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Optimize your checkout for better conversions

Checkout pages account for around 75% drop of visitors. This means that three-quarters of all your visitors that reach the checkout page will abandon their purchase. Optimizing your checkout page is crucial in getting these percentages as low as possible.

In order to optimize your conversion rate on your checkout page, we recommend reading this article. We will point out some small mistakes website owners make that can drastically influence the number of completed orders.

We will also take a look at what you can do with your online visitors that get to the checkout page but leave it without completing their purchase. This situation is called ‘cart abandonment’ and is one of the most problematic issues e-commerce businesses deal with.

Even if your whole website is perfect and already optimized for the best conversion rates possible abandoned carts will still happen.

But don’t worry, we have a solution for that as well. If you want to jump to the part where we explain how to recover abandoned carts click here: what to do with cart abandonments and find out how to recover them. To give you a small hint on how to recover them easily: you can instantly send them a text message. Want to know more about recovering abandoned carts with text messages? Check out our article: Abandoned cart text message statistics.

Reasons for cart abandonment

There are various reasons why your visitors leave the checkout page. Usually, the reasons for cart abandonment are quite common and can be fixed easily. However, if the following things have already been adjusted various A/B tests must be done in order to pinpoint the exact reasons.

The main reasons for users abandoning the checkout page are:

PS: If you are looking for a great solution, to recover abandoned carts with text messages, look no further. CartBoss is the simplest text messaging integration solution out there!

Slow page loading

One of the main reasons for visitors leaving a website is waiting for it to load. Nobody wants to spend their precious time waiting for a site to load completely, especially on e-commerce websites where a lot of purchases are impulsive. These impulsive buys are the real reason why a fast-loading website is crucial for a business to succeed. If somebody wants to buy a specific product that only one shop offers then visitors are more likely to wait for the site to load. But if it’s an impulsive buy or there are other sites where this product can be bought, then a fast site is crucial. It not only gives the visitors less time to change their mind about completing their order but also gives a sense of security.

When checking the statistics about page speed and its effects on the visitors, you must take into account the following: after 3 seconds of loading time, the bounce rate rises 30% and after 5 seconds it increases to 90%. A 1-second delay in loading time reduces customer satisfaction by 16% and a decrease in conversion rates by 7%.

If you want to check the performance of your website, we recommend using PageSpeedInsights or Pingdom.

Long checkout process

Filling out a long checkout form is a pesky task that nobody likes. Not only must you trust the site with your personal data, but you have to provide it every time you visit a website. During this time, visitors have the time to realize that they are really going to buy this product for good. In the case of impulsive purchases, a long checkout process may lead to the customers abandoning their checkout process.

Usually, you go through 3 main pages when buying a product – a product page, a cart page, and a checkout page. After successfully progressing through all three pages, you get to the thank you page. The cart page is commonly skipped and has a low drop rate. On the other hand, the checkout page has a drop rate of around 75%. These three steps must be simple to understand and easy to navigate through, while the final checkout page should be as simple as possible to complete.

This includes lowering the number of unnecessary distractions, such as a full website menu and footer, showing too many options or upsells, or showing additional popups and checkboxes for newsletter signups.

Required registration

Personal information is something that people do not like to provide. This is one of the main reasons why nobody wants to register on a website. They fear that if they share information with you they will receive even more emails from your website (which they usually do not want), and they feel that they will have some sort of responsibility towards the website.

The process of registering before completing the order sometimes even includes confirming your email address. Meaning, that before you can complete your online order, you need to confirm your email address by first going to your mailbox and clicking the confirmation link.

Even though most sites offer optional registration, this feature is not used often because it is just an additional distraction to the customer. However, for some sites that have a strong brand presence or sites that have special offers for their registered customers, this feature is a good thing for recurring orders.

Hidden additional costs

When customers get to the checkout page, they expect to pay for only the product as it is described in the ad. They do not want to be charged with additional taxes, extra shipping costs, or fees for different payment methods, especially since sometimes these costs can be as high as the cost of the product itself. The customers just want to pay for their product – and get an additional discount if possible.

Security concerns

Being safe online and not worrying about personal information or credit card data being stolen is one of the priorities for everyone surfing the Internet. An online store must give its visitors a feeling of safety and security, and should have an SSL certificate installed, which has now become a standard.

If the site does not look safe or trustworthy there is a great chance that the visitor will leave the site, probably before even getting to the checkout page. There is a high chance that the visitor will not want to provide their PayPal or credit card information, because they will feel like the site will steal their money. When such a visitor does decide to buy, they will likely choose a method of payment like cash on delivery.

Slow package delivery

Waiting for the package to be delivered can feel like a long time, even if you offer next-day delivery. Nobody likes to wait for their package to arrive. The estimated delivery time on the website can greatly influence buyers’ decisions to complete their order or not.

Not showing the arrival date is becoming more and more deprecated; e-commerce sites usually show it. But if the site does not show the estimated date of delivery it is vital that the shipping time is as fast as possible. Otherwise, the customer might not accept the package if they chose cash on delivery, as they may have forgotten what and why they bought anything in the first place. Thus, the online shop faces losses due to the shipping costs.

Website errors/mistakes

Ever encountered a website where the images are overlapping the text or when you add a product to the cart and nothing happens, or you want to finish your order but you can’t even write in your billing information?

Having errors on your website is usually a deal-breaker. If the site does not work as it should the customers usually can’t even complete their order.

Missing payment methods

Arriving at the checkout page and filling out the checkout form is the longest process for your online customer. Choosing the delivery and payment method is the last step and it should be simple and hassle-free.

Normally, there are three different payment methods: cash on delivery, PayPal, or credit cards. This is not always the case, though. Some countries have a different payment option that is predominantly used there. If the visitor does not see their usual payment method they will likely decide not to complete their order. You will thus get an abandoned cart.

Don’t worry. Abandoned carts can be recovered, which will be discussed later on here.

How to optimize your checkout page for better conversions?

The above-mentioned reasons for low conversion are the most typical ones and are extremely simple to fix. For each problem, we have prepared simple explanations on what you can do, or we will give you a direction in which way you should reconsider your current situation.

Improve page speed

Website speed is usually affected due to server performance or problems with the site itself. Simply scaling your servers’ performances can have a drastic impact on the time it takes for your website to load. One of the best solutions is having your own virtual server which you can configure to your own needs. We have found Cloudways to be one of the most reliable providers for finding the ideal solution for hosting your websites.

Additionally, every site should have images optimized to the latest standards Google is suggesting. One service that provides automatic image optimization is Imagify.

Setting up caching on your website is also extremely important. It can drastically reduce the loading time, even for more than 3 seconds.

Request only necessary data

Most countries require basic information to know where to send a package so that the right person receives it. This includes the name and surname, and the full address of the recipient (street name, house number, city). Sometimes a province or state is also required, as well as the postcode. With WooCommerce, these fields are automatically generated based on the country.

There are two other fields that are very useful: the email address and the phone number. It is good to add an additional explanation as to why you need this information. Usually, you need the customer’s email address so that you can send them the order confirmation email, while the phone number is needed in order to contact them directly, if necessary.

Also, having their email and phone number gives you additional options for sending them special offers and discounts.

If you want to know more about using text messages in your marketing campaigns check out our article CartBoss – Simple website text messaging integration, where you can see what kind of text messages you can send to your customers.

Checkout without registration

Do you really want your customers to register? Is there any extra benefit for them or for you if they do? And, does the complete functionality of registering and the user dashboard really work perfectly and understandably? In that case, offering registration upon checkout is completely reasonable.

Make sure that you point out the reasons why this is a good thing and how they benefit from it. Otherwise, remove this functionality as it only offers additional distraction for the potential customer. Why request registration if you don’t work on it for your business benefits?

Don’t add additional fees

Webshops usually offer various options for payments and for delivery. Some payment methods, if chosen, have an additional fee due to the service costs. One of those examples is fast delivery. Try to be as transparent as possible and show the charges/extra fees as obvious and simple to understand as possible.

Automatically applying extra fees to the customer’s cart is not a recommended option. Always give them the option to choose differently, where they can choose to pay for the extra fees but don’t force them into it.

Show your security badges

Besides having an SSL certificate installed on your site, you can show different security badges to ensure your visitors feel safe and secure with their personal data on your website. These are usually shown under the ‘Add to cart’ and ‘Complete order’ buttons.

Additionally, showing icons of different payment methods, your webshop supports, is definitely a bonus.

Keep in mind that if the whole website is poorly designed no amount of security/trust badges will help you out. Your website should look professional, modern, and be mobile responsive.

Improve your shipping time

Optimize the delivery time from your warehouse to the customer. This is essential. The faster they get their order, the happier they will be. This is one of the reasons why Amazon is so popular with its Prime subscription model.

If you have great delivery times then show them to your customers. Explain to them that if they order today they will receive the order in a matter of days. A good option is to even tell them on what day they can expect their order to arrive. Better yet, give them an option to choose how fast they want to receive it.

Double-check your website

This is one of the simplest tasks you can do. Go through the complete checkout process yourself. With your desktop computer, laptop, tablet, and mobile phone. Get into the mindset of your visitors and be critical of your website. You already know each part of the website, each functionality, and everything that is logical to you. But what about your visitors? Do they perhaps get lost on the site?

To see how your online visitors behave, what they click on, and how deep they scrolled on your page, you can install Hotjar on your website. You will get statistical results about your visitors’ interaction with your site.

Offer different payment methods

Before launching your online store in a new country, find out what their typical online payments are. Besides cash on delivery, PayPay, and credit cards, some countries are more prone to specific payment methods. For example, German online shoppers use Klarna and Dutch shoppers use IDeal.

Offer your customers their preferred payment method, it is as simple as that. In addition, it is good to test out various other payment methods like Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc. to see if your customers use them. If they don’t, remove it.

What to do with visitors who abandon the checkout?

Even if your checkout is optimized and tested to its full potential, abandoned carts will happen. There is nothing you can do about it. But you can try to recover them!

When someone abandons their cart, usually on the checkout page, they often still provide all their information, usually their email address and their phone number. Additionally, your marketing channels know that this person came to the checkout page but did not complete their order – perfect for remarketing campaigns. All three pieces of information give you a separate marketing channel so that you can try to persuade the visitor to finish their order.

Recover abandoned carts with remarketing

Using Facebook as a marketing tool is a great way to retarget all your potential customers that have gotten to the checkout page but did not complete their order. You can show them different ads on their timeline, offering them coupon codes or other ways of pursuing them into finishing their order.

The ads are randomly seen while scrolling on the timeline on Facebook, so this is not a completely direct way of marketing. The person either sees the ad because it stands out so much, or they just scroll past it.

Want to learn more about recovering abandoned carts with text messages and the results it brings? Check this article here: Abandoned cart text message statistics.

Recover abandoned carts with emails

Marketing emails can be used for visitors who abandoned their cart but have written their email address in the checkout form. Most of the time, they get a sequence of 3 emails offering different discounts in order to get them to complete their order.

The main problem with emails is that people receive so many of them on a daily basis. It is hard to go through all of the emails you get. Furthermore, most of these emails get sorted into either the promotion tab or even the spam folder.

Recover abandoned carts with text messages

Using text messages to recover abandoned carts offers the best results, according to our testing at CartBoss. They offer a ROI of around 1500% or even higher. The visitors receive the text message in a matter of minutes after abandoning their cart and they get it directly on their phone.

The average open rate of text messages is over 90%, which is by far the best marketing channel out there. If you want to read more about the results text messages bring in recovering abandoned carts read our article Recover abandoned carts with text messages.

Text messages offer a unique advantage over other forms of marketing/remarketing, as they are sent directly to the receiver’s phone which is usually very personal to them. The person gets the message at the exact time you want, with the content that is customized for them. To optimize conversions with these messages, check our article When to send abandoned cart text messages?.

CartBoss offers the simplest text messaging integration out there! Read more about the simplicity of use in our next article: CartBoss – Simple website text messaging integration.


Offer your website visitors a safe and secure experience that does not overwhelm them with information. Put yourself in the position of your customers and go through your website to see if you missed anything.

Abandoned carts will always happen, no matter how much you optimize your checkout page. But there are always solutions for the problems. In this case, you can always find a way to offer your visitors to recover what they left. The optimal solution for this is using text messages, which is something that we offer at CartBoss.

But, do not forget, after a purchase has been completed, you can always offer your customers a Post-Purchase offer! More about them in the following article: Post-Purchase text messages.

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