10 ways to optimise your checkout experience and improve your conversion rate Published June 16, 2017 Almost 70% of shoppers leave an eCommerce site without purchasing anything – even when they’ve put items in their cart ready to purchase (Baymard, 2017). Four out of five abandonments take place at the checkout and stem from the simple but avoidable frustration of being forced to enter delivery and payment details in slow and inefficient ways (Business Insider, 2016). It all goes to show that retailers are falling short when it comes to providing a seamless checkout process. But it doesn’t have to be this way – there are plenty of opportunities to improve your checkout process and make the customer’s life easier when shopping with you. We take a look at some of the top pitfalls when it comes to the online checkout and guide you through what you can do to reduce your checkout abandonment rate. 1. Offer a guest checkout Don’t insist someone has to create an account for them to order from you – offer the option to create it after checking out instead. Demanding that users set up an account often puts them off completing a purchase when they’re strapped for time. You may desperately want their data, and start that precious customer lifecycle journey, but it’s no good if they don’t even follow through with their purchase! 2. Enable social logins The average UK consumer has 118 online accounts which means we’ve all got a lot of login details to remember (IT Portal, 2015). Instead of insisting that customers have to set-up new login details for your site, consider letting them login using their Facebook or Google Account. It will make it far less likely that they forget their login details and simplify the process of logging into your site at the same time. 3. Supply one-click shortcuts Make the checkout process as fast and efficient as possible by providing shortcuts to autocomplete information – let people look up and add postal addresses, use autocomplete on their browser and give options to save payment details for next time. And always offer customers a variety of payment options including fast and simple methods such as Paypal – they reduce the need to search around for debit cards and make it easier for customers to shop on the go. 4. Be clear about errors There’s nothing more frustrating than finding you can’t go any further in the checkout process because the system thinks there’s an error in the information you’ve provided. Make it clear when information is compulsory and highlight fields that have errors in. If you need information to be supplied in a certain format then provide examples. 5. Display a progress bar Make it clear how many steps there are to your ordering process and show the customer how far they are through the necessary steps. It might be that customers are trying to complete the order in a limited amount of time and will quickly get frustrated if you don’t set their expectations on how long it will take to complete their order. 6. Make it easy to edit an order Customers change their minds and you need to make it easy for them to amend their orders if you want to keep them onside. Provide quick and simple opportunities to adjust quantities, delete items and add more items if that’s what they need to do. 7. Show contact information Don’t hide your contact details or force people to contact you by email. If they have a quick question or need reassurance about when they’ll receive their order it’s often easier to speak to a person – always make your customer service number visible so they can pick up the phone. 8. Be upfront about delivery costs and timescales An estimated 36% of shoppers abandon their cart when they’re presented with unexpected delivery costs (Business Insider, 2016). To avoid this be clear about your delivery options and costs throughout your website – make sure people know how long it will take to deliver the goods and how much they need to pay to receive them. 9. Save abandoned carts If someone places items in their basket and doesn’t complete the purchase then make sure that next time they come back to your site their items are still in their basket ready and waiting for them to complete their purchase. They may have got distracted and showing them the products again will prompt them to reconsider and make it more likely that they complete their transaction. 10. Trigger browsing and cart abandonment emails As always, make sure you’ve got a well-thought-out browsing and cart abandonment campaign running on your site using behavioural targeting technology such as PureTargeting to retarget visitors who don’t purchase. Make it easy for them to come back and pick up where they left off – if your visitors do get frustrated by your payment process then at least you’ll be able to reach out to them again and tempt them back. So there you are – 10 ways to optimise your checkout experience and improve your conversion rate. And when people are increasingly shopping on their mobiles, it means making the checkout process fast and simple isn’t just nice – it’s essential to retaining custom. A high abandonment rate isn’t just an accepted hazard of retailing online – it’s a sign that you can streamline and simplify your checkout, retarget customers and offer to make buying from you easier.