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Checkout Onlineshop

What to pay attention to?

Freddy Czaja

The checkout is the last hurdle in the online shop. If something is not right here, you lose customers and sales shortly before the finish line. The question is: what needs to be considered to make it more likely to convert? In our article, we show a large number of reasons that may lead to termination in the checkout process.

Shopping cart

The first step in the checkout process is the shopping cart. Here the overview of the ordered products is displayed (of course with picture), which are linked with the respective product page. These links give customers the opportunity to find out more about the products without having to look far. It is even better if products can be adjusted directly in the shopping cart (number, size, color, etc.) without having to go back to the product page.

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Furthermore, the total price and shipping costs should be displayed in the shopping cart - this creates confidence and does not cause any surprises in the later checkout process. For online shops where this is not possible, as the shipping costs vary within the different products (also because of the quantities) or because it is sent to different countries, the shipping costs should always be very transparent for the user. This means that the link to the shipping costs must be clearly visible everywhere. Also, online stores should use trust symbols and seals (Trusted Shops, SSL, etc.) to give customers confidence and security. This does not have anything to do with the shopping cart, but it basically increases the opportunity for a sale, because within the basic needs of a person "security" takes a high priority. It is also important that the checkout steps are displayed in the shopping cart to prepare the customers.


+ Product details and product image

+ Link to the product page
+ Transparent costs (shipping costs)
+ Trust symbols
+ Possibility to change the selection
+ Display of the process steps



Safely guiding customers through the process steps of the checkout is a guarantee for low bounce rates. For this reason, all process steps should be presented in the form of a display, so that the customer always knows what is coming next and where he is. Of course, it depends on how the checkout is designed. It is possible to present the checkout steps above the forms or laterally - but always very present. Furthermore, it makes sense that the customer comes back to the page by clicking on a previous process step.

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One could "say" as few process steps as possible - but that would not be so correct, because all the necessary information, divided into different checkout steps, better clarity in the checkout mean. So what is optimal? A One Step Checkout with just one page, or a checkout with, for example, the three steps "Shipping Address, Payment Method, Check Items & Shipping" - or more steps? It can be said: as clear as possible! If you manage that with a One Step Checkout, with a low bounce rate, then that's a good thing. Otherwise, as few checkout steps as possible should be integrated to quickly lead customers to a purchase. Less than five steps should always be there. The whole thing but with the clear focus, which is why unnecessary form fields such as "fax or state" should be removed.

A good approach is to mark each completed checkout step as ticked off, giving the customer a small sense of achievement and positive feedback.


Quality seals, trust symbols and SSL-Sign give customers confidence and security - not always consciously, but above all unconsciously. And just the unconscious is important, because customers often decide emotionally, so any small error in the checkout, can be punished with a sales stop. Furthermore, many online stores display their contact details during the checkout process, knowing that while customers will not use the offer, this help will increase their confidence and thus potentially increase conversion. What online shops should not do: to surprise customers with an already set tick in the newsletter subscription - there is a wrong sign and should be avoided. Finally, it may be said that the design of the online store, should be reflected in the checkout, so as not to confuse the customer.

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Long loading times in the online shop are a killer in the checkout. Even large online shops such as IKEA have problems here. Every millisecond of waiting for the next page makes customers more impatient. By the way, not only the customers demand that, but also Google.


The automatic validation should be standard - because you know it: you click on "next" and the form indicates that something has been forgotten - but you dont know what. This is wrong and should be checked by default as you type (when the cursor moves out of the field). In this context, it makes sense to clearly mark mandatory fields and avoid duplicate entries of data.


One-time customers should be given the opportunity to shop without registering in the online shop. In addition, the first step in the checkout should be a page where you can choose: "Sign in" or "No sign up". Basically, it can not be about always generating a new account. Here you lose very quickly customers who prefer this type of shopping without "sign up". And you might catch these customers on the second purchase - if you did a good job on the first sale.


Many customers research long before they buy a product. This means that products are put into the shopping cart and then further informed in online shops and search engines about the product. Here's the sticking point: this can take several days, so that when returning to the online shop X - and too short session storage - the products have already been deleted from the cart. Very annoying for the customer and still annoying for the online shop ....


A philosophy in the checkout process is to hide distracting information such as navigation in order to lead customers as fast as possible to the sale. This so-called tunneling, for example, uses Amazon. But it also gives customers the feeling of being forced , becouse they can not get back to products and categories. But you could say if Amazon does that, it will work. Opinions really split on this topic. In any case, the tunneling must link the logo to the start page so that the checkout does not become a dead end.


Further reasons that may lead to termination in the checkout are not transparent shipping and payment methods. If shipping costs are not presented transparently in the online shop, they can be seen as a nuisance in the checkout because the customer is surprised by the amount. This is avoided by displaying or linking the shipping costs in the product or in clearly visible places in the online shop. Payment methods can lead to the termination of the checkout because, for example, the payment method preferred by a customer is not available. Here, the most common payment methods such as Paypal, bank transfer or credit card should always be offered and the use of other payment options to be checked.


+ Checkout without errors
+ Progress indicators in the checkout
+ Few checkout steps
+ Automatic entry check (Online Validation)
+ Mark mandatory fields
+ Avoid double query of data
+ Link to the product page
+ Trust symbols for trust
+ Holistic process
+ User-friendly design in purchase process 
+ Clarity
+ Loading times
+ Do not use newsletter registration automatically
+ Use of longer sessions (cookies)
+ Transparency about product and shipping costs
+ Transparency payment methods
+ Integrate most important payment methods

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