5 ways to optimize your checkout experience

While cart abandonment remains a persistent problem for online retail, these tips can help you stop losing customers at checkout.

69% of items that people add to their online carts are never purchased, according to Baymard Institute; that’s a revenue loss of approximately $260 Billion.1 But it doesn’t take much to reverse that trend – retailers can effectively combat cart abandonment simply by ensuring that they follow best practices when it comes to the checkout experience. Our March edition of 10in20 focused on optimizing the checkout experience, offering simple, actionable tips to keep customers on your site. Read on for a sampling of the webinar – you can watch the full presentation here.

1. Provide informative, visual prompts

Don’t leave your customers guessing when it comes to pricing. Make sure they’re aware of shipping costs, taxes, and other fees they might incur before they get too far into the checkout flow. Buyers expect to see the full or estimated price as soon as possible – 1 in 4 customers abandon carts when they can’t see or calculate costs upfront.2

2. Ensure effective button positioning

Buttons are there to make your customer’s life easier, so ensure that your checkout button or cart is always above the fold, providing an easy path to checkout. Your call-to-action buttons should be in the flow, or direct path, of your customers.

And when customers reach the checkout flow, buttons should offer easier alternatives to typically high friction points, such as mandatory registration and shipping address forms.

3. Streamline options based upon earlier designs

Stop making your customers do extra or unnecessary work just to complete their transaction. The average number of form fields a customer must complete before checkout is 14.88, but a fully optimized checkout can be as short as 7 fields.3

A few simple techniques can go a long way to ensure that your checkout process doesn’t look or feel like a marathon. For example, you can default the billing address to be the same as the shipping address; auto-detect city and region based on postal code; and collapse secondary fields such as “Company Name”.

4. Optimize across channels. Design for desktop, mobile, and voice.

The consumer purchase process isn’t restricted to just one channel, so make sure it’s a simple and consistent experience for your customers to start their shopping journey in one channel and complete in another at a later time.

Your mobile experience, for example, should use responsive design, ensuring that navigation features are visible and easy-to-use. It’s also important to remove any distractions to increase conversions, emphasizing primary calls to action, such as “Add to Cart” and “Proceed to Checkout”.

5. Display well-known security badges on your site and offer trusted solutions on your cart and checkout pages.

19% of shoppers have abandoned at least one checkout because they didn’t trust the site with their credit card information. In testing, it’s consistently observed that shoppers’ perception of site security is based upon a visual evaluation of the credit card interface.

So how do you let customers trust their gut and trust your site? By making the credit card form fields more visually robust and displaying well-known security badges on your site. It’s also important that your customers have trusted options, such as Amazon Pay, when it comes to checkout.

To learn more great tips on optimizing the checkout experience in just 20 minutes, check out the original 10in20 webinar right here.

123Baymard Institute Usability Study, 2018.