7 Steps To Ecommerce Optimization

By Jonathan Matlock
May 4, 2020

Did you know that on ecommerce sites over 69% of online shopping carts are abandoned?

This means that around 7 out of 10 customers will put items in their cart but will not finalize their purchase...

This is called cart abandonment and it’s a big problem for ecommerce stores and a lot of abandoned carts are related to the checkout process.

But the good news?

It’s something that you can easily change and optimize to help move your shoppers to complete their purchase and improve your conversion rate.

So today we are going to cover a few things to optimize your online shop’s checkout process and increase conversions and sales.

If you have questions about conversion rate optimization and ecommerce optimization, keep reading. But if you prefer to talk to us directly (we know that sometimes chatting with someone is easier), feel free to give us a call at 214- 225-2011.

What’s an ecommerce checkout flow?

If you have an ecommerce store then you know the end game is to get site visitors to become customers. And to do that, you must have a good checkout flow.

The checkout experience on your site encourages shoppers to move through the process of completing their transaction.

So in short, a checkout flow refers to an online shopper’s virtual experience of finalizing the purchase on the items in their online cart.

This probably sounds like an easy thing to get right, but by the stats above, you can see why ecommerce checkout optimization is important for a great user experience and increased trust in your brand and online store.

Why people abandon their shopping carts

As we’ve mentioned, there are a lot of factors that can cause almost-customers to jump ship. Some of these factors include:

  • Hidden costs or final cost
  • Sign up or account required
  • Complicated or long checkout process
  • Security concerns
  • Delivery time was too slow
  • Lack of guarantee or unfavorable return policy

Of course, there are more factors to consider depending on your specific business, but chances are one of these factors or a combination of these factors can keep potential customers from finalizing their purchase, resulting in an abandoned cart.

And your online shop can’t afford that. After all, your goal is to increase sales and a better ROI.

So now that we’ve determined some factors that can cause cart abandonment, let’s cover some easy things you can start doing to combat cart abandonment and optimize your ecommerce checkout flow.

Steps to optimize your ecommerce checkout flow

Do you want an easy to use, intuitive and hassle-free checkout process for your site visitors?

Of course you do.

We’ve put together some actionable steps that you can start using today to build more trust with your site visitors and increase sales.

1. Capture site visitor’s email addresses

We know how important it is to capture shoppers' email addresses, so we’re going to give you a few options for capturing emails.

Capturing email addresses will allow you to send out discounts, contest info, blog posts and anything else that will help build a relationship with your email list and encourage your list to buy from you.

A few ways to capture email addresses are:

  • Provide a discount
  • Run a contest
  • Offer weekly specials, insider pricing or exclusive products
  • Inform shoppers of a loyalty program

You can also ask shoppers for their email address as a way to ‘check out as a guest’. That way your system will show if they already have an account and if not, will capture their email without requiring them to fill out the necessary info to make an account.

Lastly, capturing email addresses also allows you to send out personalized abandoned cart emails. These are a great way to bring people back to your website after they have left without finalizing their purchase, helping you regain lost business.

2. Offer a guest checkout option

We touched on this a bit above, but it’s an important one, so we’re going to elaborate a bit.

Some shoppers don’t want to sign up for an account, so making your shoppers complete the process to create an account can actually cause friction in your checkout flow.

If you notice shoppers abandoning their carts after they are asked to sign up for an account, consider allowing them to “check out as a guest”.

Requiring shoppers to create an account on your checkout page can make or break a checkout flow depending on your specific business, products, price point and customers. So it’s important to test out the different strategies to see which ones work best for your ecommerce shop

But as a rule of thumb, having a guest checkout option is usually a good idea.

3. Abandoned cart outreach

We have seen some stores benefit from directly reaching out to customers that have not completed their checkout process.

This can include sending them an email or even a chat pop-up that will ask them if they need any help after a specified amount of time has gone by with inactivity during their checkout out.

Or having the chatbot popup at the beginning of their buying process so they know there is someone there to help them if they have any problems like a coupon code not working or if they have questions about shipping options.

Creating a more personalized experience can really help set your brand apart and create more trust between your site visitor and your online store.

**Consider making a graphic for the chat popup option

4. Build trust in your brand and your checkout flow

One of the biggest concerns when shopping online is if the store is safe and secure. Nowadays, everyone is concerned about keeping their personal info safe, which they should be!

The best way to make your shoppers feel safe?

Make sure that all parts of the checkout process are secure.

That means having an SSL certificate (secure sockets layers) which is an additional security feature that all businesses dealing with sensitive info like billing and payment information should have.

You can also add “trust” logos on your ecommerce website which have shown to help shoppers feel more comfortable giving out their payment info.

5. Reduce hidden cost or final price increases

Hidden costs such as taxes, shipping, and fees that are clear upfront can cause customers to abandon their carts.

I’m sure you’ve probably experienced this as I know we have.

You are shopping and find exactly what you need only to get to the checkout and find out that it’s going to cost way more than you thought after shipping and taxes.

Try strategies such as offering free shipping on orders over a certain amount. Or make sure you’re transparent about shipping costs. You can even add a shipping calculator that appears before checkout to reduce unforeseen price increases during the checkout flow.

Price increases that are discovered during the checkout process can make a shopper feel like they’ve been duped and can cause them to lose faith in your brand.

6. Social proof or customer reviews for added trust and authority

Everyone loves to see other shoppers raving about the company they are shopping with or the products they are buying.

This not only helps build trust with your potential buyers but has also been shown to increase your conversion rates where buyers were on the fence about a product or service.

There are many ways to add social proof or reviews on your online store. We really like GatherUp for social proof and review.

Also make sure to add links to relevant social media accounts for a little extra added trust and relationship building.

7. Simplify navigation and checkout process

With ecommerce checkout flows, the least amount of clicks your buyer has to go through the better. According to Statista, 25% of shoppers have abandoned carts because of complicated site navigation.

So try to make your site navigation and your checkout process as simple as possible.

A good example of a simple checkout flow is:

  1. Chose a product
  2. Add to cart
  3. Click “checkout”

Quick preview of “add to cart” and “checkout” are great ways to simplify the checkout flow. This way shoppers are not taken to another page for product info or checkout.

The least amount of distractions and friction is key.

Of course we realize that different e-retailers have different needs for checkout flows, so if you need help figuring out the best checkout process for your unique audience, contact us for a free consultation.

How Rocket Park can help you optimize your ecommerce checkout process

So here’s the thing with ecommerce, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. And the same goes for your checkout flow. The perfect checkout process will depend on things like:

  • Your products
  • Price point
  • Product descriptions
  • Product videos
  • Demographic
  • And a myriad of other factors.

The takeaway?

You must find the right checkout experience for your business and your site visitors. This means consistently testing and optimizing for the best possible outcome, and yes, by outcome, we mean sales.

And while there is no one solution that will work for every store, we can help you build the perfect ecommerce checkout experience for your unique business needs and improve your number of conversions.

If you feel like you need some help with optimizing your checkout flow, call us today for a personalized (and did we mention free?) consultation.

Create a custom online shopping experience for your site visitors that will build trust, and increase conversions and sales with Rocket Park.