Optimize your checkout

Overview
by Malin Condradsen 12/10/2020

How do you optimize your checkout so that your customers complete their orders, and you increase your sales? Here, we give you our best advice.

Optimize your checkout

Do you find that your potential customers often abandon the checkout with items in their shopping cart? Are they leaving at the point when they reach payment? If visitors are experiencing a difficult checkout, there is a risk that they get frustrated and so leave the webshop before the order is complete. But what can you do to make the checkout flow as easy and manageable for the customer as possible? Here is our best advice.

Create a clear checkout flow

It is, of course, important that the necessary steps are completed during checkout. A typical procedure will be that the customer starts by going to the shopping cart and then on to filling out billing and shipping information, along with the delivery method. Subsequently, an overview of the order and all the supplied information will be shown, so that the customer can check that everything is correct. It finishes with payment and order confirmation. Avoid using too many other steps, unless it makes sense for your webshop.

Here you can see a good example from Bestseller, where, as the first step in checkout, you have to sign in as a user or go through the process as a guest. For new customers, it is, of course, an extra step to go through but, for loyal customers, it makes the checkout process easier and more automatic, since all of their information is filled out beforehand.

Payments process

Why does the customer abandon the checkout?

There are several reasons why customers abandon a webshop before the order is complete. One of the biggest reasons is if there are unexpected added expenses, such as shipping charges or customs, which the customer wasn’t aware of beforehand. Furthermore, about a third of customers leave if they have to create an account during checkout. However, there are other reasons for leaving checkout before completing the order, such as a checkout process that is too long, a total price not shown, errors on the site or a declined payment. The return policy plays an important role, as well, in whether or not the customer completes their order. Make sure to use these reasons as a checklist to optimize your checkout.

Optimize your checkout

We have gathered together our recommendations for you to go through in order to optimize your checkout and, at the same time, create the best buying experience for your customer.

1) As previously mentioned, you have to make sure that the process and the flow are easy and that all the steps are necessary. A good idea is to let the customer see how far along the process they are and how many steps they have left to complete. Here, you can see Zalando’s checkout, which is divided into five clear steps that the customer has to go through to complete their order.

Example checkout

2) Look into the option of using solutions such as auto-fill or log-in through social media, when the customer is completing their order. This way, with just a few clicks, the customer can get all of their information filled out from, for example, their Facebook profile or by auto-filling with the information saved on the device they are shopping from. Make sure that your customers still have the option to fill out their information manually.

3) Is the customer paying for shipping? Then it is important that they should be informed about the price early in the process, and not just right before payment, since this is one of the biggest reasons why a customer abandons the checkout. Below, you can see an example from the yarn and hobby webshop Rito, who notify in their top banner that shipping starts from £3.99, but also that you get free shipping at £59. This top banner is located on every page and ensures that the customer is fully aware of a possible extra charge for shipping before they get to checkout.

Rito shipping prices

4) A large proportion of today’s online shopping takes place on our smartphones. Therefore, it is also important that your design is optimized for mobile, so that you avoid lost sales due to impaired usability.

5) It is important that you give your customer freedom of choice, so make sure that you offer them different payment options. As seen below, Fitfashion.com offers credit card and the bank transferring solutions iDeal and Bancontact to give their customers this variety of payment options.

payment checkout

6) Finally there are a number of legal requirements you have to fulfil in your checkout process. Your terms of sales must comply with current applicable laws on consumer purchases. For example, you have to show the Visa and Mastercard card logos and make it possible to check off “I have read and accept the terms and conditions”. Please notice that these rules can differ depending on the laws of each country.

Also read about the new rules for online payment in the EU.

What is the right shipping price?

First off, the right shipping price depends on what you sell. If the majority of your products cost below €15, it is unreasonable to expect your customer to pay €8 for shipping. Take a look at your competitors, if necessary. By hitting their price level or below, you make your webshop more competitive.

However, the price you pay as a seller also depends on the weight of the item, which carrier you use and which recipient country you ship to. So here it is also important to look into what it will cost you to send a package to, for example, Sweden. Here you can see an overview of which carriers you can use for which countries.

You decide what the customer has to pay for shipping. You can set this up on your webshop, optionally using Shipmonodo’s freight module for the purpose. The setup of your delivery options and the shipping price should depend on many factors, including where you ship to and how heavy your packages are, as well as what the customer is willing to pay.

We have set up three examples of different webshops and how they typically set their shipping price.

Example 1: Clothes, shoes and accessories

At most webshops that sell clothes and similar, it may make sense to have a shipping price somewhere between 29 - 59 DKK, as it is natural to have items at low prices. You can then, for example, offer free shipping if the customer buys for more than 399 DKK.

Example 2: Bicycles and bicycle equipment

Here, there may be a difference between whether the customer buys a heavy and large electric bicycle or orders just a few bicycle lights. Here it would be a good idea to set up the shipping price according to weight or size criteria in your shipping module.

Example 3: International webshop

Does your webshop sell to several different countries? Then it may be a good idea for you to set up your shipping module according to the different recipient countries. There will naturally be a difference in the shipping price to Sweden and China. Let customers pay the shipping price that matches the recipient country. Read more about shipping worldwide.

By optimizing your checkout, you are at the same time a part of improving the overall shopping experience for the customer, along with increasing customer satisfaction. This will increase the chances of the customer returning another time.

If you have questions about setting up delivery methods or shipping prices, do not hesitate to send us an email at support@shipmondo.com, and we will find a solution that suits your webshop.

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