Designing The Perfect Checkout Form Made Easy!

For every online store, the most vital aspect that governs its success would be the checkout experience. How better you design the checkout is directly proportional to the e-commerce site’s conversion rates. The more convenient and faster the checkout form, greater will be the rates of conversion. Hence, a UX designer’s primary responsibility in any website design would be to make sure that the checkout form is designed perfectly. The form should be in such a way that the user get a pleasant, efficient and seamless experience.

How Check Out Page Differs from the Other Web Pages

In a website, there are many pages, the home page, the product page, the shopping cart page, the categories page, etc. to name a few. But, the check-out page differs from all of them in the fact that it is not a stand alone page. Here, we need to talk about the complete process of checkout.

Moreover, on this page, the usual criteria of attention- capture- decision making elements do not apply. The client only reaches the checkout page after covering all these stages in the pages before.

Hence, as a designer, your primary objective should be to focus on converting the user and finishing off the sale process. Here, the user would have already decided to buy the product. So you need not try again to sell the product. You just need to ensure that they go ahead with the decision and complete the buying process.

To design the perfect checkout page, the first thing you need to find is the reason that can make a potential customer from changing his/her decision and stop completing the purchase. This last-minute change of mind that can hinder sales are most often dependent on the characteristics specific to each business. Still, here are some of the major reasons that can stop a customer from completing the check-out process:

·      Any uncertainties about the payment

·      Any vagueness about the mode of delivery

·      Not willing to pay delivery charges

·      The check-out form has too many fields

·      Any technical issues in the page causing problems in completing the payment.

So, how can we overcome these problems that can end up making the business lose a potential client? Here are some tips that can help in overcoming these problems and improving the checkout process and conversion rates:

Make Use Of Simpler Forms And Easier Navigations

The perfect checkout page will be the one that has easy to fill simple forms with easier navigations. The navigation pattern should be in such a way that it keeps the client focused on completing the transaction and complete the checkout. In order to streamline the process, avoid placing long forms which ask for too many unnecessary pieces of information.

Always make sure that you avoid placing any images or texts that can act as distractions hindering the checkout. It might cause your client to lose interest in the purchase and even drop the idea of completing the checkout process. Steer the page clear of unnecessary links and form elements. Keep it as simple as you can.

Don’t Force Them To Register!

Though you need to get information about the clients, forcing every visitor to register before proceeding into check-out can be an instant turn off. Most of the people do not prefer to register and can stop the checkout process then and there if you ask them to register. Hence, it is better to provide an alternative option to ‘Continue as guest’ and complete the checkout process. Also, make sure that the continue as guest checkout option is easily visible. Recent research has proved that users abandoned almost 88 percent of mobile checkouts as they failed to notice the checkout as a guest option. The difference that it can make will most probably be a completed checkout rather than a cart which was abandoned at the beginning of checkout.

Information- Less Is More!

When it comes to collecting information from the website visitors, the golden rule is “Less is more!” It is observed that one in three customers choose to abandon their checkout process if the checkout page asks for too much information. The average length of checkout can be easily reduced by twenty to sixty percent by an efficient designer. Hence, always keep the information part less. There is no need to collect any information you won’t need. For instance, if you have no plans to call the customers, then there is no need to include a phone number column.

When you reduce the number of the columns in your checkout form, you reduce the time of completion too. It also helps to make the completion process more comfortable for the users. It further brings down the chances of errors as the cognitive load for the customers also comes down.

Always make it a point to indicate the fields which are optional clearly. Add a * symbol or add the word ‘optional’ above such fields. This can help the users who wish to finish off the checkout process fast to skip these fields and complete checkout easily.

Never Make Use Of Field Label As A Placeholder

The rule that governs labels is never to hide it when the customer tries to enter the data. Ideally, the field label must be visible always. It is better to place them on the top portion or in the field’s left side. In case you are designing the website for mobile and have space constraints, you can make use of floating label techniques. When the user makes the fields activated, the label will be animated, and the placeholder text will fade away.

Go For Single Column Forms

It is always better to opt for single column forms than go for forms with multiple columns. If you use multiple columns, the user’s eyes will have to follow a zig-zag pattern, and hence the user will not be able to focus on a particular element alone clearly. Thus, multiple columns can increase the form completion time and reduce checkouts. On the other hand, in a single column form, the users can quickly scan the form in a vertical line and fill it fast.

Always Group Relevant Information

Never pour information in such a way that the users do not even get to register it properly in their minds. Too much information can prove to be a bane than a boon. Here, you can make use of the technique of grouping related information in chunks. Let us take a look at the 2 major ways in which you can do the chunking technique:

–      Relevant fields can be chunked together on a page. The information can be placed logically so that the viewers can easily interpret it.

–      The checkout process can be broken into multiple steps. The typical process of checkout includes 4 steps- getting customer’s information, choosing the method of shipment, making the payment and finally providing the summary of the order made. These 4 steps can be broken down instead of adding all 4 steps together. It helps the user to focus on one step at a time. It reduces the chances of errors and speeds up the process too. But, if you are planning to make use of the multi-step checkout, ensure that the checkout process is made easily visible to the users. The users will need to get an idea about how much time they will have to put up to complete the checkout process.

A quick tip:

While you design the multiple step checkout process, ensure that your ‘back’ button performs just what the user will expect. The user will expect that the button will take them one step back to the page they perceive as the previous one. It should not take them back to the product page. That can irritate them and make them lose interest. If it takes them all the way back, it can only help in abandoned check-out process and data loss.

Visual Indicators Help!

Usually, every checkout process will involve multiple steps. The steps can vary according to the product you offer or information you need to collect. In such cases, some of your users, particularly the new ones will keep wondering how much more time will it take to complete the checkout process. If you add a visual indicator on top, it will be an assurance that the checkout process is almost complete and won’t take much time. In case your checkout process has more than 2 steps, make it mandatory to add a visual indicator so that the user won’t get impatient and leave the cart dropping the checkout process.

Another critical point to note here is that if your visual indicator shows too many steps ahead, it can intimidate the user and they may not even attempt to complete all. Hence, plan your indicators in such a way that it gives the idea that the checkout completion is nearby.

Give Multiple Options For Payment

Always make sure that you provide flexibility of payment options for your users. Never force them to choose the traditional credit card payment itself. It can have negative impacts and result in a reduction of conversion rate. As e-commerce has undergone an impressive change in recent times, users are more likely to complete a transaction if they are given choices to make the payment.

Also, nowadays the digital payments are gaining popularity. All commonly used apps like Paytm, Apple Pay, Google Wallet, PayPal and G Pay. Hence, if you don’t include them on your checkout page, you might end up losing some customers.

Help To Minimize Typing

People, in general, are reluctant to keep typing for long. Hence, always look for options that can minimize the need to type. In the columns provided to fill address, use auto-completion or auto-suggestion options to help users fill it quickly. Google geolocation services can help the auto-completion to fill addresses easily. Also, provide an option for the users to edit it as the auto-complete may not fill correctly always.

Provide Assurance With Security Credentials

Many users get tensed when they do online cash transactions. They will constantly keep doubting how secure the transaction is. People in the middle east are often seen to doubt online transaction credibility. Hence, to assure them that your website is completely secure and they need not worry about making an online transaction, it is better to display your security credentials on the page. If it is not visible, some of the users might doubt its security and drop the checkout process altogether. It also makes your business look more genuine, and people will get the impression that they are dealing with a reputed organization. You can also build up the trust element by sharing guarantees of products and displaying the testimonials by previous customers.

Summary Matters!

Don’t forget to provide a summary of the purchase to your clients before they make the payment. This helps the users to double check their order, details, mode of payment and delivery. In case of any errors, they get to correct it before proceeding to checkout.

Quick Buy Helps In Quickening Process!

In case of repeat customers whose data you already have saved in your database, you can help them complete the checkout process quicker with the ‘Quick Buy’ feature. This feature helps them to skip all the information adding steps of checkout and directly head to the summary part, make payment and checkout. The shipping and billing information can be taken from the previous purchase details.

Cross-Sell With Suggestions That Counts!

Though it is always better to provide a clean checkout page without much distractions as mentioned above, you can still utilize some space for offering some interesting chance to cross-sell the products similar to the ones your customer has already chosen. The best way to do it will be to share pictures of quick add-ons or accessories that go well with the product the customer has already purchased just below the cost of the item and add a quick ‘Add to Cart’ button. The suggestions should not look like a hindrance to complete the checkout process. It should look like a quick, friendly reminder they can make use of. If it is done in the right way, your customers will be happier and grateful as many people tend to forget small accessories that go with a product. Thus, it helps in improving sales too.

Provide Device Switching Flexibility

Usually, people tend to search for the product using their mobile and choose the product too. But, when it comes to the checkout process, they might prefer to use a desktop instead. In such cases, when the same user opens the website on a desktop, they should be able to continue the purchase from where they stopped. It will save them from the hassle of going through the entire process again. This can be done by giving the option ‘send to your cart by email.’

Friendly Interactions After Purchase

It is true that we might think the process is complete after the purchase. But, if you take a moment to think in the shoes of the customer, they might still be wondering what the next step to be done is. Hence, always make sure you conclude the purchase within a friendly manner by offering a thank you and informing them that the purchase is complete. This will help to assure them and eliminate any chances of confusions or doubts.

Share On Social Media

Social media has an irreplaceable position in the day to day lives of any person in today’s technologically advanced era. Hence, your user might be interested in sharing their purchase on their social media pages. It is also a great way to promote your website and the products you offer. Make good use of it by incorporating social media share buttons. The buttons can be given on the confirmation page to encourage customers to share their latest purchase details.

Convert Users, Reduce Time, Increase Success Rates!

An ideal checkout form is the one which effectively converts users, reduces the checkup process time and increases the rate of success. The easier a customer finishes the purchase process, happier they will be with the whole experience.

Usually, designers tend to overlook the checkout page design as they have a common concept that if the user enters the checkout page, then they have already decided to make the purchase and we need not put in any more effort. But the truth is that there are equal chances for the users to drop the whole idea of purchase and leave the cart abandoned. Hence, we need to keep in mind that the checkout page is the last barrier to be jumped across in order to complete the purchase.

Never consider the checkout page as a finish line. A designer should take time out to experiment with various designs and use the above tips to sharpen their checkout page design skills. Digital SEO Web Design stands apart with our state-of-art web designing techniques which stress on checkout forms that ensure reduction in the time taken to complete the checkout process, improved conversion rates, and elevated success rates.

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Priya Mukherjee
Priya is an Information Architect and Co-founder of Digital SEO (Adtagz Marketing Pvt. Ltd). She is a well experienced web-developer with expertise in both front end and back end web development. She has worked extensively in WordPress platform and offers expert services as a professional web designer, developer and consultant.
Priya Mukherjee

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