Checkout Pages

Have you ever abandoned a shopping cart during the checkout stage – other than to find out the price (like Amazon says to add to basket to find out price)? I’m sure I have, but the reasons why are not coming to me at the moment (call it human virus-infected memory syndrome – no worries, this entry was scrubbed and declared germ-free). I’m sure a couple of times it was simply that I changed my mind and just didn’t need it. But was it ever because of the interface and the way the checkout pages were designed? Possibly.

Ah ha! Just recalled another reason. Shipping charges. Some places don’t let you find out the shipping charges until you’re halfway through the checkout process. There’s nothing in the FAQ, customer service or help pages giving an indication on the cost of shipping. Shipping costs can make or break a deal, at least for me. An item could cost more elsewhere, but be cheaper in the long run because shipping costs are lower. If the shipping isn’t obvious, I may not even bother with the checkout process. Depends on how much I need the item. So why put up another barrier?

E-Commerice Site Design looks at what every well-designed checkout page should contain. I strongly agree with including a “return to shopping” link. Some carts cut you off from the rest of the site and you have to resort to the back button to get back to it and you might lose information in the process. When using “return to shopping,” data tends to be saved. Heck, if someone wants to buy more things… who am I to stop them?

Registration is another big problem I watch for. While it’s nice to register and not have to enter your info every time you shop at a specific site, some people just don’t want to do it or think it’s very unlikely they’ll shop there again. So give them the option of registering or proceeding with the order without registration. Again, don’t lose an order just because you can’t store a new account.

The fewer barriers, the more likely you’ll make the sale.

Meryl K. Evans is the Content Maven behind meryl.net, helping companies get better results through simple words that make a big impact. Boost your profits with her help or visit the blog.

[tags]checkout page,e-commerice site design,registration required,checkout barrier,checkout navigation[/tags]