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The checkout is one of the most critical moments in the eCommerce experience. In order to incentivize customers to checkout, you need to create an effective marketing campaign. You can then inspire those customers to jump into a purchase as you excite them with details about your products. However, all those efforts can be fruitless if your checkout process is less than desirable.
Every eCommerce platform needs to give particular importance to streamlining the checkout process. You must make it easy for people to complete their orders and ensure they don't change their minds at the last minute. To help you prevent any issues from turning customers away once you've captured them, consider the following eCommerce checkout best practices.
Checkout abandonment is the situation when a customer adds items to their online shopping cart but leaves the platform without completing the purchase. This phenomenon is common in e-commerce and is often caused by factors such as complicated checkout processes, unexpected costs, security concerns, or lack of preferred payment options.
Checkout abandonment is important for businesses because it affects key aspects of their performance and growth:
Checkout abandonment is important because it directly impacts a business's revenue. When customers abandon their carts, potential sales are lost, which can negatively affect the overall profitability of an e-commerce website. Understanding and addressing the reasons behind checkout abandonment can help businesses improve their conversion rates and increase revenue.
Reducing checkout abandonment is crucial for customer retention and satisfaction. When customers have a smooth and seamless checkout experience, they are more likely to return and make repeat purchases. Additionally, satisfied customers are more likely to recommend the business to their friends and family, contributing to a larger customer base and enhanced brand reputation.
A high checkout abandonment rate often indicates issues with the user experience, such as a complicated checkout process, slow-loading pages, or poor website navigation. Identifying these issues and improving the overall user experience can result in a lower checkout abandonment rate and a more positive shopping experience for customers.
In the highly competitive e-commerce landscape, businesses need to constantly optimize their websites and services to stay ahead of the competition. By addressing checkout abandonment and improving the checkout process, businesses can provide a superior shopping experience to their customers, giving them a competitive edge in the market.
Analyzing checkout abandonment can provide businesses with valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. This data can be used to make data-driven decisions and refine marketing strategies, website design, and product offerings to better cater to the needs and expectations of the target audience.
Customers abandon the checkout for various reasons, some of which include:
Customers may abandon the checkout if the process is too lengthy or complex, requiring multiple steps or excessive information. Streamlining the checkout process can reduce the chances of customers leaving midway.
Hidden or additional costs, such as shipping fees and taxes, that appear during the checkout process may lead customers to abandon their carts. Being transparent about all costs upfront can help minimize this issue.
Shoppers may be hesitant to complete a purchase if they feel that their personal or financial information is not secure. Ensuring a secure checkout experience by implementing measures like SSL certificates and trust badges can help alleviate such concerns.
If customers cannot find their preferred payment method during checkout, they may choose to abandon their cart. Offering multiple payment options, including popular digital wallets and local payment methods, can cater to a wider audience and reduce abandonment.
Slow-loading pages, broken links, or technical errors during the checkout process can frustrate customers and lead to abandonment. Regularly monitoring and optimizing website performance can help create a smoother shopping experience.
Customers may abandon their carts if they are uncertain about the store's return, exchange, or shipping policies. Clearly displaying this information and offering flexible policies can help build customer confidence and encourage them to complete the purchase.
Sometimes customers add items to their cart but decide to explore other websites to compare prices or product features before making a purchase. Offering competitive pricing and highlighting unique product features or benefits can help to minimize this type of abandonment.
To optimize the e-commerce checkout process and reduce abandonment rates, consider implementing the following best practices:
1. Provide simple checkout process
2. Offer multiple payment options
3. Letting customers check out seamlessly with in-Story checkout will convert more people
4. Display security badges and use SSL certificates
5. Provide clear order summaries
6. Implementing guest checkout will convert more people
7. Save customer information for later visits
8. Make the checkout mobile-friendly
9. Use progress indicators to let customers know how many steps have left
Your checkout process should be easy and painless to get through, which will keep people moving along. The last thing people want is to encounter page after page of forms requesting their information or trying to upsell them. If shoppers find moving along the checkout process to be a headache, they may change their minds and neglect to buy your products. It'll be especially possible for new customers to do so if they're not familiar with your products and don't already trust them.
There are plenty of ways to simplify the checkout process and move people toward a purchase with ease, such as:
Cart abandonment is a huge issue in the eCommerce space, and not offering enough payment methods is a big reason for high abandonment rates. Specifically, Shopify found that around 7% of abandoned carts are due to the eCommerce brands that didn't offer enough payment options.
Shoppers want to be able to easily pay using their preferred payment methods. If they want to pay via credit card, they should be able to easily enter their card details. Maybe they prefer PayPal, Google Pay, or Apple Pay. If orders are particularly large, people might also want a "buy now, pay later" option, which is becoming increasingly popular today.
By offering multiple payment options to your customers, you give them the versatility they expect when making online orders. This creates an even more seamless checkout experience that maximizes conversions and sales.
In general, ecommerce checkout process consists of about 7 main steps; browse products, add items to shopping cart, add billing info, add shipping info, preview order, payment and confirmation. This long and burdensome process is definitely not what customers need. The perfect checkout process needs to be frictionless and convenient for the customer so that they actually complete the purchase without dropping off. An essential feature that can help optimize the eCommerce checkout process is Storyly's In-Story checkout feature. It allows brands to elevate their shopping experiences with a unique, single-tap checkout solution. The feature solves the problem of encouraging shoppers to complete purchases in crowded digital environments that might otherwise distract them. As brands incorporate video Stories to a seamless purchase process, they can find a chance to improve both engagement and conversion metrics.
With in-Story checkout, shoppers simply add items to their carts, select among options like color, size or quantity, and pay using their preferred method, all without leaving the Story that holds users' attention from start to finish. In turn, shoppers can get what they want without any hassle and frustration, while marketers can target those micro-moments that are critical in appealing to demand. This fun, fast and friendly checkout process ultimately eliminates barriers to conversion such as account creation or payment entry.
In short, if you want to make sure your brand is capable of truly connecting with shoppers and bringing them to the end of the buyer's journey, In-Story checkout is the tool to have in your kit.
Security is a huge concern among online shoppers today, as people are now more aware than ever of the risks of entering information online. It's to the point where 59% of shoppers want some type of guarantee that their data is secure before buying online.
You can give your customers this guarantee by obtaining and displaying your security badges and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates on your website. If people simply see that little padlock and "https://" in the URL bar, that can go a long way in bringing people through to a purchase.
When shoppers are ready to finalize their orders, they may want to double-check to make sure everything is what they expect it to be. They won't want to see any unexpected add-ons to their orders or fees that sneak up on them in the end. The latter issue can be a sure way to get people to abandon the checkout process.
As people are about to complete an order, provide them with a clear order summary that details what they're paying for and how much they'll pay. Include each item and corresponding price, including any shipping fees and others that shoppers might otherwise question. If possible, update the order summary in real time with each item added to their order before checkout, which can further eliminate surprises during checkout. For example, as a customer goes through and adds items to their cart, an un-intrusive side pop-up could display the order summary, including how the addition impacts any fees.
I get that most eCommerce brands will want people to create accounts with them—what better way to keep people engaged and maximize retention than getting them to become members with accounts in your system? However, not everyone will want to take the time to create an account on your platform, especially if they're not quite sure whether they can trust your brand or the quality of your offerings. For these people, you may need to build a bit of a rapport before they're willing to become loyal members with an account. Some people also simply don't want to go through the hassle of creating an account when they're eager to make a quick purchase.In fact, a study found that up to %70 of customers shop in “micro-moments” while doing their everyday tasks. Businesses can target micro-moments to reach to customers who don’t want to spend too much time while browsing on their mobile devices.
Consider offering a guest checkout option for those more reluctant or rushed customers. Simply allow people to sign up or log in with a convenient field and include a "Checkout as a Guest" button that takes people to a separate form. Doing so will help you convert a lot more people who just aren't ready to commit to your platform. However, if you leave those guest customers satisfied with their order, and they return as repeat customers, you'll be more likely to convert them into account holders on your platform.
Shoppers may visit many eCommerce platforms and enter their information on each one, which can become repetitive and annoying. People can grow tired of entering and re-entering their personal and contact information, payment details, and shipping and billing addresses. You can ease this pain point by simply allowing your customers to save their information.
Once customers initially enter their payment and other information, allow them to save this information for later use. When those customers return, they'll find the checkout process to be even simpler than it was, bringing them through to order even faster. As a result, you're likely to see more customers come back to you, maximizing repeat orders.
Mobile optimization is an absolute must in today's eCommerce environment. There are so many mobile users out there who regularly use their smartphones and tablets to engage with brands at every level. They use these devices to learn about brands, conduct more in-depth research, and make buying decisions. They also use those devices to complete their orders in many cases.
Recent data found that the number of mobile commerce (mCommerce) sales are steadily increasing as people order more on mobile platforms. Insider Intelligence expects these sales to total 43.4% of all eCommerce sales this year, which is a considerable increase from 41.8% last year. As the Insider Intelligence report also states, this increased mobile usage will lead to an even bigger focus on mobile for eCommerce brands. To thrive in your industry, you'll want to give your mobile customers easy-to-use experiences that make it easy to complete an order.
You can take advantage of mCommerce in a few key ways for your eCommerce platforms. First, ensure your eCommerce website is mobile-friendly with responsive elements. Your site should offer the same user-friendly experience across all platforms. Also, consider creating a mobile app for your brand if you haven't already, as this can drive even more mobile engagement.
Finally, create a mobile-friendly checkout process that makes it easy for mobile customers to complete each order. Include clear calls-to-action and a simple checkout form that eliminates any potential hassle that might otherwise detract from the mobile experience. This can go a long way in appealing to your mobile customer base as you encourage purchases anytime, anywhere.
While you would ideally have a single-page checkout process to completely streamline the checkout process, this isn't always possible. Most checkout processes consist of two or more pages that the customer will need to go through before completing a purchase. These pages may request information about the customer, or they could include last-minute upsells recommending relevant add-on purchases. Regardless of the length of your checkout process, you should indicate to shoppers how long it will take before they reach the end.
You can let people know how much longer they have to go with a progress bar or another type of progress indicator. This seemingly simple feature can indicate the difference between conversion and abandonment. As soon as people enter the checkout process, you can show them where they are and how much farther they have to go, letting people know what to expect in terms of checkout length.
The psychology of the progress bar is an interesting thing, as research has shown. Although you don't want to necessarily deceive shoppers into thinking they're farther along than they are, a progress bar can give people a sense of real momentum. Applying this to your checkout process can help you increase conversions in the long term as you harness the power of this invaluable tool.
These eCommerce checkout best practices can help you get the most from your eCommerce platform by exceeding customers' expectations. By simplifying the checkout process, adding guest checkout options, offering multiple payment options, and incorporating other features, you'll be a superstar in your industry. You'll encourage more people to complete the checkout process and become loyal customers, whether they're using computers or mobile devices to complete their purchases.
If you want to impress your customers with a streamlined conversion solution, consider integrating Storyly’s In-Story checkout solution. Book a call today to find out more about it.