Customers are abandoning their online shopping carts at an alarming rate – nearly 70% of the time, to be exact. While some of those people undoubtedly simply change their minds or lose interest, many of them abandon their carts in frustration over complicated, invasive checkout processes that waste precious time. The key to cutting down on cart abandonment on your site is making payment as easy as possible. The fewer clicks customers have to make and the less information they have to give, the happier they will be. Here are our top ten tips for streamlining the process.

1. Only Ask for the Basics

Customers want to feel safe online, and their time is valuable. They don’t want to spend ten minutes typing in all their personal details just to make a quick purchase. Set up your payment form to require the absolute bare minimum of effort and information. If you really do need details like an email address or a phone number, include a little note explaining why. If it’s just a “nice-to-have,” leave it off. Even if you make it a non-required field, customers will still be put off by the daunting length of the form.

2. Make it Easy to See Where to Go Next

Once items make it into the customer’s shopping cart, leave no doubt as to how to continue on to the checkout process. Large colored buttons in the style of Amazon make it easy for customers to move through forward and keep them from getting frustrated or confused. Use clear terms like “Checkout” or “Go to Checkout,” and make the font large and easy to read. After all, a customer isn’t really a customer until they’ve paid! Make sure your calls to action make it easy for them to do so.

3. Allow for Easy Error Correction

Everyone makes mistakes, even your customers. Make sure your shopping cart software can detect and flag these errors, like an incorrectly formatted email address or phone number. Your error messages should be large, clear, and appear right next to the field to which they apply. A general-purpose message at the top of the page may seem sufficient, but customers will gripe about having to scroll all the way to the top to see what’s wrong just to be told to scroll back down to fix it. Furthermore, retain as much information as you can in the form when the customer is fixing an error. No one likes to hit submit, receive an error message, and then be faced with a totally blank form all over again. Finally, if there are limitations to your software so that certain information must be entered in a specific format, provide examples and prompts to avoid errors in the first place.

4. Allow Guest Checkout

The casual customer is not going to want to create yet another online account (with yet another username and password) just to make a one-time purchase. In today’s world of constant email bombardment, customers are resistant to providing their contact information to yet another company with yet another newsletter. Relax – if you wow them with your product they’ll be back to make another purchase, and you’ll have another chance to capture their details. Let them checkout as a guest – it saves them time and earns you more money.

5. Use a Simple, Clean Interface

By the time a customer gets to your final checkout page, they are almost sold – but not quite. This is not the time to get sloppy with your web design! Keep distractions to a minimum – no fancy graphics, no useless text, no additional calls to action that might take customers off the page. And please, pretty please, no advertisements. Nothing distracts a customer faster than a glossy, moving ad!

6. Get Rid of Redirects

Many shopping carts and payment softwares require you to have the customer leave your site and go to theirs in order to pay. PayPal is one of the worst offenders – they have an entirely separate interface that looks nothing at all like the branding on your site. This is a key advantage to Velox, by the way. Our API allows customers to check out right on your website so your business’s name is the last thing they see!

7. Offer Several Payment Options

Consider what payments your target audience likes to use – chances are it’s not always Visa or MasterCard. Offering other major cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, and/or Google Wallet might all make sense for your business – or maybe not. Experiment with different options or poll your customers to find out which methods are most common, and be flexible. What works this year might require a change in the future as technology continues to evolve.

8. Make Sure It Matches

Some shopping cart softwares are more customizable than others – so what, right? Wrong! Just slapping your logo on the page or changing the font color isn’t enough. Make sure your branding is consistent throughout and that your checkout pages look as much like the rest of your site as possible. Not only does it make your site look more professional, it increases customer confidence in the security of their transaction. An unsure customer is a lost customer – don’t make this mistake!

9. Be Safety Smart

We’ve all heard the horror stories of data breaches at online retailers, and today’s consumer is not willing to sacrifice security for convenience. You can build trust by making sure your payment pages match the rest of your site’s design and branding and by keeping payments hosted on your page, but that’s not enough. Get a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate to ensure that all credit card information is encrypted and make sure you’re keeping up to date on PCI compliance. If possible, include icons and badges on the checkout page as evidence of the above to give customers piece of mind.

10. Choose Your Payments Partner Wisely

You can work hard and make your site look as professional as possible, but it’s all for naught if you’re not working with a reputable payments processor like 360 Payments. Botched transactions caused by lazy or sloppy processors will have your customers running for the hills, never to return. Give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We’re happy to help you get your ecommerce store into tiptop shape.

PS – Here are some more tips to help you dominate your ecommerce sales.

PPS – Don’t make these five critical payment processing mistakes!