Did you know that your checkout page is one of the most important pages on your website?
No matter how much effort you put into obtaining that customer, how your checkout page works, looks and loads can make or break the sale. This guide will help you to improve your checkout page in 2023 to make sure that you don’t lose a sale. We’ll look at why your checkout page is so important and give you 6 things that you can do right now to improve your checkout page and ultimately improve your sales.
Your checkout page is one of the most important pages on your website. It is the penultimate step in your buyer’s journey and that means that it still gives them a chance to abandon their shopping and leave without converting. In fact, on average 60% of shoppers abandon their basket at the checkout page, which is £13 billion in sales lost according to Sleeknote.
So making sure your checkout page is as functional and user-friendly as possible can make a big difference to your conversion rate and your sales number.
Statistically, the top reasons that shoppers abandon their cart at the checkout page are to do with extra costs, long forms, and slow page load. But there is more to it than that, with lots of different aspects of your checkout process playing a part in the sale.
Here are 6 ways that you can improve your checkout page:
We aren’t telling you to butter up your customers here. We’re telling you to remember the acronym KISS.
Keep It Simple, Stupid
Having a simple checkout may seem self-explanatory, but many businesses don’t offer a checkout page that is basic and clear for their customers. But when it comes to checking out, simple is always best.
You need to consider if your checkout page is simple enough for different users on different devices. A tech-savvy millennial might be able to navigate lots of different forms and buttons, but your elderly grandma might struggle to know where to click or what she needs to do. Similarly, your long checkout form might be easy to read on a widescreen desktop computer but is too long and illegible on a small mobile screen. And this should be true regardless of your customer demographic or device statistics. So even if 99% of your audience are the tech-savvy shoppers on desktops, you should still optimise your checkout page as simplistically as possible. The simpler the checkout page, the easier it is for your customer to complete their purchase. And the easier it is for your customer to buy, the less time they have to second-guess the transaction.
Amazon does this well. As well as an instant swipe option, their checkout is just one page long. It is engineered for impulse buys.
Consider your checkout process compared to Amazon. Ask yourself:
- How quickly can a shopper checkout?
- How many form fields do they need to fill out?
- Are there any pop-ups?
- How can I simplify the page?
Although simple is best when it comes to impulse buys, don’t forget that last-minute temptation can work too. Think about those small bags of chocolate and chewing gum next to the self-service till in your local Supermarket. At least at one time or another, we have all added a little bit of something to our shopping that we saw next to the till. And this can work online too.
Upselling and cross-selling at the checkout can be a great way of increasing the basket value of shoppers. However, you need to think carefully about how you do this. Your upsells or cross-sells should be:
Relevant – any products you show to a customer at checkout should be related to what they are purchasing. If someone is buying Valentine’s card, show them chocolate. But don’t show them chocolate if they are buying a tent.
Cheap – although your aim is to increase basket value, customers aren’t going to make big purchases on an impulse. So keep the value of cross-sell and upsell products relatively small.
Unobtrusive – you still need to remember KISS. Pop-ups and large banners can be obtrusive and make the process complicated. Consider the design of your page and how you can feature a product image without overcomplicating the process.
Did you know that 69% of online sales are made on a mobile device? And that number is increasing every year. So when it comes to your checkout page, it needs to be designed for mobile.
Whether your customer analytics tell you most people use a desktop for your site, you should still create your checkout page for mobile users first and foremost. Whatever you design for mobile will work for desktop too, but not the other way around. So think mobile-first to capture all potential traffic.
- Easy to click buttons for touchscreens
- Good page speeds for mobile connections
Having more payment gateway options these days can help to increase the number of people willing to complete checkout. There are lots of options available to customers online, from card payments, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and even Klarna, which allows shoppers to buy now and pay later.
You should also think about how your payment methods can support impulse buys too. Quick and easy ways to pay, like Apple Pay or storing card details on accounts, can reduce the time a customer spends checking out and thus reduce the type a customer has to reconsider their purchase.
Again, think about Amazon here. Their one-click shopping feature is quick, easy, and convenient for customers.
While simplicity is best, making support easily accessible for customers who need it can help to improve their chances of checking out. But remember that you need to try to harness impulse buying here too. So offering support at checkout needs to provide an instant resolution. A contact page or email option will add extra time and ultimately likely to lose you the sale. So consider a telephone number or live chat function on your checkout page.
A small chat button on your checkout page with real-time, live chat customer service is a great option to have. It can actually increase your conversions by 40%. You can also outsource your live chat function to an external company that can maintain it 24/7 every day of the year.
If all else fails, and your abandon basket rate is still high, consider offering an extra incentive. This could be on your checkout page itself as they go to exit, or it could be in a retargeting campaign via email or social media.
You can encourage customers to complete their purchase with a “have you forgotten something?” follow up email or targeted social media ads. However, spamming a customer with an email immediately after they’ve left your website is less likely to work. Try to schedule these remarketing emails for the evenings, as this is usually the time when customers will be much more responsive. Or, if you’re wanting to make a more immediate impact with a reminder, consider having a retargeting ad on Facebook and/or Instagram to promote the items the customer has in their basket.
But, again, don’t forget the power of impulse. Consider time-limiting your discount so that your shopper will need to buy now to redeem it.
Making changes to your checkout page on WooCommerce can be made relatively easy, this is all thanks to the large plugin library available on this platform.
Most WooCommerce themes/templates, ours included, comes with a one page checkout. However, if your site does not have this feature, it can be added through a plugin. There are many available, but we like the WooCommerce one page checkout which combines the products, checkout & payment pages. This can speed up the process for your customers and results in faster conversions.
Another way to improve your checkout on this platform is to add discounts at the checkout, these are called coupons on WooCommerce. Most themes and templates include this feature, however it can be added through the smart coupons plugin.
Your WooCommerce site should be mobile-friendly, and so your checkout page should be responsive and optimised for mobile! If this not the case then you should consider upgrading your WooCommerce site to the latest version, alternatively, this maybe a good time to contemplate a new ecommerce website design project.
Improving your checkout page could reduce your abandoned basket rate by up to 60%. Following the 6 tips in our guide can help you to do that. You need to think about harnessing impulse buys with your checkout process, which means keeping it as simple and quick as possible. You also need to consider ways in which you can reach anyone who does still leave your checkout page without making a purchase. Remarketing efforts with exclusive, time-limited discounts can be the perfect way to do that.