The Christmas Shopping period is creeping upon us and for some people their online Christmas shopping experience has already started!
So to help you get that advantage on your competitors we have compiled a quick checklist of very important points to make sure they are reflected at the checkout stage of your online store.

  • Customer’s Information
    It is very important not to make the customer repeat all their information more than once. For example their name and address details.
    Make sure they can copy the details or be able to click on their address details that they have previously entered. This will make sure that the process is not cumbersome and the customer will carry on with the checkout process.
  • Progress Status
    An essential point is to make sure the customer can see what point they are at in the checkout process and what they have left to do to complete the transaction or sale.
  • Error Messages to be Clear
    Make sure that any errors that pop up are clear points that are in Lehman terms and not something similar to: ERROR IN INPUT OF COUNTRY FIELD. Instead have it read: COUNTRY INFORMATION IS REQUIRED or something that is a little easier to read and understand than computer code jargon. Also make sure that all the information that has already been entered by the customer is still stored in the relevant pages as this will annoy them more by having to  input it all over again.
  • Less Distractions as Possible
    There needs to be as little distractions as possible in the final stage of a customer’s online shopping experience. You can add in cross selling and extras but you must make sure it does not take too much away from the original sale. At worst you risk losing the whole sale because you took the customer’s mind off the actual purchase.
  • Final Price
    The final price and costs including shipping and tax costs should clearly be pointed out before the final checkout process is completed, That way the consumer knows exactly what they have purchased and the breakdown of the final cost which includes a breakdown of tax and shipping costs.
    If you can offer FREE shipping and delivery then you will attract more business as this is a very attractive reason for people to shop at your store. Make sure this is clearly stated on your home page and in any Adword phrases that you use.
  • Delivery & Shipping
    Make sure you clearly state the delivery method and time it takes to reach your customer with a breakdown of each option with estimated delivery time and costing and what method of delivery you are using.
    The more flexible delivery options you give to potential customers, the more reasons they will have to shop with you.
    If possible also make sure you send tracking details and any other useful information to the customer once the purchase has been made. This will make the overall shopping experience a pleasurable one and gives the customer more reason to use you again.
  • Payment Methods
    Display as many different payment methods as possible that you accept and work your hardest to try and accept as many as possible. The more payment methods that you can easily accept, the bigger the pool of customers you will be attracting.
  • Point out the Benefits from purchasing from your store
    Throughout the checkout process make sure that you state to the customer your good points. For example that your shipping is Next Day, Your returns procedure is simple or that you have a secure Verisign checkout.
    The big trusted security brand names are ones to try and get on your site as these are recognised worldwide and will improve overall trust to your site.
  • Simplicity
    Finally simplicity is the key to having a good, informative checkout process. The cleaner it looks and the less clicks you need to finalise the process will make it more successful.

If you would like more detailed advice or ideas on how to improve your online store then please contact us for further information.