If you want to provide a good checkout process, you
need to allow your customers to quickly and easily pay
for their items without feeling overwhelmed, or worse,
confused. However there are other
factors that drive customers away from the checkout
1. Remove compulsory registration
This one is a strange beast. Customers must leave
their personal information and delivery details
in order to purchase, no matter where they shop
online. How else would an online retailer know who
you are and where to send the items? However consumers
don't see it that way, they simply see a registration
If possible provide a one page, quick shop checkout.
If you have to provide two you can, but one page
works much better. A recent study found that over
25% of consumers would abandon a checkout if they
were forced to register first.
2. Clear delivery charges and timescales
Be honest, up-front and clear about delivery charges
and delivery timescales. This allows customers to
quickly check the total charges before they complete
the checkout, removing any concerns about costs.
If you can, how about providing free shipping?
It makes people feel like they are getting a deal
(even if it may be added to the product price).
3. Remove checkout distractions
Enclosing the checkout process and removing all
possible exists (links) keeps a consumer focused.
It also means that important information such as
security information and credit card scheme logos
are more visible.
That said, adding delivery information and refund
policies is a good idea as it keeps certain consumers
reassured. However don't link away to informational
pages. This information should appear in lightboxes
which don't interrupt the checkout process.
Also a 'Continue Shopping' button may have pros
4. Use high quality images
Not only does this make your website look much
more professional, it also shows the customer exactly
what it is they are buying. It may also be an idea
to add a thumbnail to the basket page to remind
them what they are about to purchase. Or even remind
of them what they are not about to purchase.
5. Avoid feedback forms
This is getting increasingly popular, however not
only is it really annoying, it creates a barrier
to the all important purchase. Surely this is more
important than the survey? Why not ask after the
customer has completed their checkout?
6. Display a clear refund policy
Having a clearly displayed refund policy makes
your customers feel warm and snuggly. A refund policy
should be displayed clearly so that a customer does
not need to spend time looking for it.
7. Provide progress indicators
These are simple and effective in showing a customer
how long they have left in the checkout process.
A progress bar should be located across the top
of each page.
8. Offer alternative payment methods
Each merchant account
and gateway we
provide is set-up to accept all major cards automatically.
However cards on their own may no longer be enough.
4 or more payment
types increases the success of a transaction
by 22%. Customers are increasingly expecting choice
when paying online, with 50% abandoning a transaction
because their preferred payment method isn’t
available. Preferred payment options include electronic
bank transfers, vouchers, e-wallets (PayPal) and
other payment methods
If at all possible avoid coupon fields. Coupons
drive sales, however research has found that when
customers don’t have a coupon and see that
field, they leave to find one with many not returning.
10. If you have data on a customer, use it.
If your shopping cart records who has abandoned
an order, email them a reminder. Contact them and,
politely, ask if there is anything you can do which
means they will complete.
Forrester: Shopping cart abandonment here to stay?
Even the most streamlined shopping cart process can
not stop cart abandonment, found Forrester in recent
research into the online shopping process.
But, what is it that drives a consumer to leave?
It is interesting to note that of the top reasons
for shopping cart abandonment, most were behavioural.
Therefore, even though having a clutter free shopping
cart process, as well as having clear cut delivery
charges, is a very good start, no amount of shopping
cart streamlining could have solved the issue.