Not so fast! Before you let your guard down and trust that your store will be successful, there’s one more thing you should double check. How effective is your checkout process?
The checkout process is one of the most common places eCommerce businesses lose customers. And when it comes to shopping cart abandonment, one of the most common reasons consumers don’t make it to the end of checkout is because it’s too long or complicated.
If your checkout process is turning away customers, it’s likely because of one of these common roadblocks eCommerce business owners face. Luckily, most of these mistakes can be easily fixed without a large investment. Deliver the ultimate customer experience by avoiding these common checkout page roadblocks that could be killing your sales!
Customer Must Create an Account
While creating an account is common practice with online shopping, it shouldn’t be required. You don’t have to forego the process altogether, but there is a way to offer this option effectively. It is a logical starting point to find out whether customers are new or returning, but it can create a barrier with customers. When it comes to checkout design, you need to make sure you’re not presenting the checkout as a roadblock.
When customers need to start the checkout process by creating an account or trying to remember their logins, it can lead to cart abandonment. Since online shopping is becoming more and more popular, customers can get frustrated when they need to create yet another account. Whether it has to do with giving out their personal information or not wanting to take the time to fill everything out, this can contribute to lost conversions. That’s why having a “checkout as guest” option is crucial to your checkout process.
While you should still leave the login/register option above the checkout, it shouldn’t be used as a gating process. Some businesses leave it at the very end. While others only require minimal information. Regardless of which option you choose, it’s imperative that creating an account isn’t the end all be all of purchasing your products and services.
2. Long Checkout Process
Another common reason businesses lose customers to cart abandonment is because of the length of the checkout process. When it comes to checkout, the rule of thumb for success is the faster the better. Today’s online shopper wants to get through the checkout process in the smallest amount of steps possible.
While you should keep the checkout process to one page, there are ways around it if this isn’t possible. Add a progress bar. When a customer knows what to expect, it can greatly reduce the amount of anxiety they feel when looking at the overall checkout process. A great checkout experience creates a better customer experience overall. If you can’t keep it short, you need to have a clear sense of progression. The more the customer feels in control, the more satisfied they will be with the process.
3. Checkout Process That Isn’t Smooth
Just like a long checkout process, having a complicated checkout process can create a roadblock for your online business. Your eCommerce checkout page should create a smooth transition for your viewer to become a paying customer. From opening their cart to finalizing their order, everything should be easy and smooth.
Checkouts that redirect customers to separate pages for shipping and payment options are a thing of the past. Today’s average online consumer prefers a linear checkout process. This means you can clearly see what steps are involved and the details drop down as you move through each step. Taking customers to separate pages during the process not only complicates things, but it also leaves you at risk for errors. Keep your checkout process straightforward and contained in one page and you will see better conversion rates. If you can’t keep it to one page, the less the better!
4. Checkouts That Are Inconsistent and Don’t Compliment the Brand
While this should go without saying, many eCommerce business owners overlook the fact that your checkout pages should compliment your brand. The checkout should be the same look and feel as the rest of your website. A good checkout carries the same theme as the rest of your website design. This includes fonts, colors, shapes, and design.
Talk to your eCommerce design team about creating a consistent look for your checkout page. This is the last engagement customers will have with your website. You want to tie in the whole experience and create a unified impression. A unified design will give your business the professional, trusted impression that you need to grow your business.
5. Asking for Billing First
While the most important part of the process for your business is gathering the billing information, it’s not the customers’ focus. Your customer cares more about the product and when they will get it. While asking for billing information up front may feel logical as a business owner, it can contribute to cart abandonment. Instead of asking for billing information first, ask for shipping information. This can subconsciously reassure your customers that you put them first and care about their money second.
6. Lack of or Incomplete Description
Although the checkout process works better when it’s faster, you do need to make sure you are super descriptive with each field. This can significantly help with conversions. Make sure fields are properly labeled. This reduces the risk of error and can significantly decrease customer returns. The checkout process should be fast, simple, and descriptive. This ensures that your customers don’t waste their time or get frustrated trying to fill in the fields.
The checkout process is a major contributor to the future success of your online store. When you tailor your eCommerce website to the overall customer experience, you will find better success. The last impression is as important as the first when it comes to online shopping. When you avoid the common roadblocks listed above, you can create a better checkout process and optimize sales for the future of your business.