How to optimize the checkout process

How to optimize the checkout process
20 . November . 2019
  • Digital Marketing
  • e-commerce

Shopping online can be a wonderful experience. There’s no need to leave the comfort of our house, all the items are organized in one place, products in different shops can be quickly compared and with the bonus of choosing the most convenient place for deliver. But it can also be a very frustrating experience if the process is not well-designed.

To avoid frustration and make online shopping fast, simple and enjoyable, BloomIdea provides the four great steps to optimize the checkout of your e-commerce platform.

1. Prepare the website for mobile platforms

A mobile website- that is, adapted for mobile platforms such as smartphones- is not just a smaller version of the website. The user experience must be completely different!

Online purchases are increasingly made on mobile phone. This implies seriously thinking about optimizing the mobile e-commerce website, which you can do in the following ways:

Design for touch, not for mouse

Text and images should be larger, with buttons suitable for finger size. The average size of a thumb is 25 mm, corresponding to 72 pixels, while the average length of the index finger is between 16 mm (45 pixels) and 20 mm (57 pixels).

Take numeric fields into account

When filling in fields such as credit card number or phone number, only the numeric keyboard can appear. This way, we prevent the user from filling in the field incorrectly.

Compress images

Since many users visit the websites using the Internet of their mobile network plan, it’s necessary to compress the images on the website as much as possible. This ends up saving on mobile data and brings the great added advantage of making the website much faster at navigation level.

2. Be visually appealing

Design is one of the main aspects to consider. The first impression of the user has a great impact on his decision to continue there or to look for a more appealing website. To ensure that your website makes the best possible first impression, it’s important to take into account the following standards:

  • Keep the website simple and modern;
  • Add color to the options that should really be highlighted;
  • Add small animations at the right dose: they’ll draw the client’s attention at the crucial moment;
  • Have a visual hierarchy, organize the information very well so that the reading is fluid;
  • Create icons that can replace or emphasize some actions;
  • Simplify pages and reduce user work as much as possible;
  • Remove any secondary action, such as the navigation menu, links that take you out of the page, search bars, etc. The last thing you want is to distract the user when trying to do the checkout process;

Last but not least: we often try to put ourselves in the user’s role so that we can understand his difficulties and how he interacts with a website. However, we don’t always get it right, so it’s essential to ask for feedback, especially from the outside, to test the work.

3. Convey safety and confidence to the user

Some reasons why many users don’t finish shopping online, is because they’re afraid to provide personal data, because they believe there may be viruses on the website, or they don’t know how many steps they must complete to finish the purchase, or even due to the website being too slow to compete the actions.

In order to prevent or improve these situations, it’s necessary to:

  • Explain why the personal data is needed;
  • Have a progress bar and certain visual indicators that guide the user, typically called breadcrumbs, to show the user at what point checkout is;
  • Provide real-time support, by chat or telephone, which immediately allows contact with customer support;
  • Be explicit in the communication;
  • Show that the website is safe with security certificates such as McAfee Secure, Norton Secure and MasterCard SecureCode, among others.

4. Create more speed and fluidity during the process

Other situations that make users leave checkout is how long it takes for pages to load, the forms they have to fill in, the amount of clicks needed and the information they have to repeat. There are many situations that can easily be improved to make shopping more successful!

How can we do that? Regarding the following topics:

  • Many websites still force customers to create accounts during checkout- this is one of the biggest mistakes! Is it more important that clients create accounts, or that they finish checkout? It’s necessary to have faster options- like login with Facebook or guest checkout- than ask if they wish to create an account at the end of the purchase;
  • A very important test to do is to calculate the number of clicks needed to complete the purchase and try to reduce them as much as possible;
  • Have fields filled automatically based on the information given to other websites;
  • When the user is entering the street name it’s possible to suggest a list of addresses based on the street and the rest of the address details;
  • In the payment method, a mandatory option is PayPal, but for Portugal it should also be considered the payment by Multibanco reference, since it’s a very common, simple and familiar method for Portuguese people;
  • Have the option for delivery data to be the same as billing data;
  • Always keep the summary of the purchase visible, which must contain the products with images and their prices, the delivery data and the total value of the purchase.

After all this work, bear in mind that it doesn’t end here! You should always measure the impact of changes through the sales increase, the conversion rate and tools such as heatmaps to understand how the changes affected the interaction with the checkout process. You can even create different versions of checkout and run an A/B test for comparative data. And remember: never stop optimizing and innovating!

By Ana