Checkout Process: How To Improve It

ByVe Interactive on Sep 13, 2012 / Comments

Smashing Magazine
revealed some very interesting statistics this week – on the checkout process of the Top 100 grossing eCommerce websites. The recent study has shown that the user experience goes down astronomically when the checkout process includes the need to create an account or sign up to the companies’ newsletter. Some Smashing Magazine benchmark statistics show: -          The average checkout process consists of 5.08 steps. -          24% require account registration. -          81% think their newsletter is a must have (opt-out or worse). -          50% asks for the same information twice. -          The average top 100 checkouts violate 33% of the checkout usability guidelines. We all love statistics, but not everything can be measured; Smashing Mag discovered that no matter how many steps the customer had to go through to get to the final payment and confirmation of sale, it is what they have to do at each step that reflects on their overall checkout experience. Our Creative Director Roddy Scaife has to agree, “There is no magic bullet to achieve checkout success. It is about getting many small things right which collectively result in big improvements.”

Don’t Put Off Customers With An Obligatory Newsletter

Newsletters are a great way to communicate with your customers. But be careful that you are not putting off potential customers by including the obligation to sign up for an account as a step in your checkout process. When a customer is forced or tricked into creating an account and evidently signing up for the newsletter, they will often click off the page. This then cancels the transaction and the company lose money as well as a new and potentially regular customer. Ve Interactive advise delaying the need for registration in a checkout process because as Roddy points out “Making registration compulsory has proven to increase abandonment significantly. By giving people the option to register at a later stage in the checkout process we have seen greater conversion rates.”

Busy People Have Little Time For Online Checkouts

Moreover it isn’t just over enthusiastic marketing that customers are wary of when creating an account with an ecommerce website; it’s also the time factor. More steps at a checkout process means it will take more time to order an item and complete the transaction. The majority of people ordering online are those who don’t have time to go to the actual stores, so these lengthy checkout processes cause them to get frustrated and abandon the cart. Smashing Magazine also found in a previous study that non-linear checkout processes also contributed to shopping cart abandonment, as it left their test subjects ‘confused and intimidated’. The solution to this problem is quite simple, as the process just needs to be changed to a linear format and steer clear of redirecting to a previous process of the checkout. If businesses with ecommerce want to lower the current 66% of commenced transactions that are abandoned, then they’re going to have to re-design their checkout process. If a company is committed to growing their customer base then not only can a simple re-design do wonders for the customer’s online checkout experience, but it will bring in more sales. So in our view it’s a win win situation!