How do you optimize your checkout process to boost sales?
Let’s face it: your website might look amazing, it’s your checkout process that’s making sure you are able to convert visitors into buyers and potentially loyal customers. While online checkout might sound like a fairly easy process, there still are a lot of ecommerce companies who are missing the point of bringing results. How can you optimize your ecommerce checkout process in a way that it boosts your sales? We ask Lennert Siemons, Web Integrator at Online Heroes, for tips and advice on this crucial topic, how you can make sure to not miss out on any sales because of your checkout process.
Lennert, we know that more than 70% of European shoppers abandon their online shopping carts. Which role does the checkout flow plays in this?
“In a way, the online checkout process is quite similar to buying in a physical store. We all want to know in advance how much the product we are interested in will cost us in the end, what the payment options are, if it’s safe and easy to buy there and what the options are when we want to return the product. In addition, we don’t want to have to wait a long time to be served by the cashier. That’s actually the same online: make sure your buyer knows exactly where to check out and that the process is super easy and fast. It needs to be clear what the total cost will be (shipping included), what the payment options are per country, how to return and quickly ask for help if needed. Except that online, you only have one screen to do that, so efficiency and user experience are key. Optimizing your checkout to lower the number of clicks is a constant challenge. Keep in mind that the checkout is a rich source of data.
You only have one screen online, so efficiency and user experience are key.
What are ways for ecommerce managers to make their checkout process more efficient and improve user experience?
“The ecommerce manager’s goal when a visitor is entering his or her checkout page is to make sure he or she is making a purchase in the end and the role of a professional web integrator is, being his/her counterpart in discovering, invent and proposing all technical capabilities for achieving this goal. That’s how and why we at Online Heroes created our checkout page in that way that the visitor doesn’t have to leave the page to switch sizes or calculate shipping costs for example. Pegasys, the ecommerce platform, uses data to locate the visitor and calculates shipping costs automatically. Furthermore, we integrated a function to adjust the size or quantity of the item in the shopping cart itself, so that the visitor doesn’t have to leave the page to add an extra item or switch sizes. I would also recommend removing all irrelevant or unnecessary fields from the checkout from. For instance, we don’t use a big coupon code field, because that will stimulate the visitor to leave the site to look for coupon codes. Instead, we renamed it and made a discrete link which opens a bigger field when clicked on. What’s more, we hide our navigation menu during the checkout process to prevent the visitor from being distracted. A progress bar will clear up the issue of your visitor not knowing how long the checkout flow will take. Clarity is also very important when it comes down to error messages popping up when entering a wrong postal code for example.”
One of the most important reasons why people hesitate to buy online, is payment security. Do you feel like a checkout process can tackle that feeling?
“One of the first things I would recommend is buying an SSL Certificate, which activates the https protocol and is used to encrypt your data. Secondly, designing your checkout page and certainly the actual payment page hosted by your payment provider according to your brands’ style guide increases your online store’s credibility. Showing your site is certified by adding the labels of organizations it takes part in, like Safeshops or BeCommerce, and the logos of the payment options you accept, like PayPal or Visa, takes a lot of your client’s potential fear away. And last but certainly not least, installing a live chat function makes it easier for them to contact you in case of any questions.”
Especially for fashion brands, it’s important to capture as much data as possible of your client to retarget him or her afterwards with products, styles and campaigns he or she will love. How do you balance gathering data and ensuring a smooth checkout flow?
“During the checkout process, buying is the most important factor. Asking for personal information is of minor importance at that moment in time. Contacting your customer afterwards with a special trigger like a gift at his or her birthday in return for his or her information can not only be a good way to capture data even after the purchase, but is also a nice way to stay top of mind.”
During the checkout process, buying is the most important factor. Asking for personal information is of minor importance at that moment in time.
What if a visitor still abandons their cart? Do you have some advice for that as well?
“Yes, there are numerous ways to attract the attention of people who’ve added something to their cart, but haven’t bought it yet. Sending them an abandoned cart email is one of them. In that mail, you remind them they left something in their cart and give them the opportunity to complete their purchase with one simple click. Some of our ecommerce websites are also equipped with an exit intent lay-over, which is a lay-over that pops up when a desktop user intents to leave the website. Furthermore, our digital marketing team works their magic with remarketing!”
Do you feel like your brand is missing out on opportunities to convert visitors into customers via your checkout process? Want to stay up to date on checkout tips? Lennert and the entire Online Heroes team are more than happy to help you optimizing your checkout process. Contact us here.