3 Qualities Every Online Checkout Process Needs to Have

Posted on 4/7/16 3:00 PM by Marisa Samek

Whether you're offering dance classes for beginners, gymnastics training for highly-competitive athletes or summer camp experiences for the whole family, your organization's financial outlook, especially when it comes to increasing revenue, hinges on available spots filling up at registration time. What's the difference between citizens leaving your point of sale empty-handed or bounding out of the venue, excited to start their new adventure? In most cases, it's your online checkout process.

Discover the 3 qualities your online checkout process should have:

Online Shopping Checkout Process

Small Details Make all the Difference 

It's no secret that consumers making more and more purchases online. Despite having no face-to-face contact with many web-based merchants, an easy online checkout experience is one of those often-overlooked facets of an internet storefront that makes all the difference when it comes to keeping existing customers in the fold and attracting new ones down the road.

The story is largely the same for a community-based organization, especially when it comes to dropping purchase-making from their plans altogether. Studies have shown that cart abandonment rates for online shopping are over 68%. While there's no way of telling exactly what ultimately makes a shopper back away from their buy - since it could be any number of things - a checkout process that is slow, frustrating and negative overall can lead to that number swelling to an even larger total.

In order to ensure a seamless online experience for all citizens who interact with your organization's registration and payment processing setup, you have to keep three key factors in mind: simplicity, transparency and trustworthiness. If all three of those aspects can be categorized as satisfactory by anyone who uses it, positive word-of-mouth will undoubtedly spread about your organization, which in turn will lead to increased long-term revenue generation.


Be Simple

How simple is your checkout process? Do registrants find the online steps intuitive or confusing? Is everything laid out and explained in a way that leaves nothing up to interpretation when citizens are trying to sign up for their class, activity or service? These are just a few of the questions that you need to be asking when determining how easy-to-use your online store functionality is.

Here are some additional, more detailed points to keep in mind:

  • Is your “proceed to checkout” or "register now" button easy to find?  (See what our client Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics does. This makes people want to sign up!)
  • Do you require visitors to fill out long forms? Make sure if you’re asking a question, there is a reason for it.
  • Are your products and services well-organized and, if there are many categories, do you have a good “search” box?
  • Do you offer a variety of payment options? Is it obvious how they can switch their preferred payment method?
  • Do menus look different when making a purchase on mobile? Do any details get lost if accessing the site or registration portal on a smartphone or tablet?


Be Transparent

When someone decides to sign up for your class or activity, they want to know that the process is 100 percent transparent. If there's any information that isn't communicated to a citizen before the end of the checkout process, they will find this lack of forthcomingness unsettling and may ultimately attach negative emotions to your organization. Essentially, don't hide anything from residents if they're ready to put some money down for one of your services.

Here are some additional questions to ask:

  • Are you hitting purchasers with hefty hidden fees or additional charges right before they click buy? This is one of the largest contributors to cart abandonment in the world of online shopping, so make sure you avoid this tactic at all costs.
  • Are you asking users to create an account right before they would normally be able to make a purchase? How long is the account form? Do they have to activate it through an email link first? Citizens should be aware of this step beforehand and, if you want to include the account-making step, determine if it's absolutely necessary or not.
  • If there's a specific promotional code or discount that is widely available during a registration period (in other words, everyone has access to the deal), is it presented at checkout?


Be Trustworthy

More than anything else, building a high level of trust with anyone who registers for an activity or service with your organization is a key ingredient to a long, stable stream of revenue. To that end, if your online checkout process is lacking the minimum amount of legitimacy in its visual cues and overall flow, then it's more than likely you'll be stuck with more than a few individuals who abandon their decision to register altogether. Therefore, it's extremely important that, in a situation where most people will be blindly plunking down some of their hard-earned money, trustworthiness cannot be underestimated.

Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • Do your services appear legitimate to someone who has never set foot in your organization? Do you provide articulate, compelling and professional descriptions of your services?
  • Are there pictures and other visual stimuli to go along with service descriptions?
  • Do you have all the necessary security certifications, especially when it comes to the connection used by shoppers to make their purchases? 
  • Is the customer experience priority during every stage of the online checkout process?


By asking the questions listed above, you'll be able to ensure that the online checkout experience that citizens use in connection with your organization is simple, transparent and trustworthy. Those three facets are foundational pieces that will not only increase engagement and enrollment in your classes or activities, but also invigorate your revenue generation model with some new-found business.

If people are navigating away from your site without purchasing anything, don’t worry, all is not lost. Stats also show that emails sent to customers soon after they have abandoned a cart are likely to be read, so don’t hesitate to reach out! Send follow-up emails to people who have quit on you unexpectedly either asking them what’s up or even offering to set up a call with them to walk them through your services over the phone.

Want to know how Amilia can improve your online checkout process with our robust feature set? Download the brochure now!