By Kayla Matthews

It’s great when one of your web visitors clicks that “Add to cart” button on your site. However, approximately 68% of online shoppers abandon their shopping carts after adding items to it.

Just because someone adds a product to their cart on your website doesn’t guarantee that they’ll actually “check out” and buy the items. That’s why it’s important to take a look at your checkout process from the very beginning to the very end, when your customers hit that “submit” button.

Here are 8 ways you can start improving your ecommerce conversions today.

1. Build Trust with the Consumer

For starters, you want your potential customers to trust you, and that means more than creating a secure https checkout. This trust starts well before they even add anything to that shopping cart. On your website, highlight recommendations or client testimonials from past clients. Showing security logos can also help breed trust. The better your reputation, the more likely the consumer will feel safe buying a product from you, a person they’ve never met face to face.

2. Keep the Checkout Simple

The entire checkout process should be as simple and streamlined as possible. Make delivery options clear and don’t require fields to be filled out in a very particular way (such as requiring hyphens for the phone number). The goal here is to reduce the amount of error messages clients see so they’re more inclined to fill out the entire order form. Another way to do this? Make the checkout all about, well, the checkout. That means, remove the website’s other features from the page so customers are not distracted.

3. Offer Alternative Payment Methods

While most of your customers will pay for your products using credit cards, their credit card may not always be on hand. As such, tell them payment can be taken in a variety of ways. One popular way is PayPal.

4. Don’t Ask for the Email Address Too Early

Sometimes you want to build your email list with qualified leads. But conversions — and paying customers — are even better. That’s why you should never require that an email be given prior to checkout. In other words, allow people to check out as guests, so to speak, without creating an account.

 5. Optimize Your Site’s Design

Optimizing your website isn’t just about using keywords appropriately. It’s also about the design of your site, and that includes how you present the checkout area. Format matters, but so too do things like color. For example, this website does a great job of drawing attention to the checkout button by making its color stand out. It also uses an arrow that points upward toward the checkout area. The more you can draw your potential clients to how they can purchase your products, the better!

6. Show the Stages of Checkout … or a Single Page

We’ve already talked about making the checkout simple, but simplify it even more by being clear with the different stages of checkout. This means use tabs to show the different steps — from billing address to confirmation — or headlines that make it easy to navigate the page. Even better? Make your checkout page one single page; studies have shown that single-page checkout tends to lead to higher checkout rates.

7. Display All Cart Items and Prices

People want to know what they’re buying, as well as how much they’re paying. Be completely clear and upfront about all costs. That goes for cart items as well as taxes, and shipping and handling. Then show the total price so customers know exactly what they’re going to be charged. Hidden fees won’t encourage customers to return!

8. Make it Easy for Mobile Users

More and more people are shopping using their mobile devices, including cell phones and tablets. Don’t overlook this important population. In other words, if there’s any part of your website that’s going to be mobile friendly, it should be your checkout.

Follow these eight tips, and watch your conversions grow. But still not happy with your conversion rate? Test different aspects of your checkout process to see what works best for your site. After all, every ecommerce business is different, and different things will work for each and every company.