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An ecommerce review: how checkout makes or breaks your online business

Thrive’s 7 tips to improve your checkout

Technology gave us the ability to buy pretty much anything, within seconds, with just the tips of our fingers. Merchants can set up an online store with ease and start selling their products, while customers can order items and have them delivered to their doorstep.

All seems pretty straightforward, but unfortunately for merchants, it isn’t as easy as it’s made out to be.

Due to ecommerce being such a crowded scene, it can be a very harsh environment for unprepared businesses having to face fierce competition. Therefore, it is important that businesses selling online invest in offering their customers the best possible shopping experience by providing clarity, trust, guidance, and support throughout their purchasing journey.

There are several elements that characterize a strong and successful online presence, and the checkout experience is surely a fundamental pillar that can make or break your online business. Our tips are by no means the magic key to success, but they can help you on your journey towards it. Either way, we recommend getting in touch to optimize performance and improve the results of your online business. We know what we’re talking about and our client’s success is proof (read more about Grind and Brew’s success story).

Cart abandonment is one of the beasts every ecommerce business has to face and some of the most common reasons why are dealt with in our tips below. Read on to find out how to improve your users’ checkout experience and reduce your checkout and cart abandonment rates:

  1. Mobile friendly optimized checkout: With over 70% of ecommerce sales completed on mobile devices (Statista, 2022), your website needs to be optimized for mobile users.

Solution: Ensure your design layout, images and calls to action are responsive and user friendly on mobile. Fonts need to be legible on smaller devices too, and remember to keep the checkout button simple, uncomplicated and most importantly easy to find.

  1. Performance issues and long process: The checkout processes and experience needs to be simple, clear, straightforward and fast.

Solution: Ensure a clean, smooth design and UX with no unnecessary information displayed or required. The least amount of effort it takes customers to get to the payment stage and complete the purchase, the better it is for your business. Remove any unwanted distractions, such as menu buttons, footers or headers and most importantly, don’t ask your customers for any information that is irrelevant to making their purchase. Your goal is to keep customers on track and give them no reasons to leave.

  1. Lack of payment options: Choice matters. Offering limited payment methods may often lead to incomplete purchases.

Solution: Offer payment method choices, it is in your best interest to provide as many payment methods as possible, which is easily done by using Shopify Payments. Customers can be very particular about using a specific, preferred payment method, so be sure to offer a range of options, including buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) features such as Klarna, Shop Pay Installments, and others.

  1. Unexpected costs and charges: Any additional fees added at the time of payment without prior warning will cause customers to second guess the value of their purchase, which can often result in a lost sale. 

Solution: It is vital to be transparent and upfront with the costs and fees the customers need to bear. Therefore, provide as many details as possible up front, such as taxes, shipping fees, subtotals or order totals. Customers need to know ahead of time the full price of their purchase.

  1. Security and trustworthiness concerns: Since personal details are exchanged, customers expect the system to be secure and safe.

Solution: Feature security certificates and badges to increase trustworthiness and the sense of security your customers feel when checking out, you can display security badges and certificates throughout the website and checkout to instill confidence in the level of security your website has. All Shopify stores are PCI compliantby default, keeping your payment info and business data safe, which is one of the reasons why we elected Shopify as the highest valued ecommerce platform for our clients (read why Shopify is the best ecommerce platform).

  1. Shipping options and customer support when needed: It all boils down to choice. Customers like to have choice for delivery options too, limiting the range can have a detrimental impact on the final purchasing decision.

Solution: Offering different delivery options such as Click & Collect or personalizing shipping areas to offer the best possible rates and journey for your customers is very important. Do not overlook the option to offer customer support to be able to help your clients as soon as they need assistance and prevent them from abandoning their purchase.

  1. Allow guest checkout: Requiring users to register for an account is an unwanted obstacle for some buyers as it slows down the checkout process.

Solution: Allow your customers to checkout without needing to create an account. This can often be a hurdle for customers making their purchasing decision. You don’t want to miss out on customers making a one-time-purchase, and remember that these one-time buyers can be reached out to after the sale through emails or post-purchase surveys.

Just like any ecommerce store, there is no single fix that magically makes your business successful, but rather a host of elements that need to be tweaked, adapted and improved in order to dictate your business’ success. Shopify is an amazing platform for startups, small businesses and even bigger companies, enabling merchants to easily design their websites and enable entrepreneurs to take the first steps and set up their business.

But how do you go from walking, to running, to flying and having a successful online business? Industry professionals of course!

If you want to increase your online sales by over 100% in 6 months, you ask Thrive.

THRIVE – Creating Success

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