8 ways to increase your website’s checkout rate

May 19, 2022

Chi-Chi Zhang

At the heart of the checkout process is creating a frictionless shopping journey. Research that examined the reasons for checkout abandonment showed that the majority of checkout abandonment occurs because extra costs are too high (shipping, taxes, and other fees), account creation is required, and the checkout process is unnecessarily complicated. 

It’s true that shoppers can be easily distracted or perhaps it’s your website’s clunky checkout experience. Let’s take a closer look at how friction in a buyer’s checkout process can lead to loss of sales. 

What is checkout abandonment and why it matters

Checkout abandonment is when shoppers leave the payment process after it has been initiated. Unlike shopping cart abandonment, checkout abandonment is when a shopper has already begun the checkout process and not just added items to their shopping cart. 

As a merchant, you’ve poured a sizable budget into building a beautiful website only to lose customers at the end of their shopping journey. Abandonment represents lost revenue to your business, as you have expended marketing, operational, and development costs to get customers to this point. You should always focus on reducing your checkout abandonment rate to drive revenue and ensure a seamless shopping experience.

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Ways to Improve your website’s checkout rate

Now that we’ve defined checkout abandonment and learned why it happens, let’s dive into how to prevent checkout abandonment and increase your website’s checkout rate.

Build a frictionless checkout experience

The traditional checkout process involves multiple tedious steps: input personal information, shipping information, shipping preferences, billing information, add coupon codes, account registration and purchase confirmation. To improve conversion, you need to remove unnecessary steps from the checkout process. The more steps you add to the customer journey, the more likely shoppers will abandon the checkout. And every second matters. In fact, increasing website speed by one-tenth of a second can lead to an 8.4% increase in conversion rates for retail sites. One effective way to speed up your checkout is by turning on Bolt One-Click Checkout with your existing shopping cart, which leads to a 40% faster checkout than on average.

Allow guest checkout

While brand loyalty is important for customer retention, you still want to appeal to first-time buyers. Ensure that guest checkout is an option made available to all shoppers so they can purchase easily. Some customers appreciate not registering for a service, so don’t create an obstacle for one-time buyers that may eventually become lifelong customers.

Optimize for a mobile-friendly checkout

Mobile devices account for 72% of all ecommerce sales worldwide. Prioritizing your mobile experience is key to ensuring conversion and a must-do for all ecommerce businesses. Mobile-optimized websites, dedicated shopping apps, and increasingly, social media platforms are among the many options for optimizing your store for mobile. When developing your layout and integrating call-to-actions, make sure that your website’s design is user-friendly and intuitive.

Use a progress indicator to guide checkout

Help customers keep track of how many steps are ahead of them as they are checking out. By offering to guide customers through the checkout process-whether it’s one or multiple steps, shoppers will be able to see how many steps they’ve completed and see what is still to come. As a result, this approach adds a level of gamification to the experience where customers are more likely to complete the purchase since they will feel a sense of accomplishment by completing the last step.

Offer multiple payment options

It is always in your best interest to provide as many payment methods as possible. One caveat is that offering more methods is costly. Prioritize the most popular methods first, expanding the options as your business grows and scaling becomes feasible. Customers usually have their own preferences for how to pay, so offering a wide range of options including alternative payment methods such as “buy now pay later” can help you attract new customers.

Show security symbols

Prominently display security badges to show customers that your ecommerce platform takes security seriously. Display symbols from big companies that shoppers already trust. Symbols can include a safe checkout badge like Mastercard or Visa, or if they see their checkout is powered by a network they trust, such as Bolt.

These badges should be shown throughout checkout so customers have confidence in the quality of security the system has. Transparency creates trust and a peace of mind, especially for first-time buyers, in a brand and the confidence that their purchase is secure. 

Empower shoppers to buy at the point of inspiration

The best way for online businesses to connect with consumers is by establishing trust, and building a relationship. Which means, merchants need to meet their shoppers where they are–on social media and consuming influencer content on a variety of different platforms. Shoppable content fuses retail with media to make the consumer’s online experiences both personalized and profitable. With new advancements in technology such as Bolt’s Checkout Everywhere, customers can make purchases instantly at the point of inspiration such as buying a sweater right after they see it on an influencer or in a digital magazine.

Study your analytics

By studying engagement data around your checkout and check-out-to-purchase rate, you’ll begin to understand when and where on your website customers begin dropping off. The check-out-to-purchase rate or checkout-to-conversion rate measures the ratio of shoppers who begin the checkout process and  then complete it over a given period of time. The higher the percentage, the fewer shoppers you have abandoning their checkout. 

Make reviewing your store’s metrics a regular part of your daily routine. From there, you can make adjustments to the shopper journey based on how customers interact with your checkout process. 

For example, if there’s a high drop-off rate after two steps into the checkout, improving your checkout process with fewer steps may be a good option for increasing conversion. One question to ask is: is the customer being asked unnecessary questions that stall the checkout process? 

Maybe you’ve found that your iOS drops off as soon as the checkout process starts because you haven’t optimized checkout for iPhones. You may want to improve your offerings to different mobile devices. 

To start, check out this handy checkout abandonment rate calculator to analyze how your website’s checkout rate is performing. 

ThinkShop by Bolt does not constitute professional tax or financial advice. Contact your own tax or financial professional to discuss your situation.