To buy or not to buy?

That’s the question many reluctant consumers ask themselves during the shopping experience. Your brand’s job is to persuade them to click the buy button.

The checkout page is the spot for most online buying decisions. So, it’s imperative that your team optimize it to reduce any friction. For instance, we’ve all hit the back button after realizing the shipping costs weren’t included in the initial sales price.

Now is the time to design your checkout page to maximize your conversions. Try one of these seven strategies to boost your sales.

1. Use a clean design

The checkout page is one of the final steps in the purchasing process. Your shoppers can either feel compelled to buy or decide to hold off. 

Design plays a key role in this decision-making. A wonky page with too many buttons and misaligned text can have shoppers frustrated on what to do next. 

Experts recommend having a clean design with minimal copy and no more than two buttons. Consumers should know exactly what item they’re purchasing, including the quantity and price. Luggage retailer Away is the brand to follow when it comes to a clean design.

away checkout page features a clean design

2. Limit the number of form fields per page

Nothing is more overwhelming than filling out multiple form fields at once. Consumers can easily get discouraged by the buying process and decide to purchase elsewhere. 

To hold your shoppers’ attention, it’s recommended that you limit the number of form fields per page. You don’t have to ask for all the information at once. 

“[M]inimize the number of fields as much as possible. This will make your form feel less bloated, especially when you’re requesting a lot of information,” says Nick Babich, a UX architect and writer.

Mommy Formula offers an exemplary example of how to ask for your customers’ details. On the first checkout step, the retailer only requires customers to provide their email and shipping address. 

ecommerce checkout page with limited number of form fields at checkout

3. Make checkout buttons clear and prominent

Visual hierarchy is the process of ranking design elements. You literally might see the forest before you recognize the trees. 

We normally rank visual objects by scale, contrast, direction, or position. So, you’ll notice a green apple first in a bunch of red apples. Or you’ll spot a car facing left in a lineup of cars moving in the right direction.

You can apply visual hierarchy principles to your checkout page. When it comes to your checkout button, it should be easily noticeable. Brilliant Earth uses contrast color to ensure its button stands out. In a sea of white, shoppers quickly can see the green button.

ecommerce website highlights checkout buttons in different color

4. Allow guest checkout

The shopping experience centers around building momentum for the shopper to purchase. The interested buyer lands on your site, browses items, finds an item, and clicks ‘add to cart.’ 

Everything is going well. Then, most brands create friction out of nowhere by requiring shoppers to register with their site to make a purchase. It’s an unnecessary interruption for the eager buyer.

Guest checkout allows your brand to continue the natural workflow of the shopping experience. Graham Charlton, a content specialist, agrees:

“It gets shoppers straight into payment forms. Without registration, potential customers aren’t presented with a point that makes them stop and think about continuing.”

Here’s a guest checkout example from American watchmaker MVMT:

ecommerce checkout design best practice allows for guest checkout

5. Support multiple payment options

Not too long ago, eCommerce businesses only accepted debit or credit cards from their customers. But as eCommerce expands across the world, so does the need to support multiple payment options. 

One advantage of using multiple payment gateways is the opportunity to increase your geographic coverage. A specific payment option may not be widely available in specific countries. 

Apparel brand Bombas gives their customers an option to do express checkout. Their customers can choose from Amazon Pay or PayPal. 

ecommerce website accepts express checkout payment options

Payment gateways will continue to evolve as eCommerce takes shape. For example, some brands accept cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, as a form of payment.

6. Offer free shipping

Thanks to eCommerce giants, like Amazon, most customers expect free shipping on their purchases. And as you already know, your business pays a hefty cost to get products to your customers’ doorsteps. 

However, free shipping can lead to an increase in sales. To limit financial impact, David Hoos, former director of marketing at The Good, suggests offering this perk on specific items:

“Some products lend themselves more to free shipping than others. Consider shipping costs and profit margins, then test free shipping on those items that make good financial sense.”

You also can require the customer to meet a minimum order amount. Check out the example below from Beltology, requiring their customers to purchase at least $95 in products to get free shipping.

ecommerce checkout page showing free shipping option for certain order minimum

7. Optimize for Mobile Devices

Google reports that mobile searches make up more than half of searches on their site. With a majority of traffic coming from mobile phones, your checkout page needs a redesign to handle small screens and quick fingertips.

For starters, you can optimize your checkout cart to fit on a single page. This simplicity makes it possible for customers to check out faster. Birchbox takes this approach by displaying the item, cart total, and promo code option without the need to scroll.

ecommerce checkout page fits everything into a single page for mobile devices

Speed matters, too. You’ll want to minimize your page load time. Visitors expect your page to load in less than three seconds. If not, you risk losing their interest (and possibly a sale).

Convert More Visitors Into Customers

Evaluate your checkout page today to earn more sales. Try these seven actionable tactics to improve your conversion rates for your business.

Machielle Thomas curates content for marketing professionals, small business owners, bloggers, and more.