Checklist: 99 criteria to help you optimize your checkout

Offering the optimal user experience along all of the touchpoints of the customer journey should be the goal of every successful e-commerce business. Our checklist shows you how you can optimize your checkout process.

If the bounce rate in your shopping cart is too high, it’s time to optimize your checkout.
Image: © dusanpetkovic1 / AdobeStock

Optimizing your checkout: Why is that a smart idea?

Not every visitor to your website becomes a customer and places an order in the online store. On average, only 2 to 3 percent of visitors eventually convert to sales and actually purchase products. However, it is particularly irritating for store operators if purchases are often abandoned in the shopping cart or terminated during the checkout process. The checkout is the last hurdle the user has to overcome to complete the purchase process and become a customer.

The shopping cart abandonment rate is an important KPI in e-commerce. Therefore, during a conversion optimization of your online store, you should always optimize your checkout process as well.

The abandonment rate worldwide in online stores in 2019 was:

77,13 %
80,79 %
among smartphone users
73,93 %
among desktop users

The abandonment rate in the checkout process varies according to the sector. Additionally, various studies in Germany have also shown different, slightly deviating figures, although these are usually in the range of a 70-to-80 percent abandonment rate. This means that around three-quarters of all users terminate the order process – a real downer for your conversion rate.

But the good news is that there are many easily implemented yet effective measures to optimize your checkout, making it easier and more convenient for users to navigate though the process. Find out what these measures are in our free checklist.

Download the checklist for free

Optimizing your checkout to target customer centricity

If you want to know why users aren’t completing the checkout process, you need to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and rethink the order process in terms of customer centricity. It’s all about the customer experience during their customer journey at each touchpoint with your company.

The checkout experience is a crucial touchpoint in terms of your brand experience. Because it’s not only first impressions that count, but last impressions make an especially big impact, too! A customer who is annoyed by the order process will predominantly associate your shop with negative emotions and therefore will likely not return or recommend your store.

Why do users terminate the purchase process?

The question you should really be asking yourself is: What do your customers want when they are done ordering and begin the checkout? There are seven key points:

  • Quick and easy completion of the payment process
  • Low shipping costs that are transparently displayed
  • Transparent and clearly visible cancellation terms and return periods
  • Wide range of payment options
  • Ordering without a customer account
  • Informative product descriptions, even in the cart
  • Mobile-optimized checkout display

Optimizing your checkout: 3 tips

Customers’ wishes are so understandable, yet store operators still often make mistakes when creating their checkout processes. These three tips will help you to avoid the most common basic errors:

Tip #1: Nobody wants to wait forever at the checkout!

Keep your checkout process as short and simple as possible. A lengthy order process with many things to click on, lots of fields to fill out, surveys, product suggestions, promotional campaigns, and useless features such as pop-up ads is usually just as bad for customer satisfaction as standing in line in a physical store. The customer has already chosen his/her products and just wants to pay for them. Allow your customers to do that as quickly and easily as possible.

The longer the order process takes, the more users bail out. Streamlining the registration and order process significantly reduces the number of abandoned shopping carts.

Tip #2: Welcome every user as a customer!

Registering and creating a customer account often takes a long time: First you have to convince your customers of the advantages of having an account, then you list the benefits, tout goodies, and have the customer fill out forms and click on confirmation links in e-mails. You’ll quickly scare off first-time customers to your site with all of that. Creating a customer account seems too binding and is too much of an obstacle for new customers. Nobody wants to commit to you forever during their first visit, so completing the order process as a guest should always be an easy option.

Tip #3: Let the customer pay!

A lack of payment methods is a major reason for terminating the order process. In Germany, currently only one in three people has a credit card and only one in five has a PayPal account. In addition, a study conducted by the payment platform Stripe found that over two-thirds of the largest web stores on the German market have at least three mistakes in their credit card payment process. Simple and SCA-compliant payment methods such as Apple Pay and Google Pay are still rarely offered.

Optimize your checkout using our free checklist

Not every measure makes sense or is feasible for every online store. First use our free checklist to analyze your current checkout process and use the 99 listed criteria to ask yourself:

  • Why do users end the order process from certain points?
  • What specific things can I do to resolve this problem?
  • How and at what points can I make the process more user friendly and convenient?
  • Where can I streamline the process and are there any unnecessary steps or elements?

Our free checklist tells you which elements these could be and what details you should pay particular attention to. Download it now here!

Download the checklist for free