The Dot Academy

Checkout optimization

Do you know the feeling: after looking for more than a month, you finally found the pair of sneakers you have been looking for? And oh yes, it’s your lucky day because your size is still available. No doubts, just add it to your cart and proceed to checkout as soon as possible. But then the moment of truth arrives. Because what is more irritating than a checkout where you can’t use your preferred payment method or which is totally not mobile-friendly. Indeed, crucial factors that can make or break a purchase. Earlier research has proven that not less than 54% abandons his or her cart when their preferred payment method isn’t available. Striking number, right? And that’s the reason why we like to give you some tips & tricks concerning checkout optimization. 

1.  Stay simple & clear

A checkout process should actually be a child’s play. In fact, it should literally be so simple that sometimes you make a purchase a little bit too quickly or too impulsively (woops, we’re guilty). To do this:

  • Use clear words, make sure all pages are designed in the same theme & colour, offer the payment page in the customer’s language and offer the right currency to avoid confusing your customer. All of this is a way to build trust, which is obviously important at the time the consumer pulls out his/her wallet. 
  • Use both labels and icons for all fields. This has two benefits: it’s both functional and visual for the customer, which makes it even more user-friendly.
  • Show names and logos of payment methods so they can easily scan and choose their preferred payment method. And have you thought about offering local payment methods? For example, iDeal is a popular payment method in The Netherlands and Bancontact is an essential one in Belgium. 
  • Test it with real users and receive honest feedback on the whole process.


2.   Balance security & convenience

In order to create a frictionless checkout experience, you need to find the balance between secure payments & the user-friendliness of the process. For example: 3D security (or also known as the moment you need to go look for your card reader at the moment of payment and chances are high you don’t have it next to you) is often seen as a conversion killer, even though this is the most secure checkout method. 

So, what are other manners to increase the security level during the checkout process and at the same time keep it super user-friendly? 

  • Include a progress bar to give a clear indication of the stage of checkout.
  • Add a lock icon on the pay button or on the page near the “order summary”.
  • Use clear call-to-actions such as ‘Pay securely’ combined with the colour green.
  • Explain your data protection policy clearly.

3.   Give users a sense of control

Since it’s still a delicate moment when a customer actually decides to hand over its money to your company, giving them the feeling of being totally in control of their own purchase is extremely important. How can you simply do this?

  • Provide full order summary details: this way the customers can check at all times that they are ordering exactly what they were planning to.
  • Provide clear explanations on how data is stored and what a security code is.
  • Ever experienced a failed transaction and then having to start completely from the beginning? This is when customers will definitely be annoyed and drop off. Avoid this by offering alternative payment methods right after their transaction has failed.
  • Always provide customers with the option to cancel their order. 


4.   Mobile optimization for the win

Did you know that 45% of online customers shop using their mobile device? We strongly believe this number will only increase exponentially in the future and that’s why we want to emphasise to all webshop owners the importance of creating a mobile adapted payment page. 

  • Create a fully responsive design and test the checkout journey on multiple mobile devices to see how it looks and feels for your customers.
  • Offer the right mobile payment methods, like Payconiq and Apple Pay.
  • Make data entry easy by showing the appropriate keypad.
  • Reduce the load time of the page.
  • Make sure the customer can take a step back in the process at all times. 

By doing all this, we guarantee that you will boost your conversion rate!


5.   Include tokenization

What is it and how does this work?

  • The customer clicks on the “remember me” button
  • The payment data will be saved on secured servers and they will in return send an encrypted ‘token’ to the merchant
  • The merchant links the token to the customer’s profile
  • For future purchases, the customer does not need to re-enter their card details

How will this help you grow?

  • It creates a more simplified checkout experience
  • It will increase customer loyalty
  • It will boost recurring payments & subscriptions

Hurray, you are all set to start optimizing your own checkout experience.
If you need any help along the process, reach out to the Dotters!

This post is also available in: Dutch