As consumers, we do our best to protect personal information online. And effective retailers understand consumer concerns – knowing the more secure consumers feel, the more likely they are to complete a purchase.

The data proves this to be true. According a 2017 Baymard Institute report1, 19% of all online shoppers abandon checkout because they don’t trust the site with their credit card information. The report found that security fears are one of the major reasons US retailers lose an estimated $260 Billion each year to cart abandonment. 

Despite the fact that only a small percentage of consumers can assess the underlying technical workings of encrypted checkout pages, retailers should ensure all of their customers feel safe at checkout. According to Baymard, most users “rely on their perception of how secure a form is; in other words, users tend to ‘trust their gut’.” 

While it’s critical to get the underlying technical security infrastructure right, there are three simple user experience fixes that retailers can implement in their checkout process to help users feel more at ease:

  • The visual design of the credit card interface
  • Alignment with trusted consumer-facing brands
  • 3rd party payment options

Visual design and layout

Creating a secure experience is fundamental to taking care of your customers, but your customers also need to feel secure on your site. In Baymard’s user testing, they found credit card interfaces with unique visual styling can feel more trustworthy. When the credit card form is distinguished from the rest of the form field through visual cues, users are more likely to trust the process. It’s a simple fix: adding background colors to the checkout form, or encapsulating the form fields with some sort of visual goes a long way towards increasing user confidence in providing credit card details. The two mockups below illustrate how this could look:

Working with trusted brands

One of the major visual cues used in effective checkout forms is a consumer-facing brand that either provides, or vouches for, the security of their site. We might be far more inclined to share our credit card info with “Charlie’s Vegan Dog Treat Shoppe” if Norton or McAfee says it’s trustworthy. And the name on the security logo matters -- the more well-known the brand, the more likely a user is to trust the site with which it’s affiliated.

3rd party payment options

According to Baymard, offering 3rd party payment options can help avert cart abandonment. In fact, Baymard’s report finds that 8% of all users have abandoned one or more orders in the past quarter solely because merchants did not offer an alternative payment option. 3rd party payment processing is also appealing for international users, offering additional security in the event of undelivered orders. 
 
If you’re a lesser-known brand, building trust doesn’t have to be a challenge. By following these simple guidelines, your customers will be more willing to complete purchases at your online store. Want more tips on how to make the checkout process better for your customers? Read the rest of our series or download the Baymard report here

1 Checkout Optimization and Reducing Abandonments (2017), commissioned by Amazon Pay