checkout optimization

In e-commerce, checkout is the point where a sale could either be closed or lost depending on whether the experience has been designed to meet your shoppers’ needs. So when it comes to online and mobile checkout, e-commerce businesses would do well to develop an optimization and personalization strategy that increases customer satisfaction and encourages return visits.

But what should that strategy look like? Here are a few things you can do to give your customers a better checkout experience that will exceed their expectations while they successfully complete their transactions.

1. Design checkout pages that fit your customers’ shopping preferences

You may already have a well-designed desktop checkout experience, but do you have one designed specifically for mobile? Why is that important? Because mobile is overtaking desktop when it comes to e-commerce sales. In 2017, mobile sales accounted for nearly 59% of all e-commerce sales. This percentage is expected to surpass 72% by 2021. Yet the mobile transaction abandonment rate at checkout is 58%. Reasons for abandonment are often the result of a bad page design and layout.

Many businesses claim to have a “mobile optimized” site, but don’t. It’s not just about making your desktop design fit a mobile screen. Your checkout page should be designed specifically for mobile, with a logical flow from top to bottom, left to right, with a user-friendly look and feel. So forget about your desktop checkout form and sketch out a new mobile checkout design—one that’s simple to navigate and offers quick and easy payment flows. You might also consider adding mobile wallets to really simplify the checkout flow.

If your customers are primarily mobile buyers (you can tell this using the data provided by your payment provider), then give them a mobile-specific checkout experience that matches their shopping preferences.

checkout optimization

2. Ask only for the information required to complete the sale

Another aspect of checkout optimization lies in having the right mix of fields on your checkout page—those that lead your particular customer base to a final sale quickly, and with the best chance of a successful authorization.

Some checkout pages might only ask for a name, credit card number, CVV, and expiration date. And that approach may work in certain cases. But every issuing bank has validation rules they refer to when transactions are submitted for approval to ensure those transactions aren’t fraudulent, so the more information you give them—street address, zip code, email address, etc.— the more validations they can do on their side to approve the transaction. However, there is a catch: more fields to complete is not what your customers want. It’s a fine line between what banks want to see and what your customers want to provide.

Do you have a large number of return customers who would appreciate having their payment information stored for future visits so they don’t have to enter their information again? Are you selling a product that does not require shipping? If that’s the case, don’t ask customers to provide a shipping address.

It’s up to you to strike the right balance of gathering payment information. You’ll want to offer a page that asks for a minimal amount of information yet still results in the greatest number of approved transactions. If you’re unsure about how to best design your checkout page, your payment provider should be able to work with you to craft the right mix of questions based on your customer preferences and your business.

checkout optimization

3. Offer a localized checkout experience that matches your customers’ locations

No matter where your customers are located in the world, they want a checkout experience that’s familiar to them. A localized checkout experience provides:

  • Checkout pages in the language of the customer because 42% of shoppers will not purchase from a site unless it is presented in their native language.
  • Prices in your shoppers’ local currencies, because more than 33% of shoppers say they are unlikely to revisit a site that isn’t presented in their own currency.
  • Payment options that are popular in your shoppers’ region of the world, because up to 8% of shoppers will abandon a purchase if they don’t see a local payment option they prefer. In Germany that’s Giropay, for example, or Alipay in China.
  • Behind-the-scenes transaction routing that increases the chances of successful transactions. Payment providers that utilize numerous acquiring banks around the globe and send transactions to the banks most likely to approve them can increase your approval rates by several percentage points.

checkout optimization

Design online and mobile checkout experiences your customers prefer

All transactions are not identical; your checkout experience should reflect that reality. By designing checkout experiences that better match your shoppers’ preferences, ask only for information that is truly necessary, and are appropriate to each shopper’s location, you can ensure an optimal checkout process. Your payment provider can play a key role in this effort, so you can deliver the kind of service your customers expect.