Guest posts

Checkout Conversion Killers and Ways to Avoid These

No matter how many people visit your website, it will all be in futility if you cannot convert them into buying customers. According to statistics, more than 69 percent of customers do not complete the checkout process.

When your customers fail to complete the purchase process, your products are not the problem. For the most part, some website design mistakes might be taking away your customers. Unless you incentivize your customers, even shopping cart recovery might not work. Although you can try winning them back, you need to ensure they do not abandon the cart in the first place. 

Below are some of the problems that might be causing thousands of customers to abandon their cart.

A Shopping Cart That Doesn’t Call the Customer to Attention

Chances are, most of your customers add products to the shopping cart and forget after a few minutes especially if they are browsing many product pages. If a customer doesn’t remember they have an item in the cart, they may just log out and never come back. The good news is that you can prevent your potential conversions from straying away.

You can fix this issue by ensuring that your customers know they have an item in the shopping cart. You can create a small popup (small enough not to annoy the customer but large enough to call them to attention) that shows the contents of the shopping cart. You can also create a call-to-action that tells the customer to continue adding items to their cart. 

You do not need lots of code to make the shopping cart more conspicuous. With skills in CSS and jQuery, you are able to change the color or size of the shopping cart whenever the count is more than zero. You can style the cart the way you want as long as it is more visible whenever a customer adds an item. 

Alternatively, you can choose themes plugins that emphasize the color, style, or size of the cart button.

Disruptive Popups and Prompts

Registration prompts and popups during the registration process are conversion killers. According to a survey, at least 25 percent of customers walk away when forced to register before they shop an item. In fact, replacing the register button with the continue button can increase your sales by more than 25 percent according to a study by UI Engineering. 

From a shopper’s point of view, when they come to your website, they want to find a product and complete the checkout process without committing to your website. When you force them to create an account, you add an extra step in the shopping process and this can turn them away.

You can fix this problem by removing the sign-up or creating an account prompt before the shopping process. If you still want them to create an account, you can prompt them after completing the shopping process or sending them an email through the email they provided during the shopping process. 

The only thing you need is your customer’s email address. Ask for the email before you ask for the physical address. With the email address, you can follow up with the customers if they fail to complete the checkout process or if you need them to create an account.

Huge Shipping Costs

A survey by TechCrunch reveals that more than 61 percent of shoppers will abandon the cart if the seller does not offer free shipping. Consumers want to have all the good items from your site without paying for shipping fees or paying a very small shipping fee. 

The problem with the shipping fee is that it is added after every item has been added to the shopping cart. As such, the customer doesn’t get to see the fee until they are about to hit the last button in the checkout process. 

You can avoid the shipping fee problem by offering free shipping on all items nationally. To do that, you might have to avoid other discounts and offers on items. Too many offers and discounts can devalue your brand. Instead, merge your offers and discounts into one—free shipping. 

If you cannot offer free shipping to all customers, at least offer a standard shipping fee for all orders regardless of where the customer lives. If a customer knows that the shipping charge is standard before they add items to their shopping cart, they will not be disappointed during checkout. 

You can also offer free shipping for orders over a certain cost. The moment you add the “Calculate Shipping Fees” button, you are already disappointing the customers. 

A small additional fee can turn your customers away—what happens when you force them to pay a whopping 25 dollars? If, for some reason, you have to charge shipping fees, ensure you are honest about it. You can add the shipping fee of every product on the product page so your customers do not feel like you are taking their hard-earned money for no reason. As such, the customer already expects to pay shipping fees and they will be less frustrated.

Page Delays

If the checkout page loads one second slower than other pages, it could cost your brand millions every year. Most of the customers do not have the patience to wait for a slow-loading checkout page. 

When the customer is shopping, they shouldn’t have to reload the shopping cart to see shipping fees, product count, or available coupon codes. These details should update automatically immediately when the customer adds an item. A slow shopping cart is one of the reasons customers will walk away without the product they came to shop. Unless your products are one of a kind and the customers need them badly, there is no way they will wait for your cart to refresh.

You can avoid this mistake by developing a dynamic shopping cart. Today, there are so many dynamic shopping cart plugins to help you out. You can also hire a developer to create a dynamic shopping cart (or do it yourself if you understand Ruby on Rails, jQuery, and jQuery UI).

A Checkout Process Not Optimized for Mobile

Customers shopping on mobile are less patient than customers shopping on a desktop. As such, you need to ensure that your checkout page makes mobile shopping fast. If the buttons are small and not easy to tap, the labels are not visible and the loading speeds are low, your customers will likely walk away. 

You could avoid customers walking away by having an intuitive mobile app for your shop. It is easier to optimize your mobile app than to optimize the website for your mobile shoppers. However, both of them need to be optimized for mobile shoppers.

According to research by Pew Research, three out of four Americans have shopped online with at least half of them shopping on mobile devices. This shows the importance of mobile shoppers to your eCommerce.

Limited Payment Methods

Merchants who only offer credit card payment options will start losing their customers. So many payment methods have penetrated the online market and PayPal and credit cards are no longer the only players. Merchants need to add these new payment methods to ensure their customers get the satisfaction they need. 

Research shows that at least 50 percent of customers will walk away if they do not see their preferred payment method. Another research by WorldPay showed that payment methods outside credit and debit cards will account for more sales in 2017, and it happened. 

You can avoid the problem by ensuring you have as many payment methods as possible. This way, your customers feel the convenience of shopping with you.

Perceived Security Risks

Can customers trust your business? If a customer feels that they cannot trust you with their email address and physical address, they will likely walk away. If your checkout page lacks cues that your website is safe, your customers will likely abandon the cart. 

You can show customers that your website is safe by showing security badges such as McAfee and many others. You can also assure customers that you will not share your customers’ details with a third party. By assuring customers your website is secure, you might increase your sales by up to 6 percent.


Most of the eCommerce sites are not user-tested. User testing is the easiest way to identify all errors that might be in the shopping cart or any other part of your eCommerce site.  A user test is an easy way to tell what customers think about your brand. Here, you will enlist real users who will speak frankly about the shopping experience. The users will say what they like, what they don’t, where they feel stuck, and so many others. 

In a user test, you only need five customers to go through the shopping process and identify all the errors on the shopping cart. During a user test, you will identify so many usability errors most of which are conversion killers. By solving these errors, you will increase your shopping cart conversion. A user test should be performed every time you add a new feature or tweak the existing features on your website. If you run everything on yourself, you can even perform your own user test.

Author’s bio: Vipin Nayar is the Co-founder of Aviv Digital. He’s a Social Media, SEO & SEM expert with over nine years’ experience in Digital marketing. He keeps himself updated about all the latest trends in the world of Digital Marketing and shares his knowledge with us through his blogs and articles.

Head of Content Marketing at CS-Cart | Website

Yan Anderson is the Head of Content Marketing at CS-Cart with over 10 years of experience in the eCommerce industry. He's passionate about explaining complicated things in simple terms. Yan has expertise in building, running and growing eCommerce marketplaces. He loves to educate people about best practices, new technologies, and trends in the global eCommerce industry.