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Don’t checkout without checking out this checklist!

19th Sep 2013

We’ve all been there. You’ve spent hours browsing that website for the perfect outfit for your sister’s birthday. Its fancy dress. Sigh. You don’t really want to go but, it’s finally sorted...

Filled with a sense of relief, you head for the checkout. Hang on a minute, where is it? Ah yes, there it is, in the bottom corner. Clicking through, you’re met with several forms that resemble a visa application for North Korea. Why do they need to know what colour your hair is? What you had for lunch?! Is it really necessary?! 

Okay, so the above may be a little extreme, but the importance of having a simple, clear and quick checkout process is vital if you want customers to complete their purchases and part with their cash.

With more than 70% of online shoppers admitting to have given up because the confusing checkout process put them off, it’s clear to see that this is an area you should pay particular attention to.

For some vital hints and tips, read on for our indispensable checkout checklist! 

1. Only get the information you need

Form filling is not a pastime many of us remember fondly. That’s why making sure your customer’s only need to complete the minimum number of fields at the checkout should be top of your agenda for creating a hassle free experience. Get the essentials, email, name, address, payment details. Remember that once you have your customers email address, you can then send a welcome email at a later point to ask them for their specific interests which will then help you to send them tailored information and offers. 

2. Keep it on one page

Having to click through several pages to complete checkout is not only time consuming and frustrating, but you also run the risk of your customers just getting fed up and closing their browser window. Keeping your checkout form to one page means customers can see all the information they have entered and easily check for errors. Moreover, the appearance of one simple page immediately means the customer can see the end of the checkout process and it ultimately increases the chances of you closing the sale. 

3. Chuck the clutter

Imagine being in a supermarket and looking in your basket to try and see what you’ve chosen, and it’s full of flyers advertising loyalty cards and other product suggestions. You’d probably just drop it and walk off. Whilst the checkout may seem like a perfect opportunity to up-sell, it’s a mistake to bombard your customers with too many confusing messages. They just want to make their purchase, so let them. Ditch all the additional information and promotional fanfare, keep it simple and to the point and give your customers a streamlined shopping experience.

4. Don’t force your customers to register

Some customers just want to make their purchase without the added inconvenience of creating an account. Therefore it’s a good idea to offer the option to checkout without creating one so you don’t deter those customers who are time pressured and who may be reluctant to agree to the ‘ties’ that account creation can symbolise. You can still capture the customers email address however, and if you provide an enjoyable checkout process, you have more chance of persuading them to sign up for an account at a later date. 

5. Offer returning customers an even faster experience

Customers returning to your site should find the checkout process even easier than the first time they purchased from you. All the customers’ basic information should be stored and you should also give the option to save payment details to reduce the time required to enter lengthy card numbers.

Sites such as Amazon have long offered a ‘one click’ option, which means once customers are signed in they can purchase products at the touch of a button. You may want to provide a similar ‘re-order’ function if you sell products that are frequently replenished, allowing your customers to quickly purchase the goods that they require. 

If you want to speak to one of the team at Livelink about how we can help you provide a seamless checkout experience for your customers and maximise your websites revenue potential, drop us a line