It’s not easy to convert customers.
Even if you’ve grabbed their eyeballs with your stunning homepage and convinced them to purchase with your high-converting product page, there are still chances they may drop off at check-out.
This happens to the top sites too. The ones who rake in over $1 billion annually also record a 44% worse checkout experience.
The revenue loss is enormous. At an abandonment rate of 68%, these stores may lose around $3 billion.
So, who’s the culprit keeping your visitors from checking out? It’s purchase friction.
Here’s the bad news: transactional friction distracts your customers, makes the checkout process more difficult than it is, and creates unnecessary obstacles in between.
The result: a high bounce rate for your checkout pages.
But wait, there’s good news too. eCommerce friction can be reduced.
With the right checkout optimization strategies for your Magento site, you can win back the customers you’ve lost AND ensure you lose fewer future customers.
Here’s the curated list of strategies to improve your Magento checkout conversions:
1. Eliminate unnecessary elements to improve checkout load time
Shoppers have a lot of retail sites to choose from. If you have a slow-loading site, your visitors will just move to another option.
Even a 1-second delay in loading time can result in a 7% conversion loss.
Unless you switch to a lightning-fast speed, you’ll lose customers to your competitors.
To optimize your Magento site with better loading time, use these strategies:
- Do away with redundant 3rd party scripts - Delete the ones that don’t have any use in the immediate checkout process.
- Less is more for third-party extensions - They make your Magento checkout page heavy. Delete the ones that don’t serve a specific function.
- Distribute your static content - With the help of a content delivery network (CDN), you can upload your static content from global servers. This reduces the distance between browsers and host servers thereby improving the page load speed.
- Stick to frequently used payment modes - Most customers have a preferred mode of payment. Keeping those default options on and turning off the unused ones can cause less pressure on your checkout page as well as make the checkout process smooth.
- Ensure prompt final cost review - If you have too many price rules on, it may delay the final cost estimation. Customers base their purchase decision on the final amount. So any delay may make them reconsider their decision. Analyze your price rules and keep only the ones that apply to the specific transaction.
To implement these strategies for your Magento store, you should:
- Stay updated to the latest version of Magento at all times
- Clear logs of unnecessary data by following this journey: Stores > Configuration > Advanced > System > Log
- Uninstall irrelevant third-party extensions with Stores > Configurations > Advanced
2. Avoid mobile checkout dropoffs by introducing a progress bar
Research says that out of 100 customers who initiate a checkout transaction, only 30 of them actually complete it.
So what really puts customers off? The answer is control.
Customers like knowing how much effort is in front of them to purchase the product they want. The number of steps, the number of clicks, the amount of cognitive decision-making - all of these matter.
This is especially the case on mobile where the constricted space can make users feel even less in control.
Setting expectations right from the start helps customers take control of their journey. This is where a progress bar comes in. It satisfies the customer’s need to complete open tasks and the psychological validation that completing every micro-step and moving towards the checkout offers.
Some of the things to keep in mind when designing a mobile progress bar for your Magento site are:
- Position them on top of the page right below the header. Eye-tracking studies suggest this area to be the most prominent to customers when they land on a new page.
- Allow customers to backtrack. Make each step in the journey clickable once they complete a step.
- Offer visual confirmation of progress. As the customer completes each step, confirm progress clearly with visual changes (such as a change in color or with ticks).
- Maintain visual continuity. Ensure that the steps in the progress bar have the same titles as those on the corresponding checkout page.
When customers make it to Bath and Body Work’s checkout page, they see this progress bar on top.
The steps are numbered making it super easy for customers to measure the journey. As they complete each step, the step changes color from white to blue.
3. Offer simplified checkout to reduce friction
You know how much effort goes into making a customer reach the checkout page. All of it goes to waste when customers leave without purchasing.
It’s not that retailers like you don’t know that customers hate waiting. So obstacles such as creating an account can deter them from buying.
But you probably are looking at repeat sales. The problem is to close long-term sales, you’re ignoring the present sale. If your customer doesn't checkout now, they won’t check out later as well.
How can you make sure they checkout? By removing obstacles and making the checkout process simpler and being smarter about how you land repeat sales.
Here are some ideas:
- One-page checkout - It’s frustrating for customers when they have to migrate to a new page to complete each step or the page refreshes after every step. One-page checkout is an effective solution for that.
For your Magento store, you can easily choose the one-page checkout option. There are several unique advantages to this option. Firstly, it works in steps hidden under accordion blocks. As customers finish a step, the next step opens. Moreover, you can also add steps of your choice to the existing list. Talk about customization!
Do you sell virtual or downloadable products? Don’t worry, there’s an option to change the product type and remove the shipping feature for specific product types.
- One-click checkout - Your checkout time creates an impression on new and existing customers. New customers may feel frustrated if it takes an enormous amount of time. Repeat customers will want the process to be faster than before. One-click checkout caters to both these types of customers.
It creates a strong first impression on first customers by reducing checkout time to mere seconds. For repeat customers, you can choose the Instant Purchase module on the Magento store. This can save about 90% of their time.
- Guest checkout - First-time shoppers are especially reluctant to create accounts. Guest checkout options are a win-win for both retailers and customers. Retailers get to boost their conversion rates and customers feel comfortable since they don’t feel forced to share their information.
Magento goes over and above with their guest checkout option. Not only do they have a simple guest checkout feature, but they have an easy option to convert guest shoppers into registered ones. Once the customer has done purchasing, they automatically receive a password that converts them into registered customers.
4. Enable a one-account purchase through shopper network
As you may already know, the market for brick-and-mortar retail stores is steadily shrinking. The digital transformation of retail units has led to the rise of online marketplaces. In fact, they accounted for 57% of the global online retail sales.
To replace the existing direct-to-consumer relationship, retailers have taken to shopper networks. These networks include eCommerce platforms, payment processors, payment modes, etc.
The benefit for customers: a seamless checkout journey.
And here’s the best part: even if the merchant site and the site from where the shopper has purchased are different, then too the shopper can avail of a single-account checkout.
Here are some of the benefits shoppers get:
- Fast checkout experiences - Shoppers can experience a frictionless checkout experience - the way they were meant to be. After creating an account on the shopper network, they can personalize their checkout journey for all merchants in the network. New customers can save their login, payment, and shipping details when they shop for any merchant.
- One sign-in for unlimited checkouts - Shoppers have to sign in once to enter the network. Post that, they don’t have to worry about any payment information, checkout forms, or passwords. They can check out with a single click, even if they haven't shopped before. There’s a guest checkout option as well, although one-time account creation can help in faster checkouts.
5. Offer checkout personalization with pre-filled fields
In the excitement of buying, customers rarely want to waste time filling out forms. Auto-filled forms help them save time and also personalize their checkout journey.
There are 2 ways you can pre-fill the form details:
- Autofill related input fields to prevent users from having to retype them - To avoid them having to retype the same information again. This can be the email id in the shipping as well as billing section, the customer name in the registration, billing, and shipping section, and the ZIP code in the shipping calculator as well as the shipping address section.
- Autofill localized inputs - This can help avoid formatting errors such as writing the phone number in a different format. Again, using dropdowns for country selection can also help save time and effort.
With the checkout autofill plugin on Magento, you can easily enable pre-filled details for your customers, saving time and effort. The API settings directly pick up the details and fill up the relevant checkout fields. It can reduce 40% of typing efforts for customers.
Here’s the plugin in action.
6. Offer last-minute promo codes for better checkout completion rates
It’s always a good idea to offer promotions at checkout. If your customers are hesitating to purchase because of price shock, this may seal the deal for them.
To ensure you get the maximum conversion out of promo codes, you need to focus on two things: make the promotions easily visible and easy to apply.
Here are some considerations when using checkout promos on your Magento site:
- Offer a one-click apply - Don’t make them have to remember the code or copy-paste it. Ensure that they can be automatically applied to the final bill.
See how JCPenney makes applying the promo code easy with a clickable button.
However, they also have a separate section to add coupon codes in case the customer has a different code. Thoughtful!
- Add coupon code fields to the checkout page - Shoppers want to add the coupon code as soon as possible. Ensure there’s a clear place to add the coupon codes as a first step in the checkout.
7. Offer alternative payment options such as buy now pay later option
The buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) habit of customers has been shaped a bit by the pandemic. The financial stress from outstanding credit card bills has made many shoppers take this route.
In fact, the BNPL market is expected to grow by 1200% by 2024.
Customers will be more encouraged to check out when a BNPL option is presented. You can offer various types of offers:
- Pay later in full after 30 days
- Pay later in 3-4 equal, interest-free installments
- Split large amounts into monthly installments (along with interest charges)
The Magento BNPL extension makes it easy for customers to opt for this payment mode and get payment reminder emails.
8. Assure customers of payment security through fraud detection technology
An average of 206,000 fraud attacks were reported monthly on retail sites in 2020. Frauds not only lead to revenue loss for retailers but also cause major damage to customer trust.
Your store can face any of the following frauds:
- Classic fraud (stealing of credit card details)
- Triangulation fraud (involving a fraudster, a genuine shopper, and an eCommerce business)
- Card validity testing fraud (use credit card details to make unauthorized purchases)
- Digital payment fraud (unauthorized purchases on EMV standard (originally Europay, Mastercard, and Visa)
Adding a fraud detection tool to your Magento site can help detect anomalies and prevent them before the damage. Some of the common identifiers of fraud are:
- Inconsistent information. For example, the zip code and IP address don’t match.
- Change in customer location in comparison to previous order locations
- Multiple purchases from a single account but different shipping locations
- Large number of purchases in a short span of time
- Multiple payment declined updates
You can easily integrate a fraud prevention plugin on your Magento storefront. It can help
- Minimize fraud directly on the Magento site
- Create custom blacklisting rules
- Blacklist specific customers
- Block fraudulent orders
9. Show the total order amount on the checkout page
Nothing makes the shipping journey sourer for customers than going to pay and finding the final amount to be more than what they imagined. Unexpected additional costs make customers hesitant to go ahead with the purchase and doubt the value of the product.
To solve this, you can:
- Provide all the detailed information including shipping costs and taxes
- Clearly mention the total amount that customers have to pay
Cabela’s mentions the order total in big and bold text so that it’s unmissable.
Once you login to your Magento backend, you can follow this route - Stores > Settings > Configuration - to display and adjust the order total settings.
10. Introduce urgency to make them check out faster
People hesitate when they overthink. Urgency helps overcome overthinking and drives prompt action.
When your customers sense a lack of time to complete the deal or limited product availability, they’ll take action faster.
There are 3 ways you can create urgency:
- Time-based urgency - Tell users they have to check out in a fixed amount of time
- Stock-based urgency - Display low product stock to encourage users to purchase
- Limited-time discounts - Attractive offers and discounts that can be applied only within a short span of time
Rebellious uses a moving banner to keep the urgency alive during checkout.
It also adds another layer of urgency with a ‘Order before midnight’ offering an early delivery as a reward.
11. Boost exclusivity with a price protection guarantee
The top thing on the customer’s mind is to get the best price and the best deal. If they find a similar product at a lower price, then they’ll feel cheated and won’t trust your brand.
A price protection guarantee helps build trust and credibility. It also offers an exclusive appeal to your product. Not only will it ensure that they get the best price but also a fixed consistent price. This means they won’t have to face the brunt of a price drop and get a refund if the price falls.
Evo does this for its products.
It adds a ‘lowest price guarantee’ to its products which boosts their exclusivity.
12. Remove unnecessary checkout fields
The average checkout form contains 11.8 fields. There’s scope for sites to reduce their form fields by 20-60%.
Lengthy checkout form fields cause users to grow impatient and abandon. To ensure they finish this section and a jiffy to close the deal, you can follow these ideas:
- Use a single field for the name. Instead of breaking it up into first and last names, make it a single entity.
- Do you really need their company? Unless it’s an essential requirement for your brand, avoid it.
- Keep a single line for the address. Many break the address into Address Line 1 and Address Line 2. It’s redundant and can be truncated to 1 line.
- Allow option to use the same address for billing and shipping. Most shoppers have the same home address for both billing and shipping. Avoid unnecessary complications and use a button to check Yes for using the same address for both.
At Argos, customers just need to enter the address once. In the next step, they are asked to confirm their address.