8 Essential Features of Effective Ecommerce Checkout Pages

By Cristina Ferrandez on March 09, 2017

You know these customers: they browse your site, add items to their cart, navigate to your checkout page and then, inexplicably, disappear never to return again.

If you’re wondering why your customers are leaving your site without converting, we can help. In this article we compile the 8 top tips to make your checkout pages as efficient as possible, so you can turn more of those hesitant visitors into conversions. We hope you find them useful.

1. Reduce the number of checkout steps

Making your checkout process as simple as possible is the best way to increase conversions. Whether this involves reducing the number of checkout steps or simply the amount of information required of customers is up to you, and each has its pros and cons.

Generally, a one-page checkout will be favoured by customers. However, this can pose limitations in terms of how much information you can collect from them before they drop off. For example, with a multiple step checkout you could capture customers’ contact information right at the start, even if they drop off during later checkout steps.

If capturing that information is a top priority, a 2-step checkout process could be the right option for you. The key thing is to ensure that you only require whatever information is absolutely necessary to make the process as seamless as possible.

2. Reduce the number of form fields

One of the ways you can significantly simplify your checkout process is by reducing the number of form fields that customers are required to fill out. Your forms should really only ask the most essential information:

  • Name
  • Mailing address
  • Email address
  • Payment details
  • Shipping details

Other than reducing the amount of information, there are other things you can do to simplify the process, such as automatically generating field information where possible.

An example is shipping and billing addresses. More often than not, these two addresses match, so why not give your customers the option to simply check a box and avoid having to enter the information twice?

The same applies to zip/postal codes. A convenient option might be to allow customers to enter it and automatically generate addresses that match that code in a drop-down menu.

3. Make account creation optional

An element that often leads to drop-offs is the need to create an account in order to make a purchase. Make no mistake; many customers will see this as a burdensome and unnecessary step that will only drag on the purchase experience.

A way of avoiding this is offering customers the option to check out as guests. That way all they need to do is enter their payment details, and they’re done. No annoying emails or confirmation links involved.

Another option is to place the registration option at the end of the purchase process, instead of the start. For example, you could place it on the confirmation or thank you page. This way you can ensure that those customers who are interested in returning to your site in the future are able to do so more easily.

If your aim is to get as many people as possible to create customer accounts, also avoid requiring too much information of them. A customer account shouldn’t be treated as a lead generation channel, but instead as a tool to provide your customers with a positive experience.

Making it easy but convenient for customers to create accounts will allow you to build up your mailing list and to nurture and encourage them to return as customers in the future.eCommerce checkout

4. Implement upselling and cross-selling

Checkout pages offer perfect opportunities to generate additional revenue through upselling and cross-selling. You can do this by offering customers the option to upgrade to more expensive versions of your product, or to purchase additional ones.

Displaying the upgraded or recommended products as one of the steps of the checkout process can be an effective way of doing this. You can also increase the attractiveness of the offers by giving them credibility, for example through “most popular” tags, positive reviews or discount offers.

A great way to up your cross-selling game is to take advantage of personalization tools. Personalization can automatically make relevant product recommendations based on categories, increasing the chance that customers will find that particular recommendation useful and make a purchase.

5. Ensure your checkout is mobile-friendly

Mobile commerce will account for 45% of total U.S. Ecommerce sales by 2020, so it’s essential to ensure that your Ecommerce site caters to these customers. If your checkout process is not mobile-friendly and easy to complete on any device, customers will simply drop off.

On the other hand, mobile checkout should never exclude any of the options or capabilities of the desktop site, such as product variants. The mobile commerce experience should be identical to the desktop one in terms of the ability to browse, purchase and pay for products.

6. Offer a variety of payment options

Increasing your checkout’s efficiency is ultimately about meeting your customers’ needs, whatever these may be. This includes ensuring that they are able to pay in whatever way is most convenient for them, whether it’s their credit card, PayPal or Apple Pay.

By providing additional options other than debit or credit card payments, you can spare your customers one of the most annoying parts of the online shopping experience: finding their wallet. Debit and credit card payments also require entering a billing and shipping address, which is just another obstacle between your customer and conversion. The faster your customers are able to complete their purchase, the more likely they are to make it.

7. Ensure a modern design

Possibly the biggest concern about online shopping that customers experience is security. Customers want to feel reassured that the sites they are shopping on are secure and that their credit card details are safeguarded.

Your site’s design can have a huge impact on your customers’ perception of your site’s security. An outdated-looking site will give customers the impression that your security is also outdated and will lead to a lot of them dropping off without purchase.

By ensuring your checkout pages are modern and responsive you can set your customers’ minds at ease and significantly increase conversions.

8. Provide round-the-clock support

One of the most frustrating online shopping experiences is attempting to make a purchase but being unable to complete it. Although more often than not this will lead to users dropping off, you could go a long way by offering live support (via chat or phone) whenever these issues do arise, as many customers will be happy to remain on your site if the issue can be solved promptly.

What’s more, providing this kind of customer support just when the customer needs it most will give them a very positive experience that may encourage them to return to your site in the future.

Do you have any other tips for effective Ecommerce checkout pages? Let us know in the comments!

 

If you would like to find out more about how Agility CMS can help you, request a free demo now.

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By Cristina Ferrandez| March 09, 2017
Categories:  Blog posts

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