Website optimization is not a new concept. Business owners know a well-designed, visually pleasing and user-friendly website is crucial to eCommerce success.
But what about checkout optimization? It’s easy to get so focused on pushing customers to purchase that we forget to think about what happens once they get there.
Here are a few of the best things you can do to optimize your checkout, reduce cart abandonment and increase conversions.
Your checkout process should be easy. The more obstacles in front of your customer, the more chances they have to back out.
Start by reducing the number of fields buyers have to fill out. This speeds shoppers through to purchase, while also reducing possible errors.
Think about Amazon’s one-click checkout. With a buyer’s information already saved, they can quickly, and maybe even impulsively, purchase almost anything with just one touch of a button.
You may not have one-click capabilities, but you can still apply some of the same principles to optimize your checkout.
Some other great simplifying tricks are to auto-complete data from a user’s browser, or copy the shipping address for billing, should they be the same.
It’s also good to eliminate distractions in the checkout process. This is not the time to hit shoppers with banner ads or different CTAs. Keep them focused on the task at hand (which is giving you money!).
Offer Guest Checkout
It’s understandable to want visitors on your site to create an account. After all, it enables you to collect consumer data and opens the door to email marketing. Plus, it creates a faster checkout process on future purchases.
However, buyers need to have an excellent experience the first time they shop your website before they ever decide to come back and buy again.
Requiring a customer to create an account on their first transaction slows down the process, and can even turn some buyers away.
Avoid this by offering a guest purchase option. Repeat buyers are likely to register an account the next time around and will be much happier that it was their choice to do so.
This is not to say that you can’t encourage account creation. One successful method is to advertise incentives like discounts or free shipping if shoppers join your email list.
You can also give buyers the option to create an account right after a purchase is completed, saving them from having to re-enter their information at a later date.
It’s no secret that Amazon’s fast and free Prime shipping has raised customer delivery expectations across the board. If your business fails to meet these high customer demands, you’re going to see it affect conversions.
In fact, a recent BigCommerce study found that 77% of online shoppers have abandoned their cart because of unsatisfactory shipping options.
So, what can you do? Free 2-day shipping may not be sustainable for you.
The good news is that there are still several ways to offer free shipping without eating your margins.
To offset the costs, set promotional thresholds to offer free shipping only if the cart hits a certain minimum number of products or dollar amount. Or, limit free shipping to only items or delivery regions that have lower shipping costs for you.
Your eCommerce platform’s native features may not provide the flexibility and control you need to offer customers the shipping options or pricing they want.
ShipperHQ empowers merchants to compete with the Amazon’s of the world with truly customizable delivery options and shipping rates at checkout. Try ShipperHQ free for 30 days!
Cross-border Checkout Optimization
Many of the same rules apply when it comes to optimizing your checkout for cross-border buyers.
However, the added complexity of international shipping requires a few extra steps to create a seamless checkout process.
Buyers in other countries often need full transparency and extra assurance that your company is legitimate. Something as simple as adding customer reviews, security icons and trust seals at checkout can increase conversions cross-border.
Another factor to consider is the variance of buying habits from country to country. With so many retailers out there, customers can afford to be picky about how they buy.
Buyer preferences can come into play with different payment types, currencies and languages. It should be no surprise that customers prefer to shop in their own language and see pricing in their own currency.
This may mean building separate localized online stores, depending on your customer base and how varied their shopping preferences are.
If you are seeing higher-than-average cart abandonment rates, I would highly recommend implementing some of these optimization tips.
Your eCommerce checkout page is the last chance you have to convert shoppers. A truly optimized checkout process is exactly what you need to push buyers through that final step to purchase.