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Optimize Your Shopify Checkout: Strategies to Boost Conversions and Reduce Abandonment

Shopify - 10 May 2024

Optimize Your Shopify Checkout: Strategies to Boost Conversions and Reduce Abandonment

Optimize Your Shopify Checkout

Uncovering why customers fail to follow through with online purchases and what you can do to reverse the trend- turning abandoned carts into completed transactions.

It costs a lot, both in terms of time and resources to drive traffic to your website. However, what happens when not enough of that hard-earned traffic is converting into sales? According to statistics, over 70% of shopping carts are abandoned somewhere during the purchasing process. In other words, only three out of every 10 customers who browse and add items to their cart follow through with a purchase which begs the question: what’s triggering the other 7 to abandon their carts?

Shopping Cart Rate

Shopping Cart Industry

A recent Baymard survey polled over 1,000 US adults to find out. The results revealed that the top reason for cart abandonment related to added costs including tax, shipping, and fees. Unfortunately, it may not be economically feasible to cater to all these shoppers with free shipping on low-value orders. However, you might be able to win back some of these lost carts with a free shipping countdown bar or other offers (more on that later). The better news is that most of the other top reasons for backing out of a purchase are easy to address with a few minor changes to your checkout process.

During Checkout

Strategies to Boost Your Checkout Conversion Rates

1. Skip the Mandatory Pre-Purchase Account

For example, do you need buyers to create an account to complete a purchase? If the answer is anything but yes, you would be wise to get rid of the mandatory pre-purchase account request and give customers the option to checkout as a guest and create an account at the end of their purchase. Of course, this is given all the relevant information has been provided.

To enable guest checkout (or checkout without an account):

Go to your store admin > Settings > Checkout
In Customer accounts, select Accounts are optional
Confirm by clicking on Save

During Checkout 1

However, when prompted, many customers would opt to create an account after purchase, which is good for you (more opportunities for engagement) and convenient for them (saved info for easier checkout). To set up an auto prompt inviting buyers to create an account post-purchase you can install an app like LC Easy Account Creation from the Shopify App Store which will ask users to finalize their account within the thank you message.

This simple switch will dramatically reduce the amount of friction in your checkout process thereby driving up conversions and reducing cart abandonment.

2. Show off Your Proof

Lack of trust is another often-cited issue for leaving a website mid-order. People are increasingly sensitive to where they share personal and financial information. If you are dealing with first-time shoppers or customers unfamiliar with your brand, they may be hesitant to enter credit card information without evidence backing up your credibility.

Luckily several easy-to-add Shopify widgets can help showcase the trustworthiness of your brand, particularly at the crucial checkout page.

a. Social Proof

From acquisition through conversion, social proof is becoming an increasingly vital component of any business sales strategy. Displaying customer reviews has been shown to increase online conversion rates by 67% while products with 5+ reviews are 270% more likely to sell than those without.

Social Proof

b. Trust Badges

Like social proof, trust badges are another extremely effective way to instill confidence in your customers. Trust badges are often relegated to the footer section by default, you can edit this positioning in Shopify to highlight your preferred badges more prominently at checkout which can help boost conversions and reduce abandonment.

Trust Badges

3. Streamline Checkout

The longer your checkout process the more opportunities your buyers have to change their minds. To avoid the pitfalls of an overly complex checkout remove any unnecessary fields while making others optional.

a. Express Checkout

What if you could shave the checkout process from 90 seconds to under five? Express checkout, also known as accelerated checkout, lets customers go from cart to complete in just a few clicks and has been shown to boost conversion rates by as much as 72%.

Express Checkout

From your admin settings, you can easily add several express payment options to your checkout page including PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Shop Pay. These options have proved to be particularly popular with buyers wary of entering credit card information as well as those who just prefer a more simplified checkout process without all the data entry. In general, the more payment options you offer, the better off you are- even if they aren’t widely used.

b. One-Page Checkout

Shopify now has a one-page checkout which makes it easier and faster for customers to complete their orders. When this feature originally rolled out it was mandatory for all non-Plus Shopify members, however after some backlash, Shopify walked back and made the original three-page optional available again.

The jury’s out on how this format impacts conversions. Some sellers reported conversion losses after transitioning to the one-page format and criticized the page length and scrolling (particularly from mobile devices), lack of upsell opportunity, and reduced availability of crucial analytic information while others have said that they’ve seen double-digit increases in conversions.

One-Page Checkout

Changing your checkout page setup is very straightforward and can be done in a few clicks through the Shopify Theme Editor:

From your Shopify admin, go to Online Store > Themes
Next to the theme that you want to edit, click Customize
Click the Settings icon, and then click Checkout
In the Checkout layout section, click the current layout to open the checkout layout options
Click One-page checkout or Three-page checkout to set the checkout layout.
Click Save

c. Checkout Progress Bar

If the one-page format isn’t for you, you can still improve the checkout process by adding a progress bar to the checkout page. This super simple addition lets customers know exactly how many steps they have to complete and where they are in the process. This simple addition has been shown to dramatically reduce cart abandonment by letting users know exactly how many steps there are in the checkout process. Pro tip: do not ask for payment info before you provide shipping estimates.

Checkout Progress Bar

Shopify Apps like CheckIt: Checkout Progress Bar let you design and implement your custom progress bar to match your theme and branding.

d. Autofill

Regardless of what type of checkout page layout you choose, make like easier for your buyers by adding autofill. Shopify allows you to add address autocomplete to streamline the checkout process for your guests which is a great feature, especially for those 60% plus viewers browsing from a mobile device.

Set up autofill directly from your admin account:

From Admin click Settings > Checkout
Scroll down to Order processing, and check the option for Enable address autocompletion
Click Save to confirm

Checkout Progress Bar 1

4. Eliminate Surprise Fees

One of the most frustrating cart issues that comes up for online shoppers is unexpected fees. Buyers as a whole are not opposed to paying for shipping, but they don’t like being surprised by these extra costs at the end of the checkout process.

There are two Shopify features you may want to incorporate to get rid of to help eliminate nasty surprises in the checkout line. First is the remove Shipping Calculated at Checkout option.

a. Shipping Calculated at Checkout

People like transparency and they want to know what they are going to have to pay before they start navigating the checkout process. Providing shipping rates in the cart gives your buyers that transparency. In addition, when combined with a free shipping bar (next) you could see a substantial decrease in dropped carts at no cost to you.

Here’s how to modify your shipping option:

Go to your Shopify store admin > Online Store > Themes
Click the ‘…’ next to your live theme > Edit default theme content
Enter ‘Calculated at checkout’ into the search bar
Remove the ‘Taxes and shipping calculated at checkout’ text

Once you’ve completed this change make sure you update your shipping options to reflect the change, for example, you might choose to implement flat-rate shipping for orders over a certain dollar value or weight. From your admin account:

From your Shopify admin, go to Settings > Shipping and delivery
In the Shipping section, click the shipping profile you want to add shipping rates to
Next to the zone that you want to add a rate to, click Add rate.
Select a transit time, or select a custom flat rate to name the rate.
Optional: If a custom flat rate is selected, then enter a delivery description such as Tracked shipping or Ships next day. For optimal display, use 25 characters or fewer for your delivery description.
Enter the shipping rate.
Optional: Add weight-based or price-based conditions.
Review the checkout preview to ensure that your shipping rate is displayed as expected.
Click Done, and then click Save.

b. Free Shipping Bar

If you are going to use price-based free shipping, show customers exactly how far they are away from scoring free shipping. Not only will this improve transparency, but if buyers are close to the free shipping amount, they are very likely to add additional items to cross that threshold rather than opt to pay the shipping fee. Boost this strategy by also incorporating custom suggestions at the checkout, like this:

Free Shipping Car

Are you Ready for Better Checkout Conversion Rates?

Optimizing your Shopify checkout is a crucial part of boosting conversions and reducing cart abandonment. By addressing the most common reasons for abandoned carts, things like hidden costs, complex checkout processes, and lack of trust, you’ll be keeping your customers happy and reducing the number of abandoned carts, which will make you happy. Remember, every improvement you make to your checkout experience brings you one step closer to turning abandoned carts into completed transactions and maximizing your revenue potential.

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