Strike while the iron is hot; convert browsing users into loyal customers while your checkout page is still on their mobile screen!

The growing complexity of the consumer device ecosystem means that people interact with businesses differently now. Many customers now use combinations of smartphone, laptop, desktop, tablet or wearable to go on the shopping journey.

As a result of the different interfaces and platforms, many businesses are challenged to optimize their customer experience to lead people to the checkout pages; this is where consumer motivation is translated into dollars and cents. 

Naturally, businesses looking to optimize the checkout page for a high conversion rate are finding it a challenge. Creating and maintaining a high-performing user experience that is seamless and consistent across multiple channels is not easy. It requires a good understanding of how people use different devices, and how evolving technologies shape (and respond to) customer shopping habits. 

Fortunately, there are some key areas that online businesses can focus on to make checkout easy and frictionless for customers.

Getting the user experience (UX) basics right

UX is the key to preventing shoppers from “dropping off”, and there are certain best practices that will help drive conversion. For example, a simplified checkout page, with an alternative header, will reduce distractions and keep customers focused on the payment process. Optimizing form design can also have a significant impact. Well-designed checkout pages should be easy for customers to fill in and only ask for the absolute minimum amount of information required to make the purchase.

Analyzing transaction data can help to identify areas where the checkout page UX could be improved. Look at error codes for failed transactions and you might be surprised what you find. By making two simple changes— restricting the number of characters in the form field and only allowing numerical inputs—these failed transactions can be eliminated.

App versus checkout page

Technology is changing the way customers shop, and it is clear that mobile is a fundamental part of the shopping experience. According to Statista, the user penetration of e-commerce in Singapore stood at 69.3% in 2019 and it is expected to hit 73.7% by 2024. This means that more consumers are looking at e-commerce as the go-to platform to fulfil their shopping needs and wants. Many people browse and purchase exclusively on mobile devices. Some will visit a brick-and-mortar store to find an item they want to buy, and then search for a better deal on their phones. Additionally, the rise of mobile payment methods such as digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal as well as Alipay and WeChatPay in China, has been rapid.

In some cases, payment through a native mobile app can be much simpler and less cumbersome than on the merchant website. Whether someone is buying through an app or through the mobile site, the checkout experience should be as frictionless as possible. Merchants should ideally design checkout pages with a mobile-first methodology, testing these pages to check that they work on multiple devices. Customers will no longer tolerate a checkout page that is not optimized correctly for the channel on which they are accessing it.

Tokenization will remove steps from the process

Convenience is a reason why many consumers today use their desktops or mobile phones to make purchases and businesses should not want regular customers entering their details again and again when trying to make a purchase.

Tokenization allows merchants to store customer credentials and streamlines the payment process by removing additional steps. The ideal is one-click purchasing, which allows customers to checkout with minimal effort. One-click purchasing helps to alleviate shopping-cart abandonment, which sees an average rate of 70 percent, according to the Baymard Institute. Therefore, the level of tokenization is extremely crucial to the success of a business today. Nevertheless, consistency is key. Tokenization should be offered across every channel – offering one-click purchases on a native mobile app but not on the website as this will likely frustrate customers and harm conversions.

Keep an eye on new technology

It is important to understand how technology is changing the way customers shop and anticipate how to optimize the payment experience for new technologies. Take for example, conversational commerce, where consumers make purchases through an AI-powered chatbot on messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. It represents a massive opportunity to make sales through channels customers use every single day. But if the checkout experience is not integrated seamlessly into this new channel, customers are unlikely to convert and will be driven away.

Nothing can put people off like an unsatisfactory payment experience. In a study conducted by Landbot, it found that three out of four people in India messaged a business in the past three months. The main reasons for choosing this platform is due to the inadequate UX optimization in merchant websites, with 34% of respondents citing the reason of “site hard to navigate” and 31% citing “can’t get answers to simple questions”.

To ensure that technological innovations like conversational commerce are not a missed opportunity, online businesses must understand how customers use these new technologies, and how that usage differs by region. This is where access to good data becomes a massive benefit—it lets you make informed, robust decisions about how to optimize the checkout experience, maximize conversions and grow revenue.

Creating and maintaining a high-performing user experience that is seamless and consistent across multiple platforms is no easy feat. Nevertheless, through means of tokenization, utilizing new technologies, identifying potential obstacles and ensuring an optimized checkout page, creating a great user experience is highly doable. By focusing efforts on the aforementioned areas, businesses can make their retail checkouts as frictionless as possible for their customers.