Focusing on the UX of the checkout process of an eCommerce site can mean the difference between converting and losing the customer. Today, customers expect a smooth and easy process while finalizing their online purchases—one simple hiccup can be detrimental to the conversions of an online store. As an eCommerce store, getting the user to the point of checkout is difficult and one that requires substantial marketing efforts and dollars. The last thing an online store wants is for a customer to abandon their cart due to poor design or inadequate usability. In order to avoid this, it is critical to work with a UX design agency to develop a well thought out checkout process that focuses on both superior design and usability. Here are some of the risks an online store should avoid when designing the checkout function.
1.Don’t Forget About Order Review
The ability to review an order is critical for the online shoppers. In a physical store, the customer is able to scan their cart containing all their items as they stand in line at the checkout. Users typically expect the same capability from an online store. For example, the below image is one from Walmart’s checkout process, which fails to list“order review” as a step in their checkout process.
Although it may be tempting to take advantage of a user’s irrational purchasing behavior by omitting the “review an order” function, it does not contribute to a stable strategy. This tactic may occasionally prove effective, but the risk of losing a customer and sale is too great to leave off a full order review before checkout. The order review phase also provides an extra step to ensure problems such as accidently adding an item to the cart can be fixed immediately. Remember, avoiding return sales is beneficial for both the user and the store.
2.Remember Error Handling and Repopulation
The checkout process is a prime opportunity for online shoppers to make a mistake in entering their personal information. These mistakes are common, so it is important to establish an effective process to make sure information gets entered correctly and efficiently. Error handling is one often overlooked area of eCommerce design that can, if neglected, really hurt your site’s sales. This means the source of an error is not clearly highlighted, or is placed in a poor location. Another overlooked area of eCommerce design, and probably the one that causes the most frustration for users, is repopulation issues. This is a result of the user incorrectly entering information and not being specifically notified on which piece of information is wrong, prompting the user to retype the information again. Especially during a process like checkout, the information can be long and time-consuming to enter. Having to continually retype a credit card number can be a very annoying process. Thus, it is critical to highlight the exact point of error and only remove the information that is incorrect. For example, if the user enters an invalid credit card number, only that field should be erased rather than all the fields.
3. Always Leave Breadcrumbs
Since checkout is a multi-step process, breadcrumbs are key to making sure users are aware of where they are in the checkout process. In general, having a checkout process with the least number of steps is ideal for conversions.
The optimal number of steps for both efficiency and obtaining the minimum amount of necessary information is three to five steps. If by step two or three the user is already halfway through the process, they are likely to complete the transaction.
The checkout process can often be make it or break it. It is the easiest time to capitalize on conversions—that’s why losing a customer at the point of checkout due to poor usability and design is a mistake all companies need to avoid.