WEBINAR: Optimize the Checkout Experience

Liventus recently hosted our second eCommerce webinar, Optimize the Checkout Experience.

This webinar took aim at the hot button topic of increasing conversions in your shopping cart. Get insights into key questions that can help your business increase your rate of conversions and bolster your bottom line.

photo of Tim Dolloff with a circle border

Webinar Host: Tim Dolloff

Tim Dolloff was the speaker for this webinar and answered questions asked by the attendees. A little about him, Tim has spent the past 25 years building custom software solutions, 15 of which were focused on the eCommerce industry. Tim founded a development firm in 2010 and sold it to Liventus in 2017. Joining Liventus at that time, Tim’s primary focus continues to be eCommerce development. His customers rely on him to be an expert and a problem solver, helping them unlock business potential by leveraging technology solutions. He has worked with clients in the apparel, health foods, jewelry, entertainment equipment, and live theatre (broadway). He has been implementing websites on the Magento platform since it launched in 2007 (they are now owned by Adobe) but also has experience building completely custom websites and WordPress sites.


What payments beyond the usual credit cards do I need to offer? How do I incorporate those into my site? 17:14

Varies depending on business, increase in Mobile eCommerce shopping, B2C and B2B, payment methods you choose have impact on usability

At minimum the usual credit cards should be offered: Visa, Mastercard, American Express

The credit card payment method should be secure and PCI compliant

Work with an expert that understands those elements of credit card processing

Credit card processing is the customer’s (and your) biggest security concern on site

Other methods to consider

Paypal – allows user to checkout without entering credit card data and is a known payment processor

Apple pay – many mobile customers use apple devices and it is simpler than Paypal

Amazon pay – many customers already use Amazon pay so they are comfortable with this method. Additionally you are not processing credit card through your site, which limits security issues.

Customers could be shopping anywhere, they could be in a store, holding device and trying to check out simply and quickly. Let them checkout with just a few clicks by offering these other forms of payment.

One edge case on payment options we encountered was primarily based on consumer demographic. A client of ours with a primarily older consumer found they desired to make payment via checks. We obviously don’t recommend this method unless it is absolutely necessary. The point is to view this from your customer’s perspective and provide them with the payment method that suits their preferences and comfort level.


Why wouldn’t I force my customer to create an account? If I don’t have their info I can’t track their purchases and encourage them to shop again. 25:24

If you keep checkout simple and safe, you are more likely to convert into a sale

There are ways to encourage the customer to provide their information like loyalty benefits and rewards. And there are some unique situations where it’s required to have their details like business to business eCommerce or when a customer is shopping on terms or if there is a membership situation. However, outside of those circumstances we discourage requiring your customer to enter their personal details and it can so often give them cold feet and they abandon the cart.

Magento just launched a new feature based on their research on consumer behavior and cart abandonment rates.  When the customer gets to checkout there is no prompt to ask if customer wants to log in. The idea is getting the customer through the process as seamlessly as possible. Only prompt is for email so they can communicate order details. Once the customer enters email, the site looks to see if there’s an account and informs the consumer if one exists. Messaging to the consumer indicates that they will be able to create an account after checkout is completed. And if so, they’ve already entered their address and other information needed for an account so all they need then is to choose a password.


How do you make the checkout process easier? 30:24

3 things added to the default Magento 2 shopping experience that we’ve found have improved our client’s checkout experience. These could also be customized for a Magento 1 site or many other eCommerce platforms. Overall, Magento saw conversion increase by 11% for these 3 updates:

  1. Zip code auto fill
    1. Fill in zip code and city and state is auto populated
    2. Reduce customer entry
    3. Magento saw 8% increase in conversion with this feature
  2. Simplified cart header
    1. Take away menus that guide them to leave checkout
    2. Amazon has done implemented this
  3. Coupon collapse
    1. Hide field, expands if customer clicks a link

Test ideas, look at data, make the change, revert if needed or continue

Billing and shipping – default address

Mobile eCommerce has been increasing, we’ve seen a 39% increase in mobile use over desktop this year. Make sure checkout fields big enough for fingers and checkout should be one page, no clicking next, just sliding down is the ideal experience.


What should we do to optimize our checkout for a better mobile experience? 41:14

Customers are more frustrated with bad mobile than bad desktop. A bad mobile experience for a consumer results in 62% less likely for them to buy from you in the future

  • Make sure have a mobile responsive site, meaning the site scales properly for the smaller screen
  • Utilize the “hamburger menu” (3 little lines) to allow the consumer to navigate your site
  • Large buttons (big enough for fingers)
  • Easy payments options
  • You have limited real estate – minimize what you’re displaying


What can I do after a customer left items in their cart but are no longer on the site? 47:35

If a customer has not logged in, there isn’t much you can do to recapture that sale. However, if customer has logged in during checkout then the abandoned cart can be associated with that user. You can send abandoned cart emails by working with your email carrier on a schedule to serve as reminders to your customer of what they left in the cart. We’ve found that beyond just telling them what they left adding an incentive to come back and complete the purchase yields more return customers.


How do you give accurate delivery estimates to customers 49:25

Most common carriers have expected delivery time, start there and leverage their expertise. But also consider your processing time. When does fulfillment start after an order is received? If an order is received in the middle of the night or on a holiday, when would that order reasonably be ready for shipment? Make sure you add in processing time when calculating expected arrival dates to your customer. Communicating clearly with your customer is critical to instill confidence and make the shopping experience as easy as possible. After the order is placed, email a confirmation of the order to the customer. If your delivery dates change, quickly communicate those updates to your consumer. Make special note of customizations or other things that may add to the processing time needed for that order. If you allow international deliveries clearly state the different delivery times and  clarify that fast shipping is only domestic if that’s the case.