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Monday, 18 August 2014

How to get more customers to complete checkout on your ecommerce website – Part 1

Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on what makes a website great... it just feels ‘nice’ doesn’t it? This doesn’t happen by accident or by having better designers but by deciding to put user experience (UX) first.

In this article we’ll be sharing six techniques that really successful websites use to make their checkout experiences feel ‘nice’. If you can incorporate just some of these intentional user focused decisions in your website then you’ll be well on the way to seeing more checkout completions and fewer shopping cart abandonments.

Allow customers to checkout as a guest


Did you know that 25% of shoppers abandon their cart because of forced registration? That’s 25% of sales that have been lost. Even mentioning the word ‘register’ in your checkout is a bad idea because it makes some customers feel like they’re not in control of the checkout process.

Instead of making customers register as default, try offering the option for first time buyers to checkout as a guest and once they have completed their purchase then offer the option to register.

A website which does this well is ASOS.


Include secure payment information


We all want to know that the website we’re purchasing from is secure, especially if we’re using our mobile phone to access the website and buy.

Websites should display SSL certificates and logos ensuring security throughout the checkout process, not just on the payments page. And on the payments page there should be a short piece of text reassuring visitors that the website is secure.

Something else that we’ll mention is, make sure you also provide information on what exactly a security code or expiry date is. This is something that Quicksilver have done nicely.


Show customers their progress


Much of what we've talked about so far comes down to one thing: making the customer feel in control. Informing the customer where they are in the checkout process, what step is coming next and allowing them to navigate forwards and backwards through these steps hands them the reigns and relieves any worries they might have.

This can be effectively done in a process bar showing the checkout steps. Each step should be a clickable link in case the customer wants to go back and change anything.

We like the way Lakeland has done this and even included a brief sentence to let customers know what to expect from each stage.


Make your checkout mobile friendly


Sales completed on mobile devices grew by 94% from 2012 to 2013 and now account for more than 32% of all online sales.

In light of this and the fact that a mobile screen is so much smaller than a desktop screen, your checkout process has to be mobile friendly. This means keeping the design simple, using radio buttons and drop down menus where possible and only asking for the most essential information.

TopShop have a great mobile checkout which is easy and quick to follow, and it ticks all of the other best practises in this article.


Remove all distractions


It’s really important that there are no unnecessary navigation or exit points in your checkout process. Since you've worked so hard to get your customer to the point of buying, everything should be focused on moving your customer along the checkout process and not away from it. There should be a limited or no menu navigation. Only information relevant to encourage completion should be included, such as: guarantees, returns policy and delivery information.

Notonthehighstreet are a shining example of how to do this:


Offer customers complimentary products


Not only is this helpful to shoppers, it’ll increase your average transaction value. But you must up-sell in the right way by offering only the most relevant products. Apple is a great example of this they've kept it simple and still kept the continue button the most prominent on the screen.


Provide multiple payment options


PayPal is fantastic. Instead of having to rummage around for your card and type out the really long card number you can just enter your email address and hey presto the payment is made.
Wiggle not only provides the option of paying by card or PayPal, it also clearly explains what to expect and when to enter your PayPal details.


That's it for Part 1 of How to get more customers to complete checkout on your ecommerce website. Part 2 to follow next Monday.

Please share this post if you found it useful.

Thank you.

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