8 Modern Website Design Techniques to Make Your Ecommerce Checkout Watertight

8 Modern Website Design Techniques to Make Your Ecommerce Checkout Watertight

Conversions make or break your eCommerce store. It doesn’t matter how much traffic you drive to your website. If your visitors don’t complete the checkout process, your business is doomed to fail.

Cart abandonment is a problem that plagues every eCommerce store owner. Around 79% of all eCommerce shopping carts are abandoned. For every 100 customers that add an item to their cart, 79 won’t make it through the checkout and complete a purchase.

Not only is that a considerable amount of lost revenue in sales, but it’s also a colossal waste of advertising spend if you are using PPC to drive traffic to your website.

How can you shore up your checkout process and make sure more of your visitors follow through and buy your products?

Here’s a rundown of eight modern website design techniques to reduce cart abandonment and boost sales.

1. Provide Guest Checkout Option

If you can get every customer to create a customer profile, you can monitor how they interact with your website, offer relevant product recommendations, and increase the personalization of your email marketing.

However, your drive to create more customer profiles could be costing you sales.

If you force your online shoppers to create a profile, you could be damaging your conversion rate and your bottom line.

According to a study by Baymard Research, 31% of people have abandoned a purchase because the website wanted them to create an account.

Add a guest checkout option to your website and see if it boosts your conversions.

2. Add A Checkout Progress Bar

Magicdust, an experienced Australian website design agency, makes the point that the key to a conversion-boosting checkout process is simplicity. Every website design element should make it as smooth as possible for online shoppers to complete a purchase.

While some form filling is unavoidable, you can reduce the chances of your customers abandoning their carts by integrating a progress bar into your checkout process website design.

You can opt for a progress bar at the top of the page or make each step of the checkout numbered.

This shows the customer which stage of the checkout process they are currently at, and how many more steps they have to complete.

3. Cut Down Form Filling

Form-filling is, unfortunately, an unavoidable part of the checkout process. The more forms you have in your checkout, the more effort required from your customers, and the more likely they are to abandon their carts.

To increase the user experience of your checkout, you need to identify any way you can simplify and streamline the process through your website design choices.

For example, instead of making users fill out two separate forms, include a ‘Shipping address same as billing address’ button so that shoppers can speed up the process.

When it comes to the forms, ask yourself what information you really need, and remove any sections that are not absolutely essential.

4. Incorporate Social Proof into Your website design

Including testimonials and reviews is a powerful website design technique for boosting conversions. People want to feel reassured that they are spending their money with a reputable business.

Reviews and testimonials provide social proof that other people have already engaged with your business and are happy with their purchases.

By including reviews and testimonials on your product pages and checkout pages, you increase the chances of your visitors following through with a purchase.

5. Provide Free Shipping

According to a report by Walker Sands, 90% of online shoppers claim free shipping is the number one factor that would encourage them to purchase more frequently.

Don’t make your customers pay shipping fees.

People don’t want to be surprised by unexpected fees and shipping costs when they progress to the checkout. If a product listed for $19.99 ends up costing $25 with shipping, you’re going to lose out on sales.

To avoid this psychological barrier, work the cost of shipping into your retail prices. If this isn’t feasible for your business, offer free shipping when the total order value passes a certain threshold.

Not only can this increase conversions, but it can also increase your average order value (AOV).

6. Deliver Instant Gratification

Online shoppers are very impatient. When they order something, they want instant gratification.

While it’s easy to deliver instant gratification if you sell digital products, it’s more difficult if you sell physical products that need to be shipped.

Amazon is the largest seller of physical products in the world. How do they provide instant gratification to customers through the website design of their checkout?

By providing precise information on delivery dates.

When you purchase a product sold by Amazon, you can see the exact date that you can expect to receive the product. You’re far more likely to buy a product if you know it will be delivered in a couple of days.

7. A/B Testing of website design Elements

The most effective way to increase the conversion rate of your checkout process is to put it to the test with real shoppers. Only through testing different website design elements can you know what’s the most effective way to drive more conversions.

You need to be measured about your testing. Identify a single element of your checkout website design to test first.

For example, you might want to test different versions of your call to action (CTA) button.

Create two versions of your checkout page with two different CTA buttons – version A could be ‘Buy Now’ and version B ‘Order Now.’ Then split your checkout traffic with 50% shown version A, and 50% shown version B.

By comparing the conversion rate of the two versions of the checkout, you can see which one is more effective and generates more sales. Once you’ve tested your CTA, you can move on to different website design elements to make your checkout page as effective as possible.

8. Follow Up Emails

While not technically a web design technique, cart abandonment emails enable you to boost your sales by capitalizing on the shoppers that have yet to convert and complete a purchase.

Cart abandonment emails are about recovering the sales that you have lost during the checkout process. If an online shopper adds a product to their shopping cart but doesn’t finish the checkout process and place the order, you want to follow up with an enticing offer to encourage them to come back.

To make your offer more compelling, you can include one or more of the following elements in your email.

  • Offer a time-limited discount on the product.
  • Include free shipping.
  • Personalize the email copy and subject line.
  • Save the cart and provide a direct link back to the checkout page.

If you can create a compelling reason for people to come back, cart abandonment emails become a great way to boost your conversion rate and drive sales.


Reducing cart abandonment doesn’t require a complete overhaul of your checkout. The above methods are relatively easy to integrate into your checkout website design.

If you’re spending money on paid traffic, optimising your checkout is vital. You want to make the most of every dollar you spend on attracting new customers.

While these best practices should boost your sales, what works for one business might not be nearly as effective for another. Keep testing and improving your checkout process to boost your conversion rate and drive more sales for your eCommerce business.

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We’ve been in the digital marketing field for over 18 years and worked with hundreds of Australian (and international) businesses to grow their web presence. Specialising in SEO, search ads (PPC), social media, content marketing, email marketing and conversion rate optimisation.

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