Simple Ways to Improve Your Checkout Conversion Rate

By e-commerce

It is estimated that two thirds of all digital shopping carts are abandoned before customers can make a purchase. These are the worst customers to lose, since they clearly wanted to buy from you and were in the process of buying from you before they quit. What are some simple ways to improve your checkout conversion rate and turn them into paying customers?



Costs Not Meeting Expectations

Your site must be upfront and clear about shipping costs not to lose customers just as they are about to buy. You can improve conversion rates by making the prices associated with shipping and additional sales taxes obvious.

But don’t make prices stand out or customers may become too price-conscious. Use neutral colours for prices and minimise the use of currency signs as they have been proven to discourage some customers.

Long Checkout Process

Search engines penalise websites that take too long to load or to be crawled. Customers are even less forgiving with around 10% abandoning a website each second it takes to load.

You also lose customers when the checkout process itself takes too long. This is why it is important to pay attention to how many steps your customers have to go through to complete the transaction.

That’s why Amazon’s one click purchasing process has been emulated far and wide, and it is why apps are offered to specifically let you order items at the touch of a button (or two). Shorter, faster checkouts result in more completed purchases and more frequent repeat business.

Requiring Registration or Account Signup

People ordering from your website will understand the need to enter a name and address to have the item shipped to them. They’ll usually gladly give an email address to receive status updates on the order.  However, what will kill around a quarter of all shopping cart purchases is the requirement to sign up for an account to buy the item.

If they are buying for the first time, they don’t want the perceived commitment of signing up for an account with your company, and they certainly don’t agree to receive the constant marketing messages that typically come with an account.

The simplest way to improve shopping cart conversions is to skip the account signup process for new customers, and allow people to checkout as a guest. You can still incentivize account signups by offering coupon codes to those who do sign up.

They Were Only Doing Research

Around a sixth of shopping cart abandonments occur because the customer wasn’t quite ready to buy. You can improve shopping cart conversions at this stage by adding a “save cart” function so that they don’t have to repeat their search if they decide later they want to buy your item.

Security Concerns Over Payment Options

This issue accounts for around one in eight shopping cart abandonments. If your website doesn’t seem to have the necessary level of security to protect someone’s payment information, they won’t want to buy from you. Display security logos to reduce this issue. If you don’t accommodate the payment methods customers prefer to use to protect their financial information like PayPal, they will simply go away. Add as many payment methods as possible to your website to accommodate customers.

Confusing Checkouts

Confusing checkouts account for a little over 10% of abandoned shopping carts. When someone can’t enter a coupon code or doesn’t know how to qualify for a discount they expected, they are likely to abandon the shopping cart.

One of the simplest ways to improve your checkout conversion rate is to make it clear on the checkout screen where to enter coupon codes or automatically apply discounts to the order while clearly indicating to the customer the discount they received. You should also make it easy to edit the shopping cart, such as adjusting the quantity of each item.


How can you reduce the rate at which shopping carts are abandoned? Make the checkout process as short, simple and easy to use as possible. Show off your site’s security, and give people alternative ways to pay that don’t put their credit card information at risk. Give them ways to save their potential purchases to increase the odds they will come back and finish the purchase later. Provide free shipping if possible, and if not, make shipping and other costs as clear as possible.

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