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15 Jul 2023

Cart Checkout Best Practices

14 Ecommerce Checkout Best Practices

Your first challenge as an ecommerce entrepreneur is to attract potential customers to your landing pages. Your second is to persuade them to click items into their carts. However, unless your checkout process is smooth and simple enough to facilitate conversions, all your efforts will have been in vain.

In this article, we will look at how to improve your ecommerce checkout process by offering 14 strategies designed to boost conversions.

The Cart Abandonment Headache

Research by the Baymard group puts the worldwide cart abandonment rate at a whopping 69.8 percent.

In other words, 69.8 percent of ecommerce shoppers place items in their carts and then choose to abandon the purchases.

The reasons are many and varied.

For instance, customers may just be browsing and pop items into the cart to see what extra costs may be involved in ordering them. Or they may have second thoughts when weighing up whether they really need those items.

Often, however, a high cart abandonment rate signals a poor user experience or a broken sales funnel. Let’s look at some strategies designed to enhance the attractiveness of your ecommerce checkout page.

Strategy 1: Keep it Straight and Simple

Simplify the steps involved in the checkout process. Minimize the number of form fields. Implement a progress indicator to show customers how far along they are in the process. Confine the checkout process to a single page.

Strategy 2: Offer Guest Checkout

You would undoubtedly have experienced this yourself. You have chosen your item, clicked it into the cart, and now want to proceed to the checkout. But wait, you need first to create an account!

More details to provide, another password to remember. Too much bother… Abandon cart.

A simple way around this scenario is to provide a guest checkout, allowing customers to complete their purchase without the need for registration. Later, you can provide incentives to encourage them to create an account.

Strategy 3: Optimize Form Fields

Optimize your form fields to make data entry easier and quicker for customers. Use auto-fill options whenever possible and employ input validation to prevent errors. Group related fields together logically.

Strategy 4: Display Trust Signals

Build trust with your customers by displaying trust signals such as security badges, customer reviews, and secure payment logos prominently on the checkout page. This helps alleviate any concerns about the safety of their personal information.

Strategy 5: Offer Multiple Payment Options

With the plethora of payment methods now available to customers, it is no longer enough only to accept major credit and debit cards. Make sure that your site is primed to accept a range of payment options, including digital wallets, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other mobile payment systems.

Strategy 6: Offer Buy-Now-Pay-Later Solutions

Several payment platforms in the GCC, such as Tabby, Postpay, Spotii, and Tamara, allow customers to split their purchases into several smaller payments at the checkout point. None charges fees for the BNPL service—which effectively serves as an interest-free loan.

Incorporating one of these platforms into your payment options could make the difference between a sale and an abandonment.

Strategy 7: Optimize for Mobile

Ensure that your checkout process is mobile-friendly and optimized for smaller screens. Research shows that mobile shopping is on the rise, with one study estimating that 56% of all online sales in 2022 came from a mobile device. It becomes obvious that a seamless mobile experience can significantly improve conversions.

Strategy 8: Display Shipping Costs and Policies

Clearly communicate shipping costs and policies upfront to avoid surprises during the checkout process. Consider offering free shipping or setting minimum order thresholds for free shipping to incentivize larger purchases.

Strategy 9: Provide Clear Call-to-Action Buttons

Use prominent and visually appealing CTA buttons, such as "Proceed to Checkout" or "Place Order". Ensure they are easily visible and clearly guide customers to the next step.

Strategy 10: Offer Order Summary and Confirmation

Provide customers with a clear and concise order summary, including itemized costs, shipping details, and estimated delivery dates. Additionally, display a confirmation page or send a confirmation email to reassure customers that they have successfully placed their orders.

Strategy 11: Use Pop-ups

Use pop-ups to grab the attention of customers who are about to abandon the cart. Offer them an incentive, such as a discount or free shipping, to encourage them to complete their purchases. Customers receiving a perk at the checkout are less likely to abandon their carts.

Strategy 12: Monitor and Analyze your Checkout Funnel Regularly

Take time to identify any areas requiring improvement. Use A/B testing to help you determine the most effective ways to increase conversions at your ecommerce checkout.

Strategy 13: Don’t Time Customers Out Too Quickly

Many customers need time to locate the information required to complete their orders, including details of their cards or mobile wallets, delivery addresses, and billing addresses. They may be interrupted while making the purchase. If they are timed out too quickly, they may not return to your site.

Strategy 14: Distinguish Between Delivery Addresses and Billing Addresses

Many customers go online to buy gifts they want to be delivered to friends or family. Make it easy for them to distinguish between the delivery address and the billing address so they don’t find the item being delivered to themselves rather than the intended recipient.

A Final Takeaway

Simplifying your ecommerce checkout solutions by implementing the cart checkout best practices listed above can significantly boost conversions.

Think back to your own experiences of using online checkouts. Reflect on the irritations and frustrations that you have faced when trying to make straightforward purchases online, and try to make sure they don’t feature on your ecommerce checkout page.

Take a lesson from those successful online retailers that have grasped the value of finely tuned ecommerce checkout solutions in minimizing cart abandonment.

After all, checkout is the final point where a sale can be made or lost, so you owe it to your business to ensure it’s not a hurdle your customers have to clear, or even a slight speed bump. Like those real-world shopping carts, the virtual ones ride much easier to the checkout—and through it—when the going is smooth and easy.