For e-commerce websites, testing is critical to increasing the performance of every aspect of a page. Even the smallest tweak on a button, a form or widget can make a huge impact on conversion rates. Here is a list of potential elements to test on the checkout functionality of your e-commerce website. These aren’t necessarily formal recommendations, just things to think about!
Have visible security certificates from third parties highly visible on the screen where the user enters credit card information.
Double-check that your checkout page does not display any non-secure elements.
Consider not showing cart totals throughout the entire checkout process.
Consider not including gift-wrapping as an option.
If a discount or coupon code is offered, direct users to enter a special url that is tailored to coupon codes.
Consider not requesting a CVV.
Prominently displaying alternative checkout methods may confuse users, clutter pages and cause security concerns. Consider displaying alternative forms of payment as small text links.
Determine the minimum information needed to be captured “up-front” in order to minimize friction and anxiety. Ask for additional information no earlier in the process than is needed in order to accomplish your primary objective.
Display estimated processing time for order submission and completion.
Do not ask for personal information before the user knows taxes and shipping costs.
Do not have scrolling on checkout pages.
Do not post the “reset order” link anywhere near the submit order button.
Do not require phone or email.
Do not require users to register with a password in order to checkout.
During the entire checkout process, an “order progress bar” that shows where the user is in the process should be displayed at the top of the page.
Hide the navigation on checkout pages.
Include as many important order details as possible within the final checkout page.
Left align all text box fields to allow the eye to seamlessly follow the fields down the page.
Reassure customers that you will not share or sell their information.
Require your users to choose their credit card (do not have a default).
Do not make users leave the checkout process to login or create an account.
Separate key and exclusive areas with a horizontal rule.
Show shipping and tax charges early and often.
Show your 1-800 number prominently to help build trust.
The receipt page should offer discounts on future purchases.
Use marketing copy when writing error messages. Don’t alienate users with insulting error messages.
Users should be made aware of registration benefits when asked to register. Try a bulleted list.
When asking for an email address, have a checkbox subscription to the newsletter and/or exclusive offers. Do not have the checkbox checked by default.