Having a great ecommerce website with quality products and competitive prices unfortunately doesn’t always reflect on the actual sales performance. One of the main deterrents for customers not completing their purchases and abandoning ship is a less than great checkout experience.

No matter how awesome your product and website is for browsing customers, the issue is what happens when someone actually adds a product to their cart?

Your checkout pages are equally important to rest of the website, so don’t neglect the importance of design, UX and technical perfection for this part of your website:

An effective e-commerce checkout process has to run smoothly in a simple and intuitive manner so users aren’t discouraged from buying and don’t abandon their cart throughout.

So let’s take a look at 5 major factors that contribute towards a better checkout experience

1. Be clear about shipping and delivery

Unexpected shipping costs are the number one reason for cart abandonment, so make sure you give your customers all the information they need as early as possible!

Telling people at the last minute how long their delivery will take and how much shipping will cost will simply cause frustration and cost you sales.

See how Forever 21 makes it clear in its header when users will get free delivery:

Forever 21 helps checkout process by providing delivery info in its websiteheader


New Look on the other hand improves its checkout process by having delivery and shipping info in the first step:

Newlook improves its checkout process by having delivery and shipping info in the first step

Try and estimate the cost of shipping as early in the checkout process as possible. Offer average delivery times, flat rate shipping or even free shipping to your users, so they don’t encounter any unpleasant surprises during checkout!

2. Give a Guest Checkout Option

Another common pain point for e-commerce customers is asking them to sign-up in order to make a purchase. A good checkout experience is fast and simple, eliminating all non essential steps.

For example see how Mubi gives a Facebook sign-up option:

improve your chackout process with a guest checkout process

A lot of users, especially first-time users may abandon the process if they feel overwhelmed, so if the sign-up is not absolutely necessary (unless you are a market-leader!) give users a guest checkout option. Even a one-click social sign in will work as it is much faster!

3. Remove Distractions

The most efficient e-commerce checkouts that lead to more sales cut to the chase immediately and don’t let users stray from the end-goal with “distracting elements”.

Remove navigation that is unnecessary – for example you might want to isolate the whole checkout process removing the header, footer and any navigation menus. This way you keep your users focused on the end-goal: completing their purchase.

This is one if the reasons we love Nike’s checkout page. It steers clear of any distractions with an isolated checkout – notice the lack of navigation menu and unwanted surrounding elements:

Isolate your checkout process for a better chcekout experience like Nike

Also, another good tip is to avoid showing the coupon/discount code forms prominently in the checkout page, as it can hinder users from completing their purchases – opt for a more subtle message (eg a simple text link) so that your users aren’t tempted to leave the site in search of discount codes!

4. Offer secure payments and multiple payment gateways

Displaying your different payment options and third-party seals or logos may work wonders for your conversion rate, as they have become a feature that many users instinctively search for when shopping online.

Asos.com’s checkout page applies this rule to perfection. See how it cleverly displays its payment gateways logos and makes a point of the “secure shopping” experience:

asos checkout displays secure shopping and payment options

These payment and security indicators will reassure your customers during the checkout process and make them feel safe so they can complete their transactions in a secure environment without second-guessing their purchases.

5. Make checkout orders flexible and easy to amend

Online shoppers are often wavering between different items and can be very easily swayed from the final purchase decision. So, making changes to their checkout order should be a simple and straightforward as possible.

For starters, a persistent cart feature is a must, as many users may want to revisit their items at a later time – don’t make them start from scratch, let them pick up from where they left!

Amazon for example remembers the cart products from my last visit with its persistent cart feature letting me proceed straight to checkout without having to search again:

Amazon has a persistent cart to imrpove checkout experience

In addition, another important feature for a good online checkout experience is making it super-easy for users to change different details in their order (eg editing shipping or payment details, removing items, changing quantity or sizes etc). This way you eliminate the possibility of users abandoning out of sheer annoyance or because the can’t edit their order as they would have liked to.

Moreover, enabling users to use the “back” option once in the cart saves a lot of headaches, given that users often change their mind and may want to move a step back and change something – make sure you save their inputted form information and don’t make them reenter it!

6. Provide short and intuitive checkout forms

An online shopper expects a fast and hassle-free checkout process, so make sure yours is short and sweet or you may be resulting in more than average abandoned carts.

  • Only ask for information that is necessary
  • Go for clean, uncluttered form design with helpful prompts when needed
  • Show a progress bar – users need to know how far they are from completion

See below how Net a porter uses a checkout form that is minimal and clean with helpful bubble messages and a progress bar indicating which step the user is at :
A minimal and smart checkout form creates a pleasant checkout experience

  • Provide inline form validation. Showing users errors while they type saves them time – See below how booking.com’s checkout page provides inline form validation as well as helpful messages such as a password strength bar:

booking.com improves checkout experience with inform validation

  • Make it easy for repeat customers – provide a save option so they don’t have to retype their info next time
  • Enable form autocomplete when possible
Exit Bee Decreases Cart Abandonment

Optimize Your Checkout Process With Exit Bee

Recapture cart abandoners with tailored messages that will keep them on to complete their purchase.

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Victoria Stamati

Digital Marketer at Exit Bee. Loves helping websites create great campaigns to get more conversions and re-engage abandoning visitors. Keen film buff and cheese appreciator.

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