24 June 2020 Luke Goldsworthy

What checkout practices are you using?

For your eCommerce business to maximise its conversion of clicks into sales, it is essential to remove customer barriers to purchase. Common issues include poor site design, slow site speed, and a lack of trust in your website.

The most significant hurdles more often arise during the checkout process, wasting a golden opportunity where your potential customer has already decided what they want and that they want it now, only to not follow through due to avoidable issues. So this week, we’re examining the best eCommerce checkout practices for 2020. Here are three key areas in which you can improve the checkout experience for your customers.

Avoid Mandatory Registration

It can be tempting to want customers to register with your website, data is golden, but at the checkout is not the time to push it. Forcing customers to sign up before they can complete transactions may lose you sales. Not only are some customers reluctant to provide more details than necessary to complete the purchase, the process of registration, email confirmation, and sign-in slows and complicates the checkout experience. This frequently leads to customers giving up and not completing their purchase.

The greatest exception to this rule is provided by Amazon, who developed 1-Click ordering. The game-changing technology allowed Amazon to establish itself in the market, providing customers with a good reason to give over their data and permission to charge them. With the expiry of its patent over the technology in 2017, this could be an option for your site, though few (if any) sites carry the clout of Amazon, so for many customers on many sites, even this registration process would provide a hurdle to sales. For those interested, upon the expiry of the Amazon patent, The Playhouse Group’s partner, Magento, launched its own version called ‘Instant Purchase’.

Some of the best eCommerce sites now allow a guest checkout option. This addresses customer concerns and also helps reduce the steps to purchase to the desired maximum of five. If registration is necessary, avoid long forms and allow users to sign in via a social media account. Even offer customers to fill more ‘about me’ information at a later date.  Maybe through a follow-up email with a: “Thank you for your purchase. To celebrate your recent order, provide more information about yourself for a 10% discount on your next purchase.” Reward the loyalty of the customer.

Allow Multiple Payment Currencies and Methods

A majority of online purchases occur across international borders, and customers may not proceed with a purchase if it cannot be completed in their own currency. According to Statista last year, 13% of online shoppers abandoned a site when prices were presented in a foreign currency.

Accepting multiple currencies addresses this risk, while also eliminating potentially expensive foreign transaction fees for your customers, and providing greater transparency on how much the customer is being charged, preventing confusion and surprise.

Additionally, it is important to offer a variety of payment methods, such as PayPal, Afterpay, credit cards, debit cards, BPAY, digital wallets like Amazon, AliPay, Apple or Google Pay, or even Bitcoin. Providing multiple payment methods improves the customer experience, engages with younger generations that increasingly don’t rely on traditional payment methods, and demonstrates that your business is keeping up with innovation. Here is a list of preferred payment methods by country, for your reference.

As a side point, it’s valuable to display the logos of the methods you accept on your checkout page to increase customer trust in your store.

Provide Multiple Shipping Options

As we discussed in last week’s blog, Contactless Delivery and Covid-19, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the importance of multiple shipping options, particularly ones that provide for contactless delivery during the outbreak. Options include parcel collection point networks, curbside delivery, and Click & Collect.

Delivery cost is also a consideration for the majority of online shoppers, so in addition to methods of delivery, it is beneficial to have various price points, such as free or low-cost standard delivery, reasonably priced Express Post delivery, and more expensive courier options. Provide specific information on the cost and time period associated with each option.

Beyond these considerations, remember that your checkout is a crucial part of the customer’s overall shopping experience with you. If it’s smooth and clean, your customers will have more faith in you as a business. If it’s convoluted and ugly, not so much.

Get in touch with our team and we can talk to you about this or any eCommerce questions you may have.