Nothing will affect your eCommerce’s store’s bottom line more than its checkout page.
No matter what you sell, whom you sell it to, or the channels you use to drive traffic, your results will always suffer if your checkout page isn’t optimized for best results.
Fortunately, there are countless ways to improve this all-important page.
Here are 22 of the best options to see results right away.
Implementing all 22 of the below checkout page tips could take months – maybe even years.
So, don’t feel as though this is an all-or-nothing opportunity.
Instead, read through all 22 of these tips and then focus on 1 or 2 you can apply ASAP to start converting more customers and enjoying greater revenue.
As their name suggests, exit-intent popups appear on the screen when users display behaviors that indicate they're about to leave your site or abandon the checkout process.
Exit-intent popups give you the opportunity to woo the customer back to complete their purchase. In physical sales, this would be the equivalent of a salesperson offering something to sweeten the deal when they're about to lose a potential sale.
Of course, exit-intent popups are only as good as the message or offer they display. If there's nothing in it for the customer, they'll simply be annoyed by the pop-up, close it, and leave.
Some of the most effective ways you can grab shoppers' attention with exit-intent popups are by:
Coupons are a highly effective incentive for shoppers. Capturing emails can help you build out your email marketing in the future and trigger more sales.
According to statistics, 69.8% of online shopping carts are abandoned. Most shoppers won't leave a cart piled high with goods in the middle of a physical store, but online, it's a different story.
Adding items to an online shopping cart is satisfying and virtually pain-free, but when it comes time to hit the "checkout" button, shoppers have all kinds of reasons to delay pressing go on their purchase.
They might want more time to think about their purchases, or they might be planning to browse around for more items.
However, once a shopper clicks away, there's a good chance they might forget about their intended purchase entirely or end up spending their money elsewhere.
The best way to prevent this is by triggering a sense of urgency or FOMO.
This will incentivize shoppers to complete their purchases promptly, rather than letting their cart sit.
Here are some impactful ways to spark this kind of urgency:
Besides these strategies, you can also display info on real-time shopper behavior.
For instance, you can include the count of real-time viewers on a product page or the number of people who have bought the product within the last few hours or days.
Not only can this create a sense of urgency or scarcity, but it can also act as social proof. If shoppers can see that dozens of people are making purchases on your site, or buying the same product, this can drive the kind of trust you need to drop your shopping cart abandonment rate.
If you don't want to lose shoppers in the final stages of checkout, make sure you're not hitting them with surprise costs.
The total cost of a purchase is one of the key decision factors for most people. Being confronted with unexpected, additional costs during checkout is enough to drive any shopper running for the hills (or your competition).
Don't believe us?
Stats show that 48% of cart abandonment is caused by extra costs.
One of the trickiest "surprise" costs is shipping.
Shoppers love free shipping, which is why so many eCommerce retailers offer it.
However, offering free shipping on small order totals is cost-prohibitive for most eCommerce businesses. If you can only offer free shipping above a threshold order amount, display this info throughout your site. Include it on your product pages and through the eCommerce checkout process.
If you're unable to offer free shipping, clearly indicate that shipping charges will apply. You can also give shoppers access to a shipping calculator on product pages so they can predict the total cost of their order, without having to go partway through the checkout process.
As we mentioned above, a lot of shoppers who leave items in their carts plan to come back and complete their purchase.
However, if life gets in the way, there might not be anything to remind them to return and finish their order. Unless you send them a cart abandonment reminder email.
Reminding shoppers of abandoned carts via email can be a powerful (and cost-effective) way to recover lost revenue. Statistics reveal that 45% of cart abandonment emails get opened. This is an impressive amount compared to the average open rates on most marketing emails.
Besides this, cart abandonment emails also enjoy an average click-through rate of 21% and an average conversion rate of 10%.
Not only do cart abandonment emails remind shoppers of their uncompleted orders, but they also give you a perfect opportunity to sweeten the deal with a well-timed discount code.
Picture this scenario.
You're busy shopping for a few pieces of winter clothing, but you're still undecided on whether you should splash out on that wool coat. Instead of checking out, you end up abandoning your cart.
The next day, you get an email reminding you about the items in your cart and furnishing you with a 10% discount code. This could be all the justification you need as a shopper to head straight to your checkout page.
Want a hot tip around checkout optimization and cart abandonment emails?
Tweak your email timing.
A general rule of thumb is to send your first cart abandonment reminder email within a few hours, the second at 24 hours, and a third one within 48 hours.
But it's also worth considering sending a final reminder days or even weeks later.
Because many shoppers who add items to their carts between the 7th and the 25th of the month are merely browsing for things they want to buy once they've received their paychecks.
If you set your email drip campaign to send reminders shortly after the 25th, you'll place carts back at the top of shoppers' minds, right before they get paid and are ready to buy.
If you want to optimize your checkout process, consider expanding your payment options.
Digital wallets like the Venmo app and Google Pay are becoming a favorite among shoppers.
PayPal is also a top payment choice, especially since it's expanded its options to include installments.
And the payment giant now allows shoppers to pay off their purchases in four installments through its Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) feature. Not only is this attractive for shoppers, but it can also trigger higher conversions for eCommerce retailers.
The best part of PayPal's Pay In 4 feature is that eCommerce stores don't need to implement anything special to activate it. All you have to do is accept PayPal payments, and your shoppers will have access to the feature.
During 2020 alone, over 1.4 million Americans fell victim to identity theft.
Thanks to the rise of identity theft and online scams, shoppers are likely to abandon carts if they don't trust your site with their payment information.
Therefore, displaying trust and security seals is an important part of checkout page optimization. Lack of trust from shoppers is usually a gut feeling. Trust and security seals can effectively sway gut reactions around trust and reassure customers.
Here are a few specific ways you can create a positive perception through security and trust seals:
Some of the most trusted badges are those from PayPal, the Better Business Bureau, VeriSign, and TRUSTe.
Would you hand your credit card over to a stranger?
If you ask shoppers for their payment information first thing during the eCommerce checkout process, this could raise an alarm bell in their minds.
To retain shoppers' trust, place payment detail fields at the end of your checkout process. This allows shoppers to ease into the purchase. It also lets them see all relevant details to their order, such as shipping charges and timeframes, before giving up their payment details.
This is one of the least-known checkout page optimization tips, and it can have a powerful impact on conversions.
One of the things that still sets physical stores apart from eCommerce stores is the ability for shoppers to get their questions answered in real-time.
Fortunately, live chat can bridge this gap and give you the upper edge over your competition.
Let’s look at another common scenario.
A shopper is about to purchase a pair of pants from your site, but they're not sure whether the garment will fit, and they're wondering if they'll be allowed to return it if it's not the right size.
If they can instantly get their question answered, they're far more likely to complete their purchase than if they're left worrying and wondering.
On top of that, live chat can also help you increase your checkout page optimization even further. Once you know what questions customers are most likely to ask before purchases, you can streamline things by including the answers in your product pages, checkout pages, and other vital marketing materials.
If you're looking for powerful checkout optimization tips, guest checkout is one of the most important ones to consider.
Guest checkout allows customers to complete purchases without going through the hassle of creating an account. They can enter the minimum amount of information and be on their way.
According to research, the second largest reason that drives shoppers to abandon their carts is "the site wanted me to create an account." In an age when most consumers already have dozens of online accounts, having to create an account is the hidden factor behind 24% of abandoned carts.
Now here comes the rub.
Having customers create accounts is much more convenient for eCommerce retailers. Without an account, you won't be able to access a customer's shopping information.
However, this shouldn't discourage you from implementing a guest checkout solution. Guest checkout can increase your conversion rates with new customers, and still give you opportunities to encourage customers to create accounts.
For instance, you can incentivize account creation through an additional discount or invitations to a customer loyalty program. You can also outline the benefits of account creation, such as order history, order tracking, and the potential for one-click checkout.
One of the most fundamental ways you can optimize checkout is to streamline the process. The longer, more laborious, and tedious your checkout process looks to customers, the more friction this introduces and the less likely they'll be to complete their purchase.
Analysis shows that 17% of customers abandon carts when faced with a lengthy eCommerce checkout process. Here are some effective methods for streamlining checkout pages:
Of course, to store customer information you need shoppers to create an account.
Besides incentivizing account creation, you should also make sure your account creation process is simple, easy, and doesn't ask for erroneous information.
Speaking of erroneous information, how many form fields does your checkout process include?
The average eCommerce checkout process has 11.8 form fields or elements.
For eCommerce sites, it might seem like a good thing to get as much data from customers as possible.
Unfortunately, most shoppers don't want to waste time filling out lots of fields.
Imagine if you had to fill out a lengthy form every time you bought something from a new physical store. This is how online shoppers feel when you confront them with unnecessary form fields.
Ideally, eCommerce checkout processes should have a maximum of 7-8 fields, which is roughly half of what most checkout pages have.
Here are a few checkout page optimization tips you can implement to reduce form fields:
These checkout optimization tips will reduce the visual weight of the checkout form and make it feel less daunting to customers.
If you really want to streamline the checkout experience, you can also implement single-page checkout. Instead of leading customers through multiple pages, everything is included on one page.
Single-page checkout could boost your conversion rate substantially, but this doesn't mean that multipage checkout is inherently bad.
Multi-page checkouts can allow you to display information more clearly. They can also make it easier to track friction points across different stages of the checkout flow.
The best way to know for sure what's best for your store is to test out both options and compare conversion rates.
If you don't want to lose customers right when they're about to buy, make sure your checkout button is easily visible. This is perhaps one of the simplest checkout page optimization tips, but one that can have a big impact.
If shoppers are struggling to find the checkout button once they're ready to pay, this can trigger frustration, cart abandonment, and loss of trust.
You can avoid this by:
Besides implementing these checkout page optimization tips for CTA buttons, you should also make sure that your "Add to Cart" buttons are optimized and available throughout your site.
Finally, we'd also recommend that you A/B test your checkout buttons to see what CTA, size, placement, and color perform best.
The easier it is for customers to manage their carts, the less friction there is between them finalizing their orders.
Here are a few ways you can streamline cart management:
You should also make it easy for shoppers to edit their carts by giving them the option to:
These are among some of the easiest ways you can optimize your checkout page while still seeing significant improvements to your conversion rate as a result.
Another important checkout page optimization best practice is to allow customers to save their carts through persistent carts.
Persistent carts retain items even if a shopper leaves your site.
If you don't use persistent carts, shoppers who leave and then come back to complete their purchase will have to start from scratch before making it to your checkout page. With persistent carts, their cart and its contents will be exactly the way they left it.
If customers don't know how far they are in the checkout process, this can spark frustration and cart abandonment. You can negate this by using a progress bar, or by numbering the checkout steps.
Once shoppers reach the checkout stage, you don't want anything competing for attention that might distract them from finalizing their purchase.
Make checkout pages as clean and simple as possible by removing sidebars, navigation bars, and any other distracting elements.
If your eCommerce checkout process isn't optimized for mobile, you might be losing a lot of customers.
Stats show that more than 51% of website traffic now comes from smartphones. Admittedly, not all mobile shoppers complete purchases. Cart abandonment rates are typically higher than for desktop traffic.
Implement these mobile checkout page optimization tips to make sure you're not chasing mobile shoppers away:
Mobile traffic isn’t going away – or even down – so you need to optimize your checkout page with these specific users in mind. Otherwise, you’re inevitably leaving money on the table.
Did you know that 93% of consumers report making buying decisions based on reviews?
Customer reviews have become a vital part of consumer research, and only 2% of shoppers claim that they have NEVER read an online review.
If you don't display reviews on your eCommerce site, there's a good chance shoppers will look for reviews elsewhere. This search could lead them to purchase the same or similar products from a competitor.
To prevent this and add value for the customer, enable reviews and display star ratings next to products.
Earlier, we warned against distractions that will impede your customers progress through your checkout page.
You can do this by displaying items that are relevant to cart contents or by offering an upsell directly after purchase.
Downsells are another powerful tactic to increase conversions at your checkout page.
As the term suggests, it’s the opposite of an upsell. You offer a customer a similar version of the product they’re considering – one that costs less.
The advantage to a downsell is that it captures a conversion that you may have otherwise lost if the customer didn’t know a cheaper option was available.
Here are some indications that it's time for a downsell:
The first two signs you'll be able to pick up from your conversion metrics. The third you can find through a Behavior Flow report in Google Analytics.
Finally, we just touched on one of the most critical checkout page optimization tips, which is to use your analytics to continually fine-tune your eCommerce site’s checkout page.
Analytics allows you to measure conversion metrics, so you can leverage data-driven insights to improve your checkout page and increase profits.
For most companies, this means utilizing Google Analytics.
This platform will enable you to see where you're losing customers and why. Analytics also helps you A/B test different elements to keep shoppers moving through the checkout flow.
The best part about checkout optimization is that any of the above dips can IMMEDIATELY lead to an improved ROI for your entire eCommerce website.
Even better, most of the 22 tips above are extremely affordable to implement – many of them are even free.
So, while there are countless ways to improve your eCommerce website, focusing on your checkout page should always be a priority.