Joshua By

Removing Checkout Barriers – A checklist to higher conversion rates

Often online business owners come to us for international marketing advice. We tailor our solutions to their industry, what countries they are targeting, and their marketing budget, among other things. But today I want to share one piece of advice that can help every eCommerce business.

It all comes down to check out barriers.

It doesn’t matter if you have the most amazing product, a series of user tested landing pages, and a great PPC campaign; if your customers run into even the tiniest problem while checking out, all of these efforts go to waste. We’ve all felt it, it’s that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you’re about to make a purchase that makes you want to hide your credit card, wondering why you ever pulled it out in the first place.

On average about 68% of online sales are lost due to check out barriers. Think about it for a second; this means if you are currently making $32,000 per year in online sales, capturing only a third of abandoned sales would mean an additional $22,000.

So, why do shoppers abandon their carts? Here are some of the top reasons:


The problem with your checkout process isn’t always easy to see. It’s like a grammatical error that you’ve read over again and again but you won’t catch until someone proofreads your paper.

My suggestion is to “proofread” your checkout process by going through and making a purchase yourself. If you can, have someone else do it as well. You can hire third party testing services, like User Testing. The best value is to have a user who will talk through their actions and choices. If possible, record the process and review it with user experience experts or your marketing team.

Here is checklist to use while testing your checkout:

Throughout the entire process:

Are there any glitches or bugs?

Are there any pages that load slowly or time out?

Is the navigation simple?

Before checkout:

Are the prices for each item transparent? After viewing the product page, will the customer understand all of the costs associated with their purchase?

Once an item is in the shopping cart, is it hard to find the cart?

Is it easy to add or remove items in the cart?

Can the shopper change quantities, sizes, or view details about each item while in the shopping cart without having to go back to other pages?

During checkout:

Are there ways for your customers to know that your website is secure? (e.g. security logos)

If there is more than one step to the process, is it confusing as to whether clicking the “next” button will make their purchase final?

Is the shopper asked for more personal information than necessary? Is the shopper required to register? (If so, you might want to make a way for shoppers to check out as a guest)

If the shopper changes their mind about something in their cart, is it easy to go back and fix it?

Is the process taking too long?

Are shipping charges outrageous?

Is the currency presented in the shopper’s local currency?

After checkout:

Do shoppers receive a notification via email with a receipt?

Can you go back and review your order to verify which items were purchased?

Is there a “share” button so that people can talk about their purchases with others?

The “after checkout” questions obviously happen after a cart would have been abandoned, but you don’t want to forget to make people feel good about their purchase afterwards.

Stop losing money due to check out barriers

Put these ideas to work, and feel free to experiment and see what helps your customers complete their checkout process. Let us know what works for you!

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