The Checkout Process: What You Need to Know…

Have you given your checkout process a lot of thought? Many retailers seemed to have overlooked this portion, instead focusing more on the homepage and the product pages, on design and marketing, and on customer service.

These are all very, very important to your business, of course. However, there is one other thing that you should never neglect— checkout.

When you’re pushing a prospective buyer through a purchase funnel, the last and final step is the checkout. If it turns out to be too complicated, that can actually make a customer abandon his or her cart and simply leave without buying.

Lost sale for you!

Well, for this reason, you must remember that a simple checkout is the most effective solution to abandoned carts.

The Statistics

Why should your ecommerce store have a simple checkout?

Let’s take a look at the statistics below, showing the main reasons that people abandon their carts at the checkout stage.

  • 61% – High Additional Costs
  • 35% – Registration or Account Creation
  • 27% – Long, Complicated Process
  • 24% – No Clear Calculation of Total Cost
  • 22% – Site Errors or Crashing
  • 18% – Lack of Trust in Giving Information
  • 16% – Slow Delivery Timeline
  • 10% – Unfair Returns Policy
  • 8% – Preferred Method of Payment Missing
  • 0.5% – Declined Credit Card

Just looking at these figures will already give you a better idea as to what you can do to improve the checkout in your own ecommerce website.

Many have actually provided a solution to the top one on the list— high additional costs. This is mainly due to shipping fees that suddenly jack up the total amount. Most online retailers now offer free shipping or discounts on shipping, and give the information clearly to users before they decide to buy.

As for the need to register or create an account on the site, this is a huge hindrance to making your checkout easy and simple. Indeed a lot of users end up leaving because of this. It’s not viewed positively, so you better cross that out, or at least make registration optional.

If you consider the third highest percentage on the list, it only goes to prove that customers hate a long and complicated checkout process. If possible, you ought to offer a one-click solution with not a lot of details having to be provided. Do away with one page leading to another before the process is completed. Moreover, it would be good to allow saving of details for repeat buyers.

Now if you check out the next item on the list, you know that calculations are greatly essential. Your checkout page must clearly state and show the items purchased, each one’s price, the discounts applied, shipping fees, and other pertinent details with regard to costing. Then the total cost must be displayed visibly without causing any confusion. This is another element that’s often overlooked, but definitely increases simplification of a checkout process.

Going over the entire list, they all sum up to one thing— have a simple checkout that resolves all of these issues fast and easy.

Tips That Make a Difference

To further improve your checkout process and still be able to fulfill your other purposes, here are some tips you can follow and apply:

  • Remove all the distractions.

In removing distractions from checkout, you can actually do away with the regular headers and footers that are often part of the other pages of your website.

  • Keep the elements very simple.

Your design elements matter a lot on the checkout page. They should never be distracting or even too loud or bold. They have to be arranged logically with plenty of white space and simple, self-explanatory fields and buttons.

Be sure to include only the absolutely necessary empty custom fields. Limit functionalities to those relevant to the checkout process.

  • Use automatic data validation and change of currency.

Your Store Wizards Checkout Manager has automatic data validation. For instance, have you encountered buying a product wherein you input your address and it’s automatically authenticated even before the other fields have been filled in? This is a good way to hasten the process. Or at times you entered your state and the cities in the drop-down menu are automatically adjusted accordingly. That would make things faster.  

These seemingly mundane things can boost your checkout process significantly for the users. Checkout Wizard by Your Store Wizards for Yahoo! Store is a must have in this day an age where every sale matters.

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