Checkout is the most important part of the customer journey. Even if you have done a great job at creating amazing experiences on the collection and product pages on your store, small issues on the Checkout page can make your customers leave your store without placing an order.
There are many different ways the Checkout process can be organized but normally it includes the following steps:
- Customer information
- Review (optional)
You will need to collect at least a single contact detail from your customers. In most cases that will be their email address but you might also want to allow customers to place orders using their phone number instead of an email address.
Next, if you’re selling physical products, you need the shipping address so you know where the order should be shipped to.
At this point, you might want to collect a few more details like a phone number (if the customer is checking out with an email address), you might want to ask them to join your newsletter or offer them to create an account on your store so they can keep track of their order history.
After you’ve collected the shipping address, the next thing to do is to offer the shipping methods that are available for the customer. They can either be hard-coded or dynamically calculated (or a mix of both options).
The final step is to ask the customer to select a payment method. The available payment options could vary significantly based on your location. While paying directly on your store by using a credit/debit card is a popular method in many countries, there are many other options that are just as popular (if not even more) in certain markets like PayPal for example, or local payment alternatives like iDeal in the Netherlands. The “Buy now, Pay later” options are also becoming more and more popular in the last few years with companies like Affirm and Klarna leading the way.
There’re other traditional ways to pay, which are still commonly used today in some parts of the world like direct bank transfers and cash on delivery (COD).