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Attention All Online Retailers: Making These Mistakes at Checkout Could Cost You Conversions

Picture this: a customer is happily browsing an e-commerce site with a goal of landing Christmas outfits for the whole family.  This stay-at-home mom has absolutely no time to get out to the mall (with two crazy small children) and actually shop the old fashioned way.  Because of that, she relies heavily on online shopping.  She is clicking away, adding outfits and shoes for all four of her family member and finally makes it to the checkout page.
But then…She enters in all of her payment information and is about to hit the submit button…and WHACK.  She is smacked in the face with a shipping and tax fee that didn’t appear until the very end!  She feels the website was the opposite of transparent, and the number she had in her head she was willing to spend just got far surpassed.  Instead of taking an item out of her cart, she decides to move on to another website entirely, perhaps one that offers free shipping.
This example is just one of the several mistakes that many online retailers are making today.  Did you know that 70% of people will abandon their carts at checkout?  70%.  Guys, that’s a lot.

  In addition to hidden fees not revealed until the last page at checkout, here are some other mistakes online retailers should avoid making:

  1. Forced Account Creation
    The last thing people want are more emails that stack up each day, making that annoying red circle next to the Mail app seem to never go away.  That is the first thing people are going to assume when they are forced to “Create an Account” in order to complete a purchase: that they are going to get spammed up from here on out.  Instead of forcing someone to create an account, make it an option.  And leave it at that.  Have a guest checkout option for faster checkout, and one that doesn’t dangle the word Commitment in front of their faces in such an obvious fashion.
  2. Complicated Checkout Process
    Okay, I’m not gonna drop names here.  But we all know those websites where it seems like you have to click on 23 buttons that say “no thank you, I don’t want that additional ad on” before you can actually purchase your item(s) and move on with your life.  (You know the ones, right?)  Hint hint: a certain cheap Airline company that loves the color yellow.  It’s like, “My gosh, NO I do not want a rental car or a hotel or extra leg space or the ability to check in 7 minutes sooner for the low cost of $47”! Instead of making your checkout process the equivalent to finding your way through a Haunted Corn Maze in the Midwest, just keep it simple.  People like simple.  This is not rocket science.
  3. No Posted Trust Seals
    Even if you are freaking nordstrom.com , but you don’t have a visible Trust Seal on your payment page, you are probably going to lose a good amount of conversions.  Giving out credit card numbers combined with personal information can be a scary leap for some people, especially those from Generation X who still believe in pocketbooks and cash and they balance their checkbook for fun. In order to gain and receive people’s trust, you need to have a Trust Seal posted on your checkout page.
  4. Only Allowing One Payment Method
    Here’s the deal, some people literally don’t own a credit or debit card.  I know I know, it sounds bizarre.  But it isn’t.  In fact, many people like to use PayPal or eWallets.  If you don’t offer the ability for people to pay out of their bank account, then you may lose their conversion.
    As an online retailer, it’s really good to keep all of these things in mind.  If you are currently making any of these mistakes on your checkout page, think about fixing them. It will be interesting to see if your conversion rates start going up once you do so.