Fast & Simple: Creating a Great Checkout Experience

Think about the things that drive you crazy about online shopping: being forced to sign up for a new account with yet another new password; long forms to fill out; extra fees that make a good deal seem like less of a bargain.

Now think about the checkout process on your own eCommerce site.  If it drives you nuts, chances are, it’s frustrating your customers too.  That means fewer sales and more wasted opportunities for you.
Shopping online is supposed to make the process simpler for the customer, but an increasing number of prospective buyers are filling up their shopping carts, only to abandon them at the point of checkout.  A recent study by Baymard Institute put the number around 68%, which is staggering.
So why do 68 out of every 100 online shoppers fail to complete their purchases?  Some of the main reasons include complicated checkout processes, forced registration, unexpected shipping costs and lack of faith in security.
Crate&Barrel gets high praise for its user-friendly website checkout.  It lets you checkout as a guest with the option of creating an account after the sale.  Crate&Barrel also has a progress bar that shows you exactly where you are in the process and offers shipping options that are clearly spelled out for you.

On the other end of the spectrum is the British site Boots, which forces you to register before you can buy.  It also has way too many pages in its process and makes the user type separate addresses for shipping and billing, even if they’re the same.

Bottom line: put yourself in your customers’ shoes.  Make it easier and more pleasant for folks to buy things from your website… and they’ll keep coming back for more.