This is a continuation of a series of website marketing checklists. Check out all Web Marketing Checklists in this series.

What this is about: This list covers items regarding the actual checkout process of the shopping experience, after products are added and the visitor moves to complete the purchase of the items in the cart.

Why this is important: If visitors only add products to the cart but abandon the cart or get confused in the checkout process conversions will be low as will profit. The more proper cues you can provide that give the shopper confidence and assurances about their purchase, the less likely they will be to dump the cart or lose interest before closing he deal.

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What to look for:


  • No hidden fees: Don't use the checkout process to add additional hidden fees. All fees should be spelled out in the basket page.

  • No pre-registration: Don't require shoppers to register before purchasing. Let them fill out the form and then add a password at the end of the process.

  • Keep checkout process short: The fewer steps the shopper has to take to purchase the less likely they will be to abandon the shopping process.

  • Show benefits of registration: At end of process, show benefits to being a registered customer:

    • Faster checkout in future: They won't have to fill out all the information each time they order.

    • Access to order history: Shoppers have access to complete order history at any time.

    • Check order status: Status of order is available anytime shoppers login.

    • Saved for later information: They can buy some products now and save others for purchase another time.

    • Access to special promotions: Shoppers will be provided special offers and discounts that they can benefit from.

    • Personalization: They will have a more personalized shopping experience based on their order history.

    • Joining a community: If fitting, point out the community that user will join once registering.



  • Show checkout progress meter: When checking out requires multiple steps, make sure the number of steps is mapped out throughout the process, identifying each current step along the way.

  • Effective after-order follow-up: The order is not the end, be sure to provide sufficient after-order follow-up to keep involved with the purchaser.

  • Receipt / Confirmation: Provide a order confirmation receipt allowing the shopper to review the order, pricing and products purchased.

    • Printable: Receipt should be web-based and printable for easy record keeping.

    • Emailed: Email a copy of the receipt to the shopper.

    • Thank you message: Provide a strong message of thanks for the shopper. Providing additional information about customer satisfaction is a good idea.

    • Order number: Receipt should have the order number for easy follow up reference.

    • Order date: Provide the date the order was placed with the confirmation.

    • Items purchased: List all items purchased including descriptions and links.

    • Expected delivery date: If order cannot ship right away, provide a date in which shipment can be expected to go out.

    • Payment method: Note method of payment, including credit card type and last numbers of credit card if applicable.

    • Cancellation policy: Provide information or links to order cancellation policies.

    • How to cancel: Provide additional information on the steps necessary to cancel the order if necessary (different from policies).

    • Return policy: Provide information or links to order return policies. This should also include a return address.

    • Address return costs: Be sure to address all concerns regarding the costs of returns as applicable.

    • After-sale guarantees: Provide information on your customer satisfaction guarantees as well as any warranties provided.



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Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.





Comments(3)

Can you recommend a good (not too expensive) third party shopping cart processor? Or several?

Sorry Nina, I'm not familiar enough with any particular programs to make a recommendation.

It is great tips man. I am running 5 shops personally and I totally agree with you. Many of the features that you listed is already comes with the online store software too.

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Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist for Shopping Checkout Processes