The demand for ecommerce websites continues to grow. Delivering an enjoyable online shopping experience to this ever-increasing pool of customers depends on a smooth shopping cart checkout process. Thanks to the latest technologies, creating the perfect checkout process has become a lot more achievable than before.
Let’s dig a little deeper to find out how to do it.
What is a shopping cart checkout:
The shopping cart checkout process takes place when users finish filling their cart and are ready to order their products. For all those who are new to the shopping cart concept, try following ecommerce platforms for ideas on how the best shopping cart checkouts work.
Here, we discuss 8 steps you can use to create the perfect shopping cart checkout for your website:
1. Include an order summary
The most obvious and necessary part of the checkout page is letting your users know exactly what they are going to order. Offering complete transparency helps build trust. Make sure to tell users exactly what to expect when they unpack their shipped parcel by giving them an order review summary just before completing checkout.
Here is a good example of the order review system with Staples courtesy of the Baymard institute, from a study to find out the best checkout steps based on research into about 50 e-commerce websites.
The standard practices are as follow:
- Adding an image of what users are paying for
- Adding the attributes of that product, such as size, color, and price
- Adding cost related factors, like shipping fees, discounts, coupons, gift cards, taxes, and the total amount
2. Adding live chat for real-time conversations
Several reports show that launching a live chat feature on website boosts conversion rate and even increases sales significantly. Imagine how impressive it would look if they got to know all the information related to the products in real-time, without wasting time online by seeking it on other websites. This would not only keep them updated about their product but would also build mutual trust between customers and website owners. They would be getting real-time updates about their products and also FAQs.
Several reports show that launching a live chat feature on a website boosts conversion rate and sales significantly. Imagine how impressed customers are when they have all the product information available to them in real-time. It helps build trust as well as keep them updated on the product.
For instance, if you sell a laptop to a customer, then they may well be interested in knowing its features, advantages, expected delivery time, etc. If you provided all these details right away via live chat, customers are all the happier. It isn’t surprising then that 92% of customers love live chat.
Live chat improves the customer experience, helping solve queries instantly.
At Acquire, we have learned a lot from existing customers. Here are some best practices to follow:
- Provide the details users need, like the available colors, and pros and cons
- FAQs from users, which can be handled calmly on a chat
- Telling users about coupons and discounts available on a product
- Ensuring security and trust with customers and building relationships
3. Make checkout mobile friendly
Even if your e-commerce website is responsive, is your checkout page optimized for mobile users? Many more users than before are browsing and shopping from mobile devices. Checkout pages therefore need to be mobile friendly so customers can place orders hassle free.
- Text appears very small and is difficult to read without pinching to zoom
- Product images are very small and difficult for customers to see
- If the customer adds the item to the shopping cart it becomes difficult to see the total cost and other information
Cart abandonment ratio increases with all the issues above. Mobile optimization for checkout pages is a must if you want to improve sales and conversion rates.
4. Ask only relevant questions
During checkout, users sometimes leave because they don’t want to share any extra details about themselves with the website, which they feel could compromise their privacy. Thus, it is always good to keep questions highly relevant. Always try to group together relevant product or price related questions, so they feel secure in answering them.
The Bellroy e-commerce store checkout page is one of the best examples of this. Their approach is minimalistic. They ask only for payment details and a delivery address to complete the checkout process. The information can be entered on a single page, keeping the whole process short.
5. Use a readable table-based layout
A shopping cart checkout looks good when it is formatted in a way that makes it easy for a user to read. The content of the checkout page should be written so as not to appear confusing. Use a readable table-based layout so your customers can see details regarding size, color, price, description, and reviews of the product clearly.
E-commerce website designing services, like Webdesignerdepot, are suggesting using:
“A fully functional cart that is contained within a page of its own and a “mini” shopping cart, usually located in the sidebar, or above the page fold. The best practice is to include both.”
The standard practices are:
- Clear details about specified products
- An easy to read tabular format
- The description should be concise
6. Avoid using too many fields
Information overload can damage the buying experience. Users always prefer an uncluttered look when buying online.
The main concern is getting all relevant details to customers when they check out. Removing any irrelevant fields is advisable.
If there are too many fields on the checkout page, it takes a long time to fill them all in, and once a customer gets frustrated; it only takes one click to end the whole process. Go with the bare minimum:
- Personal Information: Name, address, email, and contact number
- Modes of Payment: COD, debit cards, and credit cards
- Discounts: Coupons, discounts
- Expected delivery time
- Size, color, or any other information about the product
7. Make the payment process easy
Your checkout page represents the final stop for customers on your website. Creating a simple, user-friendly payment process will help get them over the line and increase your sales and conversions. There are certain factors to keep in mind when designing payment pages.
Allow customers to pay using a number of different payment methods, including their digital wallets. Some websites offer only one mode of payment, leading to inevitable cart abandonment. Data shows that 56% of customers expect a variety of payment options on the checkout page.
Many websites ask customers to sign up before completing a purchase. This puts up an unnecessary barrier to purchasing and causes customers to leave. Websites like Apple’s provide a guest login to smooth out the process and boost conversion rates. If you want customer details, ask once they complete the checkout process, offering free shipping or some discounts on the next purchase as an incentive for them signing up. Instead of forcing customers to give out details at the beginning, give them the option at the end.
Don’t ask for unnecessary details either. There is no need to create hurdles for customers by adding a long list of fields to fill out. Filling in forms is the boring part of online shopping, so it should always be minimized. Leverage features that hasten the process, such as a page that automatically detects the city/state or region based on zip code entered.
8. Build trust with customers
“Trust is an invaluable priceless asset you must focus on building with your clients, customers or patients.” – John Di Lemme
It takes a lot of time and effort to earn users’ trust. But to increase conversion rates it’s essential that consumers feel safe and secure when entering their credit card details on your website.
There are different ways to show your website is trustworthy and convince customers to shop there.
Use of security logos and trustmarks – Use of trustmarks reassures customers that they can enter their credit card details and shop on your website with confidence.
The logos shown above indicate the technical security of a site. These reputable brands can help you in gaining customers’ trust and credibility.
Social proof – Google’s Trusted Stores scheme provides average user ratings, recommending customers buy products because users have bought from that site before. This helps customers feel safe in sharing their confidential details and placing an order. Social proof helps increase buying confidence among consumers.
Contact Details – Contact options on websites leaves customers feeling comfortable that if there is any problem with their order they can get in touch easily.
Building trust requires a lot of hard work but losing it is very easy. Commitment to give great customer service helps in developing trust with your customers.
A smooth checkout flow can increase profits for your online business and improve cart abandonment rates. Adopt these steps and you are guaranteed to be on the right track.
So, what's your take?