11 Fundamental Guidelines for E-Commerce Checkout Usability

Smashing Magazine recently posted this awesome summation of a research report by Baymard Institute, to help uncover many issues related to abandoned shopping carts.  The study uncovered several nothings that you should avoid to optimize your conversion rates.  Here’s a brief summation of the 11 fundamental guidelines for e-commerce checkout usability from Smashing’s article:

  1. Your checkout process should be completely linear
  2. Add descriptions to form field labels
  3. Avoid contextual words like “Continue”
  4. Visually reinforce all sensitive fields on the payment page
  5. Don’t use an “Apply” button in your form
  6. Format field for expiration date exactly as it appears on credit card
  7. Use only one column for form fields
  8. Use shipping address as billing address by default
  9. Use clear error indications
  10. Registration should be optional
  11. Don’t require seemingly unnecessary information

The full report is available for purchase from Baynard’s website.