In our last blog post, we mentioned what are the key factors that influence the add-to-cart rate and how you can improve it. So in today’s blog post, we decided to go one step further in the checkout funnel and discuss the initiate checkout rate.
Keeping track of your initiate checkout rate is critical because you want to know how many visitors proceeded to the checkout page after adding an item to the cart.
But now let’s see what really impacts the initiate checkout rate and how you can improve it.
Simplify the checkout process
The golden rule when creating your checkout process is: keep it simple.
A complicated checkout process is one of the top reasons why customers drop off and don’t purchase from you.
Anything that slows them down during the purchase process increases the likelihood of them bouncing off and not purchasing.
So essentially, the shorter your whole checkout process is, the easier is for the customer to purchase from you.
With that said, we’re moving on to the next tip which is to eliminate mandatory sign-ups.
Don't force users to sign-up
When site visitors decide to purchase something, they want to do it as quickly as possible.
By forcing users to register or create an account before getting to the checkout page you’re only lowering the chances of them purchasing.
No one wants to create yet another account unless there’s a clear benefit of doing so, right?
So instead of distracting them with mandatory sing-ups, try to include the option of the guest checkout. (see next tip)
Allow guest checkouts by defauld
The great thing about guest checkouts? Customers aren’t required to create accounts, they proceed to the checkout page and convert much faster.
The majority of customers are most likely to give their email after the checkout in order to track their purchase rather than stopping to fill everything in beforehand.
But either way, we recommend having both options so customers can choose their preferred method.
Optimize page load time
If you’re a fan of our blog posts, you probably saw us mentioning this tip a couple of times.
And even in this blog post, we couldn’t leave this tip out as it’s one of the most important ones when it comes to website optimization.
You probably experienced a slow loading page yourself, and let’s be real – you most likely bounced off.
Site visitors are not patient and forgiving so it’s absolutely crucial that your website speed is lightning fast.
If you don’t know how slow or fast your website is you can easily check it in Google Analytics.
Go to your Google Analytics account and under the Behavior section click Site Speed – Overview section.
Optimize for mobile
Nowadays almost 90% percent of all people shop from a mobile device.
Therefore, there’s no excuse for not having a mobile-friendly website.
Provide information upfront
Nobody likes to be surprised with additional shipping costs or taxes in the checkout process, right before purchasing.
So make sure to provide all that information upfront so that customers have all the information they need before they decide to purchase.
This will ensure you’re gaining their trust and preventing them from bouncing off and potentially purchasing from your competition.
Allow users to continue shopping from the checkout page
It is also considered good practice to give users the option to add more products through the entire purchase process.
You can do that by simply adding a “continue shopping” or “add more products” call to action button next to the “checkout” one, making it easy for them to continue shopping after they’ve added items to the cart.
Differentiate the call to actions
If you decide to put two (or more) call to actions side by side, make sure to highlight the high-priority one.
In this case, your top priority is the checkout call to action. Therefore, you should choose a more vibrant color so customers can notice it immediately.
Make your website look more trustworthy
If your website doesn’t look professional and trustworthy, the majority of visitors are not going to purchase from you.
Working on your branding and design, adding reviews and testimonials, credit card logos and security seals are just some of the many things that will ensure your visitors trust you.
Mention promotions and highlight savings
If you’re running any promotions, make sure to showcase the previous price of an item. This way you’ll encourage customers to complete the purchase and proceed to the checkout page.
Similarly, showing your customers how much they’ve saved on their order can significantly impact their decision to proceed to the checkout.
And last but not least, don’t forget to test things out. When it comes to optimizing your checkout funnel, it’s always good to a/b test before making any conclusions, because sometimes the results might surprise you.
If you know any other tips on how to improve the initiate checkout rate, feel free to share them in the comments below.
For more blog posts around conversion rate optimization and growth, visit our blog.