October 15, 2014 / Melissa Faudree

People are always busy and therefore short on time. For this reason, customers want websites to have fast and easy to use checkouts. What can we do to create better checkouts for our customers? I have created a list of 10 best practices for online checkout usability.

Keep it short and simple
It is important to only request essential information from your customers. If you don’t need a home phone number, daytime phone number or evening phone number, then don’t ask for it. Customers don’t want to fill out more information than they have to. Be mindful of those on a phone or tablet. Also it’s a good idea to eliminate distractions in checkout. Try to make the layout include only the necessary information. The goal is to keep customers on the page so they will follow through with the purchase.

One page checkout recommended
Customers hate a bunch of steps, especially those checkouts where they cannot see the end. Creating a one-page checkout while utilizing a multi-step checkout can help customers visualize how many more steps until their purchase is complete. By doing so, customers will be more likely the purchase and less likely to abandon their cart.


Include Promotional Codes
Most people like to save money whenever possible. By including a promotional code field, users will either type in the code they have been given or search the web for possible codes to use. It is also a good idea to send emails including a special offer for those who have abandoned their carts. This is a good strategy to bring customers back to their shopping cart. It also doesn’t hurt to include gift options for your customers.

Customer Walk-through
It is important to walk customers through their ordering process to avoid any confusion or errors. One way to do is by including explanations or descriptions with each field on the form. Some people may not know where they can find their CCV on their credit card. These descriptions can also be hidden for those who do not need assistance with the form. When customers submit the form, it is helpful to include alerts next to any missing or incorrect information. Another way to assist customers is by utilizing a live chat option (or contact information) that is visible and accessible during checkout.

Payment Options
Customers want to see what payments are acceptable, preferably prior to checkout but it is crucial at checkout. Having more options will keep customers from abandoning their cart. It is also good to include different shipping methods with the cost and estimated arrival date.

Secure Payments
It seems like many websites are getting hacked these days and therefore security and trust is important for customers. Display security badges, trustmarks, and a lock icon to help assure your customers their personal information is protected.

Order Review
There is nothing worse than submitting an order without being able to review it. So give your customers the option before they submit an order. Customers want control over what they purchase. Within checkout, give customers the option to remove, add or edit their order.

Option to create an account or guest account
It is best not to force your customers to create an account before they can shop or order from your site. Instead give customers the option to create an account or continue as a guest. Creating an account usually helps with future orders. The information is stored which creates for faster checkout time. The guest checkout option will prevent customers from abandonment.


No Hidden Fees
Most people like to calculate how much an order is going to cost even before they add it to their cart. Chances are if you tack on additional fees at checkout, they are more likely to abandon their cart. No surprises!

Responsive design
I shouldn’t have to mention this but not all websites use responsive design. It is crucial today that we make our websites responsive. Responsive design makes it easier to checkout on any device such as your phone, tablet or desktop. Those using a phone or tablet are less likely to stay if the website isn’t accessible or user-friendly.

What are some of your favorite e-commerce websites with great checkouts?