Simplify Your Online Checkout Process

If you go into a retail store, it’s pretty easy to pick out the items you need, head to the checkout counter and pay, and leave with your purchased items. Online stores can be a different animal entirely. It’s not always as easy to navigate through an online store if the design and setup is complicated and requires confusing forms and instructions. It’s a pretty reasonable conclusion that ease of use equals sales and happy customers. Each obstacle in your customer’s path to purchasing items becomes an opportunity for frustration and possibly no sale at all. It’s time to take a look at your site through your customer’s eyes and simplify to increase conversion rates.

Make it Seamless

From the moment customers find your homepage, customers should feel like they are in the same online store from browsing products all the way through checkout. Your site should be seamless, meaning it should look, feel, and perform the same way on every page. In order to achieve this goal, use your brand’s colors and logo everywhere on the site. Make your buttons and navigation easy to locate. If you have your shopping cart button in the same place on every page, customers are more likely to click it when they are ready to checkout. 

Here's another key point to remember: payment processes that redirect customers can lose them. You don’t want to make your customers feel like they are buying from your site and having to go to another site to pay - that can be very confusing and customers may leave if they don’t feel the payment process is safe and protected. In order to have a trusted payment process, custom built payment solutions that actually look like part of your website assure customers that handing over there money is a safe process.

Provide Payment Options

There is nothing more frustrating than picking out items you want to buy, head to the checkout cart, and find out your method of payment is not accepted. Limiting payment options denies your customers the very items that you are trying to market them with. Some customers may choose a different payment method, but many will abandon ship and find another online store that takes their form of payment. We don’t want that to happen! 

Major credit and debit cards are the easy and obvious choice for you and your customers. Setting up a merchant account is a pretty straightforward process and fees are manageable. It’s a good idea to be generous in the credit cards that you will accept. While credit/debit cards are pretty common forms of payment, not everyone prefers to pay that way. Online payment options such as PayPal might be another good solution for taking payment.

Be Clear

Rule number one - customers should never have to hunt around for the next step in the buying process. Make sure you have highly visible buttons, concise directions, and easy shipping forms. Rule number two - don’t present your customers with too many options at once. Simplify by condensing groups of items into easy to use drop menus. For instance, if you do have multiple payment options, don’t list them all out on the main payment page. Rather, have radio buttons that bundle the options together. If you ask customers to leave additional information, save this for the bottom of your form. 

Simplifying your site for ease of use will satisfy customers from initial contact all the way through the checkout process and will help to ensure future returns.