Imagine this: a potential customer clicks your ad, lands on a product page, adds it to their cart, proceeds to checkout … and leaves without buying. Cart abandonment leads to lost revenue — and wasted money spent acquiring customers. Let’s take a look at the 5 best practices for checkout design to help reduce your clients’ cart-abandonment rates.
Why do people abandon their carts during checkout?
Baymard Institute reports an average cart abandonment rate of 69.89%. But why? The 3 biggest issues are (hidden) costs, artificial friction, and wasted time:
Cost: When customers don’t see the cost of shipping and taxes until checkout, they underestimate the total cost of their purchase
Friction: Many people are turned off by having to create an account — no one wants to jump through hoops to complete a purchase
Time: People are wary of an involved checkout process
Designers can reduce cart abandonment by addressing these 3 problems. Here’s how.
1. Let customers know the total cost as soon as possible
So the obvious solution here is to ... offer free shipping! It can be unconditional for orders over a certain amount, or within the country of origin. And if the customer doesn’t qualify, display the total cost as early in the process as possible.
I strongly advise against this dark UX pattern — it will annoy your customers and lose their trust.
2. Allow customers to make a purchase without requiring them to sign in or create an account
The more customer data you have, the more effective you can be at selling. And this arguably unsavory fact is why so many companies make the mistake of requiring customers to sign in or create an account before making a purchase.
This practice disrupts the shopping experience and leads to cart abandonment. The better practice is to let customers shop as guests, making account creation optional.
Stanfords, in the example above, gives you the option to check out as a guest or register. They’re clear about the benefits of creating an account: faster checkout, ability to save multiple delivery addresses, and easy access to order history and status. But for shoppers who aren’t interested, they can make the choice to skip this step and carry on. It’s a great approach.
You could also drop the whole idea of customer accounts and take people go straight to checkout.
3. Reduce the number of form fields in the checkout flow