When was the last time a checkout process inspired you? I’m sensing this doesn’t happen to you very often as I feel the same when asked this question.
While not typically known for being the area where you would expect the most compelling and passionate pieces of copy, the checkout flow presents a unique opportunity for ecommerce merchants to show their personalities, break with traditional expectations, and ultimately ensure that conversions take place. With an average online shopping cart abandonment rate of 69%, it’s easy to see that this area of your site requires some strong consideration and could benefit from optimizations such as shortening the process, and adapting all of the checkout requirements onto one page. Another improvement to consider is using interesting and compelling copy in your checkout process to both inform, guide and entertain your customer to encourage them to complete their order.
Depending on where it’s used, checkout copy can be “microcopy” – a short bit of text that appears to help a customer out such as an error message, explanation above a drop-down menu or any other words or statements that notify, alert or support a shopper as they complete the purchase process. Copy in the checkout flow can also be longer such as what’s seen on a confirmation page, or a receipt that’s sent post-purchase. Regardless of the length, location or placement of the words, it’s vital to get it right and encourage consumers to complete their purchase.
Here are a few tips to help you develop checkout copy that converts.
Customers can be easily annoyed and quick to alarm. If there’s copy in the checkout flow that doesn’t make sense or fit with their perception of what an online merchant actually needs in order to sell goods to them, they’ll look for another store that isn’t so intrusive or irritating. This is particularly the case when asking for their personal information. If you’re asking them for their phone number or any other details along these lines, it’s important to tell them why, how you’ll use this data and what they can expect from you.
If your brand essence is a bit more on the creative side, feel free to engage in a bit of storytelling or use the power of humor to inject a bit of personality into your checkout process. If you use this technique, it’s best not to go too wild and lose your customer due to them thinking you’re not taking them seriously or worse yet – you confuse or annoy them. You can, however, look for areas where opportunities for developing copy that helps to seal the deal can be used.
Much like the importance of maintaining the visual identity of your brand through the use of your logo and a consistent color scheme, it’s just as vital to ensure that your copy aligns with your brand image. If you’re a luxury brand, you are going to want your content to match and be as sophisticated and elegant as your visuals. Customers are more vigilant than ever when shopping online so any deviation from what they would expect you to speak like would make them wonder if your site has either been hacked, or if you simply don’t care about how you are viewed by them.
Any copy that you develop needs to resonate with a shopper’s emotions. The way you use words can convey a sense of playfulness, urgency, trust, excitement – and a whole host of feelings that come with a purchase. Think about each step of your checkout flow and evaluate what emotions you wish to inspire in your customers and then create copy that will best help you to best express this. Act NOW! FREE shipping. 100% guarantee. Fast, easy checkout. These words are all likely causing you to feel something even if it’s in the context of an article rather than an online store!
Don’t be afraid to brag. If your company does something right related to your specific checkout flow, then let shoppers know about it. If you have a one-page checkout process and are saving customers from spending their precious time, then mention this in your copy. Sometimes a simple message that a consumer’s time is valuable, and you are helping them not to waste it can be the reason they convert.
So, while it may take a bit more time and effort, it’s worthwhile to apply yourself when it comes to the development or revamp of the copy you use in your checkout flow. You may have built your own checkout solution, or you may be considering an out-of-the-box product such as OSF’s One Page CHECKOUT to optimize your existing checkout process with all of the steps brought into one easy to use page. Regardless of which option you chose, there may be limitations to the areas where you can customize the copy elements, however several areas in your checkout flow exist where you can modify, add or refine your text to encourage the completion of the checkout process and get the conversions you crave.