Saturday, July 20, 2024
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E-commerce Checkout Optimization: 6 Features to Boost Conversions 

6 Must-Have Features for Checkout Optimization

In 2021, retail e-commerce sales peaked at 5.2 trillion dollars globally. This signifies not only what mammoth of an industry e-commerce is but also its competitiveness. In the retail industry, many metrics can measure an e-commerce business’ competitiveness. Here, the metric we will talk about is cart abandonment.

As the e-commerce industry expands, this metric also displays an upward trend. The rate of cart abandonment stood at a staggering 59.8% in 2006 and increased to an astounding 69.82% in 2021. This figure only points to one factor that we’ve discussed just now — competitiveness.

E-commerce companies invest millions of dollars to stay ahead of the competition. This includes investing in product development, offering attractive discounts, enhancing user experience, optimizing various steps, and converting pages. Especially those who offer tailored products like clothes or something very customizable. 

When it comes to user experience in e-commerce, the checkout process is a crucial factor. But what makes it an important contributor to user experience?

  1. Single-Page Checkout

A single-page checkout process makes the customer feel that the process is quick and easy. A simple buying procedure means that the customer can purchase without thinking twice about the products in the cart or feeling confused. 

Successful Examples

Here are some e-commerce websites that are successfully implementing single-page checkouts to make the process as friction-free as possible:

  • Amazon 
  • Etsy
  • Shopify (as a platform)
  • Booking
  1. Auto-Fill and Address Verification

What can make a single-page checkout process more efficient? Autofill and address autocomplete and verification options. 

Checkout Optimization

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All three of these options help:

  1. Reduce the number of keystrokes and the effort that the customer put into completing the order form. 
  2. Decrease the order cancellation rate because of incomplete information and typos during entry. 
  3. Real-time address verification assures that the customer is placing the order from a location that the company delivers to. 

How to Integrate These Features?

Many website builders like Wix and Webflow offer add-ons that allow integrating auto-fill into checkout. Another option is to go for third parties that also offer autofill, address autocomplete, and address verification options through dedicated APIs. 

  1. Progress Indicators

Adding a definitive number to the steps or illustrating the process clearly can make a huge difference to the user experience. In e-commerce, steps or progress indicators are crucial to keep the customer informed, so the process feels manageable. The anxiety levels are low because the customers know what they can expect next. 

Successful Examples

Walmart, Zappos, and Magento all use progress indicators to make the customer feel at ease while they complete their sale. 

  1. Guest Checkout Option

While signups can help you gather customer information, it is not worth it if it adds friction to the checkout process and leads to an abandoned cart. Allowing customers to check out without signing in can help get them through the sale without hesitation. 

However, this does not undermine the importance of getting customer information. To keep the process hassle-free and get the necessary details, here are some recommendations.

Useful Tips

The guest checkout option can be useful to grasp customers making their first purchase on your website. But to obtain their information, here are some strategies to adopt:

  1. Highlight Guest Checkout

Ensure that the option for guest checkout is prominently displayed on the homepage, product pages, and especially on the initial checkout process steps. 

  1. Make Guest Checkout the Default Option

If your target audience comprises impulsive buyers or customers who want to make quick transactions, allow them to checkout as guests without prompting them to sign up. 

  1. Minimize Form Fields

When your customer comes to your website, it can be enticing to get all the possible information, including their gender, age, and preferences. While it can be quite useful for an effective targeting strategy, it only increases user effort. Make sure that you are only gathering essential data from the user and getting additional info from social login options.

  1. Offer Social Login Options

A one-button signup process like “Sign in with Google” or “Sign in with Facebook” is the simplest way for the user to share their information and allow auto-filling.

Social Login: Facebook App Setup - Ultimate Member

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  1. Multiple Payment Gateways

E-commerce websites cater to a large audience. The audience is diverse in the ways they prefer to shop online. By enabling multiple payment gateways you can make sure that no one abandons the cart because they don’t find their preferred payment method listed on the site. 

Technical Features Worth Considering

While multiple payment gateways offer a plethora of benefits, they do demand some technical considerations:

  • Security. The first consideration before you onboard a payment gateway is to make sure that it uses a secure connection like HTTPS and adheres to the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) requirements. 
  • API Integration. Every payment gateway uses APIs to process information and take payments. Your IT team can make sure that the gateway’s endpoints, data formats, and authentication methods are safe. 
  • Payment Methods. Payment gateways don’t only include different enablers but different payment methods (credit cards, digital wallets, bank transfers, etc.). 
  • Mobile Responsiveness. Your website should be optimized to make the payment gateway’s integration mobile-friendly for the 48% of e-commerce traffic that comes from mobile devices. 
  • Error Handling. Your website should have robust error-handling mechanisms to minimize order cancellation rates.
  1. Security and SSL Certification

Despite the security setup of the payment gateways you add to your website, there is an additional layer of security that you need to add to your website. For any website that accepts online payments, a secure socket layer or SSL certificates and encryption are essential.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Free SSL Certificates - Revenues & Profits

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When your website has an SSL certificate, it means the customer can trust you with their most private information like credit card numbers and CVC codes. The lack of an SSL certificate could break the sale, even if your product is one of the most unique products out there.

Conclusion

Checkout optimization is one of the many features that are crucial to make your e-commerce business a success. Checkout optimization is a two-edged sword. Not only does it improve user experience, but it also helps reduce the number of abandoned carts!

We have discussed that checkout optimization simplifies the process by allowing single-page checkouts, auto-filling, and the option to check out as a guest. Checkout optimization also means facilitating the user in more than one way — showing progress indicators, enabling multiple payment gateways, and ensuring that the website is SSL secure. 

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