One of the most immediate, high impact eCommerce strategies to increase online sales is optimizing the checkout process. With different shopping cart platforms offering a variety of options across the board, how do you choose which checkout experience will convert more for your business?
This blog offers recommendations from an emotional shopping approach. Optimize your eCommerce checkout and improve conversion rate by focusing on 3 main psychological and emotional triggers: speed, trust and value.
Site Speed & One Page Checkout
There are two ways to consider speed within the checkout process. One involves your overall site speed and page load times. We’ve seen conversion rates increase with each second you take off of your page load times. The other way relates to the speed at which a customer can successfully complete the checkout.
Site Speed and Page Load Times
Site speed affects your eCommerce site whether you realize it or not. Conversion rates, SEO, customer experiences and sales are affected directly by site speed and page load times. According to HubSpot:
- 1 second delay means a 7% reduction in conversions;
- 1 second delay in page load time means 11% loss of page views;
- 47% of customers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less;
- 79% of customers who report dissatisfaction with website performance are less likely to buy from that same site again.
Fast site speeds and page load times are a critical component of any eCommerce strategy and can benefit your SEO. Slow speeds and load times deter customers from visiting your website - let alone checkout and purchase your products.
The last thing you want is for customers to browse your website, get to the checkout page, and then realize the checkout process takes way too long. To avoid losing customers this way, optimize your site's speed and page load times for desktop and mobile so that customers will remain satisfied.
Remember to optimize your site for one page checkout so that customers can quickly purchase what they're looking for without any interruptions or distractions.
Speed of Successfully Completing The Checkout
Online shoppers are impatient. When they have gotten to the point of selecting the products they desire to buy, they don't want to waste time doing the “paperwork”. Let's relate this to an offline shopping experience.
Think back to the last time you went shopping. You probably spent time browsing, trying on and carefully considering the price vs. value before making a purchase decision. Now, think about the last time you had gone through the entire shopping process and committed to a purchase but walked away without purchasing because the checkout line was ridiculously long.
In the online world, this situation is equivalent to getting a customer to the checkout then bombarding them with too many steps, requiring account creation and asking for too much information. Many sites fail to leverage technology to auto-fill fields that the customer has already completed or based on information already supplied.
Did they supply their zip code in a shipping estimator? Then fill out their zip code in the shipping step. If customers are taking one look at that checkout process and walking away from their potential purchase, you need to streamline your process.
Successful One-Page Checkout Experience
There is no magic number for the acceptable amount of steps within a checkout. Where a one page checkout might be the silver bullet for one eCommerce website, it may kill conversion on another.
The important note here is your strategy shouldn't be to fit your checkout within a specific number of steps, or even to make your checkout have the fewest amount of steps. What matters most is aligning the structure of the checkout with your audience and industry.
Help customers fly through the checkout by auto filling information, allowing guest checkouts and providing inline validation. With inline validation, customers don't have to arrive at the end of the process before being told that they entered in too few digits in their credit card info. A notification pops up as soon as they fill in a field alerting them to mistakes.
Showing a checkout progress bar helps customers see the light at the end of the tunnel and predict how much longer the checkout will take, making the process feel structured and less uncertain. Avoid asking merchandising/customer segmentation questions during checkout. Only ask the absolutely necessary information.
Let’s revert back to the example of your offline shopping trip. This time, let's pretend you weren’t in a real store; you were buying from a merchant at an open air city market.
Do you feel entirely secure handing over your credit card information to this merchant? What if they can't provide a receipt or if there are no signs indicating which cards they accept or their credit card policies? Even worse, what if you have heard from several people that this merchant is untrustworthy? I’m certain that the majority of people would hesitate to complete this purchase regardless of how easy it was.
Trust is more amplified for online shoppers because the process is not as transparent as an offline transaction. Once you enter in all of your personal and confidential information, you probably wonder where it goes and who has access to it.
Resolving Trust Issues
Fortunately for online stores, calming online shopping concerns about trust is pretty easy. First, customers will be on high alert if your eCommerce site looks outdated, with a hard-to-use interface. If this is the case, consider engaging with a website design agency to revamp your look. They'll enhance your website with design effects and focus on updating the usability as well.
Security Seals and Optimized CTAs
Additionally, optimizing the language you use on calls to action within the checkout can go a long way in increasing the trust level customers have with your website. See below how Best Buy increases trust with their CTAs.
Best Buy increases consumer trust by offering additional sign up options. Other than the standardized account creation option, customers are offered the options to create an account by signing up with their Google account or creating a business account.
Use A Product Review System
According to a study by HubSpot, 78% of Internet users conduct product research online. Customers like assurance from peers, social groups and previous purchasers before making a purchase decision.
Build trust and provide peace of mind to even the most critical customers by by employing a product review system on your website. Push customers to provide not only product reviews but also testimonials on their experience with your company.
You have done a great job merchandising your catalog and have mind-blowing product images that show intricate details of your products. You even have modules that allow customers to shop by the most popular and best reviewed products. Continue displaying value in the one page checkout by increasing customers' desire for your product(s).
Increase Perceived Value
Customers will stick through the worst checkout experience to purchase something they perceive as valuable. This is why value is the most important aspect in the checkout process.
Achieve higher conversion rates by clearly showing customers your unique value proposition (UVP) during the checkout. Let's say your UVP is "Free Shipping." If you're unable to promote free shipping for every order, be sure to remind customers - on the one page checkout - how much more they must spend to qualify for free shipping.
Offer Discounts & Promotions
Display great value by offering discounts and promotions. Integrating the discounts within the checkout is where customers really see the value.
Provide customers promo codes within the checkout. Once these promo codes are used, automatically trigger messaging that tells how much the customer has saved on a purchase.
Trigger urgency with messaging that shows a time frame or expiration date. When customers feel like they'll lose out on a deal by waiting, they're more likely to complete the checkout rather than going elsewhere to compare prices.
Overall, the checkout process has evolved relatively little over time. Since the information that eCommerce sites need to complete a digital transaction remain the same, all checkout forms more or less require the same information.
Decrease shopping cart abandonment and increase conversion rate on a one page checkout by improving speed, increasing trust and promoting value. Create a unique strategy for your online business by including these 3 emotional triggers.
If you have additional questions and concerns or would like to learn more about optimizing the checkout experience, contact us through the form below. We'll be happy to help!
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