The importance of checkout pages has been a subject of numerous analyses since it became generally accepted that it has a great influence on buyers and their shopping experience. Whether we talk about first-time buyers, rightfully apprehensive about the safety and complexity of the operation, or returning customers, whose trust has already been gained, but who still expect efficiency, it’s vital that the checkout process is safe, simple to follow and that it requires as few steps as possible. While these general rules and tips have always been valid, the increasing number of purchases made using mobile devices has made a significant impact on the way checkout pages for mobile platforms are designed.
Based on the accessibility of different zones on the screen, a good designer will locate the most important elements in the zones that are easily accessible. Since most people are right-handed and hold a mobile device in that hand, the thumb reaches the lower left corner most instinctively, while choosing, for example, an option located in the upper left corner would be most difficult. From the point of view of a seller, you’d like your customers to have no problem selecting “add to basket” option, which is why such elements are best located where they can be selected with minimal fuss. Alternatively, if you make the page scrollable, you might solve the problem of reach ability. That brings to another question: one longer or several shorter pages?
Number of Pages
Experience has shown that it’s much wiser to break the process into multiple pages. However, some rules need to be followed. For example, checkout is probably the first time a customer has to actually type in some information (address, billing information, etc.), so you need to make sure you require as little typing as possible, since your customer is not using a keyboard, but their fingers. Also, you need to have a clearly visible “NEXT” button, and some sort of progress indicator, informing the customer about the progress of the procedure. This is very important because you want people to know they are on the right track.
In terms of their size, it’s worth remembering that an average thumb is around 2.5 cm wide (72 pixels), while the index finger is usually up to 2 cm wide (57 pixels). This is important because fingers aren’t nearly as precise as cursors, so your mobile checkout pages should be designed to facilitate the use of fingertips.
When it comes to colors, it’s good to have just one colored button on a page, and that should be the one you want your customer to choose the most. Other options, offering less desirable options, should be in grey or some lighter color.
One of the main reasons people abandon the checkout process, even at the very end of it, is the requirement to create an account with a password and personal information. Therefore, you should have an option for “guest account” checkout clearly visible and accessible. If you want your customers to return, and you do, and save them time completing the same info again, you might consider offering some sort of discount for their next purchase if they create an account after completing their order.
Keeping the Cart
It’s been established that most purchases happen after a customer has visited the page more than once. Some spend time just browsing, some like to add items to cart without finalizing their purchase, while some get distracted. Whatever the reason, you want them to return and finish the process, which is why it’s good to have an option that will keep the selected items in the cart for a limited period, say 30 days. If your checkout process requested the customer to enter an e-mail address prior to leaving the page, you may send a reminder about the selection made and the date until which the items will be kept.
Security and Payment Options
Possibly the segment that customers feel most worried about. If you want your shoppers to feel safe and secure while making purchase, you should offer Extended Validation Certificate, since it requires a more extensive entity identity verification and it displays the green assurance bar with your company’s name (i.e. not just your URL).
On the other hand, the more payment options there are, the broader your target audience. Some people choose to use their PayPal account in order to avoid entering their credit card number, but this option is not available in all countries where your customers live. Hence, look for an easy and user-friendly alternative payments gateway, which would increase the number of potential shoppers.
The core of the whole online shopping experience consists of speed, security and simplicity. If one of these elements is lacking, you’re not likely to make it, which is why you should pay special attention to these elements. Also, the tips you’ve received from this article don’t guarantee that you’ll be improving your business results. They should rather be seen as starting points for your own experiments with the online checkout process, since they are a result of years and years of research, success and failure.
Guest Author: Raul Harman is a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. While he’s not enjoying football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ .