No matter how many Shopify eCommerce checkout best practices I write about, it’s never going to be enough.
Because eCommerce stores don’t do enough.
It’s sad. It’s true.
Thanks to Shopify, these Shopify checkout best practices don’t even need you to benchpress or lift boulders. If you use Shopify, all you have to do is enable features or add apps or both.
Your Shopify Checkout is the moment of truth — it’s where rubber meets the road (or checkout buttons meet credit cards?)
eCommerce checkout best practices is primarily a “Conversion Rate Optimization” strategy. If you are reading this, chances are that you are doing everything else (you ought to do) to ensure that you:
- Use a robust platform like Shopify, BigCommerce, Webflow, or well-optimized WordPress eCommerce setup for your eCommerce store. Please note that any talk of platforms is meaningless unless you have numbers for traffic, sales, revenue, and profits to show.
- Site design includes clean, intuitive, fast, and well-spaced content (with focus on both product images and copywriting) — including general copy, product descriptions, and more.
- You do everything you should to ensure fast-loading page speeds. This would mean buying the right themes for Shopify like Booster Theme, optimizing your Magento or BigCommerce platforms for page load speed. For WordPress, this would mean using the right combination of hosting (such as Kinsta, WP Engine, Cloudways, FlyWheel or others).
- Your digital marketing channels are well managed: Including eCommerce blogging, active social media presence, smart email marketing, retargeting, building audiences (including custom audiences), and so on.
- All of your digital marketing efforts lead to dedicated landing pages for eCommerce (using Unbounce, Leadpages, or Instapage). This holds true even if you are using Wix, Strikingly, Simvoly, or any of the 23+ No code website builders for eCommerce.
- Other smart ways to engage customers are already on your site — lead generation popups, live chat software, and others.
- Your analytics are in place: Starting with Google Analytics and moving to other analytics tools such as AnyTrack, SuperMetrics, Databox, Google Data Studio, MixPanel, and several other analytics tools for your business.
If you’ve read through that list above, you are well on your way to dig into Shopify checkout best practices.
Let’s dig right in: Here are some of the best Shopify Checkout Best Practices You Should Implement
1. Build Inspiring Shopify Stores
If I were to write this in the year 3045, I’d still write this: “Impressions matter”. Your store — how it looks, how fast it loads, the user experience, what’s written (and how!) on your eCommerce site will all matter.
Knowingly, or unknowingly, these impressions (and the fall-out of these impressions) reflect in branding, sales, and ultimately profits.
If you are looking for Shopify themes, there are free ones. There are paid ones. There are some truly fantastic, all-purpose and loaded themes like Booster Theme.
Then, there are super apps such as Shogun that gives you a “page builder for Shopify”.
Yes, Shogun is a drag-and-drop page builder for Shopify. Instead of getting stuck with a theme, use a page builder or theme builder like Shogun to create experiences that you never thought were possible.
Need Some Inspiration?
2. Use Guest Checkout
Let’s just say that a potential customer only wants to (or intends to) buy just one product from your store, for one time (for now). She wants to see how it works. She wants to sample your product.
Most eCommerce stores are not equipped to “sell once”. The whole apparatus just isn’t capable of making it easy & convenient to make that “one” purchase one-time.
Capterra’s 2022 Online Shopping Survey shows that efficiency is a priority, More than 2/3rds of shoppers expect checkout to be 4 minutes or less. In fact, around 28% of online shoppers expect checkout to happen within 2 minutes or less.
Further, the survey reveals that more than 43% of consumers prefer “guest checkout” (no, they don’t want to create accounts as yet).
Did you know that more than 72% of shoppers prefer “guest checkout” even if they had accounts with the eCommerce store?
Imagine just how ridiculous it’d be if you had to ask every single customer to “create an account” even if they were to just buy once.
Guest checkout is one of the most popular, preferred, and convenient ways to checkout online.
It’s also a no-brainer.
3. Shop Pay & Shopify Sign-In (No Extra Cost)
Shopify Sign-in is much like saying hello and meeting your best customers, whenever they come knocking. Shopify Sign-in boasts of faster checkout, increased conversions, and an incredibly loyal way to help connect with your customers.
Shopify Sign-in allows customers to log-in fast, complete with their credentials and details, ready to shop. No wasting time trying to use passwords, SMS authentications, Two-factor authentications, and anything else that causes friction.
When customers have to fill up forms (if any), their information is pre-filled (thanks to Shopify Sign-in).
With Shopify Sign-in, Shopify eCommerce stores boast of 4X faster checkout. More than 100 million+ Shop users already enjoy a seamless shopping experience.
Reportedly, Shopify Sign-In alone contributes to 1.91X boost on conversion with Shop Pay (compared to other mobile checkouts) and Shop users spend around 17% more in their first year alone (compared to regular shoppers).
4. Use Shopify’s Shop Pay Installments Premium
Shopify recently launched Shop Pay Installments premium — a great way to increase average order value by allowing customers to opt for extended payback periods. This is in addition to Shopify Buy Now Pay Later suite of offerings.
According to Shopify,
“Shop Pay Installments premium package is a financing plan that enables merchants to offer interest-free payments for up to 12 months and monthly installments with interest for up to 24 months on orders between $50 and $17,500.”
With the Shop Pay Installments premium option, you can maximize your customers’ buying power and allow them to go beyond their perceived friction for high prices. This makes your products more accessible while giving your customers more options to buy.
For customers, there are no hidden fees or late fees. Overcoming price objections and by encouraging customers to complete their purchases, you can reduce shopping cart abandonment by up to 28%.
Not only that, you’d also increase the Average Order Value since customers find paying periods extending into longer terms and interest-free payments easier and more convenient.
5. Mobile-optimized and Mobile-friendly Checkout
Accessibility doesn’t get as much importance as it deserves. More than 33% of shoppers in the United States used their mobile devices to shop online.
Mobile or not mobile? It’s not an option. Don’t go asking if “mobile-optimized checkouts” are a “good idea”.
Thankfully, Shopify makes your checkout optimized for mobile already. The default checkout is already battle-tested.
It’s built to fly. Use it.
If you want more, use Shopify Shop Pay — the accelerated checkout. Connect other Shopify native features and apps such as Shopify Forms, Shopify Flow, Shopify Email, Shopify Inbox, Shopify Automation, Shopify POS (if you also have a brick-and-mortar presence) and you get even more bang for your buck with mobile checkout.
It’s there. Most of these are free to use with one-click implementation. So, why not?
6. Use Shopify PassKeys
Shopify Passkeys are a simple, fast, and a secure way for customers to authenticate their identify (without having to use time-consuming two-factor authentication, passwords, and anything else that can bring down their roofs).
Passkeys allows customers to authenticate their identify by using biometrics, PIN, by drawing patterns with their fingers on mobile screens. Since Passkeys works with Shop Pay, customer details (such as names, addresses, and credit card numbers) are all automatically populated for the respective customer.
With this, customers will be able to complete their checkout in a single tap (like, one tap) if they sign in with Shopify’s Shop.
Use this method to generate leads as well with an optimized lead capture (boasting of 8-10% increase in conversions).
7. Make Checkout work Harder Than It Does
How many people add items to a shopping cart? It’s called the “Add to Cart Conversion Rate” and it stands at just under 7%, according to ConvertCart. Meanwhile, the average checkout conversion rate (complete checkout) is at a miniscule 2.12%.
Out of 100 people who visit your eCommerce store, only 2 of them are ever likely to actually make the purchase.
Everyone else has left the building. Say hello to last-minute freezing, cold feet, power cuts, lack of interest, “I’ll think about this later”, Shopping cart abandonment, and more.
Most of these factors might not be in your control. However, how eCommerce checkout is optimized, the platform your eCommerce store is on, and what you enable at checkout will all help reduce shopping cart abandonment.
Here’s what you should do to make checkout work harder (while still being non-intrusive):
- Use elements and features such as Shopify Shop Pay’s accelerated checkout. For WordPress sites, be sure to use advanced WordPress eCommerce technology stack
- Create post-purchase funnels and make highly-relevant and personalized post-purchase offers using a tool like Carthook
- Upsell or Cross-sell related products on checkout.
- Upsell smart add-ons, subscriptions, and other products or services. Learn how brands use upselling in eCommerce.
8. Upsell and Cross-sell on Shopify
Upsells and Cross-sells for eCommerce are a slam dunk; something that you should do just as naturally as you brush, floss, walk, sit, and stand.
The success probability of selling to existing customers (even those who moved mountains enough to push an item to a cart and are considering a purchase) is at a healthy 60-70%, according to SmallBizGenius.
Upsells and Cross-sells are also one of the most sought after ways to increase AOV (Average Order Value)
For products, you could have layers of add-ons, subscriptions, 1:1 service, consultation calls, guidance on call (free or paid) and upsell all of these (or some of these) at Shopify checkout.
Or, use product recommendations, “people also buy”, “best sellers you should consider”, and other cross-selling techniques at Shopify checkout.
There are several apps on the Shopify App Store to help as well.
9. Provide Free Shipping
More than 58% of customers don’t mind adding more products to their cart to hit the “free shipping” threshold like “Free shipping for orders $100 and more”.
Meanwhile, a consumer trends report reveals that more than 80% of your customers expect “free shipping”. according to the Baymard Institute, Shipping Costs are the biggest reason why customers abandon their shopping carts.
Nudge Customers To Hit Free Shipping Threshold by recommending highly-relevant products to their cart (while shopping). Or upsell. Or Cross-sell.
However, “free shipping” itself is a no-brainer motivator and a stress reducer while customers shop. It also helps increase your average order value (AOV) and boosts conversion rates.
Note: If you’re selling in the US, Canada, or Australia, you also have access to Shopify Shipping — it offers discounted carrier rates (up to 88%), whether you offer free shipping or not. Shopify Shipping also allows you to use a single solution for all your shipping needs. Ship products faster with a built-in $200 insurance, at lower rates. Learn more about Shopify Shipping.
10. Iterate on UX/UI Design to Improve User Experience
Customers abandon about 70% of potential purchases. As the folks at Webflow put it:
“… Checkout page should help finalize their purchase — not drive them away”
There could be all sorts of reasons why shoppers abandon their carts. Whatever those reasons are, it should never be about issues with your shopping cart, UX/UI issues, navigation, and because the pages didn’t load properly (among others).
The basics of good eCommerce checkout design will kick in here: making sure costs are front and center. Reduce the number of form fields (if any), lack of an outline of the checkout process, site security, and others.
11. Use Transactional Emails to Sell More
Say goodbye to boning transactional emails. Give them a visual makeover and make transactional emails bring in additional revenue (the kind you’d never get if you didn’t think about this).
Transactional emails are usually cut-to-the-bone. With nothing more than a logo and “this is what you ordered, here are the details”, there’s not much going on for transactional emails.
Most eCommerce brands completely ignore transactional emails while these are specifically the type of emails that have maximum open rates and click-through rates. Almost every single transactional email is opened (and read).
Makes sense to use transactional emails to your advantage then, right?
Use an app like Uporder for Shopify to make your Shopify Email notifications bring in revenue and sales.
Uporder helps you transform those boring “this this so so” emails into fully-branded complete sales machines which can include product recommendations, dynamic discounts, upsells, and cross-sells.
12. Live Chat Small Talk, Just Before The Sale
Use live chat software. Use bots. Use FAQ pages (but that’s a little too passive).
Pick up the phone and call. Sit at your command station and manually respond to inbound emails if you have to.
No, this isn’t a little something you do to the actual checkout page, checkout element, or the “cart”.
It’s that “something” you have to do when inquisitive customers come calling, ask questions, get some clarity, and more. Oh, yes, you could create an FAQ page and dust your hands off (but that’s just the mistake you do).
Generate consistent revenue just by doing customer service and customer interactions right. See this Performance Flywheel resource to learn more.
More than 9000+ brands generated billions of dollars just by “doing the small talk”.
Use live chat. Shopify also has Shopify Inbox to make it easier for you.
Checkout pages on ecommerce sites make or break sales. Learn how to maximize conversion rates by improving the user experience.
See how your sales soar with these Shopify checkout best practices. They are best practices for a reason.
What are you doing to optimize your Shopify Checkout best practices? What are some Shopify Checkout best practices you follow?