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Five Great Checkout Page Techniques

A streamlined checkout process is essential for an enjoyable online shopping experience.  This is because a pleasurable experience often translates into increased sales and registrations.  The main goal is simple: direct customers to the checkout button.  Design that does this well can make a huge difference in the way that customers interact with the site.  Design that does not do this well can make customers quickly disappear. 

Because the checkout process carries such high value, its design should be carefully thought out and logical.  Below you will find several tips and hints to make your checkout page design the smoothest possible.

Provide Live Help

If the main objective for a checkout page is to guide a customer to the checkout button, the sub-goal is to prevent them from canceling the checkout process once initiated.  Designers need to know that, unless a checkout page provides a sure way to get questions answered, customers just may go elsewhere.  One good way to do this is to provide live help.  Customers need live help because not every issue or problem fits nicely into a well-organized FAQ or cleverly designed Help page.  Provide a chat or telephone assistance button so that customers have access to professional support to resolve doubts about a particular term or condition. It could go a long way.

Show Next Steps

One of the most important factors in checkout page design is the way the checkout process is presented to the customer.  The page should communicate well and offer the essential details of each transaction, including what comes next.  Knowing what to expect, will give customers the sense of security, they need to see the process all the way through to the end. 

Indicate Progress

Equally important is the way a checkout page indicates progress throughout the checkout process.  Visually, much can be done to enhance the user’s experience and adding a progress feature is one of them.  This technique can be used alone or in conjunction with the above technique to give the customer motivation to follow through to a completed sale.

User Inclusion

The customer is always right – even online.  It makes sense that designers should be careful to include the customer in the process as much as possible.  Some pages make the mistake of directing the customer to another page, for more help or to view terms and conditions, during the checkout phase.  This, however, can be confusing and disorienting for customers and a disoriented, confused customer is likely to end the checkout process prematurely.  Avoid all this by using pop-up windows to incorporate extra information, and keep the basic details of the checkout on one page as much as possible.

No Registration Required

One of the best ways to turn customers off is to require that they register before the checkout process begins.  You’ll want to keep your checkout path up front and to-the-point without significant barriers and distracting forms impeding the way.  Engage your customers early on in the process by pushing time consuming action steps and effort to the very end.  This ensures that the shopping experience is not interrupted and may be more likely to result in a completed sale.

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