The pillars to creating the perfect eCommerce checkout

1st June 2017 / 4 minute read

blog pillars

When we buy something online we want the transaction to be as smooth as possible. While tactics for greater completion of eCommerce checkout pages can differ between websites, the principles remain the same.

We all want it yesterday, so in order for us to complete a checkout page, there has to be three things involved: Motivation, ability and trigger.

But what does that even mean? Let us explain…

Motivation, ability and trigger

Giving the user information is crucial (motivation). Think of it this way: How keen would you be on buying something with one image and very few details? Especially if a competitor lists reviews, a product description and a variety of images.

If your checkout process is difficult to complete (low ability) it’ll end in customer frustration. This sends users looking elsewhere. After all, we have become increasingly impatient with websites that are difficult to navigate.

When customers browse your website, how are they influenced into buying? ‘Add to cart’ is the trigger to initiate this process. As soon as a customer clicks this button, they’ve gone from a window-shopper to a buyer. They’ve made the decision to shop rather than browse, and now it’s up to you to get them to complete the checkout. If they’re still looking at other products, be sure to make it obvious they’ve added something to their cart. Whether it’s a straight forward confirmation or a tiny animation, the user needs to know their action has been successful.

This is where websites need to ensure they are creating eCommerce checkout systems that fit the needs of their users.

What makes a successful eCommerce checkout?

Let’s take Amazon for example. Each time you find an email from Amazon in your inbox, you’re greeted with a product promotion that utilises both motivation and a trigger. The link takes you directly to the product page, where copy, reviews and images are available. This is all motivation to buy. If products are backed up by reviews, we feel reassured that what we are buying into is worthwhile.

If a user becomes frustrated with your payment system, the only thing that will keep them there is their motivation to buy. How much do they want or need the product? Can they get it somewhere else in a couple clicks?

Why should websites offer guest checkouts?

Many websites are determined to get your details. Have you already registered? Are you a new customer? Not sure? Want to sign up? Immediately, the checkout process has come to a halt. If we can’t remember our login we quickly become frustrated. Which email did we use? Did it email us a confirmation? What the hell is my password? If your customer is new to your website, you’re adding time to their checkout. Which, when they’re sneakily online shopping at work, can be crucial.

In offering customers a guest checkout, you’re instantly improving their customer experience. Endless form-filling is tedious when shopping online, especially when your customer could be a one-off buyer that fears being bombarded by promotions post-checkout. Once a customer is ready to buy, the last thing they want is to fill out pages of personal details that takes them longer than choosing their product in the first place.

By asking customers to sign up, an unnecessary disconnect is created between the user and t – their end goal – to buy something. And why would you want to put unnecessary hurdles in the way of what you want your customer to do?

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