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Ecommerce: The Checkout Process

A lot of web designers and business owners overlook the importance of the checkout process. After many years of usability testing we have found that the checkout process tends to be one of the major flaws in most e-commerce websites.

Whilst checking out may seem like a relatively simple process, it’s also the most important area to get right. Regardless of how good your marketing, product offering and pricing is, if your checkout process is overly complex, information demanding or confusing then you will undoubtedly lose a number of sales.

Customers expect a fast and seamless checkout process, the more complex you make it the more sales you will miss out on. Of course there will be some instances within the checkout process that require the customer to fill in various forms and enter information, but it needs to be clear and logical for the customer as to why you would need to obtain that information and what you plan to do with it.

You need to be very clear and ensure privacy is a priority in any stage of the checkout process where personal information or bank details are being used. You will see a huge increase in conversion rates if you offer multiple payment methods and use reputable merchant providers to deal with the transaction.

Let your users know exactly which stage of the checkout process they are at and how many stages remain.

It may seem obvious but too many websites we come across make the following mistakes within their checkout process; using buttons that aren’t clearly or logically identified as buttons, using wording or instructions that do not work with the system or the requirements you have laid out and not making it clear that your check out methods are safe and secure.

The best way to identify whether your checkout process truly works and whether certain aspects are losing you sales is to use analytics programs in order to identify which pages customers are leaving your site from. Another good method is to simply ask your customers for advice on how you can make your store more user friendly, or carry out usability testing with a small group of users willing to provide you with feedback

The checkout process is one of the most important aspects of an e-commerce store to get right and when done right can dramatically increase conversion rates. Stop loosing customers at the final hurdle and turn those lost leads into sales.