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Checkout design for ecommerce websites

January 16 2013

If you are thinking about getting a ecommerce site you should be aware of some of the most favoured user interface site practices for the checkout stages and process?

Gear the process for guests

Hands up who hates to sign up and give all those details for the check out process on an ecommerce website. You have so many passwords and usernames to remember, the last thing you want to do is be forced to sign up and register your information each and every time a user goes through to a ecommerce website.
Both guest check out as well as the account registration process options should be made available to all users. Also, regular users should be able to have their details remembered on file so they do not have to go through the elaborate sign up process each time they return to the site. This part of an ecommerce website should be a no brainer and be a mandatory component. Remember, ease of use and simplicity during this process will keep users coming back for more and in turn more sales for your business.

Number of steps
Keep these steps to a minimum. Many websites will have a number of complicated steps till the check out process. This just frustrates and infuriates web users making them exit the site. The web interface should be intuitive enough to guide people in a funnel like manner through to the end buying stage in as few steps as possible. Again, the mantra you should be chanting is keep it simple.

Template Form design

Its wise to try to implement these form ideas as part of the ecommerce process.
• Go for a single column approach. Double or even triple columns will confuse users who like to tab through forms to complete them quicker.
• Show an example of how the form should be completed
• Make headings clear and large in text. Try not to hide or make points difficult to find as these will just lead to blank spaces, which is not the idea behind a form.
• If you require a certain bit of information, that to the user might seem unjustified, give them a reason why this information is necessary. Never assume that they will know the rationale behind your thought process.
• If you want to keep customers onside and loyal to you in the future, never auto enrol them into your newsletter subscriptions. If your customers start receiving newsletters without permission and on top of this find it hard to unsubscribe, you will be creating some tension. Be open and honest about the newsletter area and perhaps have a quick pop up window requesting them to sign up to your newsletter.

Prefill forms

Users are basically very lazy and I am speaking from experience in the industry. Where ever possible get users to fill in information only once and if the option is available ( like billing address and shipping address – if they are the same) get the form to auto populate. Users will absolutely love this and will make the buying process a lot easier.

These are just a few simple rules and tips to follow for your ecommerce web page checkout but if you would like to know more then please do let us know here at Hopping Mad Designs.