Checkout Optimization: Increasing User Confidence in BUFF® eCommerce Stores

CHECKOUT OPTIMIZATION CASE STUDY SERIES

Read the second of the three case studies we have prepared and gain insights on how you can improve the checkout experience in your own store.

Remember, the goal is always to make the checkout process as simple and seamless as possible. And we do that by following these guiding principles of checkout optimization:

In this article, we are talking about increasing user confidence at checkout. But just so you see the value in checkout optimization right away, here’s a preview of the results we got from BUFF® Spain just a month after the new checkout was launched:

And the return on investment? We think 291.76% within a year is pretty good, won’t you agree?

Why does user confidence matter?

When customers trust the brands they use or buy, they are more likely to buy first from (+28%) and stay loyal to (+33%) those brands, according to a 2019 research by Edelman, an international communications firm that specializes in branding for businesses globally.

Indeed, every marketing effort is aimed towards persuading users to buy and, ideally, become loyal customers that will advocate for the brand. And customer confidence lays the foundation for that kind of relationship. Trust is an important factor that influences decision-making for customers. If they don’t trust you, why would they buy from you?

How to increase user confidence at checkout?

According to a study by Baymard Institute, 17% of users who abandoned their carts did so because they lacked confidence in providing the website with their credit card details. In other words, they didn’t trust the site with sensitive information.

Adding payment details is a crucial step in the checkout process. As a business, you need to make the customer feel as secure as possible during this stage. But this is just one part of the equation, because concerns about returns policy (11%), total order cost (17%), and additional charges being too high (49%) all affect how much a customer feels secure and comfortable with their purchase.

To increase user confidence at checkout, you want to give your customers reasons to trust you and make them feel secure about making a purchase. Here are some quick recommendations to reassure your customers about privacy and security:

  1. Make your checkout look secure. You definitely have to make your checkout secure, but also make your customers feel that their information is safe when buying from your store. You can do that by making your checkout page, especially the payment section, look more secure visually. Add a trust seal or SSL seal to show your customers you can be trusted.
  2. Provide shipping details and be clear about the returns policy. Transparency about these things will be appreciated by your customers and make them more confident to buy. If they want to know how much exactly they’re going to pay for shipping and how long it will take for their order to arrive, and you can give them that information, they will feel more in control of their purchase. Letting them know exactly the conditions for returns and how you will manage them will assuage their apprehensions about proceeding with an order.
  3. Make customer support readily available. If the customers have any pre-sales questions, make it easy for them to reach out to you. Add your contact information right at the checkout page or consider adding a live chat option where customers can quickly get answers from your support team.
  4. Leverage social proof. Let your customers know that other people have found value in your products/services. This appeals to the basic human instinct of wanting to engage in an activity that others are participating in and conveys trustworthiness. If people are buying your products, it means they trust you—and that gives them a reason to trust you, too.
  5. Introduce an order summary and form validation. You want your customers to feel they’ve made the right choice and ordered according to their needs. You also want to reassure them that they’ve entered their information correctly, e.g., delivery address and contact information. An order summary that shows them their final order and a confirmation that everything has been completed correctly will make them feel at ease to proceed with their order.

BUFF® checkout optimization program

BUFF® is a world-renowned brand of sports and outdoor neck and head accessories. Their iconic multifunctional tubular, developed more than 25 years ago, has served as an inspiration for innovation in the industry. From their headquarters in Barcelona, the company has successfully penetrated the international market and is now present in more than 70 countries worldwide.

Apart from their physical stores, BUFF® has official eCommerce stores in many of the countries where they export their products. And Scandiweb has been closely working with BUFF® on conversion optimization for a number of their online stores. Most recently, we were given the task of revamping the checkout for BUFF® Spain, Germany, and France to follow eCommerce best practices and the latest trends.

The checkout optimization program for BUFF® included:

  • Checkout trends analysis
  • Wireframing
  • Development
  • Tracking setup
  • Post-launch analysis

As part of the ongoing conversion optimization program we are implementing for BUFF®, we also performed the following for their eCommerce stores:

Increasing Confidence: Making the customer feel more secure

Our discussion will focus on how we improved the checkout experience by giving customers reasons to feel more secure at checkout. However, the results we are sharing in this article are from the many checkout optimization strategies we implemented of which increasing user confidence is but one component.

In line with the guiding principles of checkout optimization we’ve outlined above, we made efforts to reduce purchase friction as well as nudge customers to the next steps along with increasing user confidence.

If you haven’t already, go ahead and also read the first case study in this series that talks about how to reduce friction at checkout. And stand by for the third one to learn about how to effectively nudge users to the next steps of checkout.

Here’s a quick view of the checkout page of BUFF® before and after optimization:

Now we’ll zoom in on the different parts of the optimized checkout and compare it with the old one.

Visually secure

Increase user confidence by making the checkout look visually secure

How secure a user perceives a website to be is largely dependent on “how visually secure the page looks,” according to Baymard Institute. Furthermore, the display of security badges, icons, seals, or even simple text stating that the page or process is secure effectively increases the “perceived level of security” of a site. 

In the old checkout design, there was a small note that said “SSL Secure Checkout” below the billing section, which helped with the perception of security. However, it was too small and unnoticeable.

To leverage the power of visual cues to increase the confidence of users at checkout even more, we emphasized “Secure Payment” by making it bigger, placing it at the top of the page, and adding a padlock icon as a symbol of security.

Old Checkout

Optimized Checkout

Shipping and returns policy

Increase user confidence by being transparent about shipping and returns policy

Customers love free shipping. And they want to know there is some level of certainty when their order is going to arrive. Providing an estimate of when orders are expected to be delivered lets customers know that an eCommerce store has a reliable means of shipping orders, thus alleviating worries about orders not arriving on time or at all.

Beyond concerns about delivery, customers also become insecure about whether they’d be able to easily return a product if it arrives damaged or not as expected. Being clear about returns policies and offering an extended returns period address such insecurities and make customers feel more secure about buying online.

We made shipping information and the returns policy more accessible to customers by adding them to the checkout.

In the old checkout, free shipping was also offered but there was no information on which orders qualified for it. Meanwhile, no information about returns was provided. Delivery estimates were provided in the Shipping Method portion of the checkout.

Old Checkout

Optimized Checkout

Customer support

Increase user confidence by making customer support readily available

If customers arrive at the checkout page with doubts or some other concern about a product, delivery, or returns, make it easy for them to get in touch with you so you can ease those concerns. Adding a way to contact Customer Support at checkout will also make customers feel that actual support is within reach, thus making them feel more comfortable with completing their purchase.

We added information on where to reach Customer Support atop the checkout page. In the old checkout, this information was not available.

Social proof

Increase user confidence by identifying popular items in their cart

In the new checkout, we added the messaging, “Items in your cart are popular.” There was no such feature in the old checkout.

Identifying popular items in the customer’s cart lets them know that other people are finding value in the same product/s. This makes them more confident about their choice and happier about their purchase. 

In addition to increasing user confidence, this strategy also leverages scarcity to encourage the customer to complete the purchase (and not abandon checkout).

Form validation

Increase user confidence by allowing customers to confirm all order information as a final step

One factor that could make the checkout process appear complicated to customers is having to go back and forth between different sections or pages of the checkout. It’s natural for customers to want to verify that they’ve entered the correct information in all the fields at checkout. If they can’t do this at a glance, they might not feel confident enough that everything has been completed correctly to proceed with the purchase.

We designed the new checkout so that all information previously entered can be seen on a single checkout page. This is one of the many advantages of the accordion checkout type. It allows the customer to review and edit entered data on the same page and at any time during the checkout process.

In the old checkout, the customer could see either the shipping information or payment details on the page, but not both at the same time.

Results

The Spanish, German, and French store views showed similar positive results in the first month after the rollout of the new checkout. Nevertheless, BUFF® Spain showed the highest month-over-month increase in terms of revenue.

  • Checkout conversion rate (CR) +6.4%
  • Checkout CR on mobile +5%
  • Checkout CR on desktop +8.2%
  • Unique purchases +12.3%
  • Average order value +23%
  • Revenue +33%

In terms of checkout conversion rate, the German store view returned the most favorable results. The checkout conversion rate fluctuated throughout the whole period but remained above 50%. 

Assuming that the number of checkouts and average order value for all the three store views would stay the same, we could expect the new checkout to pay off in 3 months and have a 291.76% ROI in one year!

Disclaimer: These results come from a combination of checkout optimization strategies that we implemented and not solely from efforts to increase user confidence.

The Scandiweb approach to checkout optimization

And that’s how we approach checkout optimization to help eCommerce businesses resolve issues that keep their visitors from converting at checkout.

With our tried and tested guiding principles of checkout optimization—reducing purchase friction, increasing user confidence, and nudging customers to the next steps—we successfully design checkout funnels that lead to increased conversion and lower cart abandonment rates.

Read about nudging users to the next steps at checkout next. Or read the first case study in the series if you haven’t already: reducing friction at checkout.

If your current checkout approach is not working for your eCommerce business, you could benefit from our Checkout Optimization Program. Tell us what your conversion goals are and we will create a data-informed growth strategy to help you achieve them. Get in touch with us for a free consultation.

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