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Optimizing the checkout conversion funnel

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 by Servage

It has been observed that a higher percentage of shoppers abandon e-commerce website at the checkout page or during the process. Therefore, it is crucial for an e-commerce web designer to pay special attention to the design of a checkout page. As web designers, we can overcome most user hesitations and/or objections during the checkout through sensible use of text, icons, symbols and layouts.

Factors Affecting Performance

With checkout process designing, we should keep certain things in mind that ultimately affect the performance of our e-commerce store. For instance, shoppers always seek security as fundamental requirement. You have to assure customers through written texts as well as security icons, like a Visa symbol, that you maintain security in your payment methods.

The next significant item is transparency in all processes. For example, if you are not providing accurate shipping calculations and tax deductions, your shoppers won’t have the exact net figure that they have to pay for the product to reach their door step. Such ambiguity can lead your customers to abandon their shopping cart early. Therefore, it is highly preferable to show customers that you are using the latest shipping calculators and briefly explain how it is beneficial for them.

Another important expectation with the checkout web page is integration of payment methods. The more payment options your design strategy gives to your shoppers, the longer they will likely stick around. Simply displaying a large number of payment methods is not the answer. You ought to run a brief survey with your target audience(s) and learn which payment methods are popular in their locations. Then, try to successfully integrate them.

The final significant item is a FAQ. In most cases, users come to checkout with their own unique concerns, so our designs or textual content can’t be expected to cover all of them. Therefore, we need a prominently displayed link to our FAQ page, where we list questions and relevant answers, so they can hopefully feel more confident during checkout.

Miscellaneous Matters

In addition to the primary factors noted above, we must consider miscellaneous items which have a direct impact on our conversion process on the checkout pages. For instance, we need a perpetual shopping cart. Today, almost all shopping carts are designed to be persistent, which reflect items added on each page. Modern e-commerce stores never show an empty cart if users say take a long time to reach checkout.

Here are some additional suggestions. Consider converting a shopping cart into a Wish List if your users are not purchasing products right now and leave your online store for any reason. You can place a prompt that pops up when a shopper tries to abandon your shop which asks them to save carted items as a wish list. This way, you can send them periodic reminders to return for final purchase.

Also, take into account form-filling distractions. Users never like to enter much information on forms they fill out and will tend to completely avoid repeated forms or having to enter the same information more than once. For instance, if you force them to fill their shipping address right after they have entered the same info for a billing address, they could abandon the process and leave your store. Therefore, have a checkbox placed before starting the shipping address or billing address form, so they don’t have to duplicate that data and can instead simply check the box.

To prevent form related distractions, you can program various actions that can save the information once entered and which allows customers to use it again wherever it may be required. Likewise, avoid frequent validation through repeated filling, except for password sensitive fields.

References & More Reading

Holy Grail of eCommerce Conversion Optimization – 91 Point Checklist and Infographic
Analyzing Your Conversion Funnel

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Categories: Guides & Tutorials
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