Once customers reach the checkout, they should be able to run through the next steps in the checkout process quickly. For this reason, online retailers optimise their checkout process according to usability criteria. In particular guiding users through the process as simply as possible. Manuel Ressel of WebArts considers this a mistake.

Three tips for fewer abandoned purchases at the checkout

Online retailers who only optimise usability in their checkout process shouldn’t question whether  the abandonment rate remains constant. This is what the Manuel Ressel, the conversion expert, found out after carrying out a long series of tests in various shops.

In many cases, the optimisation of usability is no longer the most powerful lever in the checkout process. Customers could still have fears, concerns and barriers that could prevent them from buying. Floating around in the user’s head are questions such as “Why should I buy it here and now? Is it worth looking for other providers? Is it worth the hassle?” These questions need to be eliminated at the checkout too.

1. Gain trust

Wherever sensitive data is concerned, lack of trust in the shop or the technology is one of the greatest conversion killers. SSL encryption and shop trustmarks are obligatory for online shops today.

Many users don’t even know what SSL really means or how Trusted Shops works. However what is important is that they recognise these symbols and know that their order is in safe hands.

Ressel also names other factors that reinforce the topics of safety and trust:

Offering a hotline: A prominently advertised hotline gives the user the comfort of knowing that there is someone they can contact if they have any questions. A hotline is especially suitable for products that require a substantial amount of explanatory support.

Notice regarding the right of return: Any user who has ever had a negative experience will hesitate before buying if a simple returns policy is not clearly stated.

Even if the right of return is currently still a statutory obligation, the fact that this is mentioned can still have a positive impact. The fact that statutory obligation is extended by an even longer period of time can also increase the effect.

2. Communicate benefits for the user

Why should the customer press the order button in your shop? Besides a classic unique selling point, online retailers also have to offer additional benefits and display these prominently.

The ideal way in which to display these additional benefits also differs depending on the particular benefit and the user. In many cases, it suffices to list the additional benefits and to positively reinforce them with a check mark. In other cases, icons can visually enhance the additional benefits. A €0 icon and a reference to free shipping can convey the message of a free service more powerfully than a simple check mark.

3. Motivate users

The checkout is easily the most unpleasant part of the shopping process. Because this is where customers have to pay. Therefore, Manuel Ressel advises encouraging customers with supportive information and subtle messages.

For example, this can be a positive message helping them to visualise the goal as well as mentioning how little effort is needed to complete the final steps. A similar approach is to encourage the user in their decision and to show them why they have made the right choice.

Ressel explicitly points out that the examples mentioned above are not a template that can be applied to every online shop. Rather, each online retailer is obligated to find out through testing, which measures are relevant and appropriate for them.

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