Three Ways to Improve Your Online Check-Out Experience

04/17/2015 05:32 pm ET | Updated Jun 16, 2015

How is it that only 32% of online check outs are completed? According to Baymard Institute 68% of online shopping carts are abandoned before checkout. All eCommerce stores ask themselves what seems to be the disconnect between the customer and taking these final steps to proceed with a purchase. Kissmetrics also lays out an analysis of the Fogg Behavior Model on how different users react while shopping online and factors that lead to motivation, ability and trigger. While this may seem to be a puzzle that is yet to be solved, there are a few steps you can take to enhance the chances of completing a sale!

Keep it simple and straightforward: Don't over complicate your checkout. Reduce as many barriers as possible such as log in forms, guest registrations and email notification sign ups. The initial step of your checkout process will set the entire tone for the customer. Many online retailers make the mistake of asking several questions upfront that will drive the user away. This is the leading cause of an abandoned shopping cart. Giving your user any extra steps other than submitting shipping and payment details creates a disconnect which greatly decreases your chances of closing the sale. Think to yourself, how many times have you personally walked away from a checkout because you were annoyed by the nuisance of remembering which email address you used to register or didn't want to take the time to sign up. User experience must be your number one priority. A great example here would be Amazon, which works with a single page checkout and has a record of the various transactions made in the past that add ease to the overall checkout experience.

Make sure your Check-Out is Optimized for Mobile Users: While your website may be mobile responsive, it doesn't always mean that your checkout process operates the same way. More and more users are now using their mobile devices to shop online. Mobile now accounts for more than 40% of all online retail sales. This is a drastic increase compared to only 8% in 2013, this number may have sky rocketed but to keep this increase steady you must create a mobile friendly checkout. On average, 88% of mobile shoppers in the US have had a negative experience leading to 30% of users never returning to the same site stemming from their undesirable user experience. A survey done by Skava showed the pain points associated with poor user experience on mobile devises appeared to be difficult navigation, small visuals of products and a bothersome checkout process. The check-out process is brought up time and time again whether it's done from a computer, tablet or smart phone.

Provide Several Payment Options: Have you ever gone ahead to complete your check out and realized they didn't have the payment option you needed? Many online retailers are still playing catch up when it comes to providing the popular method of paying through PayPal. The less information your user has to fill out the better. If you are really ready to jump ahead of the game it's time to closely keep an eye on Apple Pay. As of now this is only available for in-store and app purchases from the iPhone6, iPhone 6 plus and Apple Watch. This may not be the case for long. There is a lot of buzz going around discussing the affect Apple Pay could have on the world of eCommerce. As of September 2014, Apple iPhone devices accounted for 49.7% of online purchases. Imagine the increase with the integration of Apple Pay! Another payment method that is gaining popularity is Bitcoin Pay. As of September 2014 PayPal allows North American merchants using its system the ability to receive payment in Bitcoins.

Don't take the easy route and put your needs first. The entire check out experience should be 100% customer focused. An easy user journey will result in a positive user experience. Although switching to an enterprise or advanced version of the eCommerce platform might give you the features required to increase conversions. Many shopping carts today support additional third party plugins and extensions for checkout that might be ideal for small businesses. While it may be in your favor to have users sign up, submit payment details then provide shipping this isn't what's best for the customer. The customer wants as little hassle as possible and to ensure their order is being delivered to the right address. Think like a customer not a merchant.