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Why improving your online checkout experience should be your #1 priority

June 14, 2021

A seamless online checkout experience can lead to increased customer interaction and sales. In this guide, we’re revealing why your online checkout should be the number one priority and how you can give yourself the best chance of converting at the final stage of the user journey.

Broken checkout experiences

The checkout experience is often an overlooked part of the buying journey. Businesses spend time and resources making sure they get every aspect of their site spot on, only to take the checkout stage for granted. They assume that consumers who have made it to the checkout already have the intent to buy.

Just having intent doesn’t always guarantee a sale, and an astonishing 79 per cent of drop-offs happen at the checkout stage. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours getting your website ready and then seeing customers stumble over the last hurdle.

However, there are ways to ensure that cart abandonment is reduced to a minimum. By making the online checkout experience a priority, you can increase sales while removing bottlenecks and providing a better customer experience.

Here’s why improving your online checkout experience should be your number one priority.

Seamless experiences lead to increased usage

Consumers want a seamless experience from the moment they land on a web page, right up until purchasing a product or service. Everything about the interaction should be easy. Anything that causes friction is likely to result in abandonment be it at the checkout stage or earlier.

Businesses can focus on improving the online checkout experience by understanding customer behaviours. Today, we live in an environment of instant gratification, and that includes when we buy products and services.

Research shows that half of the global population will use digital wallets by 2024, and this is a prime example of how businesses are improving the checkout experience. Digital wallets store vital information – like card details – so customers don’t need to input them every time they checkout.

One-click purchases seen with Amazon and used by Apple are also becoming an expectation – to the point where consumers expect businesses to offer these kinds of payment methods.

Doing so gives your brand an advantage, as you will be meeting customer expectations head-on and providing smarter ways for them to pay at checkout. You will empower customers to complete their purchase and see fewer drop-offs as a result.

More flexibility equates to happier customers 

You should give your customers reasons to complete their purchase at checkout – not reasons to abandon the cart. One of the best ways to do this is by providing flexibility and giving people more ways to pay for your products and services.

We’ve already seen the power of one-click payments and digital wallets, but what about flexible finance? One of the biggest reasons for cart abandonment is customers shying away from higher-priced items.

Since the pandemic, consumers are tightening their purse strings and being more stringent with their finances. Yet, alternative payment options can help them better manage finances by spreading the cost for higher-priced items.

Covid has led to a rise in alternative payment options like buy now, pay later. And offering these types of finance options to customers can lead to an uptick in sales. Millennials, for example, are open to using alternative payment methods, with 54 per cent having already used buy now, pay later to purchase a product.

Those numbers are only likely to rise, and the industry is already worth £2.7bn. Alternative payment options allow merchants to optimise the checkout experience by giving customers more opportunities to pay for items across a range of price points.

Improved checkout experiences equal more sales

The ultimate goal is to remove roadblocks at checkout and drive up sales. Without a smooth checkout experience for customers, achieving that goal will be difficult. Fortunately, there are plenty of actions you can take to create a more transparent and fluid checkout experience.

These include:

Auto-fill forms

Even when customers do need to fill out forms, you should make the process an easy one. Allowing auto-fills for forms can help reduce the time it takes to add card details and addresses. As a result, consumers can complete the checkout process faster by auto-filling the forms.

Mobile payments 

Mobile optimisation also leads to improved checkout experiences for consumers on the go. In fact, 1.2 billion people access the internet from their phones, so your mobile experience needs to meet the demands of modern-day consumers.

Optimise the checkout stage

Checkouts are traditionally associated with the very last stage of the buying journey. However, that’s not a hard and fast rule, and offering micro-interactions between your site and the user can encourage people to complete transactions earlier in the journey.

The checkout process starts and ends with your shopping cart, so why not allow customers to buy the product immediately rather than going through to the cart? This is something Amazon has done well, using one-click payments so customers can buy on the product page.

Making these changes to your checkout experience can significantly increase interactions and the transactions that happen on your site.

Summary: Getting your priorities right

The checkout can be your most powerful tool, acting as a way for customers to easily complete transactions with flexible payment options like digital wallets, financing and one-click purchases. By implementing these features into your site, you can drive up sales and see better results for your business with a checkout that enhances the consumer experience.

Find out more about how flexible finance can improve the checkout experience with alternative payment options like multi-lender products.


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