Conversion Optimisation at the Checkout: 10 Tips

Checkout Optimisation in Online Shops
Author: Haydar Yuece // 10min

Today we’re talking about conversion optimisation at the checkout and thus the most important metric in e-commerce. If a customer is in your online shop and is diligently filling up their shopping cart, things are looking good for you – the chances of a sale are obviously very favourable.

What happens now is something that many online shop providers, perhaps including you, cannot explain. But the theory behind it is simple: due to a checkout that isn’t optimised and is a bit clumsy and awkward for users, they abort the order process and thus become a shopping cart abandoner. 70 to 90% of all purchase processes are terminated in this way before they are concluded. So 7 out of 10 customers give it a miss, and only 3 out of 10 actually make a purchase. It remains to be said that the checkout in particular offers great potential for conversion optimisation in order to significantly increase the conversion rate. This article therefore focuses on how online shops can optimise their checkout.

Conversion optimisation in the checkout: Why do customers cancel their orders?

A customer’s journey from product selection to checkout is particularly critical and sensitive. Especially at the “last hurdle”, the checkout, the sale often falls through. Nevertheless, the conversion optimisation at the checkout is neglected by many shop owners. The reasons for order abandonment at the checkout include:


  • a complicated purchasing transaction
  • the input of countless data
  • delivery costs that are too high
  • technical problems and loading errors
  • a confusing layout
  • limited payment methods
  • lack of trust
  • distraction through incorrectly placed teasers and banners

Our 10 best tips: How to improve your conversion rate at the checkout

Tip 1: Keep your ordering process short

Nowadays we have less and less time, so an online order needs to be quick to place. Ideally, the checkout process should be completed in no more than five steps. Data queries should be reduced to a minimum.

checkout optimisation

One possibility for conversion optimisation is for instance the single-page checkout. Here, all fields are on one page and the customer can easily place their order in just a few clicks. However, so-called multi-page checkouts are being used more frequently. Make sure that your customer is being visually guided through the process.

Tip 2: Make visitor ordering possible

Having to create a customer account before you can even order is often a deterrent and leads to abandonment. Fewer and fewer users nowadays are willing to sign up with yet another online shop at the checkout. By offering visitor ordering, you give your customers the opportunity to order conveniently without having to sign up, which significantly improves your conversion rate.

conversion checkout visitor ordering

Customer accounts are certainly important for you as a company to ensure long-term turnover. This is exactly why it’s a good idea to make it easy for hurried visitor purchasers to create a customer account – that is outside of the purchase process: use the “thank you page” or the order confirmation to suggest quick registration (after the purchase) – after all, the data has already been entered at this point.

Another possibility for conversion optimisation at the checkout is to offer – in addition to the customer account – registration via your own social media channel. This makes the process easier and is often well accepted by users.

Tip 3: Create trust

Nowadays, only those who gain the trust of users can generate revenue through sales. For conversion optimisation at the checkout, use trust-building elements that the user knows and associates with security.

Online seals of quality, such as the Trusted Shops seal, a TÜV certification or the EHI online retailer seal, are well suited for this. In order to guarantee authenticity, a quality seal must lead from your online shop to the page of the quality seal operator via a mouse click, where the valid test certificate is displayed, which you receive by participating in and being tested for the certification.

checkout optimisation seals

Another trust element is indicating SSL encryption of data during the purchase process. You can also create more trust with a clear imprint, a well-designed and credible introduction to your company and team, well-presented company ethics as well as directly visible contact details, a transparent cost structure and accessible information on shipping costs, return and cancellation rights. For conversion optimisation, implement good ratings and other certificates or deeds that are important to users and that increase your credibility.

Want to learn more about the concept of trust in e-commerce? Read the blogpost Creating Trust in E-Commerce.

Tip 4: A clear ordering process and customer benefits increase the conversion rate at checkout

For conversion optimisation, guide and accompany your customers through the ordering process and provide customer benefits. This already starts with a detailed description of your products.


  • Use high-quality photos and present your products in a 360-degree view or even in a video. A configurator where customers can put together their own products can also go down well.
  • Implement highly visible buttons with clear labels such as “Continue shopping” and “Go to checkout” in visually striking colours. Highly visible coupon or voucher code fields are essential too.
  • Display the order method with the aid of breadcrumbs. This gives customers an overview of where they are in the shopping process at any time. This provides more motivation to stay on the ball.
  • Use tools such as Google Autofill so that customers can easily have their forms filled out automatically.
  • Integrate further information directly next to fields that require explanation.
  • Continue to give customers the option of contacting you directly by phone, email or preferably via live chat if they have any difficulties.
  • Increase the appeal of ordering from you with free shipping and returns. More than 60% of online shoppers prefer to buy from online shops that offer free shipping.

Tip 5: Strategic CTAs: Exit Intent Popups

Pop-ups are another option for conversion optimisation at the checkout. Contrary to most assumptions, these work well for many businesses to optimise their conversion rates. It turns out that with personalised exit intent popups you can reduce your rate of shopping cart abandonment by around 30%.

conversion checkout exit intent popups

At uptain, for instance, smart exit intent software recognises the reasons for shopping cart abandonment and can thus support the customer individually and turn a visitor who is still undecided into a customer shortly before abandonment.

Tip 6: Prevent session time-out

There are lots of shoppers who fill a shopping cart, then interrupt the process to continue at a later time. Nothing is more annoying for the customer than when their shopping cart is empty again. The chance that the customer will now start again from the beginning is quite small.

Your conversion optimisation at the checkout can be increased if you allow preferences to be saved and the shopping cart to be used for the next customer visit.

Tip 7: Choice of versatile payment methods

Offer your customers a good selection of payment methods that your target group prefers to use. The classics are prepayment, cash on delivery, direct debit and credit card.

checkout optimisation payment methods

Over 40% of buyers prefer to use “purchase on account”. This is where you, as the operator, run the highest risk of non-payment. Optionally, you can work with third-party providers, such as Klarna, to enable purchase on account with no risk. Likewise, the payment method PayPal is essential nowadays. Optionally, Google Pay and Apple Pay are recommended for conversion optimisation.

Take a closer look at the common payment methods to offer your customers the right choice of payment methods.

TIP 8: Remarketing with abandoned cart emails

But what if a customer has already abandoned the purchase process? Perhaps, like most shop owners, you think you’ve lost your customer. With strategic remarketing, a shopping cart abandoner can be turned into a customer after all.

At uptain, we increase your conversion rate at the checkout with personalised abandoned cart emails. This innovative email retargeting adapts individually to the reason for abandonment and brings back shopping cart abandoners.

conversion optimisation checkout email

The emails are sent automatically after a defined period of time as soon as a customer doesn’t complete the ordering process. According to statistics, around 47% of this type of email is opened and more than 30% converted into clicks. This can lead to an sales increase of up to 4%.

For conversion optimisation, the content of abandoned cart emails is personalised and features click-to-action buttons. They are also combined with an incentive to buy and are optimised for mobile designs, which is particularly important nowadays when over 50% of users access the internet via their smartphone.

Want to know what successful Abandoned Cart Emails look like? Read the blogpost Email after Cart Abandonment: Examples & Templates.

Tip 9: Mobile-First Design for checkout optimisation

For conversion optimisation, the checkout process for your online shop should definitely be optimised for mobile websites, as the number of purchases being made via mobile devices is constantly increasing.

mobile checkout conversion optimisation

To achieve this, the content must be adapted to the small format of smartphone screens. Among other things, larger buttons, quick checkouts, fast loading times and a mobile UI element instead of dropdown menus for conversion optimisation at the checkout must be considered. Solutions such as exit intent pop-ups are also ideally optimised for mobile devices.

Tip 10: Personalised Newsletter Popups

With appropriate and personalised newsletter pop-ups, you can turn unknown prospects into email leads. As soon as a shop visitor shows interest in your products but doesn’t buy them, an individually tailored slide-in appears which addresses the user in a personalised way for conversion optimisation.

conversion rate checkout popups

This makes it possible to turn hesitant and undecided visitors into email subscribers automatically, unobtrusively and in compliance with the GDPR, which in turn converts them into new customers.

Checkout – a critical moment

With targeted measures that can be implemented quickly, conversion optimisation at the checkout results in a significant reduction in shopping cart abandonment and thus increases sales.

  • 8 Effective Methods To Increase Shopping Cart & Order Values

    There is significant untapped sales potential for your online shop in the shopping basket. Use these existing potentials and increase the shopping basket value. The fact that these optimisations pay off in the long term is directly reflected in the increase in turnover and profit. We show you the best way to proceed!

    To the Blog Post
  • Shopping Cart Abandoners: Comprehensive Guide for Online Shops

    Are you annoyed by the many shopping cart abandoners in your online shop? About 70% of the filled shopping carts are abandoned. So there is a lot of potential here. In this guide you will learn everything there is to know about shopping cart abandoners: Identify reasons for abandonment, reduce shopping cart abandonment and satisfy customers.

    To the Blog Post
  • Conversion Killers – The most common Mistakes in Conversion Optimisation

    You want to optimise the conversion rate of an online shop, but don't want to do anything wrong? When it comes to well-intentioned conversion rate optimisation, mistakes can quickly occur. Find out which stumbling blocks you should be aware of and how to avoid them so that nothing stands in the way of successful conversion optimisation.

    To the Blog Post