12 Checkout Optimization Strategies to Boost Conversion

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Are you one of the many online store owners faced with the challenge of customers quitting their shopping baskets during checkout? The problem of checkout conversion drop rates is indeed common. Believe it or not, the average ecommerce store loses more than 70% of sales through shopping cart abandonment!

Even so, we may try to understand the principal reasons why it happens and what best practice says about it. To be more specific, today we are focusing our attention on some of the prominent checkout optimization strategies in ecommerce. 

First, we are going to cover the top reasons that make customers leave their shopping carts. Then, we are presenting a leading best practice to address unwanted conversion drop rates. Finally, we are discussing some concrete checkout optimization strategies to help improve conversion.

If you need a benchmark to decide if cart abandonment is an urgent issue that you need to act upon, look at the following infographic. It compares average cart abandonment rates by sector, as per 2020 data.

Source: SaleCycle

Has your sector been featured above? Well, it is probably time to take action!

Main Reasons for Cart Abandonment in Еcommerce 

If we go deeper into recent statistics on shopping cart abandonment, we may encounter interesting findings. For instance, the main reasons for facing unsatisfactory checkout conversion rates include: 

  • Poor service experience (78%);
  • Delay in cart loading time (57%);
  • Requirements to enter card info (55%);
  • Requirements for account creation (34%);
  • Lack of readiness to buy (34%);
  • Poor return policy (27%);
  • Complex site navigation (24%);
  • High additional purchase cost (23%). 

These are, of course, just a summary of the causes that may make a customer quit online shopping. Other reasons may include security concerns, lack of promotions or coupons during checkout, no express shipping option, etc. 

Unfortunately, all of the above is certain to aggravate your conversion drop rates. The good news, however, is that there are proven ways to change it. Many of the problems are resolvable by proper checkout optimization! 

How to Optimize your Checkout Page?

Best practices can give us both general recommendations on how to improve things and immediate solutions to problems. ecommerce checkout optimization best practices make no exception here. 

Let us go ahead and see what general recommendations teach. We will address customer satisfaction as the reason number one from our statistics above.

In a word, to achieve good customer satisfaction during checkout, you need to design a checkout process that flows in a smooth, easy and secure manner. You may try some of the following: 

  • Eliminate checkout complexity by designing a single page checkout featuring individual process steps. 
  • Eliminate customer’s reluctance to profile creation by offering a guest account option or log-in by social networks.
  • Display security certificate everywhere in the process.

Let us take a look at how Tom Tailor acts against this set of best practices. 

When proceeding to payment, you are immediately offered a dedicated single webpage with the option to log-in as a guest. Then, when invited to submit your customer data, you are shown which step of the process you are at. Finally, the store SSL certificate is featured on top during every step of the checkout process.

12 Checkout Optimization Strategies

Are you already inspired? It is time to jump into our selection of concrete checkout optimization strategies. 

To demonstrate their effectiveness, see this short checkout optimization video presented by Neil Patel, a leading marketing expert. It will directly give you three tested ideas on how to prevent conversion drop rates.

Now, let us turn to how such strategies may be applied in the different design aspects of your checkout process. 

     1. Design and Layout 

Checkout design and layout are key to your conversion effectiveness. You need to ensure both a straightforward user experience and a safe and reliable process with links to additional information. 

Here are a couple of checkout optimization strategies to consider:

  • Provide users with visual checkout – as we discussed, it is best if you design a single-page checkout with a clear segmentation of steps. It is also recommended that you reduce the needed number of clicks to a minimum.
  • Add checkout buttons to both top and bottom – your customer should be able to see the checkout button at once. That is, prevent the possibility that he loses time in searching for it. 
  • Design reliable payment settings – you may display both your security certificate and credit card logos to build customer trust in providing payment data. 
  • Visually distinguish from other shopping options – make sure that additional buttons such as “continue shopping” are visually separated from your checkout button and they do not distract the customer from clicking on “buy now”.

This is how this looks like in our Tom Tailor’s example from above: 

     2. Optimizing Product Details 

After resolving customer experience, you will need to ensure that your customer has made the right choice of purchase. Here are a couple of tricks on how to confirm this: 

  • Present a product summary – it is vitally important that your customer sees a confirmation of the order he has placed with your shop. That is why include a brief product description with product size and availability confirmation. If possible, display the product. 
  • Ensure freedom of customer choice – sometimes it is effective if you provide a “remove from cart” option and an invitation for continuation of shopping with a recommendation showing similar items. 
  • Clearly display the final price before checkout – before reaching the final phase of his checkout, your customer should be absolutely clear with the amount he needs to pay. Avoid hidden charges which may make the customer quit the process at his final step.
  • Describe your shipping method before arriving at checkout – it is important that before reaching “buy now”, your customer is fully aware of the shipping service he will receive.

To prevent any final customer doubts on a purchase, you may also think of adding additional services such as personalization options, product testimonials or social proofs. 

     3. Payment and Shipping

Payment and shipping details are also vital for completing the purchase. Here are a couple of ideas on how to assure conditions which can facilitate customer shopping. 

  • Include free shipping options – this is what appeals to customers most. If you, however, find it difficult to set it in place, you may grant free shipping only if your customer spends a minimum of “$X”.
  • Provide a promo code directly on your webpage – this is yet another trigger for your customer to strike the deal. You may display a promotion message with a notification such as “was $X, now $Y” or “you saved $X”.
  • Display different payment methods you have to make sure that your customer is able to pay according to the ways you have ensured on your website. 
  • Offer shipping options and details – you may let your customer choose preferred shipping method, get aware of an approximate delivery date, and any other details that can help him build a realistic expectation of the purchase. 

Let us take a look at how these ideas are arranged in our Tom Tailor’s example. 

Key Takeaways

Cart abandonment is a typical ecommerce problem resulting in conversion drop rates. Although it is a complex phenomenon, many of its causes may be prevented by suitable checkout optimization strategies. 

It is possible to optimize every step of the checkout process. This may cover both your overall checkout design and its individual aspects. There are best practices and optimization strategies to enable confident purchases and customer retention on site after checkout. 

Have you already tried some checkout optimization tactics? If still in doubt how to approach it, do not hesitate to get in touch