The checkout process is vital to your conversion rate and it is imperative to the success of your eCommerce website that your checkout page is optimal. The checkout process steps should be clear and happen smoothly, taking your shopper through the process with minimal confusion and annoyance. If this is not happening on your site we’re here to help! Below are our top five checkout issues and implementation solutions to improve your site’s process and overall user experience.
1. Progress Bar
A progress bar is an essential part of the checkout process. It maps out to visitors what step they are at in the shopping and checkout process. When adding a progress bar to your site it is important that it is simple and intuitive and clearly guides users along. Some important things to make sure that your progress bar has are:
- Sense of action – Numbering the steps or using arrows that symbolize moving forward in the checkout process gives the user a clear sense that they are making progress in the process.
- Highlight – In order to make sure the user knows exactly which step they are at in the process always bold the place on the progress bar that represents the step that they are currently at.
- Reassure – It is important to reassure your customer as they are going through the checkout process. A good way to do this is to have a place in the progress bar that says that their checkout is secure and that the step that they just completed was done successfully.
Modern psychology tells us that every color has an attribute that produces certain feelings. Since there is meaning behind what colors you use for your site don’t overlook the importance of considering what colors you are using for buttons, headers and navigation during checkout. Below are some of the more popular colors used for website design and the emotions that they illicit.
- Red – Creates urgency and promotes action. Is often used when posting Clearance Sales.
- Orange – Resonates a feeling of optimism and, therefore, creates a call-to-action for visitors.
- Green – Represents growth and wealth. It is the easiest color to process and relaxes your customer.
- Blue – Means trust, integrity and security. Your customer feels confident about your business when they see this color.
3. Delivering Digital Goods
Checking out digital goods is pretty easy by nature since there is nothing physical to ship and no need to ask for shipping info. But, when you are selling a mix of digital and physical goods things can get tricky. Below are a few suggestions to help simplify the checkout process when a customer wants to buy a mixed bag of digital and physical products.
- One cart – Your site should allow the customer to buy both digital and physical products using the same cart.
- Make suggestions – If the customer has digital items in their cart and they add a physical product that you also have digitally, offer them the digital version instead.
- Give Detailed Information – During checkout make sure that you include information on how the customer can download their goods as well as how they may re-download them in the future. Let them know if they will get a link upon checkout or if one will be emailed to them, if they need special software etc.
When you have a customer on your site it is always very tempting, and perfectly normal, to want do a little data capture. But the checkout is not the most optimal place to do this so if you must, below are a few tips to follow.
- Simple is better – Make sure that the form is very simple and easy to complete.
- Optional Fields – Make it very clear to the survey taker if any of the fields are optional.
- Just don’t – Let the user focus on the task at hand during check out (checking out) and save the form for another time in the shopping process.
5. Reporting Errors
When reporting errors to a user when they having missing information in a credit card field or input the wrong email address you want to make it clear what content is missing and how the user can correct the error and avoid making any additional errors. Here are some tips so that your user avoids errors to begin with and, ways that will help them input the correct format.
- Single Fields – When asking for telephone numbers or postal codes use single fields. No need to break up the numbers or information as that just leaves more room for error.
- Tailored Messaging – If there are erroneous fields include a tailored message showing an example of how the user should input the information eg., firstname.lastname@example.org and explain what they did wrong if they input incorrectly eg., missing .net/.com/.org.
- Live Inline Validation – Each field is validated as the user types. This makes error messaging instant and, therefore, indicates progress as the user goes. It also does not require an entire page to reload in order to indicate validation errors.