Great digital marketing campaigns can only do so much. Without a well-designed site or landing page, it is difficult to achieve the high conversion rate that you aim for. This is especially true in the case of ecommerce sites, where user experience (UX) plays an even more important role in converting visitors into customers. Disruptions in the flow of UX can seriously hurt your sales.
One of the ways you can ensure a streamlined user experience is by optimizing the checkout process. This usually starts with reducing the number of steps users have to complete in order to make a purchase. These next seven design tips will help you supercharge your checkout process further.
Save Time on User Logins
There is no need to force users to sign up or log in during the checkout process. What you want to do is recommend them to register for an account (if you don’t have one already) so that their future checkouts can be completed faster. This type of suggestion can be added to the checkout form as a checkbox or a small section that doesn’t intrude or disrupt the UX.
The same can be said for user logins. Prompt users to log in using their existing accounts at the beginning of the checkout process, and then prepopulate the rest of the checkout form using data linked to the user accounts. Make sure you still allow guest checkout as an option to maintain a smooth flow.
Keep Error Messages Clear
It is not uncommon for users to come across errors when checking out. They may enter an incorrect email address or a phone number that doesn’t conform with the format required by the form. In the case of an error, you need to display the error message clearly.
Thanks to HTML5, error messages can be displayed in real-time. You just have to be meticulous about the wording of the error messages so that users know exactly how to fix them. Linking the error message to certain form fields helps too.
Display Details of the Purchase
As a way to boost credibility and to add consistency to the checkout process, add a section to the side of the main checkout form and display purchase details in this section. Details should include item names, purchased quantity, price per item, and the total price, followed by sub-total, shipping and handling costs, and the total for the purchase near the bottom.
It is also a good idea to display the available stock for individual items. This is useful for when users decide to complete their checkout process later. They can quickly see the items that are no longer available and adjust their purchases accordingly.
Another great design approach that will optimize the checkout process further is the integration of fluid back-and-forward motion to the checkout wizard. Users must be able to return to the previous steps in the checkout process without losing information or having to redo the forms again.
This is something that’s technically more difficult to achieve, but it is certainly not impossible thanks to modern web programming languages. You just have to preserve the data entered by users for the session or store the information as a temporary entry that users can edit later. If this is way too technical for you, contact web designers such as Pelling who have technical and design expertise in building online stores, so simply tell them your requirements and they can create it all for you.
Show Completion Percentage
Showing users the completion percentage is an effective way to keep them engaged with the checkout process. There are several ways to do this too. You can show a progress bar that displays percentage, number of steps, or other metrics in a clear way.
The further users are in the checkout process, the more they feel motivated to follow through with the process. If you can’t simplify the checkout process to a maximum of two steps, showing progress or completion percentage is a great way to minimize dropped carts.
Maintaining a smooth and consistent flow is just as important, which is why you must never direct users to another page to make changes to their orders. This is a common mistake many big ecommerce sites still make; it is certainly a mistake you want to avoid in a competitive market such as today.
There are two ways to avoid directing users away from the checkout process. The first one is by using modals for when you need to display more details for users to edit. Let’s say they want to alter their shipping option. Instead of redirecting users to a Shipping page, use a modal popup to display the settings and allow users to make changes easily.
Another way to tackle this issue is by relying on background processing entirely. When users make changes to the items they order, for example, let a background script calculate the new shipping and handling cost automatically.
These design decisions, approaches, and tips will help streamline your checkout process immensely. The more optimized the checkout process, the more successful conversions you will have in return.