It absolutely ruins me when an amazing website or store completely – and I mean COMPLETELY – fails at the checkout stage. It’s like they put all this work into the rest of the site, but for the actual most important bit, they just took some generic plugin in and thought that’ll work.

Everyone loves to complain about cart abandonment rates. Yes it sucks. And yes it actually hurts. Especially when you’re tracking how many people just leave your site with hundreds of dollars worth of items in their cart. But the sad thing here is, that unlike a crappy day where we can’t do anything – a crappy checkout process is our own fault and there is things we can do to alleviate it.

So let’s jump right in, here are the biggest mistakes and how you can fix them.


1. Not Optimising For Mobile Users

Do you know what year it is? It’s 2015. Do you know how many users want to shop on their phones? A LOT. So what do you think happens when someone visits your lovely mobile optimised site, adds stuff to the baskets all nicely, but then when it comes to paying, they’re presented with the desktop version all skewed and they go all #whyisthishappeneingtome and just close the app.

It’s tragic that so many retailers have such poor and completely terrifying mobile checkout processes. It’s pretty ironic that it’s the same sites that boast about their innovate responsive layouts that have the most backwards nightmare inducing backends. What is the point of a responsive site when a user can’t even buy your product. Quick answer: there is no point.

So the lesson we’ve learnt right here is that you can either make it easy for your mobile users to shop and pay when on their phones or you don’t. We all know what the correct response is.It is after all, no matter what Jessie J says, all about the money money.


2. Coupon Code Madness



Another battle story, that we’re sure even you can relate to, is leaving a cart in the hunt of a coupon to fill that illusive coupon box. This is basically how it works:

  • You add those cool new shoes to the cart.
  • Enter your address, ooh, next day delivery for just $5 more, hell yeh!
  • Get to payment page and enter all your card details.
  • Nearlyyyy there!
  • Oh wait, there’s a coupon box. What errr. Where’s my coupon.
  • *goes off page to find coupons and then never returns*

The lesson here is prominently displaying a coupon field is really counterproductive to the the checkout process unless you obviously present the coupons. And we do mean obviously. Like if there is a coupon to some product, and a user adds the product to their cart, then add the coupon automatically. Why wait? Otherwise it can discourage their confidence in the price you are offering and even more so encourages abandonment. Bye bye that sale.


3. Requiring Membership

One of the biggest mistakes in a checkout process is forcing the user to have an account. It just makes the whole process so long and confusing and convoluted. Is that what you want your user to feel when they want to throw their hard cash at you? No it isn’t.

Requiring the user to join up to your site just before they buy the product just erodes trust and confidence, and equally frustrates the user. This leads to cart abandonment. Forcing users to jump through your silly little hoops is counterproductive to the main goal. You want them to buy your item, you don’t really want them to sign up to your site. Take their email anyway when they pay, you know you’ll spam it whether they say yes or no to the newsletter.


4. Pushing Upsells

Have you ever gone to a restaurant where you just order a coke, and they try and sell you the glass? You’re like I don’t want the glass so they try to interest you in a t-shirt instead. And then you’re just like straight up – get me a just a coke or I’m walking. That’s what an upsell in the cart is like. We know every retailer wants their customers to buy more goods, especially their useless upsetls which cost basically nothing for them but plenty for the customer.


5. Throwing In Extra ‘Compulsary’ Fees

Ticketmaster. Enough said.


6. Not Providing Enough Payment Options

Want to open up to more sales? Then accept more payment options! If you’re only allowing Amex cards then hello, this isn’t the 90s anymore – get on that VISA and Mastercard train like yesterday. It doesn’t even take much work to add a huge array of payment options to your cart. The major ones all have plugins that support popular payment processors like PayPal and Stripe. So all you have to do is sign up and click away. And watch the money roll in. Well, not quite we all wish it was that easy. But at least it’ll be that tiny bit easier now!


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