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E-Commerce Checkout Page Testing: How and Why

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The estimated global cart abandonment rate across all e-commerce sectors has reached 69.57 percent as of 2019. This raises one important question: Why are consumers jumping ship at the last minute?

There are many potential causes, including:

  • They are not ready to make a payment.
  • They want to compare the prices on another website.
  • They have encountered technical issues.

In most cases, these causes are beyond your control. What is in your control is the look, feel and experience of your checkout page and how well it encourages consumers to purchase, regardless of these potential obstacles. In fact, 26 percent of customers mention the checkout page as the main reason for shopping cart abandonment, Baymard Institute reports.

Increase your conversion rates, and keep customers happy by turning your attention to your checkout page. Test the most critical elements regularly using these tips and ideas.

  1. Analyze Data With Funnel Visualization

    Use a data-based approach for checkout page testing. Using funnel visualization you’ll see, in real-time, the number of visitors who have begun the checkout process and at which points in the sales funnel they choose to discontinue and abandon their cart. Use this data to determine the aspects of your checkout page that work effectively and the aspects that need to be optimized or eliminated.

    Start by updating your Google Analytics and then begin collecting data. If you’re actively testing your checkout page, use these data points to guide your plans at the start of each quarter. Just remember to test one element at a time so you can effectively identify what’s making a difference and what isn’t.

    With the data in hand, you can begin testing.

  2. Evaluate Your Payment Gateway Security

    An estimated 41.6 percent of consumers abandon their carts in the payment stage of checkout, making this the highest falloff rate of all points across the sales funnel, as reported by Business Insider. One reason is that customers are reluctant to provide their credit card information because of the potential security risks.

    There are a few ways to combat this fear, and the first of which is to show that your site is secure. In 5 Secrets to Selling Products Online, e-commerce experts at Selz explain: “Show that your site is secure and verified by trusted third parties like Symantec or McAfee. If you are planning on handling credit card information, your website or blog will need to be on a secure server and PCI compliant.”

    Being PCI compliant is not only necessary, but it also allows you to work toward higher levels of compliance that further demonstrate your trustworthiness and security.

    Since this should be on your site already, it’s a great first element to add and then test.

  3. Keep Costs Transparent

    Did you know that 70.8 percent of online shoppers abandon their carts as a result of hidden costs, according to eConsultancy? While it’s tempting to hide such information, Jakob Nielsen, of the Nielsen Norman Group explains:

    “Reveal shipping charges immediately rather than waiting until after the user has placed an order. You might cheat a few people into ordering by hiding the shipping costs, but many more will abandon the site at an early stage of the process. And those who do get cheated will only be suckers once.”

    When testing your checkout page, this is one place to look—but don’t let your changes extend the checkout process. To be more transparent, without adding extra steps or pages, test various formats offer calculating the estimated taxes and shipping costs on the frontend.

    In an age where consumers demand transparency, being open about your shipping costs is not only critical for making sales but also for maintaining a brand people can trust.

  4. Assess Navigation Distractions

    When consumers reach the page of your website that initiates the checkout, you want to keep them focused on finalizing their purchase. One way to do that is to remove navigation bars, which only 16 percent of websites have done, as reported by Impact.

    To jump-start your testing, consider the data from three e-commerce businesses—YuppieChef, Career Point College and SparkPage—who hid their navigation menus from their checkout landing page. HubSpot reports that their conversion rates escalated dramatically during a one-month test:

    • YuppieChef’s increased by 100 percent
    • Career Point College’s increased by 336 percent
    • SparkPage’s increased from 9.2 percent to 17.6 percent
  5. Test Your Checkout Pages

    Now’s the time to tackle cart abandonment and drive more sales once and for all. Start regularly testing various elements of your checkout page to figure out why consumers are leaving before purchasing. Figure out what works and get customers through the purchase stage to drive sales and keep them coming back for more.

Learn seven critical e-commerce security practices.

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Have you tested your checkout page lately? What steps outlined here did you skip? Tell us more below!


About Author
Picture of Jessica Thiefels

Jessica Thiefels

Jessica Thiefels is an entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Jessica Thiefels Consulting. She’s been writing for more than 10 years and has been featured in top publications such as Forbes. She also writes for Business Insider, Virgin, and more.

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