Five Tips for Checkout That Will Boost Your Conversion Rates
Need some ideas to help boost your conversion rates? Here are five guidelines every e-commerce site needs to embrace to have a smooth and seamless checkout process.
1. Don’t ask for things you don’t need
There is a simple algorithm for you to keep in mind: The more value you give to the customer, the more effort he will put into accomplishing what you want. If you have a killer offer that nobody else has, you can probably have the most complex and confusing checkout process in the world, and the customer may still try until he has reached the order confirmation page.
But for most of you retailers out there, it’s an extremely competitive environment, and the customer can find similar products for the same price somewhere else. If that’s the case, you don’t want to confuse the customer and force him to give anything extraneous to complete the checkout process.
Don’t force the customers to register before making a purchase, and skip all extra options like newsletter sign-up or age during checkout. Ask only for the information that you need to complete the sale. If you want additional information, ask for it on the confirmation page when you have already secured the transaction.
2. Leverage customer service offerings
Customers who have made their way to the checkout on your site are only a few clicks away from completing the sale. But some of these customers still have concerns and aren’t 100 percent sure. They just need answers to questions like:
- Is this really the spare part to my log splitter?
- Is the instruction manual available in Swedish?
These customers just need a little push to click on confirm payment. By leveraging customer service during the checkout process, you will increase your conversion rate radically. This can be done in many ways and here are some concrete recommendations:
- Have clear messaging with a dedicated phone number to customer service, and don’t forget to show hours of operation next to the number.
- Provide the customer with an option to chat “live” with customer service. Not all customers want to speak to someone on the phone, so give your customers the choice to chat with you instead.
- If you analyze the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) your customers have during the checkout process, you will find that many have the same questions. From this analysis, create a clear, user-friendly FAQ module and show this during the checkout. It will have two key effects:
- It will lower calls to customer service.
- It increases the probability of converting customers who were a bit uncertain about making the purchase.
3. Don’t hide shipping information
One of the key concerns a customer has while buying is to understand what the total cost for the order will be. This especially applies to online buying decisions. Don’t hide the shipping cost from the customer – the golden rule is to communicate this as clearly and as early as you can. It should be visible on the start page, product page and, of course, during the complete checkout process.
4. Keep it safe AND communicate this
This might sound strange for big brands that have high customer recognition and customers who really trust the brand. But many customers out there still are a bit afraid of giving their credit card number to any Internet page – no matter who the page owner is. To help these customers overcome their fear, you need to communicate how secure it really is. Get your e-commerce site certified by providers like Hacker Safe or VeriSign and then show these security badges across the site, but most importantly, highlight them during checkout.
5. Your checkout will never be perfect
If you feel you can improve your checkout process, you’re absolute right! No checkout process is perfect. Even if you do a full-blown multi-variable test with 50 different versions of the checkout process, you still don’t have the perfect one.
We live in a world of change: times change, customer behaviors change, your brand recognition and interpretation change. No matter how many best practice reports or tests you run on your checkout, it always needs some tweaking and configuration modifications to keep it updated – for the moment, anyway.