Abandoned checkouts are one of the major pain points for every online retailer. Statistics show that nearly 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned each year, leading to billions of dollars in lost sales globally.
Baymard Institute, an independent web research institute, carried out a quantitative study of online shoppers to analyze reasons for abandoned carts. They summarized their findings as follows:
When you’re competing with businesses globally, optimizing your store’s checkout process will give you an edge over your competition and reduce the number of abandoned carts on your store.
In this article, we’ll look at how you can optimize the checkout process for your Magento store in eight easy steps and boost conversions on your website.
Eight Ways To Optimize Magento Checkout Process For Conversions
1.Display all costs upfront
The biggest reason for cart abandonment is the last-minute addition of extra costs. These are usually taxes, shipping charges, or other fees such as handling fees. Retailers often display product prices excluding any extra costs to entice customers into making a purchase.
However, such tactics have a low success rate because once customers are presented with the additional charges during checkout, they’re more likely to cancel their purchase instead of following through. It not only leads to cart abandonments but also hurts customers’ shopping experience.
Displaying all costs upfront will help your customers make more informed buying decisions and establish trust in their minds. You can do this by configuring your Magento store to display all prices in the catalog and on the product page, including and excluding tax.
To set this up, log into your admin panel and navigate to Stores > Settings > Configuration > Sales > Tax. Under the ‘Price Display Settings’ section, you can configure how pricing is displayed across your website and on the cart page.
You can even configure shipping fees to be displayed on the cart page to avoid last-minute surprises.
2. Enable guest checkouts
The second most common reason for an abandoned checkout is forcing customers to create an account while checking out. While collecting customer data is all the rage these days, it can hurt the shopping experience significantly and cause privacy concerns. Especially since customers are becoming increasingly conscious of why and where they share their information and how it is used.
Besides privacy concerns, the additional steps required to create an account before checkout increases the complexity of the process and leads to cart abandonment. Magento supports guest checkouts, and if you aren’t using it already, you should enable it to allow potential customers to place orders without creating an account.
You can enable it by navigating to Stores > Settings > Configuration > Sales > Checkout > Checkout Options in the Magento admin. Once there, set ‘Allow Guest Checkout’ to ‘Yes’.
3. Use Onepage Checkout
By default, Magento 2 uses Onepage Checkout to simplify the checkout process by gathering all required information on a single page and allowing the customer to complete their purchase quickly.
If you aren’t sure that you’re using Onepage Checkout on your store, you can check this by navigating to Stores > Settings > Configuration > Sales > Checkout > Checkout Options. Ensure the ‘Enable Onepage Checkout’ option is set to ‘Yes.
If you’ve made any changes to the existing settings, make sure to click ‘Save Config’ and refresh your website cache.
The default Onepage Checkout process of Magento still requires customers to go through two steps:
- Enter shipping information,
- Enter payment information.
Fortunately, Magento’s customizability allows merchants to customize every aspect of their stores to their liking.
With the help of a company offering Magento development services, you can customize your checkout page to add or remove fields or steps and turn the two-step checkout process into a single step as well.
4. Use SSL
Another significant concern for customers is security. When customers place an order with a business, they trust it with their personal and payment information. Both of which are highly valuable and something many hackers are looking to steal.
Using SSL on your website helps assure customers that their private information is being transmitted over a secure channel and isn’t open for everyone to access. You can also use an Extended Validation (EV) SSL instead of a regular SSL to build more trust.
Often used by banks and financial institutions, an EV SSL is only issued after a business goes through an identity verification process. This additional verification assures customers that a company is genuine and verified by the certificate issuing organization.
Once you’ve installed an SSL on your server, you can configure your Magento store to use it by heading to Store > Configuration > General > Web and updating the entry for ‘Base URLs (secure)’ to ‘https’. Additionally, update ‘Use Secure URLs in Storefront’ and ‘Use Secure URLs on Admin’ to ‘Yes’ before saving the configuration and refreshing your cache.
5. Offer more payment methods
Magento supports the following payment methods that do not require a third-party payment processor:
- Check/Money order,
- Bank Transfer payment,
- Cash on delivery payment,
- Zero subtotal checkout,
- Purchase order.
In addition to these, it also supports third-party payment providers like PayPal, Braintree, Klarna, and Amazon Pay out of the box.
Magento stores can be customized to support other popular third-party providers like Stripe and Apple Pay using ready-to-use extensions. And if you do not wish to use third-party providers, you can configure your Magento store to use your custom payment gateway with assistance from a Magento agency.
Offering multiple payment options to your customers and allowing them to choose between providers while placing an order will reduce the likelihood of an abandoned checkout because of limited payment options.
6. Configure shopping cart display images
By default, Magento displays the parent product’s image as the thumbnail for all products in the shopping cart. Often, merchants selling grouped or configurable products fail to change the default settings leading to confusion in their customers’ minds and potentially lost sales.
For example, suppose a store sells multiple colors of an item under a single configurable product. When a customer selects and adds different colors in the same product to their cart, they will be presented with the same thumbnail across all products when they view the cart or checkout.
While some customers may reach out to the store owner or customer service department for clarification, many will presume that the website is experiencing technical difficulties and abandon their cart.
Fortunately, this is an easy fix. To configure Magento to display the images of the simple products, open your Magento admin panel and navigate to Stores > Settings > Configuration > Sales > Checkout and expand the ‘Shopping Cart’ sections.
Here, you can update the settings by changing the default values for ‘Grouped Product Image’ and ‘Configurable Product Image’ to ‘Product Thumbnail Itself’ from the default setting of ‘Parent Product Thumbnail’.
Once you’ve made your desired changes, click ‘Save Config’ and refresh your website cache, so the changes display on the frontend.
7. Configure the persistent cart
Magento’s persistent shopping cart functionality stores the items added to the cart until the next time the customer visits. This feature increases the likelihood of the customer picking up where they left off the last time they visited a website and proceeding with their purchase.
To configure Magento’s persistent cart for your store, go to Stores > Settings > Configuration > Customers in your admin panel. Next, under ‘Persistent Shopping Cart’, set ‘Enable Persistence’ to ‘Yes’. You can save these changes by clicking ‘Save Config’ or tweak other settings to customize it to your liking.
You can set the duration of persistence under the ‘Persistence Lifetime (seconds)’ setting, set the cart to be cleared when the customer logs out using ‘Clear Persistence on Log Out’, and even enable persistence for product comparisons and recently viewed products.
8. Improve checkout performance
Magento achieves its industry-leading performance by leveraging powerful technologies like Varnish and Redis for caching. But when it comes to the cart and checkout pages, they do not enjoy the same luxury. Often, the checkout page is one of the slowest pages on a misconfigured website and ends up rendering hundreds of unwanted requests.
There are several ways of tackling this issue. The usual suspects for poor performance are unoptimized static content and a lack of server resources. However, other issues like excessive use of price rules and unused shipping methods, countries, and payment methods also slow down the checkout process.
To disable unwanted promotions, head to Marketing > Promotions and disable all cart and catalog price rules that have expired or aren’t required. Doing this will stop them from being used at the time of checkout and improve checkout performance.
You can also disable unnecessary shipping methods from Stores > Configuration > Sales > Shipping Methods and use only the carriers you require. This will reduce the number of API requests your store makes to calculate shipping costs during the checkout process.
Wrapping it up
You can follow these eight easy tips to optimize your Magento store’s checkout process for performance and conversions without the need for extensions or professional assistance.
Doing this will help build a strong foundation for your store, which you can later build on using custom development and third-party extensions to boost performance and functionality further.
When you’re using a platform as powerful and flexible as Magento, there’s no reason why you should struggle with low conversions or poor performance. Appropriately used, Magento is an asset that can contribute to the growth of every online business.
Author: Jan Guardian
Jan is the Chief Business Development Officer at Staylime, a Magento design, and development company headquartered in Redwood City, California. He is a Member of the Magento Association and an Adobe Sales Accredited Magento Commerce professional. Jan is passionate about ecommerce and Magento in particular — throughout the years his articles have been featured on Retail Dive, Hacker Noon, Chief Marketer, Mobile Marketer, TMCnet, and many others.
Follow Techdee for more informative articles.