How to Improve Your Online Checkout Process | Fora Financial Blog
How to Improve Your Online Checkout Process
September 03, 2018

How to Improve Your Online Checkout Process

An astounding number of people – 76.9 percent to be exact – select items online and place them in their carts, then abandon them at checkout. If you’ve watched this happen on your business’s website in live mode, it probably broke your heart, and the statistics say you aren’t alone. The good news is there’s plenty you can do to fix your process and earn more sales.

One way to try and avoid lost sales is to send automated cart abandonment emails to customers. An industry study found that on average, 41 percent of remarketing emails are opened and 10 percent are clicked on. Half of those users completed their purchases. But what if you could stop people from abandoning their carts in the first place?

Understanding What’s Broken

People want to spend their time shopping, not checking out. They also don’t like surprises, like huge shipping fees, at the end of their journey. Shipping costs, complicated checkout forms and forced registration are among the main reasons customers abandon a purchase. For example, shipping-related issues cause 60 percent of cart abandonment, according to Moosend.

Here are some of the main reasons that shoppers dip out during their last leg of the purchase:

  • Shipping costs are too high
  • Extra costs for customs or other changes
  • Mandatory registration
  • Long, complicated checkout forms
  • Too many mandatory fields
  • Only standard delivery
  • Delivery is too slow

Discovering the reasons your customers aren’t completing purchases should be a main priority if you want to save your sales. Keep reading to learn about nine ways that you can enhance your checkout experience, so that you can earn more sales going forward.

9 Ways to Improve Your Conversion at Checkout:

1. Coupon Codes

Create coupon codes to give customers a discount based on a percentage their total purchase. This will motivate them to finish the checkout process, as they likely won’t want to risk losing out on a discounted price.

2. Price Adjustments

If you’re selling a brand offered by many stores, your price must be competitive, so you should try to price your products below the average price. Be sure to advertise your competitive pricing, so that potential customers don’t look for your products on other websites.

3. Cart Abandonment Software

It’s tough to determine why people abandon their carts. Someone gets to your site, places a product in the cart, and you think you’re making money. Then, they leave without purchasing. What’s going on? There are a variety of abandoned cart plugins and software products that can help you answer that question and increase your conversion rates.

4. Thorough Security

Security is a big deal to today’s online shoppers. You must build trust fast to get customers to give you their credit card numbers or PayPal accounts. If you can enhance your on-site trust, it’s easier to increase conversion rates and make other improvements. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Install SSL during checkout, which is standard on most e-commerce platforms. Implement it across the entire site if possible.
  • Use icons to indicate PayPal, credit cards, and other payment methods to establish that you use payment options that customers trust.
  • Display GeoTrust, McAfee, and other security badges that you use, so that customers know that your website is protected.

5. Guest Checkout

When customers are getting ready to complete their order, they may give up if they are forced to register for an account on your site. Guest checkout options avoid this problem and give customers the option to enter an email address and check out in a faster manner.

6. Mobile Capability

If customers can’t order from their phones, they may get frustrated and look for a mobile-friendly business instead. It’s crucial that you have a mobile website to attract prospects and convert them into buyers. In general, conversion rates on mobile devices are just 1.6 percent, compared to 4.1 percent on a computer. Harder payment processing is the biggest factor in this difference, so make sure your website can handle mobile orders.

7. Integrated Inventory Tracking

You’re sure to lose customers if they get all the way to your checkout screen only to discover that the item they want is back ordered or out of stock. To avoid this, use integrated inventory tracking to ensure that the information on your website is always updated. If merchandise is back ordered, have a system in place where customers can enter their email addresses and be notified when the item is restocked.

8. Site Performance

Site speed is important in general, as users get impatient when they have to wait for pages to load. However, having a slow loading page especially erodes a customer’s confidence during checkout. Slow pages aren’t just about customer frustration, many people take this as a sign there’s a security issue and leave the site. Work with your web designer to keep your site fast, particularly the checkout pages.

9. Reduce Distractions at Checkout

Reduce the number of distractions. Having pop-ups, product upsells and any other features that can distract a shopper at checkout is generally a bad idea. This isn’t a grocery or retail brick-and-mortar operation, so throw concepts like impulse buys and end caps out the window, at least until you’ve been up and running for a while and have some loyal shoppers.

If you do implement distractions during checkout, make sure to test your placement of these objects in the early design phase. The last thing you need is to confuse a fatigued shopper and have them abandon your sale for a nap. People don’t like pop-ups, so if you use them, do so wisely and make sure you have thoroughly test how this impacts the checkout process.

Regular testing helps you refine your current cart and find the optimal use of product suggestions and pop-ups that don’t jeopardize the sale.

Make Cart Abandonment a Thing of the Past

Now that you’ve learned about how to improve your online checkout process, it’s time to implement the suggestions mentioned in this post. If you have additional tips to share with fellow business owners, let us know in the comment section below!

Fora Financial

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Laura Gayle is a full-time blogger who has ghostwritten more than 350 articles for major software companies, tech startups, and online retailers. Founder of, she created her site to be a trusted resource for women trying to start or grow businesses on their own terms.