In the first part of our checkout optimization guide, we discussed the features that affect the process as a whole. In the second and final part, we will discuss some particular elements of the checkout process one by one.
1. Log-in/Registration/Guest checkout
Have you ever added an item to your cart, proceeded to checkout, realized you will have to register, and gave up on the purchase? Then you belong to the quarter of online shoppers who abandon their cart when they’re required to register. The smart thing to do in this step would be skipping the registration requirement, because you will already capture the user’s email address for order confirmation; you can then email the user with a link for account creation after the purchase.
As a best practice, all three options – log-in, registration, guest checkout - should be put on the first checkout step page. Better yet, rather than listing them one by one, you can merge these three options by only asking for the email address and if the user has a password or not. You can see Amazon’s checkout login with this method below.
Be sure to capture the email address of the user in the first step of checkout. This way, even if the cart is abandoned, you can send the user a reminder email and increase your chances of conversion.
2. Address and name
How many fields should you provide for entering the address? One field for postal code, one field for city, one field for county and three separate lines for the address? If you have too few fields, the customer might stress about squeezing their address into the lines. If you have too many fields, the customer might think you’re asking for more information than you need. The best solution seems to have a single multi-line field, where the user can enter their address in a format they’ll decide. You might want to capture particular elements of the address for segmentation uses, such as the postal code, and you can do this easily by using a regular expression.
3. Delivery and gift options
The main requirement for delivery and gift options is that they need to be very clear, and the customer should be able to see their options with prices. Shipping or pick-up-in-store options should be the first thing to ask, then the user can select different shipping options such as speed and time-slot.
Gift wrapping is a convenient option for the user and gives the seller a chance to upsell. Showing a detailed image of the gift box or a wrapped product will help with convincing the customer of its quality and attractiveness.
4. Payment Information
Payment page shouldn’t mean where the user sees their total price for the first time – payment details and options should already be available on every page of checkout! This page is where the user enters their payment information. The most important optimization in this page is detecting the credit card type automatically, so that you can show the extra fields or installment options specific for that card type.
Voucher or coupon code field should also appear on this page (in addition to the cart page), so that the user has a second chance to enter their codes.
5. Order summary
Order summary must be very clear for the user before completing the purchase. There should be no doubt about the products, shipping information or form of payment. If your checkout has an order summary on every page of the process, you can directly have the user complete the order on the payment information page. If you don’t, then an order summary page should be shown after the payment information page. At this stage, the distractions such as editing buttons and links should be minimum; the only thing you want is for the user to complete the purchase!
6. Order confirmation
On this page, the user should first see a “Thank You for Your Order”. Then a summary of the order should be given: Order number and date, items purchased, email and delivery address, and total payment. Order confirmation page should be assisted by an order confirmation email. In this email, the user should be informed about the cancellation policy and how to cancel the order, legal name and address of the seller, and after-sale services or guarantees.
A clear message that the purchase has been successful should be given at the top of both the page and the email.
The checkout process is the first place to look at when optimizing your ecommerce website. With the above best practice tips about checkout optimization, your conversion rates will go up in no time.
We know that optimizing your checkout can be hard, so you can contact us with questions and inquiries by filling out our contact form.
Daphne Digital is a marketing consultancy that is experienced in online marketing channels performance, user experience and business intelligence.