5 minutes

eCommerce Checkout Best Practices & Optimizations

Brands often consider their checkout process to be “set it and forget it.” Frequently following best practices, brands tend to get too comfortable with their baseline conversion rate at checkout. However, there is considerable more eCommerce checkout optimizations that go above and beyond standard practice at checkout that can help your brand stand out and increase conversion rate.

On Wednesday, March 10th 2021 we hosted a virtual panel with our agency partners Klarna, Signifyd, and Ordergroove discussing all things eCommerce checkout optimization. With the addition of merchant speaker, Christopher Scott, the eCommerce Manager at Juiced Bikes, our panelists shared their insights on everything from common checkout page mistakes to how to optimize the post-checkout experience.

Below, you will find our top five learnings from the webinar and access to session recording!

1) What are the biggest online store checkout mistakes that you see merchants make?

When it comes to the online shopping checkout experience, you know it’s good when you don’t notice it. A good checkout experience is one that feels easy and painless for the customer. We’ve all had times when we were excited to purchase a new product online but, when going to click the “buy” button, had to input more personal information and were bombarded with attempts to push additional products into the cart.

That brings us to what Juiced Bikes considered the two biggest checkout mistakes:

  • Too Many Add-Ons
  • Not Offering Guest Checkout

Add-Ons in the checkout page tend to be promotional offers or suggested additions to your purchase. Although these can be an important part of many brands’ customer experiences, the merchant must take a strategic approach so as to not frustrate or overwhelm the shopper right before conversion.

Ordergroove suggested making Add-Ons as seamless as possible, and ensuring everything is listed on the same checkout page. It’s also important not to introduce offerings or promotions that you don’t need to (especially for a new customer).

When it comes to providing Guest Checkout, users on your website should have the option to make a purchase without having to provide all of their information or creating an account. Account creation often takes up more time and creates friction in the purchase funnel. For most brands, providing a guest checkout option wherein a user just needs to input their credit card information will lead to higher conversion rates. After a customer has completed a guest checkout, the brand can send them a follow-up email with a quick one-step account creation process using their purchase information that has already been recorded.

2) How do you find balance between removing friction in the purchase journey and also learning more about your customers?

Expanding on the concept of too many Add-Ons in your checkout experience, our panelists also discussed how to keep a healthy balance of Add-Ons and customer data fields in the checkout experience. While it’s important to strategically up-sell your customers and to collect valuable user data, it’s also important to ensure the experience is seamless and convenient for the customer so that they’ll want to come back again.

Klarna recommends continuously updating form fields as the merchant discovers the most relevant information they need. This means ensuring that any required fields in the checkout form are relevant and easy for customers to provide.

3) How to optimize your checkout experience:

Conversion Optimization at Checkout

Optimizing your checkout experience starts with looking at your website visitor’s journey. Does your shopper take a look at the product description page once and then come back to it later? How long does your average customer spend making the decision to purchase? Do they abandon the cart and then come back to buy later?

These are all important factors that can help you to create a more seamless customer purchase experience. When a merchant understands what actions affect conversion they are able to harness these and tailor them to their audience. This means including relevant resources and convenience at the checkout point in the journey.

checkout1 Juiced Bikes worked with BVA to improve conversion through checkout optimization.

Revenue Optimization at Checkout

Checkout is the most crucial part of the buyer journey because it’s where businesses receive revenue. It is the last touch point before a site visitor converts, so it’s important to make sure that your website solves for any revenue leakage and removes friction at this stage.

For example, Signifyd advised that it’s important to disable friction points like hard checks on Credit Card info that risk losing a customer if any typo or mistake is made during the checkout process. Your fraud solution and security measures should remove as many barriers as possible to making a purchase, while also not sacrificing the necessary elements to protect your business.

Continuous Optimization

When it comes to optimizing anything on your website, the process is never complete. Checkout optimization is no exception; it must be done continuously in order for your brand to grow. In fact, the checkout page is arguably the most important piece of the website where a merchant must stay vigilant.

Juiced Bikes, from a brand perspective, noted that they use a Google Optimize account and ensure that they are testing one new thing every two weeks. Additionally, our panelists recommend having normal consumers outside of the eCommerce space audit your checkout process every so often. Having a real-world user review your checkout can provide insight that eCommerce checkout specialists may overlook.

Another important recommendation from Signifyd is to ensure that you are optimizing your checkout from a holistic perspective. In order for the customer experience to be seamless, it’s important to make sure all of your checkout solutions are working together and not against your brand. For example, don’t optimize your payments solution and your fraud solution separately. Make sure that the choices you make for each checkout layer align with your branding and your ideal customer experience.

4) What needs to happen before the checkout page?

Before users reach the buy button, there are steps that a merchant should take in order to provide a seamless experience. Beyond just moving users through the funnel, a brand should strive to create a journey that the buyer would be willing to repeat.

Many direct-to-consumer brands have adopted subscription programs for a source of recurring revenue. These merchants have to pay heed to how their subscription program is explained not only on the checkout page, but also on the PDP.

Ordergroove noted that it’s very important that your site’s UX makes it clear when users are opting into a subscription rather than a one-time purchase. Many brands make the mistake of automatically opting in purchasers to the subscription program without making it clear before the checkout page. This causes users to immediately cancel their subscription, and in some cases gives them a negative impression of the brand. By optimizing your subscription UX prior to the final checkout, you can increase both conversion and Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV).

A tip from Klarna was to ensure that your checkout solutions are consistent with your branding across your website.

checkout2 See Juiced Bikes using Klarna on the PDP in a seamless way that matches their brand’s UX.

5) How to optimize your post-checkout experience:

In order to increase your customer lifetime value, it’s important to not only move customers through the checkout process, but also provide top-notch service after the purchase. This starts with your brand asking questions like, can I retain this customer? Is this a positive experience? What else should we cross/up-sell to this particular type of customer?

Juiced Bikes recommended creating an impactful post-purchase email follow-up. In their post-purchase email, they include helpful materials and resources, such as a downloadable product guide, to help ensure the customer knows all they can about the bike they’ve just purchased. This can be a great tactic for earning brownie points with customers, and providing a great experience while they wait for their order to arrive.

Watch the Event Recording Here

Hear directly from our panelists about real merchant stories, checkout mistakes, and checkout optimization in the webinar recording here.

Optimize Your Online Store Checkout With Us

Looking for help in optimizing your brand’s checkout experience? Or need to identify the correct solutions partners for your business needs? Feel free to schedule a chat with us!

Want to learn more about our solutions partners and event co-sponsors? Check them out here: