Conversion rate optimisation should be an ongoing process, utilising plenty of data gathered throughout the year. You can’t rush A/B testing and your data will likely reflect seasonal changes, demanding continuous monitoring. All this can sound rather daunting but there are some things you can do right now to improve your online checkout.
Today’s post is about easy wins. We’ll show you which elements of your checkout to target to improve the user experience. Better user experience should positively benefit your conversion rate.
Change The Way You Sign Up Users
Add Thumbnail Images To The Checkout
Add Mobile-Friendly Touches
Validate Form Fields on the Fly
Lots of checkouts begin by asking users to sign in to their account or to create an account before allowing them to buy. This is known as a login wall, something I highlighted in Mattel’s checkout teardown.
Creating an account is handy for you as you can gather information on regular shoppers and send them promotional offers. It’s also handy for shoppers, speeding up the checkout process for future purchases.
However, forcing users to register is not good. Login walls create barriers. There’s no indication of how long it will take to create an account. The prospect of being slowed down may cause some shoppers to abandon the checkout altogether.
Instead, leave the option to register for an account until the end of the checkout, like Speedo:
Speedo offer to create an account with the details already entered during the purchase. There’s also an incentive for creating an account too.
Shoppers like to see a summary of their items before completing the checkout. It allows them to confirm that everything is correct. In addition to the product name, quantity, size or material etc, you should add small product images to provide total clarity. It’s a quick visual reminder which is easier to process than text.
Mobile is an increasingly important platform for ecommerce sites. Consumers are shopping on their phones and tablets whether you’re ready for it or not. This is an issue I highlighted in my big brand teardown of play.com’s checkout.
Play.com’s checkout reverts to a desktop design that looks crapped and unusable, even on an iPhone 6. Buttons appear cut off and it’s hard to complete steps like CAPTCHA.
As this is a list of ‘easy’ wins I won’t discuss rolling out a totally new website template at this stage but consider a responsive, mobile-first approach when you’re ready for a bigger optimisation project. Econsultancy reported that ‘upwardly responsive’ design will be a growing trend in 2015.
Make links and calls to action easily navigable
Optimising links and calls to action usually means bigger button design. Button placement will also affect usability. Steve Hooper of UXmatters asked the question How Do Users Really Hold Mobile Devices? He shows that content in certain parts of the screen is hard to reach the larger the screen gets.
Allow users to scan their payment card
Entering card details on any device is a laborious task. I’ve written a detailed post on designing user friendly payment forms, but there’s a simple feature you can add to help mobile users and that’s card scanning.
A card scanning feature saves users the time and effort of copying numbers over and reduces errors.
Set the scene for yourself, you’ve filled out all your details and you expect that the next action you take will complete your purchase. But when you submit the form you instead get a list of errors.
You feel pretty bad right? Do you fill the form out again? Probably, because you’re so close to buying but you’ve also formed an impression of the site which might stop you from buying again. This is how people shopping on your site will feel if you don’t handle errors as they occur.
In-line validation flags up errors as soon as they occur and appear next to the relevant form field, reducing stress and strain for the user. Luke Wroblewski tested the effect of adding inline validation to webforms and discovered the following improvements:
- a 22% increase in success rates,
- a 22% decrease in errors made,
- a 31% increase in satisfaction rating,
- a 42% decrease in completion times, and
- a 47% decrease in the number of eye fixations.
The error message itself is important too. It should be a clear message, explaining the nature of the error and what the user has to do to correct it. Lots of error messages appear aggressive and lay blame on the user, using terms like ‘invalid’ and ‘incorrect’. Instead these messages should be helpful and friendly in tone, directing the user to the problem as quickly as possible.
Add Trust Badges
Trust is a psychological motivator, while a lack of trust can cause cart abandonment. Buying online still has certain risks and savvy consumers are aware of phishing sites and the vulnerability of their data. Trust badges are an easy way to reassure shoppers that your checkout is secure and their details are safe.
In a study on trust online 48% of web users trusted a site more when it displayed a trust seal.
And there you have it, 5 easy wins to increase checkout conversions.