How to Optimize Your Ecommerce Checkout Flow

Optimizing your checkout process can help you increase sales.  According to the Baymard Institute, the average ecommerce abandonment rate is 69.57%. Of course, some of these potential customers use the cart page to compare products or as part of the browsing process, looking for items to purchase later – but what else can be causing such a high abandonment rate across ecommerce sites

This article will help you identify why users may be abandoning your site during the checkout process. It will also provide ideas to help you optimize your ecommerce checkout flow for reduced bounce rate and improved conversion.

Why is Ecommerce Checkout Flow Key to Increasing Sales?

Every part of the customer journey is essential to securing sales, but at the point of checkout, many of your customers have already decided to make a purchase. A lot of times they appear to suddenly change their minds.  This is often due to a burdensome checkout process that made them hesitant to convert. By optimizing checkout flow you can eliminate this barrier to conversion.

Customers should be able to move from the cart page to finalizing their purchase without hesitation, unexpected charges or unnecessary informational demands from the site.

An in-depth understanding of why users tend to abandon your ecommerce checkout and removal of sticking points, such as security concerns and unnecessary required form fields, can help improve your ecommerce checkout flow. In turn, this can reduce bounce rate and increase conversion.

Why Users Abandon the Ecommerce Checkout Process

Aside from customers that were just browsing or not ready to make a purchase yet, the Baymard Institute found three other main reasons why customers tend to abandon their carts during the ecommerce checkout process. The first of these three reasons was extra costs (shipping, taxes, fees, etc.), the second was the lack of ability to check out without making an account and the third was the length or complexity of the ecommerce checkout process.

Here are some additional details on the most common reasons why users abandon the ecommerce checkout process:

  • Checkout process is too long and laborious: According to PYMNTS, 144 seconds is the average time needed to check out online. Through their 2020 research into reasons for abandonment during checkout, the Baymard Institute found that 21% of respondents had abandoned because the process took too long.
  • Security concerns: If users have concerns regarding a site’s security, they may leave without converting.
  • Insufficient payment options: If a user had a specific payment option in mind that is unavailable, they may be likely to abandon the checkout process.
  • Additional charges / high shipping costs: The Baymard Institute found that unexpectedly high additional costs accounted for 50% of ecommerce checkout abandonment.
  • No guest checkout option: The lack of ability to check out as a guest caused 28% of users to abandon, according to the Baymard Institute.
  • Slow page load speed: Slow site speed can cause users on any page of your site to leave and shop elsewhere.
  • Long delivery times: Customers expect fast, affordable shipping. 3-5 business days is standard in the US, but many big name brands including Amazon offer next-day or same-day delivery. If customers can’t get what they need in time for when they need it, they may bounce.
  • Unclear returns policy: Customers appreciate the flexibility and reassurance of an easy-to-read returns policy.

How to Improve Ecommerce Checkout Flow

Start with Analytics

Analytics can provide you with the information you need to determine why your users are abandoning cart or checkout. Your Content Management System (CMS) should contain insight such as abandoned shopping cart reports. If you have access to Google Analytics, or site search statistics, you will find valuable data there. Using this tool, you can compare bounce rates on desktop versus mobile and much more.

If you have enabled Enhanced Ecommerce in Google Analytics, you may be able to take an even deeper dive into the data and figure out where in the conversion funnel users most frequently abandon. You will find this information in your Checkout Behavior Analysis report.

Use Payment Gateway Integrations

By integrating your website with a payment gateway, you can enable your customers to pay using a credit card, just as they would in a brick and mortar retail store. Using a payment gateway is a secure way to offer payment options to your customers, as credit card information is encrypted.

Integrate with additional payment solutions like Klarna, to offer a wider range of payment options, including those that allow customers to pay for purchases in installments.

Provide Shopping Cart Support

Providing shopping cart support can help remove any final barriers your customers might be facing before completing a transaction. Perhaps they have a quick question about the item they wish to purchase, about the returns policy or payment process. Integrate with a live chat solution to provide the quick and easy shopping cart support your customers need. According to Kayako, 79% of businesses agree that live chat can improve customer loyalty, sales and revenue.

It’s also wise to have a link to your customer support number on the page to indicate that your team is available for customer enquiries.

Simplify the Ecommerce Checkout Process

Here’s how to simplify the online checkout process:

  • Allow users to choose between creating an account and checking out as a guest.
  • Help users to visualize how quickly they are moving through the ecommerce checkout process with a progress bar.
  • Ask users to provide only the information you need.
  • Provide autofill for addresses.
  • Use microcopy to help users quickly understand form fields.
  • Use noticeable, easy to understand error notifications.
  • Include an order summary on the checkout page.
  • Introduce eye-catching call to action buttons.
  • Ensure pages are quick to load.

Optimize Your Mobile Checkout

According to Barilliance, mobile users are more likely to abandon than those on desktop or tablet, with an average mobile cart abandonment rate of 85.65%.

Checking out on mobile should be as quick and easy as on desktop, if not more. Mobile users are often in a hurry and on the go. Mobile site speed and the number of steps in your mobile checkout process can make a big difference to whether customers convert. Ensure mobile users can quickly and easily check out.

Choose a Platform with Exceptional Ecommerce Checkout Flow

Choosing the right platform can make all the difference in terms of how effectively you are able to optimize your ecommerce checkout flow and increase conversion. If your current platform is limiting or outdated, consider ROC Commerce. Here are just a few benefits of the ROC platform:

  • Enable a seamless sales process with the fastest ecommerce solution on the market.
  • Benefit from valuable insight with ROC’s reporting capabilities. 
  • Integrate your ROC site with everything from payment processing systems, to ERP systems, to shipping and tax software. 
  • Streamline processes with quick reorder functionality.

ROC Commerce can improve ecommerce checkout flow, reduce bounce rate and increase conversion. Request a free ROC Commerce demo today.