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Top ten checkout optimisation tips for improved sales

In eCommerce, sales is the name of the game – but if you’re noticing a high number of visitors adding things to their shopping basket and then abandoning the purchase at the last minute, you really need to focus some time on checkout optimisation...

If you can encourage visitors to make it all the way through checkout, your sales conversions will improve and so will that all-important bottom line – but how do you do it?

Checkout our eCommerce tips for your checkout!

There are some pretty simple things you can do to reduce basket abandonment, such as ensuring that you clearly display security badges and safe shopping accreditations to increase confidence.

Here are a few more tips to help you increase conversions at that crucial stage of the sales process:

1. Reduce clutter – you want to keep your buyer focused on the job in hand, so take out navigation options and links to other parts of your site that could distract them. Strip it right back by removing headers, footers, side menus etc.

2. KISS – as above, work to the ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’ theory – eliminate ALL fields, images and content that isn’t absolutely necessary.

3. No newsletter sign-up – don’t ask them for something else at this stage – let them make their purchase, then prompt them to sign up after they’ve made payment.

4. No registration – don’t force customers to register for an account in order to buy your products – offer a guest checkout option instead so they can purchase simply and at speed if they wish.

5.  Clear costs – itemise their products with prices clearly visible, show all shipping costs and a clear total before the final checkout button.

6. No nasty surprises – be explicit about any payment fees or postage costs before they get to the ‘magic button’! If you suddenly dump a load of extra charges on their laps at the last minute, you can’t really be surprised if they ditch their basket can you?!

7. Payment options – give buyers a choice of how they pay. While some may be happy to use a credit or debit card, Paypal or other alternatives can sometimes be quicker and easier to use.

8.  Allow backtracking – if your buyer wants to navigate back a process or two to change details, let them use the back button. Often this action will lead to a dead end and even require the user to start the process again from scratch – not good!

9. Promo codes - if you have a live offer, let them see it at the relevant stage so they can take advantage – if you were running an offer but it’s not currently available, don’t tease them with false expectations – remove all mentions completely!

10.  CTAs - as always, you need to lead your user right to the action you want them to take, so make it totally clear and obvious what the next step is and highlight that CTA so there’s no doubt at all.

Most of these checkout optimisation tips are development-centric, so ask your eCommerce agency to help get these functions and features in place for you as soon as possible, so you can start reaping the rewards of a better user experience  - and increased sales - straight away!

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