How to optimize the eCommerce checkout flow for your business

Editorial Team

5 min read
Woman looking at laptop confused

There’s a special kind of frustration that online retailers and shoppers alike feel with an abandoned shopping cart. And yet, almost 70% of online shoppers fail to complete their purchases.

Understanding the eCommerce checkout experience is crucial in helping you and your business seal more deals in the digital marketplace. Keep reading for checkout page optimization strategies to help improve conversions.

Why do customers commonly abandon checkout carts?

The dreaded cart abandonment is when people fill up their online carts only to leave at the last minute without making the purchase. It’s a major reason why eCommerce stores lose sales—an estimated $18 billion in lost potential sales. From unexpectedly high shipping costs, to confusing and complicated checkout processes, to concern over the protection of their payment information, these are some of the most common reasons why people abandon their checkout carts.

Why is optimizing eCommerce checkout flow important?

Optimizing your eCommerce checkout flow can help improve the customer experience, increase sales and revenue, and save time and resources. While a clunky, confusing checkout experience may cause potential customers to get frustrated and abandon their cart, checkout page optimization can significantly help increase the likelihood of one completing a purchase, leading to higher conversion rates. Not only that, but optimizing eCommerce checkout flow enhances the overall experience for your customers and can lead to more repeat business. By identifying pain points in the checkout process and streamlining the flow, businesses can help reduce the number of abandoned carts, decrease customer support inquiries, and free up staff to focus on other areas of the business.

What are ways to optimize checkout flow today?

Ideally, you want to make it as simple, straightforward, and quick as possible. Here are several ways to improve your overall checkout experience and create the best eCommerce checkout flow possible.

1. Allow guest checkout

Time is money, and nowhere can this be more true than with checkout flows. Offering customers the option to checkout as a guest means they don’t have to waste time going through the tedious steps of making an account and keeps them focused on making the purchase.

2. Offer multiple payment options

Offering customers a variety of accepted payments, such as credit, debit, Apple Pay®and PayPal, can appeal to a larger audience. Using a POS system that is integrated with your eCommerce site and offers built-in payment processing services can mean payments are quick and more secure, for both you and your customers.

3. Simplify checkout process to fit in one page

The fewer pages people have to sift through when making a purchase, the easier it is to close the deal. The time it takes for each new page to load, as well as uncertainty about how many additional pages there will be, can lead to frustration and disinterest in the product. Avoid customer frustration by keeping as much of the checkout process to one page.

4. Give customers shipping options

Shipping costs and expected delivery times can play a big role in online sales conversion rates. It’s all too common to fill up an online shopping cart, go to checkout, and see that the shipping costs are more expensive than originally anticipated, or that it won’t arrive when you need it. By offering different options, customers can pick the price and timeframe that fits their needs.

How can you optimize checkout for mobile devices?

Optimizing for mobile is crucial for catering to the growing number of people who pull out their phones to make purchases on the go (or from the couch). About three-quarters of Americans say they buy online using their smartphone, according to Pew Research, but 83% of mobile shoppers abandon carts before checkout. Here are some tips for optimizing your checkout flow for mobile devices:

1. Remove distractions

By its nature, the mobile checkout process is fairly limited by the fact that our screens only have so much real estate. Removing as many distractions as possible from mobile checkout pages is essential in reaching higher conversion rates. Ideally, you want customers to be able to quickly go to the cart, input their payment and shipping information, and go on with their day.

2. Allow users to automatically complete fields

Let’s be honest, filling out so many fields about our payment information, address, etc., is time consuming and an overall hassle. Taking some of these tedious tasks off your customers can help move the checkout process along faster and is more likely to end in a sale. This can just be autofilling the city and state after a user puts in their zip code.

3. Avoid pop-ups

We have all been there. You’re in a rush and want to look something up on your phone, but pop-up ads keep getting in the way and slow the web page down. There is a time and place for pop-ups, but during checkout is not one of them. In an effort to reduce distractions, removing pop-ups while users are checking out can be critical to minimizing shopping cart abandonment.

4. Opt for buttons over links

Using call-to-action buttons on your checkout page instead of text hyperlinks can help make your page better optimized for mobile devices.

With these eCommerce checkout best practices, you can feel more confident that your customers will have a better checkout experience and will be more inclined to complete their purchases. The fewer hoops people have to jump through, the more likely they are to see the sale through. Reducing distractions, redundant and tedious fields, and the time it takes to move through your checkout process can help your eCommerce business grow.

Other articles you may like

Popular Topics

Recent Stories

Please share your contact information
to access our premium content.