How to update your eCommerce checkout process in time for Christmas

Christmas is a crucial time for online eCommerce businesses. 

According to Statista figures, 2021 saw £32 billion in trade over the season, up from £22 billion in 2017, and research by delivery company Yodel found that a third of UK adults were planning on shopping entirely online in Christmas 2021.

If you own an eCommerce business, chances are you know you need to invest in your website, but one aspect may be holding back your success: the checkout.

Having a smooth and user-friendly checkout process is key to enabling your customers to purchase easily, and is crucial when trying to tempt them back for more. In this guide, we’ll show you how to do so – right in time for boosting your Christmas conversions.

Payment options

To allow your customers to purchase products easily, you must offer a range of payment options. As well as credit and debit cards, consider adding PayPal functionality, as well as access to credit options like Klarna. This way, you won’t lose a sale at the last hurdle.

Guest checkout

With privacy concerns high in the minds of many internet users, plenty of people want a more anonymous eCommerce experience. Additionally, some may want to avoid the time and commitment of setting up an account.

Offering guest checkout is the way to accommodate these customers – you still hold the customer’s information required for the sale, but the data isn’t held in an account.

Simplify your forms

A well-designed form makes it easier for your customers to input their information and get to the end of the checkout. You need to ensure you get all the information you need, without asking for user data, all in a way that’s simple and quick to do.

Getting the help of an eCommerce agency can make this process simpler, so consider getting in the experts so you don’t scare away or frustrate your users when it comes to form-filling.

Show Progress

If your checkout process is particularly long-winded, there’s no need to despair. A tried and tested method of reducing drop-off in these situations is by installing a progress bar at the top or bottom of the page.

Progress bars mildly gamify the checkout process, as well as give users an idea of how long it will be before they complete the task (as opposed to wondering when the form-filling will ever end!)

Add trust badges

Trust badges are agile and easy ways to show off different aspects of your service in a way that quickly and simply earns customer trust. Taking the form of an image of a badge, they let users swiftly scan your USPs and service benefits, while appearing professional and official.

For instance, displaying trust badges on site for free shipping, secure checkout systems, and accepted payment systems could encourage your customers to take the leap and purchase more than if these benefits were hidden in endless copy.

Be clear on the shipping

Most eCommerce businesses charge shipping costs, but that doesn’t mean you should be sneaky when charging them to your customers.

If you don’t mention shipping throughout the product selection and ordering process, then tack them on the checkout at the end, the customer will be taken aback by this unexpected cost – and may be less inclined to click ‘checkout’.

Instead, be clear and transparent, showing shipping in product listings.

Do you own an eCommerce business? What have you done to optimise your checkout? Let us know in the comments section below.

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