If you can’t remember when you last made a purchased on your own website while in the mindset of a brand new customer that’s never purchased from you before then it was likely too long ago. Do it now. Really. Open a new tab, play as ‘dumb’ about your business as you can and really pay attention to what you see, what you read, what you click and what you are told by your website.
On the whole you should be testing your own checkout at least once a quarter. At least. Ideally monthly. And in the best case you would have automatic testing AND also have yourself or a team doing manual testing once a week.
It’s really valuable to run user testing with strangers and to get feedback from real life new customers. But just relying on what the customers will tell you is a road to lost sales and bad PR. You have put time and energy into building and launching your site, but you should not then just ignore it until the sales vanish.
You don’t just have to be looking for bugs when you are testing. How about looking for new opportunities? Have you added Apple Pay to your payment options yet? Are your error messages clear and helpful to the users? Can you actually see your checkout correctly on the new phone of the year? Perhaps a new speedy delivery option or a slower cheaper option would convert more people currently put off by shipping. The list of potential considerations is endless and always evolving. But that is the beauty… there is always opportunity to do more good for your customers and as such more good for yourself.
To help with recommendations you can score your checkout for free at www.scoremycheckout.com. You’ll instantly receive a personalised Checkout Score Card bespoke to your site and it will include strategies and suggestions in the following core areas: Metrics, Security, Usability, Features, Design & Customer Retention.
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