Optimization is one of the most important strategies in taking your marketing efforts to the next level. It commonly refers to the set of efforts and activities that you do in order to boost people’s motivation into doing business with your shop. Your advertising and customer retention strategies are part of it along with any other things that you perform in an effort to increase productivity and overall sales and profit.
One of the issues that most Shopify stores suffer involves abandoned carts and cancelled checkouts which mean that one of the sections which you need to employ some optimization on is the checkout page. Thankfully, there are several steps and methods that you can use in making your checkout page as productive as possible and that’s what we’re going to discuss in this article. But first, let’s delve a little bit deeper into the meaning of optimization and see how checkout optimization actually works.
Optimization means doing some improvements and enhancing different aspects of a particular business or project in order to get maximum yield. It is about working towards a particular goal and that is overall progress and development. In the case of an online shop’s checkout page, optimization comes in different methods like removing distractions, improving the time it takes for the page to load, making the checkout form simple and removing any redundancies, and many other tricks.
The checkout page is one of the most crucial stages of any online business. It is where the customer decides whether or not they will push through with the order and therefore, you need to ensure that you’re not doing anything that will turn your customers off or discourage them from making the final steps happen.
Allowing your customers to focus on finding and purchasing the products that they need is important so as a business owner, you need to make sure that all the information that they need are displayed and presented in a clear manner. Confusion and distraction shouldn’t be found anywhere within the checkout page and the process should be as smooth as possible. The steps should be well-defined and that is going to be the first step in checkout optimization.
But that’s not everything yet. As you try to design the grand finale step which every customer will go through as they do business with your shop, there are some other things that you need to do and implement and we’re going to explain them in the next section so just read on to get better idea on this topic and more.
In an effort to increase conversion and make the most out of every website visitor that finds his way to your online shop, it’s important that you know some tricks that will optimize the checkout page and even the entire website itself. Here are some tips that you can follow as you implement some efforts toward optimization and better online shop performance:
One of the top recommendations that we can give is making the layout as beautiful, responsive, and interactive as possible. But definitely avoid putting several objects in it which will make it look too loaded and too distractive for customers to focus on what’s important. While going through this step, there’s one important thing principle to put in mind. Yes! You surely heard about the saying “Less is More” so start by removing any cause of distractions like the header and footer from pages that doesn’t need them such as the checkout page for instance.
Invest in making customizations on your checkout page and design it in a way that removes any confusing component or object. The page must explain clearly what the customer needs to go through in order to complete the checkout process and it must be optimized so that they can save time in this finale process. Using a well-designed layout is your first step and finding a theme that includes such will be a bonus. The top goal is to make the checkout process easy to understand and quicker to perform.
It’s important that you continue to remind your visitors how reputable your business is. Getting the most number of checkouts requires enhancing your shop’s trust rating and this should include aspects which first time website visitors see at the moment they land on your shop’s homepage. They want to know that they are dealing with a legit online business, one that will support them even after the order is placed until they receive it. You need to tell customers that your business follows security practices that are based on prevailing industry standards. Here are some tips that you can follow as you strive to build trust and confidence on both existing and prospective customers.
- Show them that you shop has a legit SSL certificate
- Create Social Media accounts and display them in crucial sections of your shop such as the footer and even on product pages. This gives the impression of how legit you are and proving to them that you are serious about your business’s reputation. Creating a social media account for your business and placing links of them on your shop’s pages will provide customers with a variety of ways to contact your business in case something goes wrong. You may also include contact information such as phone numbers, email address, and even your office address.
- Display security badges from reputable companies that engage in payment process and website protection like Paypal and McAfee for instance.
- Enhance that sense of liability and encourage positive perception about your business by displaying small thumbnails of credit cards and all the other payment methods that you offer. But aside from showing customers how legit your business is, displaying images of every payment method that is available will also inform them of which one they’re allowed to use as they do business with your shop.
- Clearly tell your customers that you have a Return and Refund Policy. Problems and issues can occur in online orders and that is a normal thing. What you need to do is to make it known to your customers that you actually can solve even the worst issues and make them happy at the same time by showing them that you have a Return and Refund policy.
- Display an updated stock level and be honest about delivery times. Because of the dropshipping nature of some Shopify business, delayed delivery or even failed attempts are a common scenario. That is why you need to display in real-time the exact number of stocks that are still available and inform customers on how line their orders would take to be delivered at their doorstep. Delivery times are not a fixed especially if your suppliers are based in China so be sure to indicate that clearly in your shop without mentioning of course that your products are coming from Asia (specifically China).
- Avoid putting any link that will lead customers outside your website. This is a very important step that you need to be sure you’re implementing especially on the Checkout page. Never place any link on this particular page as it will close everything and lead your customer to a new page which will take away their interest. The goal is to push customers to make that purchase so be as direct and simple as possible.
- Employ Live Chat support if possible. Doing this will give your customers the reassurance and even help in erasing any trace of doubt in their mind.
- Collect Feedback and Ask for Your Customer’s Opinions. This gives customers the impression that you are highly interested at what they have to say about your business because you want to further improve it to serve their needs. You can do this by giving them a questionnaire or a survey at the end of the checkout process right on the page where you’re thanking them for their order.
Customers don’t want to feel that they are being invaded by your business so be sure to avoid asking any unnecessary information that will make them feel such. That is why it’s important that you label certain input boxes in your checkout page as “Optional” and include an explanation on why they might be needed. Ask for customer’s personal information only once and just save any other communication later on which you can do by sending them a follow-up email or a promotion. Just remember that sending such email should be done sparingly to avoid any customers from unsubscribing from your email list.
Tricks such as including a limited-time offer or discount into the checkout page will also work as this gives customers the idea that the lower priced item which they added to their card isn’t going to be available forever. Some successful stores even step up on this effort by adding a countdown timer or “first come first served” only offer for a limited number of customers. Doing this will actually stir up the feeling of fear of missing out of the offer and thereby produce more sales and successful checkouts. Just be sure to include a clear message about the offer which customers are going to miss out if they don’t make the checkout right away.
Another effective trick in optimizing your checkout page is offering a free shipping deal to customers. No one wants to miss out on anything that will save them money right and this is one of them! It’s been found out that shipping cost contributes highly to the list of causes of cart abandonment that is why you need to at least offer free shipping and you can even combine it with the previous trick which is adding a sense of urgency to the checkout process.
If this is a trick that you think would work then be sure to clearly indicate in your product page how much the shipping cost is and include a shipping cost calculator so customers will have an idea at how much they are going to save when they do the purchase at the time your free shipping offer is available. You can also implement this same idea through coupon codes and discounts and when you do, you’ll start to see how much of a positive impact it can actually leave on your shop’s overall conversion rate.
Another trick that you can actually implement is providing customers with a faster way of checking out the items that they want to purchase. And this will only be possible if you have a guest checkout option. This means that customers who are in a hurry or those who don’t want to give up too much personal information will be given a chance to still make a purchase as a guest.
They won’t need to create a user account just to place an order. You might think that this will cause you to lose customer information but you won’t. Customers will still need to enter information such as their email address and name so you’ll still get those crucial details which will help you get connected with them whenever needed. Also, you must remember to tell customers to create an account after the thank you page (right after they do a purchase) and not before it.
Offering customers the chance to keep shopping even after a single checkout process will encourage more purchase since they won’t need to start all over again when they want to purchase other items from your shop. Just let customers add more and do whatever they want to their cart as this will highly impact overall checkout and conversion rate. Also, be sure to collect the customer’s card information at the last part as it encourages them to really finish everything that they want to do and add the items that they want to purchase before asking for their payment details. Be sure that you’re doing this accurately so as to avoid any repetitive steps along the way.
Show customers how thankful you are to them for continually choosing to purchase from your shop by including a well-designed thank you page after every successful checkout. On this stage, you can include some other elements like adding some social media icons for sharing to their friends about the order they made from you shop or you may also place a survey and an option to make a new purchase. Failing to encourage customers to do any of these things is a big crime!
Encouraging checkout on every single website visitor spells a big difference in your shop’s overall profit and sales. That is why it’s important that you optimize this section of your shop so it produces maximum yield and high profit. As the finale stage that every customer goes through, it deserves the best design and every other trick up its sleeves so it can be successful at its very goal, getting customers to do that precious act of checking out their order and paying for it every single time.
Doing this isn’t too hard and you only need to learn what exactly must be done in order to achieve best results. We have given you 8 tricks here which you can implement for your shop’s checkout page. Now, it’s your turn to think on ways and means on how you can implement them. Go on and get started! Your competitors are already doing it and so should you!