Okay, so you’re ready to launch your new product.
You’ve written the sales or video letter, you’ve nailed down your marketing, you’ve lined up your ad buys and affiliates, ready to go, right? WRONG!
After years of selling adult entertainment product and services online, and launching DirectPayNet where we help tons of high-risk advertisers maximize their sales and obtain a merchant account, we’ve realized how many merchants neglect to test and make mindful design decisions regarding their checkout page.
Here are 10 helpful tips to ensure your buyers don’t abandon their purchase at the finish line.
1. Don’t be creative
Yes, that’s right, there’s security in familiarity. When handing over their credit card info, buyers want to feel confident and secure. Straying from a familiar look on your checkout page can backfire and cause your visitors to be reluctant to finalize their purchase. A white background with black or blue writing works, period.
2. Host your own checkout page
Redirecting your customers to another site for payment makes it easier for them to abandon the purchase. You want customers to checkout as quickly and painlessly as possible. Also, you can collect valuable analytics on your checkout page, why let someone else get to know your customers better than you?
3. Design your own checkout page
Don’t use a page design that’s available from your payment or merchant account provider. These don’t have the look and feel of your site and can ruin the customer experience. Get an SSL, design your own page with your logo at the top and hand hold the user until the purchase is complete.
4. Multiple step checkout process
Why create more steps for someone to hand over their money? One page is all you need, collect all the info on one page. When a customer clicks checkout or buy now, direct him to a checkout page. Adding steps gives customers more time to change their mind and close their browser window!
5. No pop-ups
In case you missed it, pop ups are a dated way to get someone’s attention… needless to say don’t do it on your checkout page!
6. Add trust symbols
Trust symbols work to retain customer confidence. Even though most customers don’t know what they mean, a lock, an encryption message or any type of confidence symbol embodies security in their purchase. Add a lock near the finalize order button, mention how your page is encrypted to the highest standards, get any certification possible to help consumers feel confident in their purchase, then make sure to use it on your checkout page.
7. Keep your page simple
One column, in the center of the page is best for collecting info. Don’t have any ads or additional info that may draw your customer’s attention away from the purchase.
8. Keep it short
Keep it short. Do you need to collect the full address? Is a username and password really necessary? If you’re selling a digital product, consider skipping the street address and collect a zip code only. There’s plenty of tools that you can use to minimize fraud and avoid collecting information that you don’t need from your customers.
9. Confirm important purchase details
Make sure you confirm the amount and what the customer is paying for on the checkout page. You don’t want your customers to be pressing the back button or feel unconfident about what they are being charged for.
10. Don’t forget the boring stuff nobody reads
Include these links on the page footer. Most don’t read them but if they are not there, it makes your checkout page look fishy and untrustworthy! You likely spend a lot of money to acquire traffic and sales, why lose potential buyers at checkout. As a marketer at heart, I know many of these tips go against basic marketing rules. Financial institutions are not praised for creativity, customers want to feel safe and secure when transacting.
Examine your personal online buying habits. Ask your friends and family to test your competitors’ checkout pages and get feedback on the experience. Feedback from this type of focus group is very valuable data. Don’t neglect your checkout page. It’s the final impression your customer will have of you. It’s also the moment when they decide whether or not they feel they trust you enough to give you their credit card details.
Try some of these tips and let us know how they work for you. Also, be on the lookout for a follow up post on mobile specific checkout pages.