Getting Strategic Over eCommerce Checkout Process

If you’ve been trying to reduce virtual shopping cart abandonment, you’ve probably heard all about how you should be making things as simple as possible for your potential customers. The fewer actions people have to do in order to checkout, the more likely they are to follow through with their purchase. You’ve probably read that only the most vital things should be left in your checkout process and that everything else should be done away with. But what are those ‘absolutely vital’ things? What do you have to leave in your checkout process?

To help answer this important question, we’ve come up with this very simple step by step explanation of what your checkout process should actually look like. If you scale the process down to this, you should see a reduction in a number of virtual shopping carts which are abandoned in your eCommerce store.

Step One: Customers Add Products & Get Ready To Checkout

This isn’t exactly part of the checkout process, but it’s the point at which your customers are ready to begin it. Although there isn’t much to say, this step is included because there is one big thing which needs to be mentioned. You must make sure it is easy for your potential customers to access their shopping cart and begin the checkout process. If it is hard for them to find their cart, or for them to figure out how to follow through with their purchase, nothing else on this list will matter.

Step Two: Shipping Information & Options

This should be the first page your customers have to actually complete during the checkout process. What many don’t realize is that you can wrap up the basic information needed for this page. Typically, all the identifying information you really need is their full name, and possibly their date of birth. This last piece may be necessary if you sell items which are only legal for individuals over a certain age. That being said, this is the information you should have your customers fill out on this first page:

• Full Name (First, Last, and Title)
• Date Of Birth (*optional, depending on what wares you sell)
• Shipping Address (Street Number and Name, City, State, Country, Zip Code)
• Shipping Options (shipping speed, and any special options you offer liked signed or insured packages)

Step Three: Billing Information & Additional Options

This is the second page in your checkout process, and you can make it incredibly simple for your customers by allowing an auto-fill option. This is where your customers have the ability to check a box if the address and name on the card they will be using to pay with are the same as their shipping information. Here is what needs to be included on this page:

• Full Name of Card Bearer (*can be auto-filled)
• Billing Address of Card Bearer (*can be auto-filled)
• Payment Type – typically debit, credit, or Paypal
• Card Number & Security Code if debit or credit; email address associated with account if Paypal
• Option to select additional options you provide, such as gift wrapping, confirmation email, etc.
• Acceptance of terms and conditions

Step Four: Confirmation

This should be the last page of the actual checkout process. All this page contains is a summary of everything your customers have filled, so they can check it for accuracy. If they find they made a mistake or typo, they can go back and alter it prior to completing checkout. If they read it over and see that everything is good, they just click a button and they’re done. This page should also include a listing of the products the customer is purchasing and the total price of their purchase.

Step Five: Optional Registration

Once your customers have successfully followed through with their purchase, you can bring them to a page which allows them to voluntarily register as a member of your website, as well as subscribe to your newsletter. It’s important you give your customers this option after they’ve completed their purchase instead of forcing them to do it prior to checkout. What you include on this page is entirely up to you, but it should definitely include an email address, and login information, if nothing else.

Your Take

Everyone wants conversion out of their stores and missing crucial eCommerce points (Refer to the online store checklist by SITE123) can leave you aside without having major sales. So if you’ve been wondering what your checkout process should actually look like in your efforts to reduce virtual shopping cart abandonment, that’s it. With such a simple process, fewer people are going to abandon their purchases out of frustration, which is great for your bottom line.


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