All the marketing, pricing, and promotions in the world won’t save a business that can’t get customers through their checkout. Luckily with enough customization most brands are able to optimize their transaction experience to drive conversions.
When trying to come up with a checkout customization strategy, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why we’ve curated five areas of optimization that highlight some of the most common business problems facing high-volume retailers today.
These optimizations are critical for brands looking to streamline their business processes and checkout functionality, improve the conversion rate of their transaction experience, and grow and scale their business on WordPress and WooCommerce.
Looking for a way to implement these strategies? Our high-performing checkout can be used to optimize the transaction experience with strategies like these — but more on that later.
First let’s look at some key optimization strategies for checkout.
1. Sync online orders with in-store experience
A global pandemic has caused consumers around the globe to reimagine the way they shop. Many retailers have responded with curbside pickup solutions that allow customers to buy online and pick up at a safe and convenient location.
Image via: Staples
A fast and convenient BOPIS solution is a key checkout optimization that can turn cart abandonments into conversions.
Here are some optimizations to consider when syncing online orders with in-store pickup:
Accommodate BOPIS mixed carts
This means giving customers the ability to order items for both local pickup and doorstep delivery in a single transaction. Customers love the convenience of not having to checkout multiple times when making a mixed order.
Let customers browse online and shop in-store
Give customers the option to send themselves an email or SMS of their cart so they can pick up where they left off in-store and enjoy a truly omnichannel experience.
Allow ship to store for local pickup
Provide customers the option to buy online and have the item shipped to a nearby store where they can pick it up. This way a store doesn’t necessarily have to have items in stock to sell them.
Offer in-store pickup for local inventory
Get products to customers sooner and save shipping costs by leveraging in-store inventory to fulfill orders. Allow customers to select a pickup window to keep order fulfillment and customer service moving swiftly.
Let customers do curbside pickup
Keep sales high throughout Covid-19 restrictions by giving customers the option to buy online and pick up their order curbside. Integrating a curbside pickup option right into the checkout gives customers an easy and convenient way to feel safe about their order, increasing conversions.
2. Accomodate custom fees
Optimize checkout to automatically collect all relevant fees, including shipping, duties, eco fees and more. Here are a couple optimizations worth considering for managing custom fees.
Set eco fees at checkout
Eco fees are used to cover the cost of recycling materials or other environment fees. Present eco fees as additional charges or include them in the product price, depending on customers’ needs.
Tip: remember to keep track of collected eco fees by region, province, or state for a simpler remittance at tax time.
Image via: Staples
Manage donations & donation receipts
Many brands partner with charitable organizations and nonprofits as a way of giving back to the community. Checkout is a great place to offer customers the option to make a donation in addition to their order. Automatically issue donation receipts when customers make donations to streamline the process.
3. Accomodate custom fees
Some products have age restrictions or other identification requirements that must be managed during the transaction experience. A customized checkout that accommodates age-restricted products will ensure customers are happy and all government requirements are met. Here are some restricted products optimizations to consider for checkout:
Handle Age verification
Liquor, tobacco, cannabis, and any form of adult entertainment often require age verification to ensure minors are not being exposed to certain products. When selling restricted items, be sure to follow any government mandated age or ID verification and consider integrating requirements for using a third party check or ID.
Optimizing checkout with a reliable age verification system shouldn’t hamper the shopping experience or hinder the customer in any way. If customers are forced to enter unnecessary information or are relocated to a third party page, it could lead to cart abandonment.
Image via: JNSQ
JNSQ integrates age verification into their checkout without betraying their brand for seamless online shopping experience.
Offer Exclusive pricing
Being able to validate customer identities enables the ability to offer exclusive pricing to specific groups, such as teachers, military members, or healthcare workers. Third party tools like ID.me provide a secure and trusted way to share identity verification online and can be implemented at checkout.
4. Sell Anywhere
Leading brands deserve the freedom to sell their products anywhere without having a location or multi-currency issue slowing down their checkout. These optimizations are critical for brands who sell internationally:
Integrate multi-currency support
Manage foreign exchange, process payments in any currency, or instantly convert and display prices in customers’ local currency. This will ensure international customers are treated to the same seamless shopping experience as domestic shoppers. Image via: scoreband
Prepay customs & duties at checkout
If there’s one thing that is almost guaranteed to to cause cart abandonment, it’s unforeseen fees and charges. Prevent frustrating or losing customers by giving them the ability to pay for all applicable duties and taxes right at checkout before their order ships.
Include taxes and duties in the purchase price
There are good surprises and bad surprises when receiving a package in the mail. In order to prevent the bad kind, like surcharges or hidden fees upon delivery, combine location detection with localized shipping and duty information to automatically build all import fees into product pricing.
Include multilingual checkout
Make international shoppers feel right at home by displaying the cart and checkout pages in their native language. This is sure to decrease cart abandonment and increase international conversions.
Localized product recommendations
Customers who live in similar locations or regions might be interested in the same kinds of products. Take advantage of insights like this by automatically recommending products that customers in the same region purchased. This will help shoppers find products they’re likely to purchase while increasing AOV.
5. Use incentives to create urgency
One way to motivate customers to click add-to-cart faster and more frequently is by creating a sense of urgency. This is one area where the brick-and-mortar shopping experience can be challenging to replicate online.
Simply letting people know that a product is running low, or that others have it in their cart, can create the urgency needed to turn a consideration into a conversion.
Here are some simple optimization strategies to create urgency and increase conversions and order value:
Show cart saver pop ups
Automatically present offers or incentives to get shoppers to check out right away when they display exit intent behavior, instead of trying to get them to return to the store later. With the right offer, turn what would have been an abandoned cart into a sale.
Display remaining stock
Create urgency and motivate purchases by showing that a limited amount of stock is remaining. Not only will it increase their chances of checking out right away, but it shows there’s a high demand for the product as a form of social proof.
Image via: J Crew
J Crew lets people know when there are “only a few left” to increase the likelihood of a speedy checkout.
Highlight how many people have items in their carts
Display how many people have a certain product in their carts or have looked at a product page. This gives shoppers an incentive to buy right away while also leveraging peer recommendations by showing that the product is in demand.
Image via: Etsy
Show frequency of purchases
Display messaging about the last time products were purchased to create a sense of scarcity while also presenting social proof. For example, seeing that “20 people purchased this item in the last hour” helps customers feel more confident in their purchase, while also driving home that stock might be selling out quickly.
Offer a free shipping incentive
In order for a leading brand to ensure customers choose them (instead of the millions of others out there) they might need to provide some additional incentives.
Whether it’s a gift or sample, free shipping, flash sales and discounts, or timers that offer a discount or deal within a limited time frame, integrating incentives into a checkout flow can increase AOV and conversion rate.
Image via: Staples
Staples makes the purchase decision easy with free shipping and returns.
Offer free samples with a minimum purchase
Give customers a free gift or samples if they reach a certain spent threshold, increasing order size while introducing or testing the demand of new products. Set checkout up to automatically offer complementary products that will help them qualify for the offer.
Add timed offers
Display live timers on sale products so shoppers have an incentive to buy right away. Also consider adding a timer to post-purchase upsells, asking customers whether they want to add on an item within a shortened time frame. Sometimes a steep discount on post-purchase upsells can greatly increase the size of an order.
5. Time to check out Bold Commerce
These checkout optimization strategies can help solve for many of the unique challenges facing commerce brands, while optimizing the transaction experience to maximize conversions.
Checkout optimizations like the ones outlined here are essential for scaling brands. Our WooCommerce Bold Plugin, which includes our API-driven Bold Checkout solution, is a solid foundation to build optimizations like these into your transaction experience.
Bold Checkout is a customizable, scalable checkout solution for high-volume brands using WordPress and WooCommerce that are looking to improve their transaction experience.
Want to learn more first?
Our ebook: Build the ultimate checkout experience on WooCommerce is filled with even more examples and use cases leading brands are using to optimize their transaction experience.
Click here to download a free copy.
Special thanks to our friends at Bold Commerce for their insights on this topic.