Last editedDec 20223 min read
Does your ecommerce store receive a lot of visitors, but not many sales? This indicates low conversion rates, which could have a negative impact on your business bottom line. It’s important to find out how to increase conversions to boost your earnings, starting with the checkout process. In this guide, we’ll describe how to optimise your checkout page to increase conversions.
What are conversions?
Before looking at ways to increase them, let’s start with the basics – what are conversions? An ecommerce conversion rate is one of the most important metrics you should be tracking. A conversion can be the completion of any call to action (CTA), whether it’s a customer signing up for your mailing list or following your brand on Instagram. For the purposes of this guide, we mean a completed ecommerce transaction. To convert a site visitor into a customer, they’ll need to add items to their shopping cart, complete the checkout page, and pay for their goods.
How to calculate conversion rates
Conversion rate shows the number of visitors converted to paying customers as a percentage. Typical figures in ecommerce vary between 1% and 2%, so if you can get the rate above the average figures for your industry you’re doing well. For example, clothing and footwear have higher conversion rates than consumer electronics.
To calculate your conversion rate, divide your total conversion (in this case being completed sales) by the number of visitors for a given period.
Imagine that your online store receives 10,000 visitors each week, 100 of whom make a purchase. To calculate the conversion rate, you’d divide 100 by 10,000 to equal 1%. Following this figure over time gives you an indication of your site’s performance.
Why is checkout page conversion important?
High conversion rates don’t necessarily equal success, nor do low conversion rates always indicate failure. The total profit or loss you make depends on your profit margins, volume of visitors, and other factors. However, checkout page conversion is still a very useful metric when you’re looking for ways to optimise your website. It shows you how effective the site’s messaging and user experience is.
Optimising your checkout page is also important because it ensures that even if website traffic falls, you’ll still be pulling in profit. High conversion rates show that you can still complete transactions even with fewer visitors, a good indicator of long-term growth potential to investors. This in turn leads to a better return on investment, higher revenue, and potential for growth.
How to increase conversions
Now that we’ve covered why it’s so important to optimise the checkout page, here’s how to increase conversions.
1. Keep the checkout page simple.
One of the first courses of action is to look at ways to simplify the payment process. Multi-page checkouts with lengthy steps are a turn-off to customers who want an easy way to complete their transaction. Offer guest checkout that doesn’t require login details, keeping input fields to a minimum.
2. Make your checkout page secure.
Security is another important facet of checkout page optimisation. Customers need to feel safe sharing their personal details. Prominently display security indicators like SSL certificates on your website. Use tools like tokenisation and encryption, ensuring compliance with the latest standards.
3. Improve your site’s performance.
Online shoppers will abandon their shopping carts quickly if the site is slow to load. If you need to refresh the page during checkout, this inspires a lack of confidence. Seconds matter when it comes to site speed, so run frequent tests and avoid downtime where possible.
4. Optimise your checkout page for different devices.
Does your checkout page use a responsive design? Is it optimised for tablets, smartphones, and desktop computers? If not, your conversion rates will suffer. An increasing number of shoppers both in Australia and worldwide check out using their smartphones. Once you’ve created your checkout page, test it across multiple operational systems and devices.
5. Cater to customer payment preferences.
Don’t let your sale fall through at the final hurdle with insufficient payment options. Customers want to see their preferred payment method listed at checkout. Take regional and cultural payment preferences into account. Some customer demographics prefer credit cards, while others prefer mobile wallets, bank transfers, or buy now pay later services.
Localise your checkout page by adding payment methods where necessary. For recurring and one-off payments, GoCardless enables businesses to collect payment directly from customer bank accounts. It also provides high converting payment pages during checkout, with a variety of different formats to best suit your payment flow. This includes hosted pages as well as drop-in modules and opportunities for customisation.
A streamlined payment flow can increase checkout conversions. In a nutshell, if the payment process is too long, frustrating, or confusing, your buyers will go elsewhere. Be sure to take these factors into account when optimising your checkout page to improve conversion and grow your business accordingly.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.