Online Checkout Fun…as close as you can get

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What’s the most painful point of a prospects purchase process for an online retailer? Checkout.

Most cart/checkouts get over 60-70% abandonment. If you’re a retailer it’s painful because you were so close to closing the customer….you almost had them! What happened?!

What happens is that introspective questions nibble away at the toggle in a customers’ mind that makes them click “Checkout” or “Submit Order”…

  • Do I really need this?
  • Can I find it cheaper elsewhere?
  • Will I get it in time?
  • Does it do this or that?
  • Will it work with this or that?
  • Will they like it?
  • Is this site secure and safe to order?
  • Do I know the reputation of this retailer?
  • If I buy this what can’t I buy in the future?
  • Will my wife kill me?

Of course there are things you can do in checkout to alleviate some of these objections. But the most fundamental strategy is to make checkout so easy that there’s nothing to trip up their cognitive process of completing checkout. There’s nothing you’ve done to give the customer pause to think. Perhaps you can even take their mind off those nibbling questions…can you make checkout fun? Most can’t…but I found a checkout that is pretty close. But I’m an online geek.

Checkout (no pun intended) Griffin Technologies.

First note the attractive and clear Buy now call to action…

When you click that you get a pop-in window, without leaving the page you can change quantity and check shipping.

Checkout itself looks long, but it has big fonts, looks super simple, and has some interesting features. Despite the length they make it less daunting with the two column design.
When you click ‘same as shipping address” the billing address area collapses
In the payment information they remind you that it is secure.
They reinforce the order summary at the bottom.

I found this checkout to be unique, easy to use, and discovered some ‘fun’ interactive surprises.

If you want to take it even further, check out this company that actually does make checkout fun… Allurent has a Flash/AJAX-based checkout that was the only cool thing I saw at eTail last year. Check out the demo. While it’s not a solution for small businesses (pretty expensive) the impact in checkout completion could definitely be worthwhile.

4 Responses

  1. Jeff Watts says:

    I went through this checkout process, and there are a couple of things I struggled with:
    1. No phone number or “trusted” seals like Verisign, etc. on checkout page?
    2. The “billing address” checkbox is hidden over on the left side – completely out of the flow of the page. It is easy to move this to the right side, where the shopper is already looking and only display the billing section when that box was checked. It’s interesting b/c they sort of do this in the reverse way – they hide the billing area after you check the box – nice, but it doesn’t reduce the shopper’s negative perception of seeing a long form initially.

  2. Bert Decker says:

    Good stuff.
    I checked out Griffin and bought a product.
    And I was supposedly only checking it out.
    Interesting enough I logged on to your blog tonight only because it was featured in Typepad. Viral marketing!

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  4. I think this checkout page is good but maybe add some checkbox so people do not have to fill shipping if shipping is the same as billing.

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