by Renee

3 min reading time

5 tips for an optimized checkout experience

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Through various studies, Baymard presents the shocking figure of an average abandoned cart rate of 70.19%. And exactly this one element is crucial: the checkout experience. Why? Because here, in this final phase of the purchase journey, the deal is sealed… or lost. Discover in this article how to combat this!

Focus on simplicity and transparency

  • Use simplified forms: Employ minimal and intuitive, thus logical,  steps. Don’t ask for information upfront if it’s not immediately necessary. Elements like autofill and a ‘guest checkout’ option also work wonders.
  • Transparent costs: No one likes hidden fees. Be upfront about all costs, including shipping and VAT. Customers want to know the costs beforehand. With each additional charge, they’re less likely to complete their purchase. It’s advisable to display the final order total, including additional fees, right from the filled shopping cart.

Offer multilingual and multicurrency support

  • International selling means adapting to the customer. Provide options in both language and currency. This shows respect for the customer’s time and effort and prevents confusion that could result in drop-offs. Want to learn more about localization? Consider reading this article.

Variety of payment methods

  • In the Netherlands, iDEAL is king; in Germany, they prefer PayPal, and in Belgium, Bancontact is popular. Offering market-specific payment options is essential. Customers can be very picky about their preferred method of payment. Although many will choose the best option, some will only pay with their preferred method.

Trust and security are non-negotiable

  • SSL certificates, data encryption, trust badges – these have all become standard in e-commerce. They’re not just vital for security but also for customer trust. Ensure that your website offers these guarantees.

Mobile checkout is a must

  • Every modern e-commerce checkout page design must be mobile-friendly (and perhaps the mobile version should even take precedence over the desktop one). Ensure that your layout development and integration of call-to-actions involve a responsive design. More than half of online shopping is now done via a mobile device. If you’re not optimizing your checkout for mobile phones, you’re potentially missing out on a significant portion of your customers.

 

Discussion: one-step vs. multi-step checkout

When weighing one-step checkout against multi-step checkout in e-commerce, various considerations come into play. The one-page checkout is known for its speed and efficiency. Customers don’t have to wait for multiple pages to load, accelerating the process and reducing the likelihood of abandoning their purchase. This method also offers a clear overview, allowing buyers to see and input all required information on one page, enhancing convenience. Moreover, there’s an element of interactivity; the page can dynamically adjust to the information entered, creating a more engaging user experience.

On the other hand, the one-step checkout has limitations. Due to limited space, it’s challenging to process complex orders, such as those with multiple delivery addresses or special requests. This can lead to a cluttered and confusing page, especially if too much information is asked from the customer. Also, with this method, it’s more difficult to segment visitors for special offers or discounts, as you might need additional information that doesn’t fit within the layout of a single page. These limitations could make the page cluttered and less user-friendly, potentially deterring potential buyers. In contrast, a multi-step checkout, with information spread across various pages, often has a ‘cleaner’ and less chaotic design, potentially enhancing the user experience.

In conclusion, while the one-step checkout offers speed and directness, potentially boosting conversion rates, it has its limitations in complexity and flexibility, especially for more complicated purchases or targeted marketing strategies. This underscores the importance of understanding your customer base and their needs, as well as the nature of the products you sell, before deciding between these two checkout methods.

 

Conclusion: customize It

Optimizing the checkout experience is not a luxury; it’s an absolute necessity. This process should be continuous and data-driven, taking into account the unique nuances of international markets and customer preferences. It’s not just about implementing best practices, but truly understanding and serving your customers. Creating a checkout experience that resonates with every European customer is no easy feat. It requires a thorough analysis of customer behavior, market trends, and regulations. Want to know more about successful international selling? Check out this article.

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Yonis Brander

VAT consultant

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