Simple techniques
to optimize your checkout process

The average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.57%, according to the Baymard Institute.

The big brands such as Walmart, Amazon, Wayfair, Crate & Barrel and ASOS gain an increase in the conversion rate of over 35% from cart optimisation and through a better checkout flow and design process.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Abandonment

Some customers, no matter how serious a buyer they appear to be or how much time they’ve spent on a particular page, will just not buy. You won’t be able to convert everyone from visitor to customer, but you’ll want to focus on the ones that you can.

Here are the top reasons for the highest rate of abandonment during checkout:

Extra costs too high (shipping, tax, fees)
The site wanted me to create an account
Too long/complicated checkout process
I couldn't see/calculate total order cost up-front
I didn't trust the site with my credit card information
The returns policy wasn't satisfactory
There weren't enough payment methods
The credit card was declined

There is massive potential to grab by improving your checkout process and ensure that those users complete their purchase journeys. The simple solution is to ensure that your checkout is fully optimised, allowing customers to make it easy to complete and finalise their purchases.

Checkout Page Optimizations Checklist:
  • Capture the User
  • Show Your Fees
  • Emphasise Payment Form Security
  • Uncomplicate Your Cart
  • Embrace the Power of Mobile
  • Optimise Your Checkout for Upsell and Cross-sell
  • Use Exit-intent pop-ups

Capture the User

The checkout process begins with user validation, i.e. grabbing your visitors’ email address. If you are really intent on capturing user data by having customers create an account, you should:

  • Allow them to check out as a guest first and offer account creation options afterwards.
  • Reiterate the ease of making an account after repopulating some of their checkout information on a registration form.
  • Offer quick password-less checkout by giving social media login options.

This will only require that they enter a password in order to create an account and customers may be more inclined to complete the process with the knowledge that they can register after purchase.

checkout optimization

Show Your Fees

Working with hidden costs is a huge problem for ecommerce as people normally want to see a final amount, rather than anything else. You should have a clear, customer-friendly return and refund policy without additional charges. Charging a nominal fee for delivery is more often than not, accepted in the larger society but when companies don’t display the fee until the very end, customers will quickly lose trust and want to stop the process immediately. The easiest way to prevent shipping cost surprises is to offer free shipping. If that’s not an option, consider the following:
  • a zip code/shipping calculator;
  • display tax costs;
  • display minimum order value on the ‘Review’ page;
  • state flat rate shipping on the product detail page.
optimized checkout

Emphasise Payment Form Security

Make your customers feel “more confident” while sharing their payment information during the checkout flow. Emphasize their security by visually reinforcing the credit card section.
  • Use trustworthy badges and logos such as Norton, Google TS, BBB, TRUSTe, or ‘Fake’ Seal to “look” or “feel” more secure.
  • Add visual cues such as a micro-copy, or a padlock icon.
  • Separate credit card fields with a different colour.
secured checkout

Uncomplicate Your Cart

Make sure that your checkout page isn’t overly complicated. The simpler that this process is, the more likely your customers will want to complete the process.
  • Have a plus and minus sign on each line of the cart so you can easily add multiples or remove products.
  • Use high-quality product images along with an outline of key information about the product (size, colour, etc.).
  • Make sure you can click the product if they need to go back to read about it.
  • Ensure the product is named appropriately so you can see it at a quick glance if needed.
  • Consider adding highlights on products such as Limited Stock, Fast-Selling or Best Seller as these increase the product’s perceived value to the eyes of the consumer.
optimized checkout process

Embrace the Power of Mobile

Many users will do a lot of browsing and purchasing on their mobile phones. According to this Invest infographic, mobile devices account for 27% of retail e-commerce sales in the US and there are over two billion transactions a year on average. Make sure that your customers don’t have any user interface issues and will be able to complete their actions quickly and easily.
  • Make sure that the mobile checkout page loads fast.
  • Allow autofill form with data previously collected.
  • Simplify the checkout form by reducing the required fields.
checkout account

Optimise Your Checkout for Upsell and Cross-sell

Customers are more likely to spend a little more on a product if they know they are getting the latest model. They’ll also pop something into their cart that they’ve been holding back on if it pushes them over a certain threshold to qualify for free shipping.
  • Offer free shipping if your customers spend a certain amount.
  • Suggest new items or the latest models.
  • Suggest your most reviewed or most sold products.
These types of incentives can make customers feel like they have received better deals and will often encourage them to return more often, especially if these types of offers are repeated.
checkout optimization

Use Exit-intent Pop-ups

Bring abandoning customers back! Exit-intent popups can help you to make one last-ditch effort to bring your abandoning customers back before they leave your site.
Socital has an easy-to-implement solution to bring back customers who are abandoning the checkout:
  • Socital’s triggering rules activate upon customers’ intention to leave the checkout without purchasing the products.
  • Display a real-time personalised message with competitive advantages for the customer to encourage completing the purchase.
  • Direct the customers back to the checkout page with a simple button.
Exit intent popup
These are just some of the quick changes that you can act in order to make a difference. Allowing your customers to get from the point of adding something to the basket, and completing the purchase is one of the most fundamentally vital aspects of ecommerce, so if there’s an interruption in that process, you are doing yourself a disservice.

See how you can create your first cart abandonment campaign
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