E-commerce Usability: Checkout

There is much talk about usability and “user experience” in e-commerce, but they are always global concepts that can lead to ambiguities. Let’s focus today on some basic points about the process of “Checkout” of our shop:

1. Do not force the customer to register during the”checkout”. If he/she goes there, it is assumed he wants to finish the purchase. Anything not related to that is noise, and could make the customer to leave without paying.

Register before payment
2. Do not wait for the last step to show the final price using discount vouchers, shipping costs, etc.. The sooner the better, you will avoid possible confusion and frustration.

3. If you have no SSL certificate for your store, at least make sure that the customer makes the payment through a secure gateway, if not you will lose the customer!. Security builds confidence.

4. The more payment and shipping options, the better. Every customer may have his own preferences regarding logistics company.

5. The confirmation page and the e-mail with the invoice, must contain all the necessary information the customer may require. Also add contact information of the “Customer Support Service“.

6. The customers may forget things during the Checkout process. Help him by offering product recommendations that are of interest. Personalized recommendations after “Checkout” make customers feel that you’re still thinking about their needs, increasing trust and intimacy.

7. Optimize the checkout process, making it simple. Think about how you can make each step easier. For example: Login (if necessary), choose shipping address, choose shipping options, payment details and confirmation of the order-delivery.

8. The client should always know in which step of the checkout process he is.For this purpose, I recommend using “breadcrumbs” as follows:

9. Think about what questions the user might make to himself through each step of the checkout process. Answer that question within the same step. For example: If you are on the page to choose shipping options, what happens if it is an international shipment?

The Checkout process is the most relevant to conversion. There is where we win or lose a customer. If during any step of the checkout process, we make the customer to think, then we are doing something wrong. As a rule of thumb give him everything on a silver platter.

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