Have you ever wondered why people prefer to shop online? Basically, there are two benefits to it. Firstly, it helps you shop from the comfort of your home or office. Secondly, customers are able to read product descriptions, compare items, prices, and then make an informed purchase decision. However, the shopping experience can prove to be frustrating if your ecommerce web design is flawed and the checkout process is complicated and not user-friendly.
In this post, I have tried to put together a few ideas and tips to make the checkout process convenient for your shoppers. This is important because a user-friendly checkout page is the key to improved sales and revenues.
Customers Love Shopping, Not Filling out Forms
I have come across ecommerce sites that force buyers to register first before the shopping process is complete. Make sure that you ask to register after a customer has included the items in his cart. Remember that signup forms are obstacles and create inconvenience for shoppers as some time and effort is needed in filling them.
If these barriers are eliminated, your e-store visitors will convert into well-paying customers. That’s because they have already spent some amount of time looking for the products they are interested in, and will not stop. When removing the barriers of filling out forms, you are actually opening the door of your store for the customers to come in.
Educate Shoppers about the Availability of Products
You have entered a departmental store and looking for a book on time management. It’s weekend and the place is crowded. You searched through the shelves but could not find the book you want only to be informed at the last moment: ‘The product is out of stock.’ How do you feel? Not great, naturally. The same thing happens when buyers visit your e-store and goes through numerous steps of the shopping process and leave disappointed discovering that the product is unavailable at the final step.
So, always display information related to the availability of an item right in the beginning of the shopping process. This way a customer knows whether a product is available before adding it to the shopping cart.
Allow Visitors to Use the Back Button as Much as They Want
The back button on an ecommerce site is used a number of times by visitors. There are buyers who might be visiting your e-shop for the first time. When it comes to adding items to the cart, people do make mistakes, especially when they are checking out. There are some portals that disable this button which annoys buyers.
So, for a smooth and super easy shopping experience, ensure that:
- The back button is active and directs users to the previous page without any errors.
- The user’s data is saved and displayed again (especially if it’s a form). This makes your customer’s task easy as they are not forced to re-enter all the details in the form.
Let Customers Know Where They Are While Shopping
The checkout process involves a number of steps. This means that a buyer will have to complete several steps before placing an order. For the ease and convenience of your consumers, ensure that you include a progress indicator so that shoppers know exactly where they are and how many steps are left for the completion of the process.
Add Product Images and Descriptions
When someone shops, he or she reviews the items before adding them to the cart. The same rule holds true for online buyers. They need to check the items added before clicking the ‘Order’ button. So, add product visuals, descriptions, and other related details such as color, size, material, dimensions, hardcover or paperback (in case of books).
Image Credit: iTexico
A Simple and Easy to Understand Interface
When your customer is about to checkout, details such as popular products, most viewed items, product category links, current deals, etc. should be eliminated. Keep the interface simple and easy to understand.
The Checkout Process Must Not Be Disrupted
Make sure that the shopping process is smooth and a buyer is not taken out of the checkout page. Doing so will create problems such as:
- Users may get perplexed and close the window, thus losing the checkout page altogether.
- Shoppers may feel distracted and fail to finish off with the process.
Inform When the Products Will Be Delivered
Do you know what that one drawback of an online store is? You have to wait some time to get the goods delivered. To address this problem, inform your customers about the delivery time. Once the payment option is chosen and the final button clicked, you can inform by saying, ‘Thank you, your goods will be delivered in 2-3 business days’. This information will give your customers an idea about the expected date when the product will be delivered.
Finally, the Confirmation Email
After a customer has placed an order, it’s important that you send a confirmation email having a summary of the order details, total payment and delivery time. This detail will help buyers validate that they have ordered the right products.
Hope this post helps you design a user-friendly ecommerce site that converts. Please feel free to share your views as well.