What happens after clicking the “Buy” button? 6 Best practices to increase conversion at checkout

Ecommerce retailers spend a lot of time and money on marketing and advertising to their customers, enticing them to browse, buy and increase conversion. On an ecommerce site, algorithms often throw out recommended products on pages designed to make browsing simple and free from friction. But it’s the final hurdle that’s often the highest. The point of payment is too often neglected, resulting in shopping cart abandonment.

Research from the Baymard Institute found that a significantly high 69% of customers abandon their shopping carts. Although most abandoned carts are known to be through the “just browsing” mentality, more than 1 in 4 shoppers have abandoned an order due to the payments process being too long and complicated. The list of frustrations is extensive: the lack of one-click payment options, challenging navigation and lack of local payment options all resulted in users giving up on their purchase.

Working with merchants from various industries on improving conversion for their customer’s payment journey after they hit the Buy button, SafeCharge offers several pieces of advice that has improved conversion for merchants by up to a double-digit percentage.

  • Offer a local payment experience to increase conversion.

    The checkout page is optimised when it offers familiar payment options to shoppers. In some countries such as in the UK, cards and PayPal make up most of the transactions, however, in many other countries, specific local payment methods will represent a significant share of transactions. This is the case for iDeal in the Netherlands (60% of the transactions), Sofort Uberweisung in Germany (16% of the transactions) or Boleto in Brazil (15% of the transactions).

    This is why, to localise the payment experience, SafeCharge enables merchants to present all relevant local payment methods to each customer based on their profile, taking into account several parameters such as where this customer is based and which device he is using. A local purchasing experience is of course performed in local currency and local language. SafeCharge supports over 100 transaction currencies. Customers using SafeCharge’s Hosted Checkout pages can also view the original transaction currency and choose to pay in the original or local currency. While the price of the purchase remains the same for customers. Last but not least, it is essential to let customers complete their purchase in their preferred language. That is why SafeCharge Hosted Checkout pages support many different languages.

  • Choose the right payment mix for your business.

    Beyond offering the right choice of local payment methods, each merchant should choose a mix adapted to the needs of its specific type of business. For businesses with a recurring business model, cards are very convenient. In addition, recurring transactions with alternative payment options are possible, using a combination of options, for example, iDeal or Sofort for the first transaction and a direct debit for the following transactions.

    Payment options may vary depending on whether a business offers digital services or if it is a retailer. While retailers prefer payment options with less risk because they are shipping high-value goods, digital goods merchants will accept to take more of a risk as the loss of a digital good is less material and in some cases, merchants will be able to withdraw access to their service or goods in the case that they have not yet received payment. It is also interesting to weigh the costs of adding a new payment option versus the increase in conversion offered by this payment option. Therefore, SafeCharge facilitates A/B testing when considering the addition of a new payment option to verify if it adds convenience to customers. While having the choice of adding more payment methods for increasing conversion is great, in our experience, too much choice is counter-productive. In many cases, offering more than 4 payment method types can impact conversion negatively.

  • Provide clear instructions.

    To address any potential issues that may arise, response messages and help texts on the page should be clear and comprehensive. The help text next to a CVV field, for example, should be clear about where to find the code on each card. Error messages should be very visible and explain in a detailed way what is expected from the user.

  • Fast track returning customers.

    To make sure loyal customers enjoy a fast checkout, offering them to pay in just one-click is a must. SafeCharge enables merchants to activate a secure one-click checkout for their customers, without adding any additional compliance requirement thanks to tokenisation. Tokenisation technology stores customer payment data which can be recalled from secure PCI certified servers, once a repeat payment is required.

  • Increase conversion.

    When a customer encounters an issue with their selected payment method, for example, when the payment method system is down, instead of the transaction being abandoned, SafeCharge enables businesses to suggest an alternative option with which the customer can finalise the payment process. An alternative way to increase conversion while still preventing fraud at checkout is to enable 3D Secure checks dynamically. Dynamic 3D Secure enables merchants to route a transaction for a 3D check only if the transaction is reaching a certain risk threshold, is from certain countries, or above a certain amount. Traffic that is not high risk will continue through the processing procedure as usual.

  • Continuously improve experience based on customers payment behaviour data.

    Knowledge is power, the more that is understood about your shoppers’ checkout journey, the more it can be enhanced. To provide merchants with customer behaviour data when paying online, SafeCharge has developed SafeCharge Checkout Analytics, a service providing merchants with customer behaviour data on their checkout page. This data shows merchants at which point in the checkout process issues arise. Based on this information, merchants can make the necessary changes to the checkout page. Following implementation, impacts of the changes can be measured and updated again if necessary. By implementing results from SafeCharge Checkout Analytics, merchants increase their conversions, while shoppers enjoy an optimised shopping experience, free of friction: a win-win situation for all.

The final step of the purchasing journey – the payments step –  for a customer is critical as this will determine if the Buy button will be clicked or not. SafeCharge has simulated, analysed and from experience predicted many scenarios in getting customers to click that Buy button and what happens next. By optimising customer checkout pages, SafeCharge is ultimately making the payments journey easier, user-friendly, seamless and quick, with the end result to increase conversion and customer satisfaction.


SafeCharge Limited is an Electronic Money Institution authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Cyprus and is a principal member of Mastercard, Visa and Unionpay International (CUP). SafeCharge Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a Payment Institution. Both SafeCharge companies are wholly owned by SafeCharge International Group Limited.