Issues – Spiralyze

Checkout Best Practices

The 28 issues below are Best Practices for conversion optimization of a desktop checkout, based on our benchmarking of 50 top companies. They can be separated into improvements to Usability, Layout, and Data Input. Implementing these will reduce friction and speed up the checkout process for users, thereby reducing abandonments and increasing conversions.

Single-Page Checkout

Implementing a single-page checkout with the end in sight saves time and reduces perceived effort for the customer. It makes it easy for the customer to give you their money.

Simplify Multi-Page Checkout

In cases where a single-page checkout is impractical, a multi-page checkout can still be simplified and optimized to feel faster and easier for users.

Suppress Coupon Code Fields

Suppressing the coupon or promo code fields keep users from getting distracted and avoids reducing the perceived value of their purchase.

Make Checkout Usable on All Devices

People shop online on devices ranging from phones to tablets to large desktops – make sure they can buy your product on any of these.

Send Cart Abandonment Emails

Sometimes a checkout abandonment is unavoidable – sending out a follow-up email can help gain those customers back.

Make Guest Checkout the Default

Guest checkouts should be the default option for users – forced account creation is a conversion killer and should be deployed only when there is a very compelling strategic rationale.

Reduce Percieved Form Length

Reducing the perceived form length lessens perceived effort for the user – When checkouts feel fast, there are fewer checkout abandonments.

Suppress Store Navigation

Get rid of the navigation bar and other diversions. Don’t distract users when they are trying to giving you their money – Once in the checkout, remove distractions.

Standardize Look and Feel

Build checkouts that match the look and feel in the rest of the website – it builds trust with users and reminds them of the product that brought them to the checkout.

Clearly State Shipping Options

Providing clear and detailed shipping options helps build trust with customers, helping convince hesitant users to complete their order.

Offer Help Prominently

Ease customer anxiety and reduce frictions for less tech-savvy users by prominently offering assistance.

Implement an Intuitive Layout

Checkout should feel familiar. When a checkout conforms to conventions, customers trust it and breeze through, thereby reducing checkout abandonments.

Make Progress Obvious

Guest checkouts should be the default option for users – forced account creation is a conversion killer and should be deployed only when there is a very compelling strategic rationale.

Buttons Should Provide Feedback

Reduce friction and boost usability by making buttons provide feedback for hovers and clicks – give your users a sense of accomplishment with each click.

Highlight the Active Field

Highlight the field currently selected by the user – to help them keep their place.

Validate Correct Responses Inline

Validate field inputs immediately and visibly – don’t wait until the end to remind a user that they made a mistake or missed a step.

Auto-Format Numerical Fields

Automatically formatting numerical fields to appear the way users expect speeds up data input, reduces errors, and feels reassuring.

Limit Data Inputs

Setting input limits on certain fields can help reduce form errors, thereby reducing friction and speeding up the checkout process.

Auto-Fill Compatibility

Autofill-compatible checkout forms allow users to complete checkout at warp speed, drastically reducing friction, and therefore abandonment rates.

Type-Ahead Address Completion

Implementing type-ahead address completion is a simple way to reduce friction by cutting the effort and time required to complete checkout.

Match Shipping and Billing

Automatically matching the shipping and billing addresses saves the user time and effort, and reduces friction in the checkout.

Trim Unnecessary Fields

Don’t ask users for information you don’t need – and that they might feel strange giving you. It lengthens the checkout and takes customers off auto-pilot.

Store ZIP Code From Shipping Calculator

The easiest way to irritate your customers and increase friction is to ask them the same question multiple times. If they enter a ZIP into a shipping or tax estimator, keep that ZIP.

Show Clear Cost Breakdown

Motivate customers to finish the checkout by providing a clear purchase summary throughout the checkout.

Emphasize Free/Discounted Things

Increase perceived value by emphasizing anything that is free or discounted – make it bright, bold, and bigger.

Detect Card Type

Reduce friction and perceived effort by automatically detecting the credit card type from the number entered – don’t hand the user an extra step.

Provide Reassurance

Ease the anxiety of unsure customers by providing reassurance throughout the checkout – a sort of digital Prozac.

Display Clear Error Messages

If a user makes an error in a form, they should be able to fix it and move on – make sure error notifications are clear and helpful.

Single-Page Checkout | Simplify Multi-Page Checkout | Make Usable on All Devices | Suppress Coupon Code Fields | Guest Checkout by Default | Send Abandonment Emails | Reduce Percieved Form Length | Suppress Store Navigation | Standardize Look and Feel | Clearly State Shipping Options | Offer Help Prominently | Implement Intuitive Layout | Make Progress Obvious | Buttons Provide Feedback | Highlight Active Field | Validate Responses Inline | Auto-Format Numbers | Limit Data Inputs | Auto-Fill Compatibility | Type-Ahead Address Completion | Match Shipping and Billing | Trim Unnecessary Fields | Store ZIP from Shipping Calculator | Show Clear Cost Breakdown | Emphasize Free Things | Detect Card Type | Provide Reassurance | Clear Error Messages |
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