Your e-commerce checkout is the climax of your marketing, advertising, and acquisition efforts. A good checkout process secures your sales at the most crucial point, so it must inspire customer trust and confidence.
If your e-commerce store is laggy, 79% of shoppers will never return, and 44% of this majority will share their bad experiences with their friends. And brands can’t afford negative word-of-mouth in this competitive landscape.
So, achieving a seamless checkout flow involves removing friction from the journey, optimizing technical foundations, inspiring trust, and giving customers the best experience.
Expand Your Payment Options
Consumers want to make purchases on their own terms. According to Baymard Institute’s research, every 6 in 100 prospects will abandon their cart due to inadequate payment methods. To secure that 6% of potential sales, you’ll need to expand your payment options, which includes offering:
- The standard credit and debit card options
- The trendier mobile wallets, like Apple and Google Pay
- Cash on Delivery (COD) if your fulfillment provider supports it
- Buy now, pay later (BNPL) services supported through your payment processors or on consumer devices
If your current e-commerce merchant account does not provide a good mix of payment options, you might want to consider a provider with better options. Otherwise, limiting consumers’ payment choices means you’re failing to meet their expectations. And, just like with payment choices, offer at least three shipping options to capture more of your market and reduce cart abandon rates.
Be Clear, Quick, and Concise
Customers don’t want to linger at the checkout stage any more than you want them to. Reducing e-commerce checkout friction is crucial to secure sales, and you can make the process smooth by being clear and concise.
Don’t introduce any unnecessary steps, like signup mandates, because they can kill conversions. Baymard notes that 37% of potential customers will abandon their carts if you force them to create an account to purchase. The mandate comes across as intrusive, especially because consumers increasingly value their privacy.
And on the subject of privacy, try to avoid asking customers for any non-essential data. And if your brand needs specific information, let the customer know why you’re collecting it. For example, if you need their email, let them know it’s to deliver order receipts and tracking updates. Customers are especially reluctant to share their phone numbers. If you want to secure more information to build deeper customer profiles, consider making it part of your post-checkout communication and upsell efforts.
So, the takeaway here is to always provide a guest checkout option. You can give customers the option to create an account, but it should never be a mandatory field. Alternatively, you could provide customers with the option to sign-up after their purchase, to secure account creations without risking conversions.
Seamless, Secure E-commerce Checkout Flows
Easing customers through the checkout process requires more than just removing obstacles – you also need to inspire confidence at each stage. Customers need to know they can trust you with their details, and equally importantly, that your website is secure.
If prospects aren’t confident in your site’s security, they might abandon your site. Fortunately, you can take appropriate measures to reassure customers throughout their checkout experience, which includes:
- Displaying security badges to cultivate trust, especially PCI Compliance badges. These badges certify that your payment process is secure and are the most trusted badges by consumers.
- Get your website a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate, which is not optional for modern sites. SSL certificates aren’t only necessary to inspire trust in your checkout process, but your site itself.
Start with solutions that work with your existing tools. If you use a 3PL like Red Stag Fulfillment that integrates with your WooCommerce shop and 3Dcart, for example, stick to payment support that does too. Tech partners should be willing to help you with the integration process, and their service levels can be a great way to help you decide between two available solutions. And don’t forget, omnichannel payments support is almost always your best win.
No Bad Surprises
Discount coupon codes and flash sales are the kinds of surprises customers like. But hidden shipping costs at the checkout are less well-received. Almost half of your prospects who make it to the end of the sales cycle will abandon their carts if you surprise them with extra costs (shipping, tax, fees) at the checkout.
Try to ask customers for their ZIP code early in the e-commerce checkout process, so you can provide them with transparent, estimated shipping costs upfront. You can also integrate a shipping costs calculator with your e-commerce store to display geo-specific, updated delivery costs in real-time.
Another option you might want to consider is absorbing the shipping costs into the products’ prices and providing ‘free delivery’ instead. This strategy saves shoppers from unwanted surprises without hurting your profit margins or killing conversions.
Optimizing your checkout process is crucial to securing conversions and fostering customer loyalty. To provide customers with a seamless checkout experience, it’s important to remove any type of friction, whether it’s a technical blockade or a signup mandate.
Acquiring customers is hard, so don’t lose them at the checkout.