9 checkout conversion killers and how to avoid them

4 minutes
9 checkout conversion killers and how to avoid them

In the competitive world of eCommerce, it’s crucial to get every stage of the customer journey right. Driving traffic to your website is an important piece of the puzzle, but once customers are there, any barriers to checkout conversion must be removed in order to optimise sales. 

 Some of these barriers may be obvious to you and your team. Others may require some digging to uncover. This guide will save you that effort and walk you through some of the most likely obstacles getting in the way of completed transactions. Once these are dealt with, you should be left with happier customers and a clearer path to success.

Design and user experience (UX) mistakes

Your website acts as the storefront of your online business, and every aspect should be carefully created with conversion in mind. Avoid the following:

Outdated, unprofessional or confusing design

How often do you refresh your web design? What’s considered professional and stylish can change over time, and failing to update your web presence can send signals that the products or services you’re selling have not kept up with the pace of progress. Consider the colour scheme and the quality of the images used, for example. If these are low quality or ill-considered, the message being communicated is that your products or services are not top-quality either. Poor choices can damage your credibility and customers’ trust.

On the other hand, one thing that never changes when it comes to web design is the need for clarity. Web shops should not be cluttered or confusing. Design should perform complex tasks, but this complexity should be hidden underneath a simple, spare aesthetic that prioritises helping to inform the customer and allowing them to efficiently and smoothly complete their purchase. 

Poor user experience

Choosing appropriate colours, fonts and images is one part of getting your eCommerce store right, but the other is considering the nuts and bolts of the customer’s journey through your website. Is the site intuitive to navigate? Slow, fragmented, confusing websites can easily frustrate customers, leading them to abandon their cart and go elsewhere to spend their money.

A clutter-free layout, intuitive menu structure and prominent search functionality will enable customers to quickly find what they’re looking for and complete their purchase. User-friendly filtering options will also help shoppers make informed purchasing decisions and remove friction from the buying process. Overall, a modern-user friendly website should serve as a powerful tool for differentiating your brand in a crowded eCommerce landscape.

Technical issues affecting conversion rates 

It’s not just the visual aesthetics of a website that need to be carefully considered. Backend design is just as crucial, if not more so. Avoid the following barriers to conversion:

Slow website

Customers are often accustomed to browsing the internet at lightning speeds, and a page loading delay of even one second can test people’s patience. Remember not everyone has the fastest internet capabilities, and ensure that your page is as streamlined as possible to reduce any possible loading time. 

Thoroughly research the latest techniques to ensure fast performance. Look into image optimisation, browser caching and content delivery networks: these are all methods that can be used to speed up performance on the browsers of potential customers. Some web hosts perform better than others and there are ways that you can compress and minimise files (including CSS and JavaScript files) so that they load faster. A good back-end web design team can ensure all the latest technology is used to ensure a speedy website.

Not optimising for mobile 

As our phones become increasingly advanced, it has become easier than ever to shop in the supermarket queue, on the bus or in bed. It’s imperative as a merchant that customers find it as easy to navigate your eCommerce store on a mobile device as they do from a computer. They may only have a small slice of time and a fragment of their attention to make a purchase, and this opportunity for conversion may be lost if the user experience isn’t optimised for mobile.

If you haven’t already done so, familiarise yourself and your team with the idea of responsive web design. Responsive design ensures that your site looks and functions at its best across a range of devices and screen sizes. The layout and content can be created in a way that it dynamically adjusts depending on these factors. This means that the browsing experience can stay consistent and intuitive, whether the site is being accessed via a desktop computer, tablet or smartphone.

Checkout process flaws

What payment processor are you using, and what does your checkout process look like? Pay attention to the potential obstacles to conversion listed below.

Checkout friction

In order to maximise conversions, the checkout process should be as easy, smooth and intuitive to complete as possible. This means minimising unnecessary form-filling or external redirects. Think about the use of autofill to speed things up, guest checkouts and saving details on file to expedite repeat customers. Showing visitors the progress of their order in the checkout process as they move through it can help remove uncertainty and keep people on track. Single-page checkouts can also help boost conversions, when well designed.

Limited payment methods

If you assume that everyone wants to pay via a credit or debit card issued by Visa or Mastercard, you’re limiting your customer base. Firstly, mobile wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay have become popular in recent years, and enable customers to complete transactions effortlessly when shopping via a mobile device. “Buy Now Pay Later” (BNPL) options like Klarna also appeal to many shoppers, and allow those who may be unable to pay for a purchase upfront to buy your goods and services.

Think about your potential customer base internationally, as well as domestically. You may be putting off global shoppers if you don’t include options that are popular in different geographical regions. Examples of internationally popular payment methods are WeChat Pay and Alipay, which are both widespread in China, and iDEAL, the leading non-card payment method in the Netherlands. A reliable, internationally focused payment provider such as Airwallex will provide all of these options. View the full list of our global online payment capabilities here.

A checkout page that looks unsecure

Fraud and data leaks are all too common, and checkout pages are when customers are asked to share their sensitive payment information. It’s important that they feel they can trust the checkout process, so consider including visible reassurances of security throughout the checkout process. For example, you could communicate the security protocols used, and any badges or certification that show that you are using state-of-the-art anti-fraud methods.

As above, the level of security that you can guarantee depends on the payment provider you partner with to facilitate your customer transactions. Airwallex uses 3D Secure (3DS) authentication to protect against fraud and to help ensure PCI-DSS compliance, a crucial security standard.

Product presentation and information

The text and images on your website play a pivotal role in influencing the behaviour of potential customers. Make sure you avoid the following pitfalls:

Poor-quality images

Images are a key part of the customer’s experience of your eCommerce store. They should capture attention and build confidence in the purchase decision. Ideally, you should use high-resolution images that show any products from multiple angles and with close-ups.

Lighting should be optimised to boost appeal, and working with good photographers and professional-grade equipment should help create a sense of excitement around the product or service you offer. At the same time, clarity and accuracy are important to prevent returns and negative reviews. Photo editing should be used only to enhance aesthetics, not to create an effect that deviates dramatically from reality.

Unclear product descriptions

Clear and concise product descriptions can act as virtual sales pitches, providing customers with essential information about a product's features, specifications, and benefits. Inadequate descriptions that fall down in these areas can increase the likelihood of hesitation or cart abandonment.

There are three key functions that product descriptions should serve: first, they should build trust by conveying professionalism, credibility and attention to detail. This helps cement the idea that the brand has integrity and quality. Secondly, they should be clear in communicating exactly what the product is, for example: dimensions, materials, and any other relevant insights. Finally, descriptions should be transparent and accurate in order to minimise the risk of customer dissatisfaction.

How payment providers like Airwallex can help

Investing in good web design and copywriting are crucial to build an eCommerce store that maximises conversions. The other important factor is partnering with the right payment provider.

Airwallex is a trusted, secure global payment solution that specialises in cost-effective international payments. It’s simple to collect one-time or recurring online payments from customers in their preferred currencies and local payment methods. An ML-powered optimisation engine is designed to boost conversions while remaining secure and compliant, and additional features like network tokensation allows you to safely save payment details.

Are you ready to transform your checkout experience and increase your conversion rates? Learn more about how Airwallex can optimise your eCommerce platform today, and pave the way for greater success and customer satisfaction.

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