Typically, the last stop on the ride to conversion-land for your customers is your checkout page. This is where they’ll pay for the items they’ve selected for purchase. Your goal with this page should be to give them every reason to stay on track and complete the transaction. If your checkout page has these five features customers love, you’ll have a really good shot at transporting them safely to your desired destination.
1. Automated Sign-in
Put yourself in front of your customer’s keyboard for a second. You’ve found the item you want to buy, you’ve clicked “buy it now” and you’re taken to the checkout page, where you are asked to sign into the site — even though you’ve made purchases there before on this same device. Now you have to stop and remember which email address you used to register and what password you created. Some will happily do this; others will go off in search of the information and possibly never return. If your checkout page offers an “Already a customer?” option, the shopper can circumvent this hurdle and make the purchase more quickly.
2. Optional Registration
Sometimes a customer just wants to grab what they came for and go. While you’d love to get more information about them to mine for future marketing purposes, it’s far better to let them make the purchase first, then ask for that information after they’ve satisfied their need. In other words, avoid placing obstacles between the culmination of the sale and the customer. Don’t make them register first; let them buy, then ask if they’d like to register afterwards.
3. Place the Customer’s Needs First
Customers are more interested in when and how they will get their purchases than providing billing information. Asking for this information in that order keeps them engaged and acclimates them to your forms, so when they get to the billing information, it’s just one more part of the process. In most cases, the shipping address and billing address will be the same anyway. Your site’s ecommerce theme should allow you to configure your checkout page to transfer that information automatically to the billing form. It should also allow you to configure forms to auto-fill city and state based upon ZIP code. Actions such as these give customers the impression their needs matter to you more than your own.
4. Various Shipping Methods, Times & Prices
Free shipping has been proven to be a great conversion enticement, however, expedited shipping for a fee works really well too. Some people would rather get their goods quickly and pay for the privilege, as opposed to having them delivered for free and waiting a few days. Offering these options allows shoppers to choose and many will select the more expensive method.
5. A Variety of Payment Options
Yes, most consumers will pay by debit or credit card — and it will almost always be either a Visa or a MasterCard. However, there are a host of other payment options out there. Among them are PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Checkout, American Express, Discover and the like. The more ways you give a customer to pay, the more likely they are to do so. If a customer gets all the way to your checkout page only to learn the way they need to pay isn’t accepted…yes, that’s a customer you’ve lost forever.
6. Prominently Displayed Trust Seals
Trust seals should be located throughout your site as a constant reminder to your customer they are shopping in a secure environment. Security concerns remain one of the top objections to shopping online. Anything you can do to demonstrate protection of customer data will encourage shoppers to continue moving through the process.