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[Infographic] The Anatomy of a Perfect Checkout Page

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Mohita Nagpal
A lover of the written word, I plan to be the planet's first sit-down comedian. When I am not rethinking a misplaced comma, I write about conversion optimization and website usability. You can follow me @mohitanagpal

So you’ve spent time, money and effort creating your online shop. Your landing page is engaging, your product descriptions are tempting and your product photos are spot on. You have a steady stream of traffic coming to your site – but are your sales figures matching up?

If not, it might be time to optimize your checkout process.

Your checkout process is that last hurdle before visitors into customers, so it’s crucial to get it right. According to the Baymard Institute, 68.83% of online shopping carts are abandoned. That’s a huge missed opportunity that could potentially be recovered.

So what makes the perfect checkout page?

Perfection varies according to your product and audience. Imagine buying a high-end designer item versus buying office stationery. You’ll want to dwell over one purchase while pay using a one-click button for the other. No two eCommerce websites are alike, and so no two checkout processes should be either.

The only way to find your own version of ‘perfection’ is to continuously test to see what works. It’s imperative to explore the possibilities in a planned way – with A/B testing.

You simply create an alternative version of  your checkout page and compare it against the original to see which produces the best results. The benefit of testing is that you get data that tells you which version works better before committing to any major changes. A/B tests can be as simple as changing a few words to altering the entire layout.

Here are some ideas to get started:

Test for Checkout Page Usability

  • Is the information ordered logically?
  • Are instructions on forms clear?
  • Are there any distractions?
  • Is the text big enough?

Test for Psychological Triggers on Checkout Page

  • Are there visual cues of security?
  • Is the progress bar obvious enough?
  • Are the images large enough?
  • Does the colour scheme work?

VWO’s repository of over 150 case studies is a good starting point for those who want to see what others are testing. But every retailer is different – so look at your own findings and data to see what you should try.

Fine-tuning the checkout process takes time and experimentation. Get it right and you’ll end up with happy customers who will be coming back for more. Get it wrong and your tests will only point you in the right direction.

We’ve put together this handy infographic that pinpoints the key elements to a successful checkout page which can help when planning your testing process. Don’t rely on luck and guesses – test, plan and strategically experiment with your process to ensure your sales match up with your web traffic.

Click to get the full image ecommerce_infographic

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