5 Ways to Prep Your eCommerce Checkout for the Holiday Season

5 Ways to Prep Your eCommerce Checkout for the Holiday Season

It’s easy to sit back and convince yourself that the holiday season is too far away to worry about just yet, but the reality is that, for online retailers, it’s a lot nearer than you may think. According to eMarketer, US retail eCommerce sales are set to grow 15.8%, so now, more than ever, it’s essential to ensure your site is ready to capitalize on those festive shoppers.

Shopping can be stressful at any time of year if the online store isn’t user friendly, but add the holiday season into the equation and it can become more difficult to manage complexities. Getting your checkout ready for the holidays is a must, and is something that takes time and a lot of consideration. With Black Friday and the holiday season just a few months away, it’s time to put your foot on the gas pedal and get moving.

The Baymard Institute found that almost 1/3 of people abandon the checkout cart due to a long or complicated checkout process, but not enough retailers are acknowledging the benefits that a simple, easy to follow checkout brings. Customers will have an improved experience, less stress means an increase in conversions, and they’ll be more likely to return to your site in the future.

Here are our top 5 tips for preparing your checkout forms for the busiest, “most wonderful time of the year”:

1. Mobile Matters

Is your site checkout mobile friendly? Mobile devices are obviously super popular, but a checkout that isn’t optimized for mobile means more typos and errors can occur, which creates a stressful experience for the customer. Mobile optimization at checkout means you can collect accurate, usable, data, and provide a seamless shopping experience for the customer.

2. Auto-suggest Addresses

Instead of making shoppers manually type their entire address, use type-ahead address verification, which will continue to suggest accurate addresses, narrowing the user’s address down as he/she types—even when typos are entered. This results in less stress for the customer, immediately cutting down the number of keystrokes required, so they are more likely to stay focused on completing the checkout process. This is great news for retailers as they can capture accurate address data and reduce the number of failed deliveries, fostering a positive experience, especially around the holiday season!

3. Label Fields Effectively

Another thing retailers can do to improve their forms is label them effectively. Labels can sometimes be missed if they are positioned to the left, especially if the shopper is using a mobile device. Instead, placing the label above the form can make it easier to see.

4. Don’t Ask for Too Much

Asking for relevant information is obviously important and you might think checkout is the best time to get it because you have the customer’s attention, but you may be asking too many questions and potentially frustrating shoppers. Think about asking marketing and merchandising questions that aren’t critical to collecting their payment in promotional emails or in pop-ups throughout the site. If you do really need to ask additional questions at checkout, be sure to explain why so the customer sees the value in taking the time to answer.

5. Add a Progress Bar

Progress bars are a great way of showing customers how far along the checkout process they are, and they are great indicators of what’s coming up next. For example, if the customer can see that the next step is the payment step, they can get their bank details ready, without stress.

With five months until Christmas, there’s still time to create a checkout that will give you a better customer experience and increased conversions. Optimizing and a/b testing now will ensure this year is more successful than ever.