You can do all the conversion rate optimisation in the world but to ensure sales you need to make sure your checkout process is as user-friendly as it possibly can be. If they can’t navigate the basket, checkout and payment steps then they will ultimately drop out and likely go elsewhere, making the rest of your CRO efforts a waste of time.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at the different elements to a good checkout process that not only helps us with our conversion process but helps our customer know exactly where they are in their buying journey.
So we’ve made the decision, we’re going to purchase that designer bag we’ve been lusting over all Summer, let’s hit confirm and PAY! Oh… I have to sign up for an account… We’ve all been there, especially when you’re trying to purchase something in a hurry when the dreaded ‘not signed up?’ button appears. It’s, of course, a great idea to get users to register, but let them do it in their own time without creating a barrier to them actually making a conversion. You’re only making it harder for yourselves! ASOS are known for their simple, speedy and secure checkout process but it took years of monitoring how people were using their site to get it right. One thing they eventually removed was the sign-up-to-purchase rule – they know have a quick-pay option to just go through to payment and then offer the option to register. When they removed the registration barrier, ASOS saw a reduction in their checkout abandonment rate by 50%! Give customers a choice and let them decide after they’ve purchased.
I don’t know about you, but I’m quite protective of my personal details, especially when it comes to the data which collects my bank details! It’s important to make a customer feel reassured when entering such personal details (though we do it daily), so having a trust or SSL seals on your checkout page will only help customers feel safe and inclined to carry on putting their details in with you. In a study by Baymard Institute, they found that a Norton Certificate was the badge that gave users the best sense of trust when paying online, but having any security seal will likely help users feel safe.
I think it’s safe to assume that most people hate filling out forms, even more so when they’re seemingly never ending! Make them as easy and quick to fill out as possible and only take the relevant data you really need. A good way to split up the process is to get personal details first. This should cover name, email address, and personal address at a minimum. Delivery details will obviously take any different shipping details to your billing address but to speed things up, make sure there is an option for ‘billing address same as shipping address’ to easily eliminate this step. Finally, end with payment details, making sure to display all payment options that are available and if there are any fees that could incur with credit cards, for example. Not only does this help the customer know where they are in the checkout process, but if a customer drops off on the delivery form or payment form, you’ve already collected their details on the first page – you can then do some clever remarketing to try and get them to return back to their basket and complete the purchase. Make sure that required fields are clearly marked so people don’t skim over them and get stopped when trying to progress with error messages too (a personal pet peeve)!
It’s helpful to remind users of the contents in their baskets alongside the price and total cost of an order. It will eliminate the hassle to leave the checkout and find the item’s price elsewhere on the site. Keep this a constant on all points of the checkout process, ideally in a scrolling box to the side of the form like the example below from Hunter.
So you’ve optimised your checkout process the best you can, now it’s time to see if those changes have had an effect. Make sure you have a Conversion Funnel goal set up in Google Analytics for your checkout. This will show you when and from what page your customers are entering the basket phase from and how they make their journey through the process to payment and confirmation. Alongside this, it’s worth setting up some sort of page monitoring software, such as HotJar, so you can see how customers are moving, scrolling and clicking across your checkout pages. If they exit the checkout before they get to payment, the funnel and monitoring software can help you determine the steps that may be causing them trouble or confusion or if something is turning them off from the page altogether. From there, you can analyse what is causing a drop-off and fix any further issues to help give your customers the smoothest journey to buying your products.
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