For e-commerce stores and anyone accepting payment online, the checkout and payment process are crucial to converting sales. Making the payment process easy for even those who are not digital natives is key if you want to increase sales on your website.
Your checkout page has to be very easy to use to make conversion easy. It is where shoppers give you their hard-earned money. You can’t just not take it seriously.
This post will show you ways to increase sales on your website by optimizing the checkout process.
1. Offer A Variety of Payment Options
When it comes to making payments online, your site will need to match your customers’ preferred payment method. This will enable your customers to complete their payments with ease.
Customers expect a variety of options on the checkout page, and when you don’t give them these options to make their payment easy and swift, they begin to have a different perception of your brand.
Integrating your website with the online payment methods your customers are most familiar with will demonstrate the convenience of using your website and help your customers feel more comfortable and secure.
For those that target the Nigerian market, a good payment processor to use is Paystack. With it, you can provide USSD, credit/debit cards, and bank transfer payments.
If you target outside Nigeria, Paystack can handle card transactions. An alternative will be PayPal, but that’s not a good option for merchants in Nigeria.
To decide what payment methods to offer, look at your environment and target audience to see which payment methods they are familiar with. I already mentioned what Nigerian customers can handle. Even the non-digital savvy people can make USSD payments.
2. Use A Consistent Design for Your Checkout Page and The Rest of The Site
When your payment interface is very busy, this can be a major turnoff for customers.
Firstly, use the same font, color, and design on all your pages. This will also help in raising brand awareness and recognition. When customers see check out pages that are different from the rest of the other pages on the website, it raises suspicion of fraud and scams.
3. Cut Down on The Steps and Forms
One reason that makes people abandon their carts is a multiple checkout process. They click on checkout and are cross- and up-marketed left and right. They finally say no and move forward, but the next step is filling a 10-question form, then there’s another step for more filling. That’s so tasking.
Shopify websites are guilty of this to some extent. Also, some WordPress websites have this issue. It might look cute to you, but it is not good for the user experience.
As much as possible, use a one-step checkout. Your payment processor might add a step, so using a one-step checkout helps you big time.
Also, except if you’re selling to companies, you can remove the company part of it. If you’re selling digital products, an area for shipping address makes no sense. So, remove all those fields.
Look at this short checkout process, don’t you prefer it to this:
Both of these are for digital products.
4. Optimize the Design to Pay Attention to Sales and Not Cancellation
Most Nigerian e-commerce stores use WooCommerce with Paystack or Flutterwave. They are great tools for e-commerce, but there’s something about using them that can be a pain in the butt.
That is a two-step checkout process. It’s necessary to ensure that WooCommerce registers the order. However, it can cause people to abandon their checkout in a way that you can’t reach them through marketing like email marketing.
As you can see from the above image, there’s a “cancel order & restore cart” button. It’s the same height as the “Pay Now” button and is even more apparent because there are more words.
That only gives the shopper more reason not to buy from you. This is a point where everything you do should convince them.
There’s a solution, though. Some time ago, the plugin developer for the Paystack integration to WooCommerce allowed removing the cancel button. Now, you can have this:
From the above image, there’s one option only, and that is to pay. If they change their mind, they are likely not going to think of going back to empty their card. That allows you to grab them back through email marketing if they abandon the checkout at this point.
There is also the option of redirect to Paystack, these days, with the plugin, which can be a fine option for your business.
Optimizing the design for your checkout page also involves removing colors from any empty cart button or link and making sure you have bright and welcoming colors to the checkout and pay buttons and links.
5. Don’t Make Opening an Account Obligatory Unless Necessary
If you’re selling an online course, opening an account is necessary. If you’re selling physical products, it is not.
Even if you’re selling an online course, there are ways to go about it that wouldn’t stress the customer. Some e-commerce stores will make sure you go through a stressful registration process and confirming your email and all that before purchase. If you do that, you’re giving them more reasons to flee.
Looking at this Market Ardent checkout previously, the presence of an account username shows that you’re opening an account, but the process is simple.
If you have a product business, don’t bother with the username thing. You don’t need it. Instead, make opening an account optional.
Naija Naturals is one e-commerce store in Nigeria that does this well, though they could do better in some areas like the position of the checkout button in their side cart, but that’s another conversation.
The point is, don’t put your target customer through the stress of putting in a username and then remembering a password to buy from you. Of course, if they want that, they still can, but that should be optional if you’re an e-commerce product store.
6. Make Errors & Details Easy to Fix and Edit
Mistakes happen from time to time. You have to assume your customer will make a mistake while trying to make payments when entering their payment or personal details.
The mistake could be the wrong expiration date of the card or maybe an invalid card number. Whatever the mistake may be, your online payment gateway should be able to convey the error in such a way that it allows customers to resolve the issue to complete their transactions as quickly as possible.
For some checkout pages, errors are displayed at the top of the page, and the customer may not know that he/she has to scroll up to find out what went wrong. The best thing to do is to ensure that when there’s an error, the message appears in the field where the error occurred so that the customer can quickly make the necessary corrections.
Another way to make it easier for people to make payments is to save the information they submit so that they don’t have to reenter their details when next they’re making payments on your website.
Concerning details, allow customers to edit their personal information such as phone numbers at any time. This is one area that Jumia Foods is lacking. You can’t edit your phone number after registering. If you misplace your phone, you can’t do anything about it because even customer support is of no help. Many people in such situations would only use their service when it’s the only choice.
7. Ensure Privacy and Security of Information
People take their security very seriously, especially when it has to do with securing their money. Ensure that you showcase the security measures you have put in place on your website.
A study has shown that about 60% of online shoppers drop out of the check-out process due to payment security concerns.
That’s why you have to do more to reassure customers that their data is safe from the hands of hackers. You can do this by having a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate for your website to provide your customers with a secure connection and encrypt their credit card information.
SSL certificates are essential to building trust between you and your customers.
Another important point to note is that you should have a consistent design (this has been stated earlier). Additionally, a PCI (Security Standard Council) compliant website also guarantees the Security on the credit card information of the customer transmitting and processing the card’s data.
8. Add A Clear Call to Action to Your Cart and Checkout Pages
Leaving your customers guessing what to do next is one way of promoting cart abandonment. Your website should guide the customer throughout the purchase process by providing a clear call to action.
The idea is to ensure that your call to action is crystal clear by avoiding ambiguous words. Don’t try to joke during the checkout process. Use everyday words like “Continue, Checkout, or Enroll” or phrases like “Add to basket, Proceed to Checkout, or Place your Order.”
Guiding people through the payment process is very important. It makes the process easy and prevents cart abandonment.
9. Optimize the Speed of Your Checkout Page
Earlier this week, I saw a fantastic ad on Instagram and clicked on the link. The website took forever to load, but I was patient. However, when it got to the checkout and waited for about a minute, I gave up and left the site. That business lost a sale.
That’s what will happen to you if you don’t ensure that your checkout page is fast. If you’re not tech-savvy, that’s understandable. Just get someone that can do this.
- Load only the necessary code needed for the checkout page
- Use a great web host. For small budgets and website, Namecheap is excellent.
- Don’t load too many pop-ups
- Improve overall site speed
This article that I wrote on improving time to interact for checkout pages would also help you. With that, you can improve the speed of your checkout page.
That is it for ways to increase sales on your website through optimizing the checkout process. These tips are sure ways to decrease shopping cart abandonment and make it easier for customers to pay.
Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to do A/B testing for different designs to find out what works best for your business as well as your customers. Test the colours of your buttons, your CTA, and so on.
Follow the suggestions we’ve given above, and you’ll increase sales, make money on your website and create an enjoyable user experience that customers will always want to come back.
Have questions or need help with converting sales or driving visitors to your website? Let us know. You can call +2349086160358 or comment below.