Tags : e-commerce

E-Commerce Checkout Design & Process

Tags : e-commerce

I’ve become an avid online purchaser lately and can strongly say that a solid checkout design and user flow is vital for any e-commerce website.  Most designers spend time perfecting the homepage and internal pages rather than focusing on the process of gaining sales and converting users.

Visitors need a quick and simple checkout process in order to avoid frustration, which would make them leave the site before a sale ismade. Imagine being in a store and having to wait 20 minutes to get served and every few minutes someone would ask you to fill out a form full of questions. Annoying right? We live in a society that rushes around; hence the reason online shopping is so popular. Someone can buy the perfect cocktail dress in the middle of the night and have it in their wardrobe a day later.  

Guiding the user through the process helps immensely. People are more likely to complete the process if they know what they’ll be in for before they start. Having a progress bar one each page is essential. The progress bar should show the steps with a description like “Step 1: Sign up”, “Step 2: Shipping & Payment” etc. The stage the user is at needs to be highlighted as well as the completed stages, this will make the user feel comfortable that they are heading in a focused direction. They should be able to click on each completed step and edit details they have entered, this will again make them feel in control and comfortable.

Buttons and directions need to be clear on the e-commerce checkout pages. Sometimes it can be easy to get carried away with cute/funny ways of naming a button but minimising the time a user spends thinking “what does this button mean? Where will it take me?” will decrease their frustration.

Personally I think all unnecessary information needs to be stripped out of forms to make the process faster. Clients will want to knoweverything about a user to aid in building their customer profile but this secondary information can be gathered in other fun ways (via competitions for example). Only the bare minimum required information should be requested.

Finally, it is common courtesy to say Thank You at the end of a transaction. Have fun on this page and make the client feel like they have made the right choice. I recently purchased a shirt online, when the printed invoice arrive the shop had written at the bottom “Enjoy your shirt Anda!! Xoxo”, wouldn’t it be nice to have that in digital form as well at the end of the checkout process?