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  • Writer's pictureBoris Mustapic

7 Ways to Improve Your Ecommerce Checkout Process

As much as 69.57% of all online shopping carts are abandoned (Baymard). While shoppers abandon their shopping carts for a variety of reasons, some of which will be out of your control, there’s plenty of things you can do to improve your conversion rate and get more of your visitors to complete their purchase.

Here are seven ways you can improve your checkout process and generate more sales.

Ask for shoppers’ email address early

While this is a guide on improving your checkout process and lowering your cart abandonment rate, you’ll inevitably have shoppers who’ll abandon their cart without making a purchase. It’s crucial that you collect these shoppers’ email addresses early in the checkout process so that you can remarket to them later on through email.

If possible, make entering an email address the first thing shoppers need to do to start checking out.

Ask for shoppers' email address early in the checkout process

Don’t overcomplicate

In general, you should strive towards making your checkout process quick and easy. With the average checkout form having twice as many fields than are necessary (Baymard), there’s probably going to be plenty of room for improvement in your own checkout form.

Make sure your checkout form includes only those fields that are necessary to complete a purchase. Don’t make your shoppers enter huge amounts of unnecessary information and risk having them leave before buying.

A few fields that are common on ecommerce checkout forms but that can be omitted in most cases include the Salutation, Company Name, and Address Line 2 fields. If you use two separate fields for the customers’ first and last name, consider merging these to simplify things for your customers.

Simple checkout form

You can make it easier for shoppers to enter their shipping details by using an address lookup service. The way this type of service works is by suggesting potential addresses once customers start typing in their own.

You should enable customers to select to use their billing information as their shipping information with a single click. Implement more radio buttons and drop-down lists into your checkout form so that customers don’t have to do a lot of typing to complete it.

Additionally, don’t make customers choose the type of credit card they have (e.g., Visa or MasterCard) when they want to enter their credit card number. Have your website automatically recognize the type of card once customers enter their card number. Allow customers to save their credit card details so they’ll have an easier time making another purchase.

Remove distractions

Since all you want shoppers to do once they get to your checkout page is complete their purchase, you should try to remove anything that might distract them.

Start by getting rid of any navigational links you might have in your checkout page’s header and footer. This will prevent shoppers from wandering off to other pages on your website. After doing that, go on to remove anything else that might be a distraction (e.g., the search bar, banners, etc.).

Distraction-free checkout

Enable guest checkout

While requiring that visitors create an account before checking out can provide you with a lot of information that you can use to sell to them again and again, it’s also one of the main reasons why shoppers abandon their shopping carts.

In fact, as much as 37% of all abandoned shopping carts are abandoned because shoppers don’t want to create an account in order to check out (Baymard). Additionally, 48% of ecommerce businesses claim that enabling guest checkout was the biggest contributing factor to increasing their conversion rates (National Retail Federation).

All of this makes it clear that you should implement guest checkout on your ecommerce website.

Lowes' guest checkout

Don’t be afraid of not being able to collect any information on your customers; you can always ask them to create an account once they complete their purchase. You’ll already have most of their details after they make a purchase, so it will be very easy for them to create an account.

You can also automatically create accounts for your customers by randomly generating a password for their account and sending it to their email address.

Optimize your checkout for mobile devices

With 34.5% of all online purchases being made using mobile devices, it’s crucial that you do everything you can to make the shopping experience more comfortable for your mobile visitors.

When looking to optimize your checkout for mobile devices, you’ll need to keep in mind that desktop and mobile users will interact with your website differently.

Mobile users will be browsing your website by using their fingers. This means that you’ll need to ensure that all the major elements of your website can be reached by using thumbs only.

HM's mobile checkout

Typing is a lot harder on a mobile device than on a keyboard, so you’ll also need to find a way to make it easier for your mobile shoppers to enter their details. Depending on your website design, this might entail using a bigger font or enlarging buttons and input boxes.

Since mobile shopping is done on small screens, misclicks are a frequent occurrence. To reduce the number of misclicks shoppers make, make sure that there’s enough space between all the links and buttons on your website.

Don’t put focus on coupon codes

While coupon codes and discounts can be a great way to entice shoppers to make a purchase, they can also harm your business by conditioning your customers to always look for a discount before making a purchase.

They can also cause friction during the checkout process since most shoppers won’t actually have a coupon code when they get to your checkout page.

Shoppers who don’t have a coupon code might decide to leave the checkout page and look for a discount. If they don’t succeed in finding it, they might even give up on making a purchase.

Display the coupon code field at the bottom of the checkout form. You might also want to consider showing a coupon code on the checkout page so that shoppers don’t abandon checkout to go and look for it themselves.

Schuh's checkout downplaying coupon code area

Add live chat support

It’s been shown that as much as 73% of online shoppers prefer communicating with businesses through live chat. Offering live chat support on your checkout page is an excellent way to provide customers with quick answers they might need to complete their purchase.

It can help speed up the checkout process by providing shoppers with the information they need right then and there, instead of forcing them to wait 24 hours or more to get a reply to their email inquiry.

Live chat is also an opportunity for you to find out what are the most common questions that shoppers have about your products. This information can be very useful when looking to improve your website copy.

Rodd & Gunn's live chat support

Improve your checkout process

As an ecommerce business, you should constantly be working on improving your checkout process.

Have you used any of the seven tips outlined above to improve your checkout process? What kind of results have you seen?

Let us know in the comments.



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