Monday 25 August 2014

How to get more customers to complete your website checkout – Part 2

Today, we’re continuing on with more practical advice on what you can do to see more customers complete checkout.

A lot of effort goes into actually getting a customer to a website. Just think about everything you’ve done as a business owner to get your name and product out there. This only makes it more frustrating when a significant proportion of these visitors start the checkout process but then never complete it.

In this blog post we’ll guide you through another 6 tips that will make your checkout process easier, more user friendly and streamlined.

Have a persistent shopping cart

This is top of the list of our recommendations today. A persistent shopping cart is one where the items will still be there if the shopper goes away or is in active for a while. It means that they can come back and easily make the purchase later on.

I left some shoes in the basket for a whole day on the Crocs website. And when I came back, they were right where I left them.

Make the primary button stand out

One key to easy checkout navigation is having a single, most prominent button on each page. This makes it clear to the user where they need to go intuitively. Where there are multiple options, the most important or desired action must be stronger. Being consistent with the design and positioning of this primary button will make your checkout navigation easy to use and intuitive.

Urban outfitters do this well. Everything on the page is monotone, except for the primary button which is bright blue. This is consistent throughout the checkout process.

Autofill address

If you’re an ecommerce store, all your customers really want is to have the right product in their hands. Anything that you can do to make that happen quicker and easier is of benefit to your business. This includes details as seemingly insignificant as whether you provide an autofill for their address after they’ve entered their post code. Equally important is allowing delivery details to be used as billing details. Time saving optimisations like this will become increasingly important as more and more users make online purchases using their mobile phones.

We like the way Firebox has kept the number of fields to a minimum, they'll find your address using your post code and they also autofill title and country. Sensible defaults like these save customers time and effort.

Provide helpful error messages

It’s more than a little frustrating when you go through the trouble of filling a form out, then you press submit but for some reason it’s not happy and wants you to fill it all out again. 

It’s really important that when there is an validation error, the correct information that the customer has typed is retained. Secondly, a useful error messages needs to be given. Often these messages are displayed at the top of the page, instead they need to be alongside the field containing the error as this makes is so much easier to spot and correct.

Schuh give concise and helpful error messages when something's not quite right.

Offer gift options

A huge proportion of our online shopping is for gifts. Just take Mother’s Day for example, 60% of gifts are bought online. With birthdays and anniversaries the need for gift wrapping options becomes obvious. 

It’s not just gift wrapping options that a customer might look for, they might want to conceal the price or include a ‘don’t open before [date]’ note. Implementing these considerations in your checkout process will make your customer feel valued because you thought about their needs.

Hotel Chocolat do this amazingly, not only do they offer you several gift options, they show you what they look like.

Display basket items

This keeps the user focused on the end goal – their shiny new thing. The Nike website displays the products being purchased throughout the checkout process, it’s nicely done with beautiful product imagery.

There are 6 more checkout optimisation tips in last week’s blog post, which you can read here. Enjoy!

Also, we’d love to know if any of you have implemented any of these recommendations and the impact it’s had on your conversion rate. Let us know by commenting further down.

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