With the advancement in online automation and technology, ecommerce is skyrocketing.
Today, there are more than 1.3 billion websites worldwide. From needles to toys and baby stuff to high-power aircraft engines and premium products, you can buy everything online with a few clicks only.
But as they say, all that glitters is not gold. Despite having high traffic, many online businesses still generate revenues below their expectations. That is perhaps the biggest reason why many prospects leave your online store without purchasing anything.
Have you ever wondered what causes those buyers to leave your store without buying anything?
The Ecommerce checkout process is the most critical element of your conversion funnel that helps your warm leads convert into paying customers.
Since this step is so crucial, any loophole in it can cost your business a lot. We have created this post to explain 10 ways to optimize shopping cart and ecommerce checkout processes.
Besides that, we will also highlight the ecommerce checkout best practices and things you should or should not do to reduce your cart abandonment ratio and increase profit margins.
What Is A Checkout Page?
A checkout page is very similar to the checkout counter of your local departmental store. You go there with a cart filled with your favorite items, ask a counter guy to process your bill, make a payment, and leave.
An ecommerce checkout process is the last stage of your sales funnel - a step where actual conversion takes place. Without optimizing shopping carts, your customers will have a hard time completing the checkout process.
Types Of Checkout Pages
Check out pages come in two types:
Single-page checkout, as its name suggests, consists of a one-page checkout process only.
This type has gained massive popularity because they do not require customers to navigate through different pages.
While a single-page checkout helps customers complete their transactions within minutes, the only downside is designing and creating such pages can be a nightmare and may even result in cart abandonment due to a cluttered page design.
The multi-page ecommerce checkout process involves multiple pages that your customers have to navigate before they complete their checkout process.
While one-page checkout pages are more popular, various studies prove that the multi-page checkout process is equally effective and beneficial.
The multi-page ecommerce checkout process enables marketers to collect valuable user data. Also, these pages are simpler to design and operate.
It may, however, be disheartening for the customers to spend more time on their purchase, sometimes even resulting in a buyer abandoning a site because of a long and tedious checkout process.
Before we explain the top 10 ways to optimize shopping carts, it is important to identify the reasons that force people to abandon their carts and leave your store without buying anything.
Why Do People Abandon Their Carts?
Hidden Costs And High Delivery Charges
Many people abandon their carts because of the hidden costs and taxes they were not aware of in the beginning. Modern customers are clever, and they expect stores to be transparent about everything upfront - be it ecommerce returns, refunds, delivery costs, or taxes.
To avoid this issue, make sure you clearly communicate all costs upfront. Your product pages are the best place where you can showcase this info.
Unavailability Of Guest Checkout Option
Building your email list is critical. But using your ecommerce checkout process for this purpose can do more harm than good.
So, instead of asking your buyers to create an account on your website, allow them to checkout using a guest checkout option. Doing so will not only save them time but represents a professional image of your business.
A Long And Complex Checkout Process
If you think your customers will happily spend hours on your checkout pages to pay for the stuff t
Convenience is the very essence of online shopping. So having a long and tedious checkout process is one of the many reasons customers abandon a site.
If your site isn't secure or you're asking too many questions about your customer's financial or personal details, it won't take them a minute to change their minds and leave your website.
So, make sure you stick to the basics and make every possible effort to secure your site as much as possible.
Limited Shipping And Payment Options
Every customer is different and so are their preferences. Some prefer to pay through PayPal, while others find it convenient to use Google Pay to clear their bills.
No matter what payment option your customers will choose for themselves, make sure you have that option handy on your website.
Similarly, you should also have different delivery options available on your website. The key here is to provide your customers with as many options as possible.
Absence Of A Return And Refund Policy
There is nothing worse than converting prospects only to see them return and ask for refunds. But regardless of how much you dislike it, returns and refunds are part of the process.
So, make sure you have a solid return and refund policy handy before you even think about taking your website live. Also, do not try to hide it under different options. Remember, businesses that flaunt their policies with pride gain more customer attention and build trust.
Having a slow website is another reason customers hit the back button and move to your competitor's websites. Moreover, get ready to face cart abandonment if your ecommerce checkout process fails to cater to the needs of mobile users.
Top 10 Ways To Optimize Your Online Shopping Cart And Checkout
1. Detailed Order Summary
As discussed above, modern customers are smart. The only way to lure such clever buyers is to offer them complete transparency about what they're going to order and at what prices.
The checkout process. You can either show that in a separate tab or as a popup, including details about:
The name/image of each item they have ordered
Pricing, including shipping costs, taxes, discounts, etc
The amount payable in their local currency
2. Add Live Chat Or Email Assistance
Many studies prove that having a live chat/email assistance feature on ecommerce checkout pages increases conversions.
With live chat, you can instantly clear your customer's doubts and provide them with all the necessary and relevant information about a product, pricing, shipping, and more.
This may not be a big deal for your buyers if they're buying low-priced items. But if you're selling high-ticket products, such as laptops or smart devices, your buyers may well be interested in knowing about the details.
3. Include Trust Seals And Security Badges
An Econsultancy survey report reveals that security seals are the single most critical factor for winning buyer's trust and confidence.
In some cases, they even matter more than friends' recommendations and peer reviews. You can collaborate with many data security and virus scan companies, including Norton SECURED, McAfee SECURE, GeoTrust, Trustwave, and more.
Showcase these badges and any other quality certifications you hold on your checkout pages as they help build trust.
It's also critical to acquire an SSL certificate for your website if you want to maintain trust throughout.
4. Add Action-Driven CTAs
Your checkout pages provide you with an opportunity to guide your customers about where they should go next to maintain engagement with your brand.
Add action-driven call-to-actions (CTAs) that will show your customers a path toward completing their transactions.
This is the step where you can show your creativity and demonstrate that money-earning isn't your sole objective.
Instead of choosing those run-of-the-mill CTAs like 'confirm', and 'Buy Now', choose out-of-the-box ideas that will capture your customer's attention and keep them coming back for more.
5. Enable Social Sign-In
Enabling social login is another ecommerce checkout best practice that will speed up the registration process and allow your customers to complete the checkout process in the shortest amount of time possible.
By registering through social accounts, your customers not only will save time but also feel motivated to visit your store again.
6. Use A Simple Checkout Page Design
While optimizing shopping carts, pay attention to information hierarchy and the placement of buttons, fields, and CTAs.
Remember, when it comes to designing and optimizing checkout pages, less is always more. Avoid any possible confusion by decluttering your page design and removing elements that could possibly cause any distractions.
Highlight important information with popping colors, such as red or blue. Similarly, use a bright color to distinguish CTAs. Also, use lines wherever essential to structure the overall layout and design of your checkout pages.
7. Enable Auto-Save
Sure, many customers abandon their carts due to poor user experience and complicated checkout pages.
But these are not the only reasons why customers abandon your site.
Sometimes they have something more important to do, or they want to check out and compare other options before making a final decision.
Having an 'Auto Save' feature enabled on your site will give your customers a chance to resume their purchase without wasting time on finding and researching products again.
8. Show Reviews
According to Qualtrics, 93% of customers read reviews before buying anything online. Customer reviews act as social proof that gives your customers the confidence to invest their hard-earned money in your products and services.
Ecommerce checkout pages are a perfect spot where you can flaunt those reviews and prove to your visitors that many people are already buying your products and liking them.
There are many ways you can display those reviews. For instance, you can showcase them in the form of testimonials or ratings or can also publish them in the form of videos if you have already earned a few video testimonials from your previous clients.
9. Include A Progress Bar
Another ecommerce checkout process best practice is to include a progress bar on the order page.
The purpose of the progress bar is to let customers track the current status of their orders.
Whether you're using a single-page checkout or a multi-page checkout process, having a progress bar on your order pages can always be beneficial.
The bar usually includes four steps, including 'choose your product,' 'choose your payment method,' 'enter details,' and 'confirm the order.'
In a nutshell, integrating a progress bar on your checkout pages will improve the user experience and help your customer move to the next step as quickly as possible.
10. Send Post-Payment Confirmation With A Thank-you Note
Never let your customers leave without viewing a confirmation message with a thank you note.
Some brands send this as a follow-up email once a customer confirms an order on their website. Sure, you can send an order confirmation email containing information about 'items purchased,' 'pricing,' 'estimated time of delivery,' and other details. But showing a quick popup on your website immediately after a customer purchases a product can go a long way.
Today's ecommerce businesses are all about providing a seamless customer journey. By focusing on these simple yet amazingly effective tips, you can motivate your buyers to revisit your website and do repeat business with your brand.