Checkout page optimization is crucial.
Are your customers bouncing away on the checkout page? Do you feel that your checkout process isn’t good enough? Is it lengthy, complicated, and far-fetched?
The checkout page is the last step your potential customers must take before you can say finally say it’s a done deal. However, many online stores still mistakenly complicate the checkout page — turning away visitors from making a purchase.
Fortunately, you won’t have to stay this way. There are checkout optimization techniques that you can apply to transform your checkout page into a highly converting page.
Our list of checkout page optimization tactics will help you create an intuitive, seamless, and effortless checkout page to drive shoppers to complete their transactions and drive sales by 3x more.
Ready to optimize? Let’s start!
1. Keep customers on the same domain (single-page checkout)
You’ve been here before: imagine you’re in a supermarket and about to pay for your groceries, will you choose the longest queue in a checkout lane? Of course not! Shoppers want the shortest and fastest way out.
It’s the same thing with your checkout page. It should undergo checkout optimization to shorten the customer’s path to purchase. Using a single-page checkout can help bring users closer to conversion. This is because it occupies less real estate, meaning there’s less information to fill out.
A single-page checkout is normally faster and shorter compared to a multi-page checkout because it requires no extra pages to load. This means there are fewer clicks to make and fewer pages to visit — providing customers a more convenient way to check out.
Ideally, the lesser the page and the steps to checkout, the faster for customers to place an order, and quicker for you to secure that sales.
Checkout Optimization Example: A.N. Other has a one-page checkout process, taking out the additional steps shoppers have to fulfill.
Depending on your eCommerce platform, you can either manually configure or use an extension to enable a single-page checkout. For Magento sites, one-page checkout is enabled by default. You can use this Magento user guide for one-page checkout for more information. For Shopify and WooCommerce sites, you can use plugins like WooCommerce One Page Checkout or Shopify One-Click Checkout.
2. Make shipping options more pleasing
Shipping is one of the most crucial components in a checkout page. Because people have different shipping needs, your checkout must be optimized to cater to these varied needs.
Some shoppers want expedited shipping, while others are not in a hurry. A portion of your customers won’t mind waiting for their orders if they’re going to save some shipping fees.
Provide your customers with a range of shipping options to appease their different needs and schedules. This makes their decision-making process a lot faster because there are already available options for them to choose. Here are two recommended checkout optimization actions:
- For slower shipping: reward free shipping to shoppers who are willing to wait for 3 or more days.
- For faster shipping: provide less than 2 days shipping but with an additional shipping fee.
Checkout Optimization Example: The North Face provides 3 shipping options to make their shipping prices more inviting to customers with different shipping needs. Thus, simplifying their decision-making process.
3. Allow guest checkouts
Customers get easily frustrated when they are required to sign up for an account on the checkout page. According to the Baymard Institute, 34% of shoppers have abandoned their carts because a site wanted them to make an account.
Offering a guest checkout is a good checkout optimization tactic to address your customers’ unwillingness to register an account first. Guest checkouts will conveniently provide a checkout alternative without having to sign up.
Also, a good alternative to guest checkouts is social sign-ins such as using their Facebook or Twitter accounts to login. This immediately speeds up the checkout transaction because shoppers won’t need to fill out lengthy account forms.
Checkout Optimization Example: Firebox offers both guest checkout and Facebook sign-in to cater to customers who don’t want to register an account.
For WooCommerce users, you can simply check the “Allow customers to place orders without an account” option. Here’s some information on how to enable guest checkout on your store. You can also do this manually with Magento guest checkout guide or Shopify enabling or disabling customer accounts.
4. Use urgency and FOMO
The psychological phenomenon called fear of missing out (FOMO) is a great addition to your checkout optimization tactics. It states that people are more receptive to what others are doing. They become anxious if they’ll miss out something.
You can take advantage of FOMO in your checkout page by offering free shipping but with restrictions. For example, you can offer free shipping for a limited number of buyers only. This immediately increases your customers’ sense of urgency. This is because it encourages your customers to complete their checkout transaction if they want to avail of the limited offer.
You can also use the element of time to boost user urgency and FOMO. Specific time limits on your offers like “Free shipping until 12 midnight only” will prevent your customers from delaying their purchase decision.
Checkout Optimization Example: The Lakeside Collection effectively boost customer urgency and FOMO with its limited time free shipping.
Aside from FOMO, adding a countdown timer to your offers at the checkout page can help you intensify your visitors’ urgency to purchase. In checkout, the clock is always ticking. If you allow your visitors to pause just even for a minute, there’s a tendency that they will get sidetracked and won’t complete the order.
This is why adding a countdown timer to your checkout page instantly triggers your customers’ urgency to purchase because they see that the time will run out soon. You can combine the FOMO psychology that we’ve talked about earlier and the countdown timer together.
For example, you can show a product is running out of stock soon. Then, simply add a countdown cart beside a headline saying that “Your order is on high demand” to remind shoppers that the product is about to go out of stock.
Checkout Optimization Example: Tendencia Wood has applied both FOMO psychology and countdown timer to urge shoppers to complete the checkout process.
You can steal this checkout optimization tactic by using Boost Convert app.
5. Highlight security and trust seals
Absence of site security and trust seals is one of the glaring mistakes that online stores commit at the checkout page. Because customers will provide their personal details and financial data during checkout, they are more concerned about how you can protect their information.
Customers have heard stories or even encountered website security issues in the past. They know the dangers of hackers stealing vital information like credit card data. You can fix this issue by simply converting from HTTP to HTTPS. Install an SSL certificate like Really Simple SSL to turn your site more secure.
Plus, adding visible trust signs will ensure your potential customers that your page is legitimate and you will handle their data securely. With just a glance, shoppers will already know that you have taken proper measures to keep their information safe.
Checkout Optimization Example: Fab & Go display visible trust signs like McAfee and Norton to assure shoppers that their site is safe and secure. You can display visible trust signs by using apps like Free Trust Badge.
6. Show the checkout flow
As shoppers ourselves, we all know that we can be impatient at times. This is most especially true when we aren’t sure how long it will take for us to complete a checkout transaction.
If your visitors are blinded of where they are at the checkout process, this can possibly impact their tolerance and prevent them from finishing the process. To help you alleviate their impatience, show a checkout flow on top of your checkout page.
A checkout flow or a progress bar acts as a visual indicator of where your visitors are in the checkout process. It gives them an instant idea if they are close to completing an order. Checkout flow is technically just a visual progression to navigate customers between checkout steps and show them that they’re making progress. Simply enable the WooCommerce Orders Progress Bar – Pro plugin or use this Basic Progress Bar Tutorial.
Checkout Optimization Example: HSN puts a checkout flow on top of its checkout page to guide customers where they are in the checkout process.
7. Highlight customer reviews
A well-optimized and highly converting checkout page reassures shoppers about the reputation of the store. Shoppers, especially first time buyers, are not really sure about the legitimacy of your site. Plus, they want to know if the product they are about to purchase is of good quality.
Adding social proofs like customer reviews and product feedback will ease your potential customers’ doubts. Customer testimonials humanize the transaction and add authenticity to your product because other people have tried and tested them before.
What you can do is to send a feedback survey to your past customers. Then ask if you can use the verbatim of the survey to your checkout page. Reward them with a discount on their next purchase. This won’t only increase your customer reviews but will also drive them to your site again.
Checkout Optimization Example: Kit Out My Office showcases customer reviews on the checkout page to motivate shoppers to complete their purchase.
For WooCommerce merchants, you can add reviews by using the Checkout Field Editor app add, edit, and remove fields shown on your checkout page. For other stores, add the Stamped.io Reviews to easily manage your checkout reviews.
8. Clarify delivery/shipping costs upfront
We hear it too often that customers hate hidden charges, an unexpected shipping fee is one of them. While free shipping is an incredibly attractive offer to push your visitors into the checkout page, not disclosing the true shipping cost upfront will just drive your potential customers away.
The easiest solution to this issue is by simply displaying how much you charge for shipping. Don’t make free shipping a bait if you can’t honor it on the checkout page. It is much better if you are honest from the very beginning than surprising your shoppers in the end.
You can add a shipping calculator on your checkout page so that customers can already check how much they will pay for shipping fees right away. To help you with this, the Shipping Rates Calculator Plus plugin will handle your shipping calculations instantly for you.
Checkout Optimization Example: Foot Locker has a ‘Calculate Shipping’ feature that conveniently helps shoppers with different shipping fees and options.
9. Remove all unnecessary distractions
Whatever you’re selling, it’s important to keep your checkout page as focused as possible. You don’t want any hiccups at this point, this will just slow down the checkout process and might even drive your customers away.
As a checkout optimization checklist, you have to make sure you perform the following on your checkout page:
- Remove unnecessary fields: You don’t need to gather too much data. They add clutter to the process which makes it hard for shoppers to stay fixated on the end goal: to place an order. It’s also a good idea to keep your design at a minimum. Anything that complicates both in content and design will distract your customers.
- Wipeout unnecessary graphics: You don’t need high-definition product images at this point. They should only be applied to your product pages and landing pages. Your checkout page should also be free from graphics like blinking icons or 3D animations.
- Clean out unnecessary links: At the checkout stage, you don’t want your shoppers to be directed somewhere else. Ensure that only the needed navigation links are present like privacy terms and shipping conditions.
- Don’t allow intrusive ads: If you have ads turning up on homepage or products, make sure that you don’t apply them on your checkout page. The checkout process should be free from flashing banners and similar types that will just distract your customers.
Checkout Optimization Example: Ulta crafted a minimalistic looking checkout to remove all unnecessary distractions that prevent shoppers from successfully placing an order.
10. Show product recommendations on the checkout page
It’s hard to find shoppers who will move past the checkout page. This is why it’s important for you to maximize each transaction as much as possible. Why not encourage them to add more products to their carts?
You can recommend relevant products that could stir the interest of your shoppers. The keyword here is relevant. You only want to suggest items that they are most likely to purchase. This will help you increase the average order value of your customers.
For example, you can show items that are complementary to the product they are ready to buy like accessory items. You can also encourage shoppers to add more items to avail of a discounted bundle price.
Checkout Optimization Example: Franklin Planner dedicates a “You may also like” section at the bottom of the checkout page to stir the interest of their shoppers with products they might like to add.
To get you started with suggesting relevant items on your checkout page, Onsite Product Recommendations has a data-driven technology to automatically select the items to display on the checkout process.
11. Show exit-intent popup
You expect that because shoppers are already in the checkout process, they won’t be abandoning their orders. Well, that’s not always the case. So as long as they didn’t click the submit button, their order isn’t successful yet.
Instead of waiting for them to click the exit button, why not show a popup that will prevent them from abandoning the checkout process? Exit-intent technology allows you to detect if visitors are about to leave your site without purchasing. Once detected, an exit-intent popup will momentarily appear to catch their attention. So, make it more irresistible by offering them with a last-minute deal. This can help you recover and push them towards conversion.
Checkout Optimization Example: Baron Fig offers a last-minute discount to entice abandoning shoppers to complete their checkout transaction.
The exit-intent technology of Discount Coupon Popup will conveniently help you set up a captivating last-minute popup offer to encourage your abandoning visitors to complete their checkout transaction.
12. Provide express checkout
Once shoppers decide to proceed to checkout, they expect the process to be as fast as possible. They don’t want any more surprises when they’re ready to purchase.
Your shoppers will only be patient on filling out information up to a certain point. If you add unnecessary steps, you will just push them further away. Keep your checkout process short and frictionless. Enable an express checkout as an option to allow your shoppers with a faster way to checkout without having to fill out more fields.
An express checkout means that customers will automatically be taken to the final step of the checkout process. Normally, this is the ‘Review & Place Order’ section. This helps in eliminating the tedious process of filling out the contact information. The customer details in an express checkout account like Paypal or Google Pay will already be available so shoppers won’t have to input them again.
Checkout Optimization Example: Not Another Bill has convenient Paypal and Google Pay express checkout options.
To apply your own express checkout, here’s a guide to integrating Paypal Express Checkout.
13. Add smart bar on checkout
Lastly, the lack of motivation is one of the driving forces why customers don’t move past the checkout process. Shoppers have a lot of reasons why they won’t complete the transaction. But, whatever reason they have, you can always employ a checkout optimization tactic to influence them to finish their orders.
One of the best ways to convince your unmotivated shoppers is to let them know of the sales promos that they can avail immediately. Just simply add a smart bar on top of your checkout page to announce your promotions. This will automatically get the attention of your shoppers without disrupting their shopping experience.
Checkout Optimization Example: Qardio effectively uses a smart header bar to announce its free shipping promo and money back guarantee on top of the product page.
You can have your own smart header bar by using SiteKit to help you display important promotional messages on top of your checkout page header. You can also use this on other pages of your website to grab the attention of your visitors instantly.
Is your checkout page ready?
Imagine this: potential customers are in the checkout page but they suddenly click the exit button and leave your site.
This scenario is one of the most dreaded issues that a lot of online stores face today. You have poured so much time and invested so much money to drive traffic to your site and push your visitors into the checkout process. Don’t waste it!
The mission is simple: create a checkout page that is seamless and effortless enough for customers to move past the checkout process. Our list of checkout optimization tactics will help you secure a successful order the next time your shoppers are completing their transaction.
Give our checkout optimization tactics a try today and see a triple in your sales revenue!