woman using the checkout to purchase something online

What Does an Ideal Checkout Process Look Like?

Much has been said about how to innovate the eCommerce checkout process. There are mobile options, cart widgets, discount codes, and last-minute up-selling attempts. But when it comes right down to it, most customers want a quick, smooth checkout process where they know exactly what to expect and get it the same reliable way every time. No one likes surprises when the credit card is involved, and when the customer is ready to buy they are ready to leave.

So for all the fancy features you might add to your website or mobile checkout, today we’re diving into the user experience of the standard ideal quick-and-easy checkout that every customer wants.

One-Click Cart Review

It starts with the one-click cart review. Customers want to be able to keep an eye on their cart from anywhere in the site. They want an accurate self-updating cart that can be seen as easily as hovering the mouse over the cart icon. Few websites have pulled this one-off, but it is user experience bliss when done correctly and helps to streamline the shopping and path to checkout.

Complete Fee Transparency

When users get to their cart page, they want to see all the costs nice and neat down the right-hand sidebar. It’s been done this way for so long that anything else is a little disorienting. By all the costs, we mean all. Don’t add your shipping or service fee on the next page, add it here. Customers need transparency in checkout. Suddenly higher costs after hitting ‘Check Out’ for the first time is a leading cause of cart abandonment. And possibly brand abandonment. As we said, no one likes surprises when they’re about to pay.

Always Have a Discount Code to Enter

If you can, always make sure customers have a discount code to enter. It doesn’t have to be big, but it’s nice to enter a code and win a prize. It’s nice every time. Customers have grown to really like discount codes, even tiny ones that are basically meaningless. But even moreso, it makes many people sad to see that discount code bar empty with nothing to enter. Daily or weekly emails or a ‘spin the wheel’ daily discount code is a good fallback for this step.

Seamless Default Payment and Shipping Information

When customers are ready to pay, you want to make that credit card and shipping address phase as thoughtless as possible. By remembering cards and addreesses and automatically filling them in (no click required, just review and confirmation) you are not only providing convenience. You are also preventing the second-thought factor that can stop a sale in its tracks.

Saves Alternate Addresses and Cards

But just in case a customer does want to change it up or has an interesting life with diverse ordering needs, make sure your platform can save several shipping addresses and credit cards on file that can be quickly switched between on the checkout confirmation page. Do everything you can to make this part easy with no additional hassle for changing where a package ships or which card is charged.

One Page Quick Confirmation Confirmation

If no changes are made, a customer should be able to quickly glance at their order confirmation page after hitting ‘Check Out’ and then move swiftly on to ‘Confirm/Submit’ Many customers won’t even stop on this page to review, confident already that they have made their order correctly. So don’t ask them to stop.

One Page Receipt and Delivery

When the order is in and the payment is made, give the customer a comprehensive one-page receipt for review. On top, in big letters, give them the estimated delivery date and confirm the address the shipment is being sent to.

Bonus Tip: This page is also the perfect place for a ‘Make a Last-Minute Change’ button. Customers can quickly make changes after checkout and before your team gets anything into a box or prints a label.

Email Order Confirmation for Their Records

Finally, send your customer that same one-page receipt (or a customized version) to their account email address. This is the receipt and delivery confirmation for their personal records and is absolutely necessary for great customer service. When that email arrives, your customer knows they have successfully completed your checkout user experience. Hopefully, they truly enjoyed it. Contact us to learn more.