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Six Best Practices To Improve Your Online Checkout

Six Best Practices To Improve Your Online Checkout

1. Put yourself in your customers shoes

Too often, businesses develop websites without experiencing the checkout process from the customers point of view. But doing so can be illuminating.

Do some user experience testing. It doesnt have to be professional. Ask people who know nothing about your website - to try to buy some products. Watch them as they shop and note where they hit snags. It can help uncover your biggest problem areas.

Its the biggest problem of selling online: getting customers to complete the purchases they initiate. The good news is that there are several things you can do to improve your online checkout - and turn more shoppers into buyers. Below, weve summarized six ideas to improve your online checkout.

2. Streamline your checkout process

The more the steps stiffen your checkout process, the higher is the likelihood for cart abandonment. The more form fields/ screens your customers face, the more likely they are to abandon a purchase. To streamline your checkout, focus on removing roadblocks on the path from selection to complete a purchase.

3. Keep your eyes on the prize - the sale

It can be tempting to use the checkout process to gather as much information as possible. But "can" doesnt always equal "should." Only ask for information required to complete the sale. Remember that a quick, successful checkout nets you that most valuable result: a happy customer who is more likely to return for future purchases.

4. Think mobile

Nearly 75% of mobile shoppers will abandon sites that arent mobile optimized, so make sure your site is mobile-friendly:

Accommodate small screens. Ideally, your sites design should adapt to the device its viewed on.
Use larger fonts (14 pt. or higher) and bigger buttons. Place call-to-action buttons (like Add to Cart or Check Out) at the top and bottom of each page.
Test. There are services that show you what your site looks like across multiple operating platforms and devices. Choose the ones you think are most important and make sure your website is optimized on them.
Use a payment gateway to streamline the checkout that helps the customers to check out using a mobile phone with fewer clicks and less typing.

5. Keep customers informed

Giving customers the right information at the right time can minimize confusion and set expectations.

Eliminate surprises. When a shopper adds a product to the shopping cart, display the description, price, shipping cost, and tax.
Provide a map. A flow diagram or numbered steps (e.g., "3 of 4") can help situate customers, reducing anxiety and frustration.
Brand the checkout. Add your logo to the checkout page. It boosts confidence that customers are on the right path and can translate into a conversion lift.

6. Put PayPal to work for your business

Showing shoppers you offer PayPal in the place of your payment gateway can have a powerful effect. Customers who use PayPal tend to follow through: PayPal transactions have 70% higher checkout conversion than do non-PayPal transactions.

About the Author

Chase Jones is an industrious, results-oriented marketing professional with over ten years of experience in a variety of marketing disciplines. Proven ability to combine creativity and business acumen with strong communication and collaboration skills to position companies for market leadership and revenue growth.