It doesn’t matter how much traffic you can drive to your website if your check out form isn’t converting. A lot of people tend to overcomplicate their check out pages without even knowing it. And when you over complicate something, conversion almost always goes down.
So what is conversion anyway?
Conversion is a marketing term for the percentage of visitors who buy a product or service vs those that leave the payment page without checking out. For example, if you were to get 100 people to visit your website and 5 of them bought something, you’d have a 5% conversion rate. This also means that if you could get 10 out of 100 people to purchase, you’d make 2x the revenue. I think we can both agree that any variable in our businesses that can double sales deserves some attention.
Ok, enough definitions for now, let’s get to meat of today’s post:
Today, we’re going to cover 5 easy steps to help boost the conversion of your checkout page. Feel free to take some ideas and abandon others, there is no perfect formula for every business. With that in mind, let’s start with Tip #1, making sure we have a goal.
One of the most important parts of marketing yourself online is making sure you’re holding yourself (your team, your colleagues) accountable for a goal. Having heated debates about philosophical marketing ideas you heard from your favorite YouTuber doesn’t help anyone. You’d be very surprised how hard someone will defend a concept that has no valid proof. Therefore, let’s take the guesswork out of it and get some proof!
To keep it simple, let’s pick one thing we want to track.
All we need is one metric to focus on, then we can see if we’re improving or not.
Some good examples would be:
Once you’ve decided on a goal, start making actionable hypothesis’ to how you can improve that metric. Let’s take total conversion as our goal.
Here’s some basic ideas to improve conversion off the top of my head:
After that, the hard part is done. Make a change - check your data - make a change - check your data. When you are doing conversion optimization and you set a target goal, it’s very easy to see what is working and what isn’t. This framework gives you the ability to try out all of your optimization ideas, while being able to constructively fail and improve. Sometimes improvements will come from the most surprising of changes.
To learn more about Conversion Optimization, check out ConversionXL https://conversionxl.com for some great resources.
When you think about it, it’s not too surprising to hear that over half of all online payments occur on a mobile device. I can hardly even remember what Amazon.com looks like on desktop. What does this mean if your checkout page is optimized for a desktop experience? Nothing great.
So what does “optimizing your checkout” for mobile even mean?
It’s actually not as technical as it sounds. The trend in web-design is often referred to as “Mobile First” design. Meaning, start with the design on mobile then move on to desktop view.
Here’s an example of SecuraCart’s mobile-first payment forms in action.
See how you can’t tell whether or not the screen is in an app or a browser?
That’s “mobile first” design. It looks and feels like an app - but it’s a website.
Then as the screen gets bigger, you’ll notice everything stretching accordingly, as well as new elements and bigger text starting to take shape.
If there was such a thing… or if you believe there is like I do… Distracting your users with secondary goals during checkout is the MORTAL SIN of payment conversion.
What exactly do I mean by this?
When building and designing a checkout page, you’ll be tempted to add in a ton of extra things. Everything from a guarantee, to upsells, to special discounts if a user does xyz.
The problem with this is that every extra element on the page increases the user’s perceived cognitive load.
This means instead of entering their credit card number (like they visited your page to do) they start thinking...
You and I can both agree, these are not thoughts we want to promote during checkout.
Instead, we want to make it as easy as possible for the user to say “YES, THIS PRODUCT IS FOR ME”.
My suggestion is to remove everything you can and make it easy to say yes.
Privacy is a massive concern for those making purchases and selling on the internet. Security best practices have come along way, but you still need to make sure you are protecting your customer’s data.
SecuraCart relies on Stripe, the top innovative payment processor in the world to help us do amazing things like collect payment information without storing a credit card. If there’s never a credit card stored, there’s nothing for anyone to steal. We like it this way, and are sure your customers do too. We accomplish this through a combination of secure one-time use checkout tokens as well as an SSL encrypted page that safeguards all data transmitted during checkout.
Even more interesting, it’s been shown that including messaging about security and encryption not only makes your customers feel more comfortable and trusting during checkout, but leads to higher conversion overall - which means more sales revenue for your small business.
If you’d like to learn more about SSL encryption - check out this great read.
In the marketing world we like to refer to this rule as “keep it slippery”.
No matter what objective you’re working towards online, be it landing page signups, ppc advertising, or cold calling… you want to keep it slippery!
We’ve all had an unpleasant(painful) check out experience.
For example, say you're buying an eBook from one of your favorite online resource. How annoyed would you be if they required you to fill out your entire address, including your country, in order to complete the purchase? You might even abandon the cart.
As a general rule of thumb, if you don’t REQUIRE the information to complete the purchase, try to eliminate it. For most of us, an email and credit card number is all we need to run a successful payment and deliver a receipt. Save the questionnaire and follow up details for AFTER the sale. Your customers are excited to hear from you immediately after payment anyways. Filling out something like an information form is much easier at this stage of the process.
Next time you're evaluating your checkout page, start by asking yourself these questions to get your mind in the right place. You'll find most successful landing pages follow this pattern. Want proof? Visit your favorite small business website that sells products/services and see how it measures up to the test below..
If you enjoyed this post or have any questions, be sure to write a comment down below. Have any special tips you'd like to share with the SecuraCart community? We'd love to hear!
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