There are many things that go into building a successful e-commerce store. Innovative products, beautiful photography and an easy to navigate web design can all greatly increase your chances for building a solid customer base.
But if you don’t complete the buyer’s journey with an optimized checkout experience, all the rest of your e-commerce marketing efforts could easily go to waste. Far too many e-commerce sites initially set themselves up for success, but then fall flat during the checkout phase with pitfalls like forced account creation or the lack of a secured checkout page.
Even seemingly minor issues can cause you to lose customers and have a direct impact on your bottom line. In fact, according to an overview by the Baymard Institute, the average online cart abandonment rate is an astonishing 69.57 percent. While some of this is due to the nature of online shopping, there is no denying that poorly optimized checkout experiences play a large role in these high numbers.
But while there are many areas where your checkout can go wrong, the good news is that there are plenty of companies out there who are doing it right. The following examples provide ideal learning opportunities that you can apply to your own e-commerce checkout process.
1) Kylie Cosmetics
Say what you will about the seemingly never-ending drama surrounding the Kardashian/Jenner clan, but the Kylie Cosmetics website does provide some good examples of how to provide an effective e-commerce checkout process for your customers.
After proceeding to the checkout, customers are given a clear, distraction-free page to enter their information. The process only involves three steps — entering customer information, choosing a shipping option and entering payment information. The cart information and total pricing is kept visible on the right side of the screen at all times.
The addition of express checkout options using Amazon Pay and PayPal can further streamline the checkout process. This may be the most important takeaway of all from the Kylie Cosmetics example, as PaymentsJournal reports that “over half of all online transactions will be made using alternative payment methods by 2021.”
The more payment options you provide your customers, the easier it will be to finalize sales.
2) The Home Depot
The Home Depot may not immediately strike web users as a tech-savvy brand, but their checkout process shows some clever marketing that is well worth noting. After adding an item to their shopping cart, a pop-up appears that allows users to continue shopping or proceed immediately to checkout.
Underneath these options, however, are a highlighted set of suggested items to go along with the customer’s initial purchase. These products are generally relevant to the purchase category of the first item that was added to the shopping cart. As a result, they are more likely to be of interest to the customer, increasing the potential of achieving sales for these extra items.
This process is known as cross-selling — or trying to get customers to buy complementary items. It should be noted that the Home Depot’s suggested items list in this example also includes examples of upsetting by highlighting larger (and more expensive) bathroom vanities than the one currently being added to the cart.
The Home Depot is far from the only store that successfully implements cross-selling. In fact, Amazon attributes as much as 35 percent of its revenue to cross-selling efforts.
Mattress brand Hyphen’s checkout page shares many similarities to that of Kylie Cosmetics, but with a few noteworthy elements that are worth considering for your own e-commerce site.
First is the fact that the very first requirement for the checkout process is to input your email address — regardless of whether the customer plans to continue as a guest, subscribe to a newsletter or already has an account.
Asking for an email address is fairly commonplace during checkout, but by making it the first step, Hyphen is better equipped to retarget users who may still abandon their carts after this step.
With an email address, e-commerce stores can send more personalized retargeting messages encouraging potential customers to finish their purchase. Considering that some studies have found retargeting campaigns to have ten times the number of clickthroughs as a typical campaign, that’s can have quite an impact.
Another key takeaway from the Hyphen checkout is that it shows the total cost of the order upfront — including a store-applied coupon and the fact that shipping is free. This helps eliminate surprise “extra” costs at the end of the transaction, which can drive away buyers.
4) Joseph Joseph
Concerns over fraud and theft of personal information are a key priority for online shoppers.
Payment security issues are one of the most-frequently cited reasons why customers choose to abandon a cart. While adding SSL certificates to your e-commerce site can help alleviate these worries, sites like Joseph Joseph take things a step further.
On the Joseph Joseph cart page, you’ll notice little touches highlighting secure and safe payments throughout. The PayPal checkout option features the subheading “The safer, easier way to pay.”
The other option is “Secure Checkout” with highlighted payment methods including Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode. These may seem like small steps, but they can go a long way in providing customers with peace of mind.
Another interesting touch is that once customers enter the checkout process, Joseph Joseph offers a small bullet list highlighting the benefits of registering for an account. While the guest checkout option is still available, the concise benefits list can motivate more people to make an account for future transactions.
Now It’s Your Turn …
Once a customer enters the checkout process, they’ve initially committed to buying one (or more) of your products. At this point, the need for additional marketing or messaging is over. All you need to do is ensure that you remove any potential roadblocks that would cause them to abandon their shopping cart.
By following these and other quality e-commerce checkout examples, you can create a checkout experience for your own customers that will help you finalize more sales than ever before.