Ecommerce Blog - Fortune3

5 Tips for Selling Products: Checkout Design

5 Tips for a better checkout designAt first, optimizing the checkout design seems trivial, but owners of e-commerce sites who pay attention to every last detail end up selling products and generating the most profitability.

Today, we’ll help you with the design of your checkout area.   Here are five tips to follow:

1. The number of steps doesn’t matter too much.  On average, there’s no difference in conversion rates for customers that checkout at sites with 3-6 steps in their checkout cart.  What matters most isn’t so much the number of steps, but how much you have to do at each step.  In general, it’s best to focus on making your customers do as little as possible to get past each step. If possible, use an online shopping cart system with a one page check out and avoid asking for any information that is not required. Most websites will only require an e-mail address, first and last name, billing address, and shipping address ( if different than the billing )

2. Avoid automatic newsletter signup.  Many of the people visiting your ecommerce site (40% or so) aren’t interested in your newsletter – at all.  They just want to make their purchase and move on.  Pre-checking a box to subscribe them to your newsletter annoys them, and forcing them to sign up is the worst of all.  If you want people to sign up for your newsletter, make it optional, and advertise it to them by showing them the great ways they can save money by reading your newsletter.

3. Avoid forcing customers to sign up for an account.  Not only does this ad an extra step to the process of checking out, but people don’t want to remember yet another login and password.  Allow them to do a guest checkout so they can quickly go on their way.  Offer them the option to create an account after they make a purchase.

4. Use address validation…but allow visitors to override the validator if it makes a mistake.  Addresses are always in flux, and your validator might not be up-to-date on all the changes.  However, it is important to have an accurate address if possible.  Accommodate your customer’s needs and your own by validating their addresses, but allowing them to override “errors” if necessary.

5. Don’t ask for the same information twice.  Many of the big e-commerce websites (Amazon, Apple…) do things like this inadvertently.  On a computer this is annoying, but mobile users (which are a demographic that will be growing in the future) find this infuriating.  This most often happens across multiple web pages (e.g. you already asked for the customer’s name for his or her shipping address and again asked it for the billing address), so make sure to use your own site like a customer would to ensure the smoothest checkout experience.

These are just a couple of ways that modifying your checkout process can increase your online sales. Do you have any other tips you know would help the checkout process even more?

Posted in Ecommerce Essentials & Tips, Online Marketing Strategies