Assaf Dudai
Assaf Dudai 10 October 2016

Checkout Pages Can (and Should) Be Better

Online shopping cart abandonment is 68.81%. That's really high - two out of every three shoppers don't complete their purchases. One of the main Achilles heels of e-commerce is the checkout process, where most of the abandonment occur. Implementing the right design principles to checkout pages could solve some of these abandonment issues.

According to the Baymard Institute, the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is 68.81%. Customers abandon shopping carts because of poor navigation, security concerns, on-site glitches and crashes, lengthy checkout process or cumbersome payment methods.

Implementing the right design principles to your checkout page could solve some of these abandonment issues. Here are some of the best practices to help you with that:

Optimize Your Payment Options

According to a recent research by Connexity customers prefer the following payment methods:


Looking at the numbers from a demographic perspective, millennial shoppers who currently spend $600 billion per year, 25% prefer using PayPal. 42% use their smartphones for online shopping.

For older consumers AMEX is the top preferred payment method by 28% of shoppers, while only 15% of millennial shoppers own an Amex card. 10% of high-income earners (over $100,000 annually) also use AMEX cards regularly.

It is important to allow the right payment methods based on your target audience preferences, but you should also make sure that the payment experience is smooth and secure.

Eyal Lasker, an online payment veteran, explains his idea of a ‘smooth’ payment experience: It’s all about personalization. Everyone wants to have the local store,  'everybody knows your name’ experience - the shop clerk is familiar with your habits and likings and just hands you what you came for. You didn't have to ask or pay; you were treated to the VIP experience.

Same with online checkout, when you “walk in” the next time, you are treated to a one-click-buying experience. The goods will be shipped to your address and your preferred payment method will be billed, all in a click of a button.”

Optimize The Checkout Form Layout

Best practices include plenty of white space, clear differentiation of the various steps during the order process and a few other tweaks:

Post checkout account creation.

Account creation is one of the main conversion barriers for a lot of customers. Allow them to place an order prior to giving out their personal and contact information. In fact, they'll be more willing to do so afterwards to track their order details and receive relevant notifications.

Work on your copy.

To illustrate how important copy is in the buying process, check this case study published by Jared Spool. After changing the account creation button text from “Register” to “Continue”, the company experienced a $300 million growth in sales during the year. So, A/B test key copy and analyze which wording drives better conversions.

Allow the creation of wishlists and saving items for later.

A lot of customers claim they abandon shopping carts because they were just browsing, but didn't feel like finalizing the purchase yet. It's a smart choice to give these customers the option to create a wish list, instead of using the shopping cart for this purpose.

Optimize Your Shipping Conditions

The majority of online consumers expect free shipping. However, not all business are ready to carry these costs. Yet, 44% of consumers will abandon a purchase if the shipping costs are too high for them. Here’s how you can strike the right balance in this case:

Cut down on discounts in favor of free shipping coupons.

According to David Bell from Wharton Business School, consumers feel more excited by a free shipping discount compared to a purchase discount.

Setup the right free shipping threshold.

Every dollar means a lot for the customer, also when it comes to shipping threshold. According to Linda Bustos, customers feel better about two digit thresholds (e.g. $99), compared to three-digits ones (e.g. $100+). 

But don’t make the threshold too low either.

Lowering the free shipping threshold will boost profits - well, depends how low. According to the same study by Bell, after Amazon has set a $25 free shipping threshold, consumers started spending less with the company. You can toy around with the number, just make sure that your average order value will not go down with the threshold. 

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