April 12, 2022 - By Hawke Partner

eCommerce Checkout Flow Best Practices for Your Business

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This is a guest blog post written by Ally Ortolani, junior content strategist at Easyship. Easyship is the leading shipping platform that powers ecommerce merchants to scale their business globally. Sign up for a free account and get instant access to high-volume discounts on 250+ couriers.

Creating an optimized checkout process can significantly improve conversion rates and reduce checkout abandonment. In fact, an optimized ecommerce checkout flow can increase your conversions by nearly 36 percent, according to Sleeknote

There’s a strong call to action to create an optimal user experience, especially if ecommerce websites want to stay relevant amongst competitors. For example, you’ll want to consider factors like offering live-chat support, providing multiple shipping options, and being transparent about delivery lead times.

In this blog, we’ll guide you through the best checkout process tips for your business, so that you can create the ultimate user experience. 

What Are the Steps of the Online Shopping Process?

The checkout process contains  the steps a customer must follow in order to purchase a product in their shopping cart. Ideally, the best online checkout process will provide customers a seamless user experience, while reducing cart abandonment rates.

Most ecommerce sites follow these steps in the online checkout process:

  1. Add item to shopping cart
  2. Proceed to checkout
  3. Enter billing and shipping information
  4. Choose preferred shipping method
  5. Enter information on payments page
  6. Preview order details and complete the purchase
  7. Receive order confirmation via your email address

Generally speaking, ecommerce sites have the same steps in the checkout process, though some may differ slightly. For instance, some ecommerce businesses follow a single page checkout process or multi-process page process.

10 Best Checkout Flow Best Practices

One out of five online shoppers abandon their cart because of a complicated checkout process. Merchants should implement an easy checkout experience to reduce cart abandonment.

In fact, 39% of mobile users abandoned checkout because of difficulty entering personal information, according to one study. Follow the below practices in order to create a frictionless checkout experience.

1. Show checkout progress

Implementing a progress bar in your checkout process shows ecommerce shoppers the exact steps they need to take to complete checkout. Plus, implementing this design feature helps shoppers understand where they are during each step in the checkout flow process.

2. Don’t require shoppers to register before checkout

Offering guest checkout to customers helps speed up the checkout process by eliminating the tedious step of creating an account before finalizing checkout. In fact, Sleeknote reports that being forced to create an account is the number two reason why people abandon their shopping cart.

Instead, consider allowing customers to create an account at the end of the checkout process. This way, customers can have a smooth checkout experience.

3. Provide live chat support

Offering customer support is one of the most important ways you can retain customers, while boosting sales. Fifty-three percent of cart abandonment issues are because customers are unable to find answers to their questions, according to Freshworks. Live-chat support allows customers to ask any questions they may have before purchasing an item.

4. Be transparent about delivery lead time estimates

eCommerce shoppers want transparency when it comes to shipping lead times. If you’re not transparent with delivery lead time estimates, you increase your chances of cart abandonment. According to eConsultancy, nearly a quarter of online shoppers will abandon their online order if there aren’t clear delivery estimates. 

5. Provide ample payment options

Today, there’s a wide variety of payment preferences. Offering debit and credit card payments remains a popular option for shoppers. However, there are many other options you should consider using to reach a wider range of customers.

For instance, consider payment options such as: PayPal, Afterpay, Klarna, Amazon Checkout, or mobile wallet options like Apple Pay. According to eMarketer stats, 81.1% of smartphone users in China prefer mobile payments, while 29% of US shoppers prefer this type of payment. So overall, the more options you offer, the more customers you can attract from all across the globe.

6. Ask card info last

ecommerce shoppers are more inclined to abandon their cart due to unexpected costs. To curb this issue, asking for card information should be one of the last steps of the checkout process. Once shoppers finalize their shipping options, shipping address, and other details, they’ll be ready to finalize their purchase.

7. Use visuals to simplify the checkout process

Including visuals in the checkout process helps convey vital shipping information more efficiently than plain text. For instance, including images of customers’ basket contents serves as a reminder of their items, rather than listing them as text. 

Plus, visual images create a connection between the checkout process page and the online store by showing the checkout page flows together. Remember, you want to create an optimal shopping experience, and utilizing visuals helps fulfill that need.

8. Follow-up with a confirmation email

No order is complete without a confirmation email. Confirmation emails solidify customers’ transactions, so that they know their order was received by the retailer. Confirmation emails should include information such as estimated delivery lead time, billing address, shipping address, items ordered, and other information relevant to the order.

9. Offer multiple shipping options

Similar to offering multiple payment options, offering multiple shipping options is just as vital for your business. This shipping practice helps boost conversion rates, while building customer loyalty. In fact, one study found that only 15% of US consumers say that their delivery speed expectations are met.

Fortunately, Easyship offers a seamless checkout process by showing users the cheapest, fastest, and best available shipping options. This way, consumers can have an optimal checkout experience, while having their delivery experience met. 

10. Use address validation software

Address validation software helps provide an easy checkout experience by ensuring that all addresses are accurate and correct. For example, when a customer goes to fill out their shipping address, address predictor tools help curb delivery issues. 

Almost 1 in 3 customers say they abandon their shopping cart because of complications when filling out their shipping address. Luckily, Easyship offers address validating software that helps boost sales while preventing late deliveries.

Optimize Your eCommerce Checkout Process

By now, you should be well-equipped to create the best online checkout process for your ecommerce business. Creating an easy checkout flow helps boost conversion rates, while earning the loyalty of your customers. 

For any ecommerce business, it’s vital to ensure your shipping strategy is optimized to create the ultimate user experience. With Easyship, you can implement tools to your shipping flow, such as: 

  • Optimized Store Checkout: Show the cheapest, fastest, and best value shipping options at your store’s checkout. This way, you can increase conversions while reducing cart abandonment
  • Easyship Branding Suite: Easyship helps create a delivery experience consistent with your brand. Send automated tracking emails to your customers so that the status of their shipment is just a click away

Creating an optimized checkout flow doesn’t have to be hard for your ecommerce websites. So, by following these ecommerce checkout flow best practices, you can significantly help your business drive sales.

 

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