Conversion

How To Build an Optimized Checkout on Shopify - Tested Strategies with Examples

Skai Lama
May 20, 2024
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15 minutes

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While every page on your eCommerce store is important, one page where drop-off matters the most is your store’s Checkout. Often, customers add products to their cart but don’t complete the purchase, it’s commonly known as cart abandonment. Even if you use a cart abandonment email to get those customers back, only 3% of the users return to the store. To tackle this, it's necessary to understand why customers are leaving your checkout and optimize your checkout process to prevent cart abandonment from hurting your revenue. Here are some of the most common reasons customers abandon their checkout:

  • Unexpected shipping costs
  • Mandatory account creation
  • Complex checkout process
  • Hidden fees
  • Lack of trust
  • Website performance issues
  • Unclear information
  • Irrelevant upselling

Addressing these issues can significantly improve your checkout conversion rate so that customers leave with a positive impression and are more likely to return. This improvement isn't about randomly adding features to your checkout, but making strategic enhancements.

In this blog, we’ll discuss specific elements you can incorporate into your checkout process, with examples, to resolve these issues and optimize your Shopify checkout. This approach aims not just to increase conversions but also to optimize the overall revenue at the checkout stage.

Elements of an Optimized Shopify Checkout Page

Building Trust through Custom Branding

Shopify's default checkout is currently the highest-converting checkout, but it often differs in design from the rest of your store. This mismatch is jarring for customers and affects their shopping experience. With checkout extensions for Shopify Plus customers, you can now fully customize your Shopify checkout branding with access to branding API

By aligning the checkout design with your store's aesthetic, you enhance customer trust and provide a consistent shopping experience. If your store uses a specific color scheme and font, applying these elements to the checkout will make the transition less abrupt and optimize your checkout for conversions. Here’s an example of Magnolia Bakery, and how their checkout is branded to be consistent with the store.

Magnolia's Bakery's Consistent Shopify Store Experience

Social Proof for Conversion and Loyalty

Social proof is the easiest tool for getting more conversions and building customer loyalty. Before visiting your store, customers often check reviews. These reviews continue to influence their decision on the product page and can be a decisive factor at checkout. At checkout, customer buying intent is high. They're impressed with your product and store, and a positive review at this stage can be the final nudge they need.

Additionally, conducting customer surveys and showcasing these results at checkout can further enhance conversion rates. This strategy not only provides social proof but also demonstrates your commitment to customer feedback and continuous improvement. Here's one example from Peepers.

Social Proof for Optimizing a Shopify Checkout

Custom Content For Better Conversions

Store visitors especially first-timers want comprehensive information about your store before purchasing. By incorporating custom elements, you can articulate this information to build trust with customers. Here are some necessary custom elements for an optimized checkout:

  • Trust Badges: Customers don’t want to lose their money. By displaying trust badges, you can reassure customers about the security of your payment gateway to encourage purchases by instilling confidence.
  • Discount and Cashback Offers: Communicate any discounts or cashback offers you are running. Missing out on such savings will disappoint customers and you will potentially lose them out just because of unclear communication.
  • Return Policy: Clarify your return policy, which is crucial for items like clothing and shoes. Despite accurate size charts, mismatches happen. A clear return policy increases trust and can lead to more conversions.
  • Highlight Your Values: Displaying your brand's values, like eco-friendliness or 100% organic certification, can influence customer decisions at the checkout​​, especially among young shoppers who are conscious about the products they choose.
Custom Content For Clarity on Shopify Checkout

By implementing these strategies, you can optimize your Shopify checkout to be a more transparent, trustworthy shopping experience to directly impact your store's conversion rates.

Custom Fields to Get More Information

Optimizing your eCommerce checkout also includes integrating custom fields into your Checkout. These fields engage the customer and also gather important data that can be later used to provide a more personalized experience. Here are some examples of how you can use various custom fields on your store’s checkout:

  • Date Picker: This field allows customers to input significant dates, like birthdays or delivery dates. Such a field not only captures valuable data but gives you more information for personalized marketing, offers, upsells, and to cater customer’s needs.
  • Text Fields for Customer Notes: A text field lets customers leave special instructions or requests. This small addition personalizes their order, making the experience more interactive, and also shows your commitment to serving their needs.
  • Checkboxes for Additional Options: Introduce checkboxes for services like gift wrapping. It's a simple way to better the customer's shopping experience by offering more than just the product.
  • Dropdown Menus: These menus are great for presenting a variety of choices, and accommodating different customer needs and preferences. For example, you can add a drop-down menu of different delivery methods available so customers can choose according to their budget and urgency.
Custom Fields on Shopify Checkout

Each of these custom fields serves a unique purpose, from personalizing the shopping experience to providing you with valuable customer insights. One of our customers’ Honey Bug uses custom fields with Checkout Wizard to provide a gift message option. 

Read our Guide to Gifting on Checkout here.

Upselling For Improved AOV

Upselling is a crucial revenue booster for e-commerce stores but is often not used at checkout. A well-implemented upselling strategy at checkout can significantly increase your Average Order Value (AOV). For example, one of our clients used Checkout Wizard app to upsell on checkout and earned an additional $18,000 annually. Here's how you can also optimize checkout upsells:

  • Complementary Upsells: Offer products that complement the items in the cart. For instance, suggesting a belt with pants (especially if it's discounted) is more effective than pairing a belt with a shirt. The relevance increases the likelihood of the customer buying the additional product.
  • Special Checkout Discounted Upsells: Offer exclusive discounts at checkout. For example, Discstore offers a 30% discount only at checkout, which not only saves customers money but also boosts your AOV.
  • Strategic Placement and Testing: Simply placing an upsell block isn’t enough. It’s important to A/B test different products and placements on the checkout page to find the most effective strategy. Experiment with upsell positions in the order summary or contact sections of your Shopify Checkout.
Upselling on Shopify Checkout at Different Positions

Remember, the key to successful checkout upselling lies in continually testing and refining your approach to discover the most optimized strategies for your store. You can also explore more upselling strategies to try out in your store. By carefully selecting relevant products and strategically placing them, you can enhance the customer experience while increasing your revenue.

To let you know the effectiveness of checkout upsells, have a look at the dashboard of one of our customers who achieved over $10,000 in sales just through this method.

Dashboard of a Customer Making $10k by Upselling on Checkout

Leverage Free Shipping Bar to Sell More

In optimizing your Shopify checkout process, an effective strategy is implementing a Free Shipping Bar. It's a straightforward approach: as customers add items to their cart, they see how close they are to getting free shipping, nudging them to add just a bit more.

Moreover, pairing this with an upselling feature at checkout is the key to more sales. For instance, when a customer is buying a laptop, the upsell block might suggest adding a laptop case. This not only increases your Average Order Value (AOV) but also enhances the customer's shopping experience by offering relevant, valuable additions.

Free Shipping Bar on Shopify Checkout For Selling More

By making shipping costs transparent and integrating upsells naturally into the shopping flow, the Free Shipping Bar simplifies the decision-making process for the customer.

Leave on a High Note With Shopify Thank You Page

Optimizing Shopify's thank you page is crucial for your store to maintain a positive customer experience even after a purchase. This page is as important as the home page to delight customers as they complete their purchases and leave them on a high note so they want to return. Here’s how you can optimize it:

  • Feedback and Surveys: Use this page to ask for customer feedback or conduct surveys. It’s a goldmine for insights directly from your customer base and shows your customers that you care about their experience.
  • Social Media Engagement: Prompt customers to share their purchases on social media. This not only enhances brand visibility but also builds community. You can even offer a small cashback in exchange for sharing.
  • Loyalty and Referral Programs: Highlight your loyalty or referral programs here. It’s an effective way to turn one-time buyers into repeat customers. It will also help you bring new customers through word of mouth.
  • Customer Account Sign-Up: Encourage guest users to create an account for future convenience and benefits, building long-term engagement. You get their email this way that you can use to run future campaigns.
  • Subscription for Promotions: Invite customers to subscribe for promotional updates through different channels, keeping them informed and interested.

By strategically customizing your Shopify thank you page with these elements, you turn a simple transactional page into a powerful tool for enhancing customer retention, building brand loyalty, and driving sales. You can read about more Thank you page customizations you can implement in detail here.

Customize Delivery and Payment Methods

Optimizing Shopify checkout involves strategically editing and organizing shipping and payment options. Tailoring these options to customer preferences, such as highlighting popular shipping methods and hiding less relevant payment methods, streamlines the process and reduces decision fatigue. This approach not only enhances user experience but also lowers cart abandonment rates.

Additionally, by selectively displaying secure payment options and setting specific shipping criteria, you mitigate the risk of fraud. Restricting payments to verified methods and avoiding shipments to high-risk areas provide a security layer for your business and customers.

Checkout Validation for a Secure Checkout Experience

Checkout validation is another optimizing strategy that can better the Shopify checkout experience. Here’s why you should consider checkout validation as a part of your checkout optimizing strategy: 

  • Fraud Prevention: Validating details like email addresses, mobile numbers, and billing addresses helps prevent fraudulent transactions. For instance, confirming the authenticity of an email domain can deter scammers.
  • Reducing Chargebacks and Returns: By ensuring that all customer information is correct and legitimate, the risk of chargebacks and returns is significantly lowered.
  • Customer’s Trust: A secure checkout process, free from errors and potential fraud, builds customer confidence. When shoppers feel secure, they're more likely to complete their purchase and return in the future.
  • Streamlining Transactions: Accurate validation facilitates smoother transactions. It reduces the likelihood of issues arising post-purchase, such as incorrect deliveries or payment disputes.
Checkout Validation For a Secure eCommerce Checkout

Implementing thorough checkout validation procedures not only protects your revenue and reputation but also provides a better, more secure shopping experience for your customers. You can read all about checkout validation here

Optimizing Shopify Checkout For Mobile

Optimizing your Shopify store for mobile users is crucial in today's market, where a significant number of customers shop using their smartphones. Here's a breakdown of effective strategies you can implement right away:

  • Simplify the Process: Keep the checkout process simple and quick. A mobile user's attention span is limited, and a lengthy process could lead to cart abandonment.
  • Check Responsiveness: Your checkout page must adjust seamlessly to different screen sizes. A layout that works well on a desktop may be cumbersome on a mobile device.
  • Show Large, Clear Buttons: On a smaller screen, navigation needs to be straightforward. Use large buttons for critical actions like 'Add to Cart' or 'Proceed to Checkout' to enhance usability.
  • Save Information for Future Purchases: Allow customers to save their payment and shipping information. This step reduces the effort in future purchases, making the process faster and more convenient.
  • Provide Guest Checkout Option: Not all mobile users will want to create an account. Offering a guest checkout option simplifies their experience and can reduce the likelihood of cart abandonment.
  • Optimize Page Load Times: Mobile users often have less patience for slow-loading pages. Your pages must load quickly to keep potential customers from leaving.
  • Add Payment Options: Offer a variety of mobile-friendly payment options like Apple Pay or Google Pay. These methods are faster and more convenient for mobile users. You can also provide an express checkout with Shop Pay.
Optimized Shopify Checkout for Mobile

By focusing on these areas, you can create a more efficient and user-friendly mobile checkout experience. This approach not only improves customer satisfaction but also leads to increased sales and reduced cart abandonment rates.

Time to embrace Checkout Extensions with Checkout Wiz

Remember, optimizing your Shopify checkout is not about implementing every strategy mentioned in this blog. Instead, it's about trying out different elements to discover what resonates with your customers and better their shopping experience. Each store is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. 

This is why Checkout Wizard offers checkout-level analytics for your Shopify store. By leveraging these analytics, you can track the performance of various checkout features you've implemented. This data-driven approach allows you to make informed decisions on which strategies to continue and discard. It's a process of trial and error, guided by real-time feedback from your store's performance.

If you haven't migrated your Shopify Checkout yet, you can watch this short video which will help you migrate in 6 easy steps:

So, while it's tempting to try out every exciting feature, select the right mix that aligns with your brand and appeals to your customer base.

Share article

Table of Content

toc- heading

While every page on your eCommerce store is important, one page where drop-off matters the most is your store’s Checkout. Often, customers add products to their cart but don’t complete the purchase, it’s commonly known as cart abandonment. Even if you use a cart abandonment email to get those customers back, only 3% of the users return to the store. To tackle this, it's necessary to understand why customers are leaving your checkout and optimize your checkout process to prevent cart abandonment from hurting your revenue. Here are some of the most common reasons customers abandon their checkout:

  • Unexpected shipping costs
  • Mandatory account creation
  • Complex checkout process
  • Hidden fees
  • Lack of trust
  • Website performance issues
  • Unclear information
  • Irrelevant upselling

Addressing these issues can significantly improve your checkout conversion rate so that customers leave with a positive impression and are more likely to return. This improvement isn't about randomly adding features to your checkout, but making strategic enhancements.

In this blog, we’ll discuss specific elements you can incorporate into your checkout process, with examples, to resolve these issues and optimize your Shopify checkout. This approach aims not just to increase conversions but also to optimize the overall revenue at the checkout stage.

Elements of an Optimized Shopify Checkout Page

Building Trust through Custom Branding

Shopify's default checkout is currently the highest-converting checkout, but it often differs in design from the rest of your store. This mismatch is jarring for customers and affects their shopping experience. With checkout extensions for Shopify Plus customers, you can now fully customize your Shopify checkout branding with access to branding API

By aligning the checkout design with your store's aesthetic, you enhance customer trust and provide a consistent shopping experience. If your store uses a specific color scheme and font, applying these elements to the checkout will make the transition less abrupt and optimize your checkout for conversions. Here’s an example of Magnolia Bakery, and how their checkout is branded to be consistent with the store.

Magnolia's Bakery's Consistent Shopify Store Experience

Social Proof for Conversion and Loyalty

Social proof is the easiest tool for getting more conversions and building customer loyalty. Before visiting your store, customers often check reviews. These reviews continue to influence their decision on the product page and can be a decisive factor at checkout. At checkout, customer buying intent is high. They're impressed with your product and store, and a positive review at this stage can be the final nudge they need.

Additionally, conducting customer surveys and showcasing these results at checkout can further enhance conversion rates. This strategy not only provides social proof but also demonstrates your commitment to customer feedback and continuous improvement. Here's one example from Peepers.

Social Proof for Optimizing a Shopify Checkout

Custom Content For Better Conversions

Store visitors especially first-timers want comprehensive information about your store before purchasing. By incorporating custom elements, you can articulate this information to build trust with customers. Here are some necessary custom elements for an optimized checkout:

  • Trust Badges: Customers don’t want to lose their money. By displaying trust badges, you can reassure customers about the security of your payment gateway to encourage purchases by instilling confidence.
  • Discount and Cashback Offers: Communicate any discounts or cashback offers you are running. Missing out on such savings will disappoint customers and you will potentially lose them out just because of unclear communication.
  • Return Policy: Clarify your return policy, which is crucial for items like clothing and shoes. Despite accurate size charts, mismatches happen. A clear return policy increases trust and can lead to more conversions.
  • Highlight Your Values: Displaying your brand's values, like eco-friendliness or 100% organic certification, can influence customer decisions at the checkout​​, especially among young shoppers who are conscious about the products they choose.
Custom Content For Clarity on Shopify Checkout

By implementing these strategies, you can optimize your Shopify checkout to be a more transparent, trustworthy shopping experience to directly impact your store's conversion rates.

Custom Fields to Get More Information

Optimizing your eCommerce checkout also includes integrating custom fields into your Checkout. These fields engage the customer and also gather important data that can be later used to provide a more personalized experience. Here are some examples of how you can use various custom fields on your store’s checkout:

  • Date Picker: This field allows customers to input significant dates, like birthdays or delivery dates. Such a field not only captures valuable data but gives you more information for personalized marketing, offers, upsells, and to cater customer’s needs.
  • Text Fields for Customer Notes: A text field lets customers leave special instructions or requests. This small addition personalizes their order, making the experience more interactive, and also shows your commitment to serving their needs.
  • Checkboxes for Additional Options: Introduce checkboxes for services like gift wrapping. It's a simple way to better the customer's shopping experience by offering more than just the product.
  • Dropdown Menus: These menus are great for presenting a variety of choices, and accommodating different customer needs and preferences. For example, you can add a drop-down menu of different delivery methods available so customers can choose according to their budget and urgency.
Custom Fields on Shopify Checkout

Each of these custom fields serves a unique purpose, from personalizing the shopping experience to providing you with valuable customer insights. One of our customers’ Honey Bug uses custom fields with Checkout Wizard to provide a gift message option. 

Read our Guide to Gifting on Checkout here.

Upselling For Improved AOV

Upselling is a crucial revenue booster for e-commerce stores but is often not used at checkout. A well-implemented upselling strategy at checkout can significantly increase your Average Order Value (AOV). For example, one of our clients used Checkout Wizard app to upsell on checkout and earned an additional $18,000 annually. Here's how you can also optimize checkout upsells:

  • Complementary Upsells: Offer products that complement the items in the cart. For instance, suggesting a belt with pants (especially if it's discounted) is more effective than pairing a belt with a shirt. The relevance increases the likelihood of the customer buying the additional product.
  • Special Checkout Discounted Upsells: Offer exclusive discounts at checkout. For example, Discstore offers a 30% discount only at checkout, which not only saves customers money but also boosts your AOV.
  • Strategic Placement and Testing: Simply placing an upsell block isn’t enough. It’s important to A/B test different products and placements on the checkout page to find the most effective strategy. Experiment with upsell positions in the order summary or contact sections of your Shopify Checkout.
Upselling on Shopify Checkout at Different Positions

Remember, the key to successful checkout upselling lies in continually testing and refining your approach to discover the most optimized strategies for your store. You can also explore more upselling strategies to try out in your store. By carefully selecting relevant products and strategically placing them, you can enhance the customer experience while increasing your revenue.

To let you know the effectiveness of checkout upsells, have a look at the dashboard of one of our customers who achieved over $10,000 in sales just through this method.

Dashboard of a Customer Making $10k by Upselling on Checkout

Leverage Free Shipping Bar to Sell More

In optimizing your Shopify checkout process, an effective strategy is implementing a Free Shipping Bar. It's a straightforward approach: as customers add items to their cart, they see how close they are to getting free shipping, nudging them to add just a bit more.

Moreover, pairing this with an upselling feature at checkout is the key to more sales. For instance, when a customer is buying a laptop, the upsell block might suggest adding a laptop case. This not only increases your Average Order Value (AOV) but also enhances the customer's shopping experience by offering relevant, valuable additions.

Free Shipping Bar on Shopify Checkout For Selling More

By making shipping costs transparent and integrating upsells naturally into the shopping flow, the Free Shipping Bar simplifies the decision-making process for the customer.

Leave on a High Note With Shopify Thank You Page

Optimizing Shopify's thank you page is crucial for your store to maintain a positive customer experience even after a purchase. This page is as important as the home page to delight customers as they complete their purchases and leave them on a high note so they want to return. Here’s how you can optimize it:

  • Feedback and Surveys: Use this page to ask for customer feedback or conduct surveys. It’s a goldmine for insights directly from your customer base and shows your customers that you care about their experience.
  • Social Media Engagement: Prompt customers to share their purchases on social media. This not only enhances brand visibility but also builds community. You can even offer a small cashback in exchange for sharing.
  • Loyalty and Referral Programs: Highlight your loyalty or referral programs here. It’s an effective way to turn one-time buyers into repeat customers. It will also help you bring new customers through word of mouth.
  • Customer Account Sign-Up: Encourage guest users to create an account for future convenience and benefits, building long-term engagement. You get their email this way that you can use to run future campaigns.
  • Subscription for Promotions: Invite customers to subscribe for promotional updates through different channels, keeping them informed and interested.

By strategically customizing your Shopify thank you page with these elements, you turn a simple transactional page into a powerful tool for enhancing customer retention, building brand loyalty, and driving sales. You can read about more Thank you page customizations you can implement in detail here.

Customize Delivery and Payment Methods

Optimizing Shopify checkout involves strategically editing and organizing shipping and payment options. Tailoring these options to customer preferences, such as highlighting popular shipping methods and hiding less relevant payment methods, streamlines the process and reduces decision fatigue. This approach not only enhances user experience but also lowers cart abandonment rates.

Additionally, by selectively displaying secure payment options and setting specific shipping criteria, you mitigate the risk of fraud. Restricting payments to verified methods and avoiding shipments to high-risk areas provide a security layer for your business and customers.

Checkout Validation for a Secure Checkout Experience

Checkout validation is another optimizing strategy that can better the Shopify checkout experience. Here’s why you should consider checkout validation as a part of your checkout optimizing strategy: 

  • Fraud Prevention: Validating details like email addresses, mobile numbers, and billing addresses helps prevent fraudulent transactions. For instance, confirming the authenticity of an email domain can deter scammers.
  • Reducing Chargebacks and Returns: By ensuring that all customer information is correct and legitimate, the risk of chargebacks and returns is significantly lowered.
  • Customer’s Trust: A secure checkout process, free from errors and potential fraud, builds customer confidence. When shoppers feel secure, they're more likely to complete their purchase and return in the future.
  • Streamlining Transactions: Accurate validation facilitates smoother transactions. It reduces the likelihood of issues arising post-purchase, such as incorrect deliveries or payment disputes.
Checkout Validation For a Secure eCommerce Checkout

Implementing thorough checkout validation procedures not only protects your revenue and reputation but also provides a better, more secure shopping experience for your customers. You can read all about checkout validation here

Optimizing Shopify Checkout For Mobile

Optimizing your Shopify store for mobile users is crucial in today's market, where a significant number of customers shop using their smartphones. Here's a breakdown of effective strategies you can implement right away:

  • Simplify the Process: Keep the checkout process simple and quick. A mobile user's attention span is limited, and a lengthy process could lead to cart abandonment.
  • Check Responsiveness: Your checkout page must adjust seamlessly to different screen sizes. A layout that works well on a desktop may be cumbersome on a mobile device.
  • Show Large, Clear Buttons: On a smaller screen, navigation needs to be straightforward. Use large buttons for critical actions like 'Add to Cart' or 'Proceed to Checkout' to enhance usability.
  • Save Information for Future Purchases: Allow customers to save their payment and shipping information. This step reduces the effort in future purchases, making the process faster and more convenient.
  • Provide Guest Checkout Option: Not all mobile users will want to create an account. Offering a guest checkout option simplifies their experience and can reduce the likelihood of cart abandonment.
  • Optimize Page Load Times: Mobile users often have less patience for slow-loading pages. Your pages must load quickly to keep potential customers from leaving.
  • Add Payment Options: Offer a variety of mobile-friendly payment options like Apple Pay or Google Pay. These methods are faster and more convenient for mobile users. You can also provide an express checkout with Shop Pay.
Optimized Shopify Checkout for Mobile

By focusing on these areas, you can create a more efficient and user-friendly mobile checkout experience. This approach not only improves customer satisfaction but also leads to increased sales and reduced cart abandonment rates.

Time to embrace Checkout Extensions with Checkout Wiz

Remember, optimizing your Shopify checkout is not about implementing every strategy mentioned in this blog. Instead, it's about trying out different elements to discover what resonates with your customers and better their shopping experience. Each store is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. 

This is why Checkout Wizard offers checkout-level analytics for your Shopify store. By leveraging these analytics, you can track the performance of various checkout features you've implemented. This data-driven approach allows you to make informed decisions on which strategies to continue and discard. It's a process of trial and error, guided by real-time feedback from your store's performance.

If you haven't migrated your Shopify Checkout yet, you can watch this short video which will help you migrate in 6 easy steps:

So, while it's tempting to try out every exciting feature, select the right mix that aligns with your brand and appeals to your customer base.

Share article