Q4 officially began this month, and with the start of the final quarter of the year comes the biggest shopping season of the year. That’s right the Holiday season is upon us, and there is no better time then now to optimize the processes of your eCommerce site. We’ve emphasized the importance of the check out process many times before in our blog posts, and like to reiterate frequently just how important it is the improve the checkout process on your online store. It is one of the last experiences that customers will have on your site, so it’s a must to create an interaction that will be simple yet memorable to keep them happy and coming back for more!
In light, of the approaching holiday season, let’s add a little warm and fuzzy to your checkout before you ask people to throw down their name, phone number, email, home address, billing address and credit card number… with 7 actionable steps that you can complete today!
1. Change your buttons and the title of your checkout page to read “Secure Checkout”:
People will barely notice the change, but in the most unconscious of ways, customers will be reminded that it is a secure checkout experience. You can also change the wording beside your credit card fields to read: Secure Credit Card Checkout.
2. Add the logo’s of the major credit card companies and third party payment methods that you accept:
People are creatures of habit. They’ll feel more safe purchasing from your website if they can see symbols and logos from companies they have previous positive experiences with already. Consumers know and trust Visa and Amex and Paypal, seeing these familiar logos will associate the trust they feel towards them, with you.
3. Add Need help? And your phone number to the top right corner of the page:
Customers may never even use this information but having it there provides a sense of security that you are in fact a real company, with a phone number, and real employees. If they run into trouble they can easily reach you and talk to someone. If you can provide a drop down with options to call, email or just review the return policy, even better! Transparency with your customers is always the best policy.
Note: People will not get distracted by this and leave the checkout, better to have it where they can see it, than force them to go find it if they need it.
4. Follow the standard order of operations:
Checkouts have come to realize a natural flow that people expect, usually something like: login/guest checkout, billing, shipping, shipping method, payment method, and order review/confirmation. Don’t try to re-invent the wheel here. A lot of times people are mindlessly tabbing through the fields so anything out of the ordinary could throw them off and begin the vicious cycle of doubt.
5. Add clear labels and instructions to your forms and fields:
Avoid errors during the checkout experience by clearly explaining what is expected. You know your customers won’t think it’s their fault when a mistake is made during checkout, so it’s best to avoid it all together. Should an error occur, make sure it’s obvious what the problem is so that they can correct it without frustration. Humour never hurts in these situations, if you feel it suits the tone of your business.
Examples: What do you really want from address 2? Why is phone number a required field? If you need the phone number typed 444-444-4444 instead of 444 444 4444 – just tell ‘em!
6. Add real time feedback to fields and forms
Everyone likes a little positive reinforcement so instead of only telling the customer when they make a mistake on the checkout, why not add a little checkmark to let people know they’re on the right track? It will help move them along in the process, keep them confident, and free of worries.
7. Keep your SSL certificate up-to-date:
Mark it on your calendar as a yearly event to remind yourself to make sure that it is updated and running smoothly. Consumers have been trained to look for this: https= safe, http=not safe. If you are running an online store without one please forget everything I have mentioned about and get one … now … RUN!
All About Trust
These are some of the simplest, yet effect methods you can implement to not only improve the your eCommerce site’s checkout process but to help build the trust relationship between you and your clients. Customer experience and the value of it is the all the rage right now in retail, whether it be online or even in-store. Now more than ever customers have the ability to be more critical with where they shop and the way they shop. Once you’ve been able to attract consumers to your online store you want to ensure that you’ll be able to retain them. The checkout process plays a key role in the satisfaction of consumers. Start building trust with your customers now, and improve your online store’s checkout today with these 7 methods! Please comment below if you have any questions, I’d love to help.