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20 Ways to Streamline Your Ecommerce Checkout Process

[fa icon="calendar'] June 5, 2017 / by Eric Hangartner

The checkout process is the last barrier between your customer and their purchase. But too often customers abandon their carts due to unforeseen obstacles. Don’t let your customers change their minds by having a slow, clunky checkout process. Spending time streamlining your process is not only time well spent, but also money well saved. Here’s 20 ways to streamline your checkout process and make sure no cart gets left behind:

    1. Make it shorter

      The biggest mistake ecommerce sites make is having a lengthy checkout process. According to Baymard Institute, the average checkout flow for most websites is 24 elements, while the ideal number can be as low as 12-14. It can be tempting to use the opportunity to gain more information on your customers, but the reality is, the longer the form, the less likely the shopper will complete the purchase. Think about what information is really necessary and keep extra form fields to a bare minimum. Also be sure to cut out any unnecessary work for your customers. Offering a “Shipping address same as billing" option, and using the ZIP code to automatically fill in city and state are both great ways to save customers time.
    2. Make it faster

      Every second counts when it comes to your checkout flow. According to KISSmetrics40% of consumers will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, and one second of delay translates to a 7% decrease in conversions.
    3. Make it mobile-optimized, not just mobile-friendly

      Mobile ecommerce traffic is quickly overtaking desktop, which means your mobile checkout flow needs to be equally as good, if not better than your desktop flow. Make sure to simplify the mobile checkout process and consider even losing a few form fields to ensure that on-the-go customers don't become overwhelmed and abandon their cart.
    4. Keep it simple

      Your checkout page is not the time to be flashy. Once your customers make the decision to purchase, you should allow them to finish the transaction quickly and easily before they change their minds. Having a clean, simple, isolated, and intuitive interface that guides them seamlessly through the checkout process will prevent them from getting distracted and ensure they complete their purchase.
    5. Show a progress bar

      If you absolutely must have a multi-page checkout process, this is a great way to let shoppers visualize their progress and keep them from becoming frustrated and abandoning their purchase. 
    6. Show the final price before checkout

      Before checkout? Yes, you read that right. Increase your transparency with your customers by not hiding any costs on the back end. Unless your business relies on added fees for a profit, this strategy is a great way to separate you from the competition. 
    7. Provide a guest checkout option

      If you're forcing shoppers to create an account just to check out, you may be making a 300 million dollar mistake. Let your customers complete the purchase before prompting them to create an account so you don't risk abandonment. Since you've already obtained their information from the checkout process, all they need to is create a password.
    8. Allow social Login

      Social logins are the quickest way for your customers to create accounts. Instead of calling it “Registering,” call it “Logging in” to let customers know they won’t have to enter any new information or remember more passwords.

    9. Allow users to add to their carts after checking out

      If your customers' cart information gets deleted when they click the back button, they may get frustrated and abandon the purchase all together.
    10. Provide thumbnails of items in the cart

      Prevent any confusion when it comes to what’s in your customer’s cart by adding thumbnail images of the item. This will reassure them that they've selected the correct item and prevent them from having to go back and double check. 
    11. Allow multiple shipping options

      Some people want free shipping and don’t care how long it takes; some people need the item by tomorrow. Try to cater to all of your different customer’s needs.
    12. Clearly communicate shipping methods/costs up front

      Shoppers feel betrayed if they have to navigate through the checkout process just to even see shipping costs. Create transparency by communicating these things as early as possible in the checkout process.
    13. Allow shoppers to easily edit cart during checkout

      The fewer times your shoppers have to go back and forth between pages to accomplish what they want to do, the more likely they are to follow through with the purchase. Having simple buttons to remove items from the cart or add/subtract quantity will save them the hassle.
    14. Indicate field errors

      Don’t make your customers have to search for the part of the form they filled in incorrectly. Highlight the form field to make it easy to find and fix. Also, consider adding check mark icons next to each field in your form to indicate to your shoppers that they have filled it out correctly as they go.

    15. Save payment information for last

      Many shoppers are trying to gauge whether or not they actually want to purchase based on the shipping and tax fees. If they have to enter their card information before they can see the final total, they may become discouraged from buying.
    16. Allow multiple payment methods

      Sometimes consumers don't want to pull out their wallets and enter their card information. The more you can cater to your individual shopper's preferences, the more purchases you’ll capture. 
    17. Add security badges

      Obviously your website should be SSL secured, but don’t forget to go one step further and display security badges to give your customers peace of mind. This will also save them a Google search if they are having doubts about your reputability.
    18. Allow users to clearly review purchase before finalizing

      Let your customers make sure they are purchasing the right thing before they buy it. This increases trust and makes your customer feel good about the purchase,
    19. Let customers save carts or add to wishlist

      Understand that not every customer is actually ready to buy. Many online shoppers use shopping carts as wishlists, so be sure to let them save carts or create wishlists so they can come back when they’re ready.
    20. Provide a great return policy

      Sometimes all a customer needs is a great return policy to pull the trigger on a purchase. Develop a robust policy that makes sense for you, and then make sure to clearly show it during the checkout process.




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Topics: Ecommerce

Eric Hangartner

Written by Eric Hangartner