E-commerce merchants must optimize their checkout page or risk losing sales. The following are some of the most important features that every checkout page must have to maximize revenue.
Getting a customer to the checkout page is a huge win. Now it’s time to usher them “through the door.” Meaning, get that sale!
Aside from the basics needed on an e-commerce checkout page (billing, shipping, payment, etc.) there are additional elements to optimize your checkout page and the checkout process. Not having these elements in place could limit your sales. The following are six of the most important features that your checkout page should have.
1. Support Multiple Currencies, Payment Methods, and Languages
Approximately 7% of shoppers will abandon their carts if their preferred payment method is unavailable. When every sale counts, a 7% abandonment rate is substantial.
This isn’t limited to the type of credit cards accepted (e.g. merchant doesn’t accept Discover). It also extends to payment gateway choices such as PayPal and digital wallets (Apple Pay, Google Pay), as well as cryptocurrency, or a direct bank transfer like SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) for Europe.
Gateways are just the beginning. E-commerce merchants should support multiple currencies based on their market footprint. For example, euro, pound, dollar, real, rand, etc. Of course, if you sell to various geographical locations, you’ll want to ensure you also support multiple languages. It’s difficult for a customer to complete a purchase if a language barrier exists.
Having multiple payment methods, as well as diverse currencies, ensures you’re not negatively affecting anyone’s purchasing power or causing unnecessary friction in your checkout process.
2. Include Security and Privacy Assurance (Trust Signals)
Cart abandonment rates are even higher when a customer doesn’t trust the merchant to hold their payment information—up to 17%.
As an e-commerce merchant, you can help eliminate this obstacle by including third-party trust signals. This includes any security measures you’ve implemented to keep consumers’ personal information and payment details safe from breach. You might not possess these yourself as a merchant, but you should partner with a payment service provider that does.
Another trust signal is your Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. You might also include a “money back guarantee” stamp, if you offer such a guarantee. Some e-commerce merchants showcase their overall customer rating also.
Trust is so crucial at the checkout page. Customers need to feel comfortable completing the purchase. Assuring security, privacy, and overall good business practices helps get them there.
3. Adopt a Full Transparency Approach
Building trust also requires full transparency. Clearly display the price of your goods or services, along with shipping costs and taxes if applicable. Make sure to indicate if there is an introductory offer or when a trial subscription price ends. This helps avoid complaints from end users, which ultimately may cause refunds, chargebacks and higher customer support costs.
It doesn’t end there, though. Unhappy customers have a readily available audience on social media and can greatly influence others in your target market.
One tactic we strongly advise against is using dubious practices to make relevant information less visible. An example is using gray text on a white background, making text easy to overlook by consumers. This is often implemented so customers complete their purchase without reading all pertinent information. As a result, the customer might enter into an unexpected membership or experience a renewal price that is 10 times higher than what they expected. As you can imagine, this creates damaging fallout and a cascade of negative consequences, such as chargebacks and falling a foul of credit card associations chargeback threshold programs.
E-commerce merchants that work with a third-party payment processor have one more transparency consideration: the look and feel of the checkout page itself. If the checkout page appears vastly different from the rest of the website, it’s unsettling for the end user. It’s also often the reason for cart abandonment—particularly for high-risk merchants. You can avoid this by working with a payment processor that offers checkout page templates to match the essence of your website as a whole.
4. Incorporate a Progress Indicator
Many times the time spent on an e-commerce site is throughout the browsing and decision-making process. When a customer finally decides to make a purchase, they want to spend as little time as possible completing the checkout process.
Another common reason for cart abandonment is that the checkout process takes too much time. If customers are navigating through form after form, page after page, with no known end in sight, they might say “forget it.” A progress indicator eliminates the unknown and assures customers they have a defined amount of steps ahead of them.
5. Capture the Sale with a Back Discount Offer (aka Exit Intent Pop-up)
There always will be customers who decide, at some point during the checkout process, they don’t want to complete the purchase. This could be due to any of the factors mentioned above. Other times, they are really only second-guessing the price point—even if it’s clearly stated, with all of the terms and conditions provided.
At this point, you as an e-commerce merchant have a valuable tool: the back discount offer. These pop-ups offer the customer an incentive to stay and complete their purchase. It could be a discount or an extended subscription timeframe for the previously-stated price.
The important aspect with back discount offers is to make it easy on the customer. You don’t want them to have to jump through too many hoops to take advantage of the incentive.
6) Maximize Revenue Potential with Price Optimization Techniques
Technology is a wonderful thing for e-commerce merchants. Today’s advanced price optimization techniques, such as AI-powered dynamic pricing, promote revenue growth. Dynamic pricing provides the optimal price that is attractive to each customer or customer segment in order to maximize the merchant’s revenue. Contrary to popular belief, customers don’t always want to settle for the lowest price.
With AI-powered dynamic pricing on your side, you get much closer to knowing the price needed to convert customers. As AI continues to evolve and progress, dynamic pricing will become even more exact.
Tying Up Loose Ends
As an e-commerce merchant, you also can improve conversion rates by implementing other checkout page elements, such as:
- Allowing guest checkout
- Including smart-fill forms
- Providing easy access to support
- Optimizing for mobile
- Creating a thank-you page
- AI chat or live chat support
By incorporating it all, you can truly make an impact on your conversions.
How Much of a Difference Does E-Commerce Checkout Optimization Make?
It’s understandable you might feel a bit underwater when looking at the above list. There’s so much emphasis that you need to put on your marketing and sales strategies. Who has time to dedicate to the final step?
If you’d like to learn more about how we help our e-commerce merchant clients maximize their revenue, including checkout page optimization, please contact us.
About Vendo: Vendo offers comprehensive payment processing services to high-risk e-commerce merchants. Our innovative, AI-powered tools offer merchants simple, secure, and seamless payment solutions, along with expert customer support from integration to end-user concerns. Our expert team works 24/7 to shape your vision into reality.