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How Neuromarketing Can Improve Your Checkout Process

Two almost universal truths: Your customers are super busy, and life is hard. The best thing you can do for customers visiting your online store is make sure you’re not wasting their time or making their lives harder. E-commerce is all about convenience and speed, and if you can’t deliver either you won’t be delivering products to your customers any time soon.

But you know that, so you’ve got your products neatly sorted and categorised, your copy is clear and informative, your site is easy to navigate and your level of customer service is a thing of beauty. However, your customers reach checkout process and suddenly aren’t as interested in buying your products. Carts are abandoned, your cost per acquisition soars, sales stop. What happened?

A bad checkout process can eliminate any goodwill you might have built up with your customers as they filled their carts. If they’re frustrated enough or simply not bothered, you can lose your hard-earned sale at the very last mouse-click. Luckily, neuromarketing can help.

Keep it simple, keep it safe

The brain prefers simplicity. The easier something is to find, the faster it is to do, the more satisfied our brains are. If your checkout process involves ten steps, three authentication stages and the creation of an account (which your customer has already created, but now can’t remember the password), many people will duck out well before reaching the end. Frankly, your products aren’t worth the effort when they can get them with less effort from your competitors.

If, for some reason, your checkout process has to be a very long and drawn out one, you want to communicate that clearly with your customers and a progress bar is a great help. A progress bar at the top of your checkout process gives your customers an idea of how much longer they have to go, and is a great way of helping them manage their expectations.

Online shopping also carries more risk than shopping at traditional brick and mortar shops: customers don’t know if clothes will fit, if the colour in the pictures is accurate, if a product will work as promised, or whether it will even arrive at the right place (if at all). They don’t have the reassurance of being able to see and touch a product. There is also risk associated with giving one’s credit card or banking details away online.

As a result, it’s important to offer reassurance to your customers. They should be able to turn back to their cart at every stage of the checkout process, they need to be assured that your returns policy is reasonable, and it must be clear that their private details are safe and secure.

Even if your checkout process is relatively short, you could lose people once they realise they entered the wrong address or delivery option and they are forced to go through the whole checkout process again. Your checkout process therefore should offer the option of going back and changing details at any stage, even after a payment has been made.

Make it effortless

For security reasons, it’s tempting to have a comprehensive human and security verification processes. However, remember that not all your customers have a great internet connection, and many may be accessing your platform from a mobile device. If the checkout process is overly complicated it’s already frustrating, and that is compounded the moment someone is trying to get through it using a painfully slow connection or on an interface that doesn’t scale well on a mobile device. Try to find a happy balance.

If someone has gone to the trouble of making an account on your site, the least you can do is ensure that their delivery address references and other preferences are remembered the next time they want to make an online purchase so they don’t have to enter it all in again. Return customers are invaluable and showing that their next purchase will be even easier is a great way to build their trust and keep them coming back for more.

Finally, unclear information, unnecessary options or redundant forms are the final nail in the coffin if someone was already on the fence about going through the checkout process. Eliminate these as much as possible.

How Can Neuromarketing help?

Neuromarketing uses various tools to help you understand how customers navigate your checkout process, both on a website, mobisite or app. Using eye tracking, we can see exactly where a customer’s gaze and attention are focused, and whether they are missing any important pieces of information. Galvanic skin response and facial coding allow us to see the intensity and type of emotion the customer experiences, to get a better sense of the emotional ride your users are on during their user journey, so that user pain points can be identified and addressed. Electroencephalography can tell us about the customer’s approach motivation and the amount of mental effort while navigating the checkout process. Are they being made to think too hard, and give up as a result? Or is the process so intuitive that they are motivated to complete the checkout process and actually enjoy every moment, even if it’s made up of 20 different steps?

These insights are known as implicit insights – they measure things that the user can’t control and doesn’t necessarily realise are influencing their user experience and resulting behaviour. These can be more enlightening than the more common “explicit” insights, which are what a user would tell you in a survey or focus group or insights you would uncover by simply watching a user. Sometimes users don’t know what they found frustrating exactly, how they visually navigated the platform, or where specifically they wanted to give up and quit. This is critical information for streamlining your checkout process, and Neuromarketing is here to help you get it so that you can get the checkout process right.

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