Six Guidelines for Checkout Usability

So you’ve convinced your visitor to buy something.  Now the emphasis is on keeping them focused, and happy – so that they actually place an order.

1. Remove site-wide navigation
Only about 60% of sales journeys are completed – so increase the odds by decreasing the distractions.  Tunnel vision.

2. Show where they are in the process
Like any journey, people what to know where they are and how much further they have to go – so provide a step/progress bar.

3. Ask for the bare minimum information needed to process the order

Ideally they shouldn’t have to register to purchase.  If they do, always allow visitors to add items to their basket before asking for any information and only ask for the bare minimum you need.  Want to collect more?  Tell them that it’s not optional, but you’d really appreciate it if they give you this information.

4. Total cost, total cost, total cost
Show this as soon as possible (preferably in the basket) – including delivery, tax, etc – and definitely before you ask for any payment details.

5. Reassure
Make sure you’ve the right security on your site, and then tell people.  Mention any guarantees or return policies, to give them that nice, warm, comfy feeling that if anything goes wrong, they’ll have someone to come back to… and make sure your telephone number is visible.  Include a summary of what they’re buying, with clickable links – and always before payment.

6. What happens next?
On your confirmation/thank you page (and you should have one!), tell them what to expect next, when their order will be fulfilled and how to get in touch if they need to.  Now they’ve purchased, you’ll want to encourage them back for more.

Don’t agree?  Something I’ve missed?  Leave a comment below…