The checkout process is the ultimate step in the process of completing online purchases. Evidence has shown that a well-planned checkout experience has the potential to significantly improve conversions.
Most successful online retailers partly owe their success to a well-planned checkout design. Their checkouts present to site visitors the opportunity to purchase more, they reward registered users and are more adaptive. You also can improve the checkout experience of your site’s visitors if you borrow a few tricks down here.
A “Best Practice” Shopping Cart Design
If you want to improve shoppers’ experience on your site, the shopping cart should be well designed. For example, when a shopper adds something to the cart, there should be clear confirmation that he has added something to the cart.
Most sites miss out on a great opportunity to improve conversions by failing to display a proper confirmation that a person has added something to their shopping cart, or by showing a tiny animation, or displaying a small confirmation text that is hard to notice.
Some online retailers make the cart appear with a small but noticeable animation. Including animation in the shopping cart design is a good strategy as the human eye often reacts to movement.
Besides, the animation is a cue that indicates the visitor has transitioned from being just a visitor to a buyer. The cart contents along with the checkout button should remain distinctly visible as well until the user clicks somewhere else.
The shopping cart design should be designed in such a way that it can display the cart contents well. The most common rules for displaying the contents of the shopping cart is clarity and control.
Control means that the shopper is able and can easily make changes to what is in the shopping cart by updating the quantity, or removing products he no longer wants. Clarity means that it is easy and obvious to understand what is in the cart as well as the final cost, taxes and if there any shipping charges.
If there are surprise or unforeseen costs down the line, shoppers may abandon their cart.
Giving Shoppers the Option to Continue Shopping
Most successful e-commerce stores offer customers the ample opportunity to continue shopping from the first page of the checkout process.
Best practices dictate that the ‘continue shopping’ button or link should be relatively small but visible all the same so as to grant interested shoppers the ability to add more products to their shopping carts without distracting them from checking out to make a purchase.
Make Registration Worthwhile
Amazon is the most recognized and most successful online retailer in the United States of America today. Its success is partly because it makes site registration worthwhile- for example, you’d need to register with the site before you can make a purchase.
If you are a logged in as an Amazon Prime user, you can purchase items with a single click, thus, making the purchase process a lot simpler and faster.
When you are not logged on Amazon, the checkout flow can take five clicks. That is a long time!
Quick tip: You can also use affiliate marketing as an alternative method for eCommerce with Amazon – this Fresh Store Builder review will show you in more detail.
In most other sites that have made site registration worthwhile, the checkout flow takes an average of about five to eight clicks- not counting clicks made to move between various form fields. In each case, registered users have fewer steps to complete to finalize the transaction.
Macy, for instance, offers an express checkout link and indicates that if users are registered, they can skip a significant portion of the normal checkout process.
Thus, new customers opt to register so as to have an express checkout option the next time they are shopping at the site.
Remind Shoppers about Shipping, Security, and Returns
Under the checkout button, remind people of how long it will take before they get their goods, how much shipping costs, and if the transaction is secure.
Ask for Credit Card Information Last
It is good practice to let people fill out the shipping information first before being asked for billing details.
That is in line with Cialdini’s principles of consistency and commitment that provide that the moment people begin doing something, they feel that they should finish it- especially since they have already provided their name, shipping information, and email.
The same thing applies to the form fields. Start with easier fields such as the name and email. The credit card number field should come last as it is the hardest.
Lastly, include a progress indicator
Checkouts are different in terms of complexity. Some have three steps, others six steps, others just one step, etc. Most customers would be aching to know how many steps are remaining before they finish the process.
Therefore, design your checkout well and you will increase the conversion rates on your site.