Online store owners need to optimize the checkout experience to make it as seamless as possible. If customers are adding things to their cart but dropping out at some point during the checkout process, it’s probably because your checkout page has not been properly optimized.
Most online store owners are so heavily focused on adding new products in their store and optimizing their product pages that they completely fail to check on their checkout pages. However, creating and customizing the checkout page is of extreme importance if you want to boost your conversion rate.
The checkout page is the last step before the sale is confirmed, and it requires customers to enter their information and then finalize their purchase. It plays a very important role in the overall shopping experience on your website.
What is a Checkout Page?
A checkout page is any website page shown to a customer to conclude a transaction. It is the digital equivalent of arriving at the checkout counter at any store. Depending upon the nature of the transaction and the product or service being offered, ecommerce websites can have either multiple checkout pages or a single checkout page.
The checkout page is shown at the end of the checkout process, giving the customer a series of payment options and showing them an overview of their shopping cart. Ecommerce website owners need to be very careful and customize the checkout page based on feedback from their customers.
Companies like Amazon have pioneered the one-page checkout page, and many other online stores also use it to simplify the entire checkout experience. On the other hand, many stores also rely on a multi-step checkout page to process and confirm transactions.
The checkout page also plays a very important role in reducing your shopping cart abandonment rate. If customers regularly abandon their carts, you may want to evaluate their journey and figure out what’s wrong with your checkout page.
There are two commonly used types of checkout page variants: single page checkout and multi-page checkouts. It’s important that you know about them both so that you can decide which one to implement in your online store.
The Single Page Checkout
As the name suggests, a single page checkout page is a single page that allows customers to add their details such as credit card information, see an overview of their shopping, and checkout, all from one page.
The single page checkout shows all the payment methods and the shipping address on just one page, instead of asking users to go through several steps. If you are an online retailer and want to make your checkout process more user-friendly and convenient, the single page checkout offers an excellent option.
If your store is based on WooCommerce/WordPress, Shopify, Magento, Wix, or any of the major ecommerce platforms, you can easily install a relevant plugin to create a single step checkout page.
However, many online store owners have this misconception that a single page checkout is inherently better than a multi-step checkout. But, that’s not entirely true. There are several ecommerce stores that have excellent checkout pages which have been heavily optimized for conversions.
Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of single page checkouts can make it easier for you to determine whether you should add them on your store or not.
Advantages of Single Page Checkouts
- The biggest advantage of single page checkouts is that they are much faster. Even though the number of form fields to be filled out are relatively the same between multi-page and single page checkouts, prospective customers don’t have to switch between pages. This reduces the time it takes to checkout.
- More importantly, single page checkouts do not require users to navigate between pages. This reduces hesitance, as customers don’t have to move back and forth between different pages if they want to edit different fields.
- Another major advantage of a one-page checkout is that it offers a major psychological boost to buyers. They don’t have to second-guess the number of fields they have to fill before they can finalize their purchase. They know exactly where they are in the buying journey, so they are usually more inclined to check out instead of leaving behind an abandoned cart.
Disadvantages of Single Page Checkouts
- Arguably the biggest downside of setting up a single page checkout page is that they are quite difficult to get right. For starters, if you add multiple fields all on the same page, depending upon the information you are trying to gain from your customers, it may come off as a bit intimidating. If the layout hasn’t been properly optimized, single page checkouts can come off as a bit daunting, causing users to bounce at the last step.
- Another downside of single page checkout pages is that they could impact site speeds as well. When you view lots of information on one page, it could reduce your page load times. If your checkout page takes longer to load, customers might leave the site.
- Perhaps a lesser-known benefit of single page checkouts is that it’s slightly harder to analyze data from your sales funnel. You wouldn’t know exactly where a customer drops out of the funnel, since all the information is presented on one page.
Multi-Step Checkout Pages
Multi-step checkout pages, or multi-page checkouts, are the most common form of checkout pages used by businesses. Essentially, it just means having to navigate several pages before you can checkout, each of which is designed to collect specific information needed to process the order.
As an ecommerce business owner, you need to make sure that each page has been carefully optimized for conversions. When set up correctly, multi-page checkouts are just as effective as single-page checkouts and can help you increase conversions significantly on your ecommerce site.
Advantages of Multi-Step Checkout Pages
- Multi-step checkout pages allow you to collect more data about your customers. You can collect email addresses through a pop-up or at the start of their order. This way, you can grow your email list, even if the customer abandons their cart midway.
- Multi-page checkouts are also heavily customizable, because you can decide how much information you want to present on each of the pages. This gives you greater freedom to optimize the layout or choose a predesigned template. For instance, many believe that several smaller pages are much better at conversions than a single cluttered cart page.
- You can also conduct A/B testing to determine where your sales funnel is lacking, and what’s working best. Multi-step checkout pages also give you more comprehensive analytical data through tools like Google Analytics, which you can use to improve the checkout experience.
- Multi-page checkouts also allow you to set up a guest checkout button. You can’t expect all online shoppers on your site to create an account when they want to checkout. Setting a guest checkout button will only increase sales.
Disadvantages of Multi-Page Checkouts
- Multi-step checkout pages require more time from customers. This may adversely affect the user experience and prolong the checkout flow. If a user has to navigate through several pages before they reach the end of the line, the chances of abandonment increase.
- Multi-page checkouts take longer, especially if a buyer has a spotty connection. If you have an overly complicated checkout process, there’s a big risk that customers will abandon the cart altogether.
The Best Tools to Integrate Checkout Pages on Your Website
Integrating a checkout page on your website is easy if you use a third-party tool. There are a couple of tools that are ideal for creating checkout pages for both physical or digital products and services. Here are a couple of tools that are ideal for integrating checkout pages on your site.
Checkout Page is a very popular tool for creating checkout pages for your website. It takes less than 10 minutes to create a decent checkout page, and it also offers you a variety of templates. It offers support for all kinds of blogs and website builders, including WordPress, Unbounce, Instapage, Wix, and even Facebook.
It is ideal for selling digital downloads, subscriptions, advertisements, and for ecommerce stores. All you have to do is to copy a few snippets of code, and you are good to go. You can also set up automations by connecting it with a service like Zapier.
Checkout Page gives you multiple options for creating checkout pages, including a single-page checkout, or even a payment pop-up for faster processing. It also offers integration for third party analytics tools, or for running A/B testing on your site.
Bolt is one of the most popular checkout page creators. If you use Bolt for creating your checkout pages, you’ll become one of the many retailers on the Bolt network. Any shopper with a Bolt account can easily check out with a single click.
Bolt greatly reduces friction from the checkout process, and has fraud detection built in to increase your approval rate of good orders. They also offer 100% cover for fraudulent chargebacks!
Bolt also has a plugin for WooCommerce, so you can easily replace your existing checkout process to make buying more convenient, safer, and faster for your shoppers.
How to Optimize Your Ecommerce Checkout Page
In order to improve the functionality and layout of your checkout page, there are several steps that you can take. But before you begin, it’s important to carefully review your checkout flow and identify the problems with your checkout page design.
Optimization is not an exact science, so you’ll have to identify problems by reviewing heatmaps, conducting A/B testing, and reviewing analytical data from tools like Google Analytics or Mixpanel. However, there are several ways to increase your conversion rates.
Here are some simple strategies that you can use to optimize your checkout page.
Create a Guest Checkout Option
Instead of asking every customer in the checkout flow to create a new account, why not offer a guest checkout option? They can just add their payment details and shipping method and checkout directly.
Offer Multiple Sign-in Options
Integrating login options from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or via Gmail is a great way to reduce friction when creating new accounts. Give users the option to sign up via these buttons, automatically filling information shared through their public profiles.
Offer Multiple Payment Options
Make sure you add multiple payment options like PayPal, debit/credit card, or others. If you are integrating checkouts via Stripe, you don’t even have to worry about storing payment information on site.
When adding multiple payment options, it’s important that you focus on improving your site’s security. It also helps to add security badges or payment processor logos on your site to instill a sense of trust in your customers.
Multiple Shipping Options
Some customers may want a product shipped on the same day, and might even be willing to pay extra for that. Just make sure you present the shipping costs while calculating the final pricing, so your customers know the amount they will have to pay.
One of the reasons why your cart abandonment rate might be so high is because you are charging a greater amount for shipping. It’s important that you offer cheap or free shipping if possible. You can incorporate the cost of shipping into your products as well.
Many customers don’t mind paying a little extra for a product as long as they get free shipping. If you want, you can also set a minimum cart value to qualify customers for free shipping. This may encourage customers to add a few more items to their cart so that they don’t have to pay for shipping. It’s a common psychological trick used by many ecommerce sites.
Offer a Wishlist Option
In many cases, a user might find something that they are interested in buying, but don’t want to do so immediately. By adding a wishlist option to your ecommerce business, you can remind customers about products on their wishlist.
You can also offer recommendations based on their wishlist or products they have browsed to generate an upsell. Upselling is one of the best ways to increase conversions, as long as you know how to do it right. Just don’t clutter your checkout page design too much in order to show new product recommendations!
Keep It Simple
When customizing your checkout page, it’s important that you keep it as simple as possible. Some ecommerce sites choose to add a header or footer to divert customers’ attention to other products, or to convince them to take an action, such as sign up for their newsletter.
However, it’s best if you follow basic SEO practices and keep your checkout page as simple as possible. Avoid adding unexpected costs at the end of the checkout flow, and make sure you provide assurance to your customers regarding the safety of their transaction.
Instead of simply writing the payment options, you should also use credit card logos to provide more clarity to your customers. This will help make the checkout process much smoother and allow users to complete their purchase in a more streamlined manner.
“Save Your Cart” Option
You may want to offer customers a “save your cart” option. In case a user closes the website accidentally or on purpose, their cart should be automatically saved. This way, when they log back on, they will see the shopping cart button highlighted, along with the number of products they added to their cart previously.
The Bottom Line
The checkout page is perhaps the most important page on your website. If you do not optimize it properly, all of your marketing efforts to pull customers in the sales funnel are going to go down the drain.
It’s important that you carefully gauge feedback from users and follow best practices when creating and optimizing your checkout page. Just don’t make too many changes too quickly!