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Ecommerce checkout UX: 5 simple tips for success

Andy Thorne
fingers typing on a laptop

The checkout is arguably the most important part of a website, particularly when it comes to user experience. Around 87% of abandoned online shopping carts happen at checkout, a statistic that no ecommerce business can afford to ignore.

Ecommerce ventures can improve their website user experience in many ways and it can be overwhelming to identify the tactics that you should actually implement. So, to make your life easier, we’ve narrowed it down to five tips to improve  your ecommerce checkout UX.

From the second potential customers arrive on your website, all of their needs should be taken care of.

If you fail to provide good user experience (UX), savvy and fickle modern consumers are more than happy to click on competitors’ sites.

Their most fundamental need is to navigate swiftly to what they’re looking for, benefitting from a logical search function and the minimum number of actions. They also want clear brand statements, compelling product descriptions and high-quality images.

However, the area of website design that you particularly need to focus on is your checkout process.

Many online retailers invest heavily in web design, only to see mountains of abandoned shopping carts just before payment. Keep reading to find out our top five tips to improve eCommerce checkout UX.

Offer Appropriate Shipping and Payment Methods

Offer a variety of appropriate shipping and payment options to your customers to improve your checkout UX.

We are now living in an era where drones are being tested for automated deliveries, and the list of payment options is growing rapidly. Improve your checkout UX by offering a variety of appropriate shipping and payment options to your customers, to fit around their needs and wants.

This might include offering payment options like Klarna which allows customers to split the cost of their purchase into 3 interest-free instalments rather than paying the full price in one go. Or options such as Google Pay and Apple Pay which lets customers pay through their phone, saving time and effort.

If you sell fresh food, it would be vital to offer a next day courier service rather than a standard delivery option.

In the UK, Click and Collect is hugely popular with 72% of UK shoppers choosing it. Click and Collect minimises the risk of missed deliveries, reduces overall costs for the customer and allows them to collect their order when and where it works for them, improving the overall UX.

Make Navigation Steps Visible

Help users feel more in control by letting them toggle around, double-check things and locate where they are in the transaction.

Creating trust in your company runs parallel with making this transaction reassuringly transparent and logical.

One of the best ways to achieve this is to include a progress bar at the top of the page. It enables users to see at a glance what stage they are at.

For example, your checkout progress indicator could be:

Review Basket – Delivery Address – Payment – Order Confirmation – Aftersales help/returns policy

Or even simply:

Delivery Information – Review and Pay – Complete Order.

The ability to toggle around, double-check things and locate where they are in the transaction makes users feel more in control. An example of disastrous UX at Checkout would a spontaneously empty basket, or asking to confirm payment without sufficient clarity on what they’re actually ordering!

Plus, never wait for them to start to complete checkout before receiving an Out of Stock notification.

Effortless Checkout

Nothing kills checkout UX like demands for registration and complex forms.

To make your eCommerce checkout effortless, what other UX improvements can you make?

Including auto-fill forms in your transactional process, simple fields and the option to checkout as a guest. Nothing kills checkout UX as effectively as demands for registration and complex forms.

Be clear on shipping information too. This should not include any unexpected delivery timescales or fees.

Also, to create a good eCommerce checkout UX it’s well worth adding ‘risk reducing’ statements before your customer pays, such as a 15-day return policy.

Offer support in eCommerce checkouts

Make it easy for customers to contact you with any last-minute queries by providing Live Chat

When site users reach checkout, a split second of hesitation could see them save their basket and leave. Never to return!

One of the best ways to manage buyer hesitation – and avoid lost sales at eCommerce checkouts – is to include a clear Call to Action, and method of contacting you for last-minute queries.

Preferably, this should be a Chatbot, or better still LiveChat function, to get a quick answer to whatever interrupted their purchase.

The best-designed checkout systems for eCommerce will also make data-driven suggestions and offer help. Such as “Did you find everything you need?” or “Would you like to add a charger cable/batteries/cover to your order?”

Keep this personalised messaging brief, as you don’t want to drag the payment process out and appear to be ‘overselling’ rather than helping.

Think mobile

Your website must be designed to look brilliant and perform well on small screens.

This is an absolutely crucial way to create good UX at online checkouts. In fact, to build positive interaction throughout your eCommerce site.

Your website must be designed to look brilliant and perform well on small screens. That includes making the order summary easy to find and using simple checkout fields. Every step of the transaction should load quickly, use appropriate font types and sizes and be conveniently ‘tappable’.

Get this wrong, and over 50% of your potential customers (who buy using their mobiles) probably won’t checkout – now or ever.

Basic UX principles for eCommerce checkouts

Your ultimate goal is to make checking out of your ecommerce website easy, quick, and convenient, whilst maintaining your site users’ trust, and their interest in your brand.

To get more help with website architecture and checkout content, contact Factory Pattern to make a point of having strong UX at the point of sale.