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How to Customize Online Checkout to Improve Shopping Experience & Sales

12 min read

The checkout page is crucial when it comes to online selling. This is where customers finalize their purchase, enter their payment and shipping information, and hit that precious “Buy” button.

However, almost 70% of online shoppers abandon checkout without a purchase. One of the main reasons is an inconvenient checkout process, which can be caused by various mishaps. One of them is when your checkout is not customized to meet your customers’ needs.

In this article, we give you a few tips on how to customize your store’s checkout to improve the shopping experience in your store and increase sales.

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Tips from e-commerce experts for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
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The First Step to a Converting Checkout

The number of abandoned carts has been rising in recent years. This means that ecommerce companies are having more and more trouble converting customers.

Online shopping cart abandonment rate worldwide, 2006-2020 (Source: Statista)

According to one study, 17% of US online shoppers have abandoned an order solely due to an overly long or complicated checkout process.

First and foremost, you need to keep your online checkout simple. The fewer steps there are in the checkout process, the better. That’s why it’s crucial to choose an ecommerce platform that provides online sellers with a customer-friendly checkout.

Ecwid by Lightspeed provides online merchants, and their customers, with a convenient and transparent one-page checkout:

one-page checkout in an online store created with Ecwid by Lightspeed

All the steps required to place an order are clearly visible to customers on the checkout page. Your customers can finish their purchase in a matter of seconds, all without having to fill in unnecessary fields or wait for pages to load.

The Ecwid’s one-page checkout is well-adapted for most businesses. It includes entering a customer’s email address, shipping address, and pickup details. Customers can also choose shipping methods, pickup methods, and payment options.

Sign up for Ecwid by Lightspeed to set up an online store that’s pleasing to both browse and buy.

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How Customizing Checkout Improves Shopping Experience

Even if your checkout page is impeccable in terms of user-friendliness, it’s worth going a step further for your customers by customizing it.

Customizing your checkout page is important. You can adjust it to your business needs and show your customers that you care about their store experience. Catering to your customers increases the chances of a successful transaction.

Imagine that a customer is shopping for a gift in your online store. At the checkout, they think it would be great to order gift wrapping for the product. However, they don’t see that option at checkout. Of course, they could reach out to you via a messenger or email to find out if you provide gift wrapping… But let’s be honest, that’s too much fuss. So they leave your online store without a purchase and go to your competitors.

That’s just one example when predicting a customer’s needs and adjusting a checkout to meet them could have prevented a lost sale.

Sometimes even one field can change the customer checkout experience for the better

Businesses are unique, as are their target audiences. That’s why a standard checkout (asking for a name, email, phone number, and shipping address) sometimes is not enough, no matter how convenient it is. You know your customers better than anyone. Why not meet their needs at one of the most important stages of their purchase?

Let’s find out what you can do to customize your checkout and improve customers’ shopping experiences.

How to Customize Checkout in an Online Store

Usually customizing an online checkout involves coding. Not all online sellers know how to do this, so they have to reach out to developers to customize their online checkout to their business needs. That means spending time and money—two things a small business can’t afford to waste.

Luckily, some ecommerce platforms provide online sellers with flexible settings for their checkout. If you sell online with Ecwid by Lightspeed, you can tweak your checkout with the help of custom fields. That can be done in a blink of an eye without any coding!

You can see a preview of your checkout field while creating it

With Ecwid by Lightspeed, you can add custom fields to any part of your checkout page. They allow you to collect information from customers, such as gift messages, shoppers’ tax ID, packaging preferences, delivery instructions, date delivery preferences, and whatever other information you might need!

An example of a radio button custom field

The settings of custom fields are very flexible:

  • You can choose a field type, and add a title and placeholder for instructions.
  • Filling out fields can be required or optional for your customers.
  • It’s possible to add as many custom fields as you need to any checkout step.
  • You can sort custom fields at checkout the way you need it.

Speaking of field types, you have many options to choose from:

  • Text fields—single-line or paragraph
  • Radio buttons
  • Dropdowns
  • Date and time pickers
  • Selection buttons
  • Checkboxes

The rich custom field settings allow you to adjust the checkout as you need while keeping the checkout process convenient and quick for your customers. Again, no coding skills needed!

The information that your customers submit via custom checkout fields will appear in the order details. You can choose the field data position in the order details (for example, order comments, customer details, or a shipping block). You can also choose to show that information in invoices and/or your store’s notifications.

You can see the information submitted via a custom checkout field in order details

Want to give custom fields a try? Find out how to add and manage custom fields at checkout in the Ecwid Help Center.

How You Can Use Custom Fields at Checkout

Now that you know why and how to add custom fields to your checkout page, let’s see how you can use them in your business.

Here are some examples:

Offer Gift Wrapping

If you sell a product that can be bought as a gift (toys, books, watches, candles, etc.), it makes sense to offer gift wrapping for it. That is especially relevant during gift-giving times of the year and can encourage customers to buy presents online.

Specify Delivery Requests

Local businesses such as grocery stores and restaurants often offer delivery. With Ecwid by Lightspeed, you can set up local delivery in your store and even ask for customers’ preferred delivery date and time at checkout.

However, sometimes customers might have specific delivery requests. For example, they might want you to leave the order at the front door. You can ask them about their delivery preferences, using the custom checkout fields.

Ask for Tax-Related Information

In some countries, online sellers are required by law to ask customers for tax-related information, such as individual or business tax ID numbers.

If you sell with Ecwid by Lightspeed, you can do that by enabling the “Tax information” checkout step in your store. It is available for sellers from Europe, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Singapore.

If you sell in a different country but you also need to ask for customers’ tax IDs to comply with local laws, you can do that by creating a custom checkout field.

Ask for Address or Contact Details

The standard checkout contains fields for entering customers’ contact and shipping information. But sometimes you want more precise details, like when you need customers to include their province in their address.

Some customers might prefer it if you reach out to them via messengers instead of by phone. You can ask them to specify their preferred way of communication by using custom fields.

Ask for Engraving or Note Texts

Businesses selling products that can be personalized (such as jewelry, cakes, flower bouquets, posters, etc.) often offer to make a custom engraving or note. Using a text field at checkout, you can ask customers what text they want to see on the product they order.

Collect Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is invaluable for improving the shopping experience in your store. Why not use custom checkout fields to collect feedback? For example, you can ask “How did you find out about our business?” at the checkout. Alternatively, you can add more detailed surveys using radio button or dropdown fields.

However, don’t go overboard. Your goal is to keep checkout as simple as possible, so avoid adding detailed surveys.

Track Effectiveness of Promotional Collaborations

If you often collaborate with other brands or influencers to promote your business, you might want to analyze the effectiveness of those campaigns. Use custom fields to ask customers which collaboration brought them to your store. That will help you identify the most effective campaigns.

More Ways to Improve Checkout

Customizing your checkout can drastically improve customers’ shopping experience in your store. That, in turn, helps encourage customers to finish their purchases.

However, inconvenient checkout is not the only reason for cart abandonment. Customers leave checkout without a purchase for a number of reasons, including the lack of shipping and payment options, or an unexpected estimated delivery time.

Take a look at the findings of this study of reasons for cart abandonment:

Luckily the most common reasons for cart abandonment can be prevented. Here’s what you can do (besides customization) to improve the shopping experience in your store:

If you want to increase your sales, take a look at your checkout process and see where you can make some changes. Try implementing some of the advice we’ve shared in this article and see how your sales numbers change.

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About the author

Anastasia Prokofieva is a content writer at Ecwid. She writes about online marketing and promotion to make entrepreneurs’ daily routine easier and more rewarding. She also has a soft spot for cats, chocolate, and making kombucha at home.

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