Five steps checklist for the higher conversion rate at checkout
Imagine you’ve rigorously tweaked your website, bringing the user experience and design close to perfection. You’ve even analysed the target audience carefully and slogged through marketing peculiarities to attract more visitors to your majestic website and nudge them towards initiating a purchase. But all these efforts fell utterly flat as your customers reached the checkout. At this very last step of the sales funnel, some checkout or payment-related issues have stopped users from making a purchase, resulting in lost sales for you. We sincerely hope that’s something your business has never faced. But for some merchants, such an unenviable situation is a reality. That’s because many people associate conversion with the quality of the website, and, at best, with the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Although as the fictional tale we started with supposes, forgetting about the payment experience can be very damaging to your conversion rate. In this article, you’ll learn how bad checkout experience affects conversion rate, which solutions can help you to avoid it and how to get them. We’re sure you’ll want to have them on board.
Conversion is when a user performs the desired action. In our case, it’s the purchase, but generally, it can be the download, registration, sign-up, etc. Conversion rate is the percentage of users (website visitors) who complete the desired action, i.e. a purchase. Checkout is a page or a set of pages a customer sees as they proceed to the purchase. It is also the term for the purchasing process.
Why checkout experience is essential for the conversion rate
For every online business, the usability of their website is a bedrock of their success. In this regard, it is crucial to think of a checkout page as of the essential element of your website, which it truly is. However, some businesses still neglect it, resulting in consumers’ frustration and lost sales. According to the survey of American consumers conducted by Hanover Research, more than half of consumers have experienced some technical issue at checkout. Across Europe, a significant number of consumers reported they had abandoned a complicated payment process in the past. For merchants, this is the right way to increase the shopping cart abandonment rate. But of course, nobody in their right mind would want that for their project. As for the conversion rate, it rarely winds its way to growth. You should try and optimise your checkout process to make your success rates flourish. To prove to you it is not a mere assertion, we’ve handpicked some exciting statistics from the latest report by Klarna and BigCommerce. Check the figures below.
Another study by Stripe elaborates various aspects of the state of European checkouts. The company reviewed 450 e-commerce websites across Europe. The study barged into the fact that 58% of the checkouts had at least three basic errors. First of all, a third of companies added unnecessary friction to the checkout flow. Namely, they didn’t automatically verify the card number as it was entered, allowed trying to pay with an expired card date, or even required entering card numbers in a certain way – for instance, with spaces. It forces a customer to fix basic errors manually after the first failed attempt to pay, decreasing the chance of a successful purchase, and thus your conversion rate. Secondly, while the majority of businesses took care about adapting their checkout to mobile screen sizes, only 12% added support for mobile wallets. But today, when half of the e-commerce traffic comes from smartphones, users need a cohesive mobile experience, not just mere responsiveness. The popularity growth rate of Apple Pay and Google Pay, among others, nudges merchants to face the fact that support for these wallets is a must. Finally, the study revealed that most of the checkouts neglected the localisation. They were not translated to local languages and didn’t offer local payment options. This way, merchants isolate themselves from the rest of the world. Of course, some business models imply the focus on one or a few markets. But many others would like to address wider geography. They just failed to optimise their checkouts for it. So, what can you do about it? Let’s segue to the practical advice and solutions helping you to wade through all the checkout issues that may negatively affect your sales.
How to increase conversion rate at checkout
Here’s a checklist on how to fix the issues preventing customers from checking out:
- Design your checkout form carefully. If you’re developing the checkout by your own efforts, adjusting its design to the look and feel of your website. If you’re considering using a third-party solution, choose the one providing robust customisation opportunities. Some providers also offer tailor-made checkout page, developing it on their side following your requirements. You must also ensure the checkout is adapted to various screen sizes and easy to use on different devices. Don’t forget that checkout has to be not only good-looking, but most importantly, intuitive and user friendly. It’s also great for your conversion rate when some errors can be displayed in real time, before the user clicks the ‘Pay’ button. Moreover, error messages should be specific and clearly identified. It will give the user a chance to fix what’s wrong, be it an invalid card number or expired card date.
- Optimise the user experience. Users want the checkout experience to be frictionless, fast and smooth, and you’re capable of fulfilling their expectations. We’ve already hinted at how to handle errors that may occur in the user’s side. Another critical feature is enabling retries in one click, releasing a user from the need to re-enter payment details if the transaction fails. With such a button, you can lower the decline rates. Still, sometimes the friction can be caused by the payment providers’ glitches or downtimes. For such cases, rely on smart routing and cascading, forwarding a transaction to the best fitting provider. It all happens fast and under the hood, while what a user sees is your beautifully-crafted loader. It is an excellent way of increasing conversion and minimising transaction costs. Moreover, you can rely on tokenisation to enable one-click payments for your returning customers, and set up autofill of information saved in a customer’s browser. Everywhere you see unnecessary friction for a customer, try and remove it.
- Ensure personalisation. Personalisation is one of the hottest e-commerce trends. Odds are you’ve heard a lot about personalised approach to marketing communications, but you can personalise the checkout experience, too. For instance, your checkout could allow returning users to save payment data, ending the routine and errors of manual re-entering. Sophisticated checkout solutions empower customers to save and manage payment details. Some of them even display to each of your users a selection of payment methods recommended personally for them, memorising the latest and most used payment options. It boosts customer loyalty and drives your sales.
- Enable alternative payment methods. Of course, you can only accept credit cards or PayPal at your checkout. But providing an opportunity to choose alternative payment method your customers love and prefer expands the circle of your potential customers. It also makes you stand out from those providing one or two options. Before rushing into connecting as many payment methods as you can find, analyse your target audience and regions. It will help you to focus on a few payment methods your customers would really use. If you have a lot of traffic coming from mobile, consider adding support for major mobile wallets, like Apple Pay or Google Pay.
- Provide localisation options. When you’ve identified the top countries into which you want to sell, it’s easier to choose which payment methods to provide and into which languages you can translate your website and checkout. Some checkout solutions dynamically display the right language and the set of payment methods depending on the user’s location. Such a targeted experience is very appealing, and it equips you for steady growth across selected markets.
How PayCore.io can help
Having more than ten years of experience in developing and promoting payment products, we’ve tested and learned what works best in terms of payments. These insights and months of purposeful research helped us to find the optimal balance and bring our own advanced сheckout solution to the market. Our clients have already reaped the benefits of having it on board, witnessing an average of 10-25% conversion increase. With Checkout by PayCore.io you can handle:
- instant and one-click payments;
- donations with arbitrary amounts;
- payment details capturing and delayed charge;
- recurring payments;
- dynamic 3DS/CVV enabling or disabling;
- authentication with one-time passwords.
We developed it with both consumers and merchants in mind, and following conversion best practices. If the dismal conversion hits you in the gut, contact us for assistance. We would be delighted to help you and answer all your questions. Or, you can request a demo to see our checkout in action and learn more about how it works.