Anatomy Class: Dissecting the Checkout Page

There is this constant, crazy race for conversions and sales and the starting point is always the checkout page. There may be a lot of voices that would increase the volume just to contradict this idea as loud as possible, saying that there are other things that matter before getting to the checkout page.

This may be true, but if you think about it, every success story starts with the ending (just remember Star Wars or Forrest Gump). It’s true that effort and hard work should be visible in every single detail defining your website, but really, it all comes down to the checkout page. Why? Well, because this is where the magic happens. This is where swift transactions should take place in order to have conversions and sales. Now, I think we can all agree that not all magic shows are impressive. And do you know what makes the difference between pulling a rabbit out of a hat and Harry Potter? The background, the story that wraps the magic and presents it to you. That’s what your checkout page should stand for.

It’s the cart design, the security elements, the continuous branding of your business, the up-selling and cross-selling of your products, a catalogue of elements that manages to turn window shoppers into actual returning customers. This is a huge accomplishment, which is why treating your checkout design page with the utmost attention is crucial. Like everything else on the online market, it’s all about the customer. So, before heading straight forward into the checkout page story, remember this: your customer matters and he is your main focus, from the moment you say Hello until you end with Thank you !

Low on patience

One of the biggest challenges the modern marketer is faced with is a customer that no longer has patience. Before the madness, people would shop to relax. Today, it almost feels like shopping is causing them stress and nervousness.

So what do you do if you happen to have a long list of products? Your customers are already exhausted from analysing your products and deciding what to buy. So, in the most important part of your sales process, the one in which the sale should actually take place, you have to deal with grumpy, tired, bored customers, who just want to get this thing over and done with and enjoy the product. Because of the audience you are addressing, you need to act fast.

Complete the process before they change their mind and give up on the entire purchase. You have to add distractions as well. Lack of patience has to join hands with the ongoing, diverse distractions your customers are exposed to. Anything could happen while they are shopping on your page. For instance, the entire transaction could happen during lunch break, when they are interrupted by a friend, so their attention is no longer focused on your page. You might already be bored with this long speech, wondering what’s the element that can change the numbers in your advantage. Shrink everything, shorten the number of fields your customer has to fill. For instance, you can add Google Geolocation API to quickly identify the address, so your customer won’t have to do the work himself. Not that we like stressing the importance of this issue, but you might like to know that according to the Addressy Report1 on failed deliveries, 61% of customers would abandon their cart if they would encounter issues when entering their shipping address details. That’s more than half of your customers! So, keep it simple and win customers.

And here’s another thought! This might sound strange, but remember those black and white movies, where inmates would count the remaining jail time by drawing groups of 5 sticks on the walls of their cells, crossing them down, group by group, when the days would pass? This made them feel more optimistic about the time they had left inside. Strange comparison, I know. But, think about it. Having a way to check progress, like verification signs informing the customer how much is left of the process would be like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s very important to have this psychological tool at hand that calms the mind of the agitated customer.

1Addressy Report, Fixing Failed Deliveries. Improving Data Quality in Retail, read the full version here.

Suspicious about security

Now this is a serious topic (not that the rest of them weren’t). Security is paramount in this day and age and if you don’t believe us, just ask the EU about GDPR. Although we are pretty sure you’re familiar with it. The checkout page has a strong connection with the idea of security, because here is where the big exchange is being made. So, you should work really hard to get the safe choice award in the eyes of your customers. Badges that strengthen the idea that your business is secure and that you are a trustworthy partner, respecting all safety regulations and standards are more than welcome.

To be honest with you, this an effort that ought to be visible throughout your entire website, but the big push should come right here, to have that grand finale. Additionally, it wouldn’t hurt to include your contact information in the checkout page design (It’s a must, really, but we’re just being polite). Customers need to know that you are always available, no matter what. This strengthens the idea that you are a secure company. Also, when adding the contact details, make sure you offer multiple options by means of which customers can actually reach you in case they need help.

Comfortable shopping sprees – short-term amnesia

Have you ever found yourself in that awkward situation in which you weren’t sure that the product you had in the cart was in fact the one you wanted? You could see the packaging perfectly in your mind, but it was absolutely impossible for you to remember the name. It’s something common among customers, which is why learning from your own experience is essential when designing the checkout page.

Thumbnails of their purchases are always a good idea, because these prevent customers from hitting the back button to refresh their memory. The problem is that you may lose them in this affair, so best not try it. Now, if you are going to use thumbnails in your checkout page design, why not have an order summary, as well? This is a double win element, because you reinforce the order made by your customer and you earn points for security. So, why not?

Also, to know your customer breaths easily when looking at your payment methods, make sure you have several options, not just one. It is the pressure of your competitors that makes you dive in the sea of payment options, but it’s also the comfort of your customer that should motivate you. It’s hard work, we know, but it pays off. Literally.

Something for us marketers

Now, we’re bending over backwards to make sure that customers are having the time of their lives on checkout pages with nothing to disturb their newly found tranquility and shopping appetite. Sure, we have a lot to gain from this attitude. But we can do better than this. We can take advantage of their presence on our checkout page and get them better acquainted with our portfolio. Recognize the direction?

This is a great time for cross-selling and up-selling, if done right. What does this mean? Well, you need to create a bit of magic. Since not even Dumbledore’s wand isn’t powerful enough to create the magic in the B2B world, given its competitiveness, you might want to try a discount and persuasive copy. Together, these two can really take the rabbit out of the hat.

Meanwhile, on the PayPro Global Blog…

We like sharing insights and we just wanted to give you a taste of what our next blog post will be about. M-commerce. Sound familiar? It’s only the next big thing. Consider m-commerce when designing your checkout page. We have the goods. Let’s meet for the exchange. Same place, next time?