E-Commerce Insights: 5 Steps to the Perfect Checkout
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
How does the nonstick material stick to the bottom of the pan?
Why do we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway?
Life has many mysteries. Building a perfect checkout system is not one of them.
Users Know Best
Over the past decade, Internet users have repeatedly told us what works best in checkouts. Unfortunately, many companies ignore the customers’ sage advice — which is proven by sales and conversion in the cart — and recreate the wheel. This is nothing short of a travesty, and if you’re smart, or at least hungry for higher top-line dollars, you’ll avoid it and follow the magic checkout formula.
So what is the perfect checkout? One-click checkouts are, for the most part, the best performers. However, long before you build a single-step checkout, know exactly where and when customers are abandoning. The best way to figure out where your cart (and possibly your overall business) has the most roadblocks is to implement a five-step checkout.
Before we go through each step, keep in mind that the “View Cart” page is technically a holding pen and not considered by users to be a step of the checkout at all. So we’ll skip it for this article.
Step 1: The Welcome Page. This should be the simplest page of the checkout for your users. It serves one purpose: to capture the customers’ e-mail addresses and/or login information so you can market to them by e-mail or phone if they abandon.
The page should be easy as one-two-three. The faster customers get through the first page, the more likely they are to finish the checkout process. Customers can choose to (1) log in as registered users; (2) sign up as new users; or (3) check out as guests. Guest checkout is one of the most important things you can offer, but it’s often forgotten.