How to Improve your E-Commerce Checkout Process in Singapore

e-commerce checkout process in singapore

Are you looking for information on how to improve your e-commerce checkout process in Singapore?

With one of the fastest internet connections in the world, a majority of Singaporeans prefer shopping online as opposed to driving to a brick and mortar store.

The stores and companies are aware of this fact and have developed user-friendly e-commerce sites that allow customers to shop for products easily and at their convenience.

One of the integral parts of any e-commerce site in Singapore is the checkout process. Most people do not want to spend more than 4 minutes trying to purchase a product.

Therefore, it is of paramount importance to make the e-commerce checkout process as smooth and customer-oriented as possible. Here are expert tips on how to improve your e-commerce checkout process in Singapore.

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How to Improve your E-commerce Checkout Process in Singapore

  • Error Validation Should be User-Friendly

In Singapore e-commerce industry, the customer is King and therefore, you should not cut corners when it comes to optimizing your site.

Strive to make the errors customers make easy to fix to avoid wasting their time.

This means that whenever a client encounters an error message when trying to checkout, your Singapore e-commerce website should be able to provide a quick and easy fix by specifying the nature of the error and the location.

One of the easiest ways of doing this is by optimizing the checkout page to highlight fields with errors. It is also important to note that the problem should not be tedious for the customers to fix.

  • Provide Service or Product Customisation Options

Different online shoppers in Singapore have varying expectations and needs.

The only way to meet these needs amicably is by providing product and service customisation options.

Depending on the nature of your business, you can provide options such as the ability to create their own product or select different service components.

Your Singapore e-commerce site should also make it easy for the customers to select, modify, and even preview all the available options before completing the checkout process.

This checkout process optimization hack will enhance the overall customer experience and maintain the trust and confidence of the user throughout the entire process. More importantly, it will guarantee the accuracy of custom orders made by a segment of your Singapore customers.

  • Provide Sales Incentives and Offers

The first thing that you need to note under this point is that customers who have browsed your Singapore e-commerce site, selected products and added them to the cart are ready to convert. They just need a little push to complete the process.

The most successful e-commerce websites in Singapore does this by using sales incentives and offers to sweeten the deal. Some of the incentives that you can use include discounts, special coupons, freebies and promotions. You will definitely notice a sharp increase in conversion rate when you do this.

Please Don’t Waste Customer’s Time

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Singaporeans are sensitive about data security and so asking for unnecessary information could discourage them from completing the transaction. The last thing you want is to lose a potential customer who is ready to convert by asking for unnecessary information and wasting their time.

The point we are trying to put across is that you should only request the client to provide essential information during both the user registration and checkout process. Asking for too many details will have a negative impact on your sales and profit margins.

Therefore, unrelated or unnecessary features or content should be deleted from the checkout process. Stick to the main objective, which is converting. Your goal should be to guide them through the checkout process and capture all the necessary contact information before they leave for future reference.

Notice some of the information such as email can be used for email marketing.

You can also use the email address to get feedback about the quality of the product.

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For example, one of the mistakes that most Singapore e-commerce websites make is asking a potential customer to register or log in to complete a purchase. Sending customers to a third-party site to complete the purchase will also influence your sales negatively.

Optimise the entire checkout process to make it smooth and carry out A/B tests to get a clearer perspective of the process. The results of the tests will help you to know the specific things that you need to delete or add.

  • Up-selling and Cross-Selling

The essence of optimizing your e-commerce website checkout process is to not only increase sales but also give customers ideas of other products that they might be interested in before they leave your website. One of the guaranteed ways of doing this is through cross-selling and up-selling.

What is up-selling? This is a Singapore e-commerce hack that is used to recommend products that are more expensive and better in line with the needs of the customer.

What is cross-selling? As the name suggests, this is a strategy used to sell additional products that are in one way or another related to the product purchased by the client.

Both approaches will not only optimize the checkout process but also increase the amount of money that you earn from every customer.

However, be careful not to overdo it to avoid pissing off the customers. Remember the goal is to sell related product to the customer who is ready to convert or to sell another product that is more in line with their needs and expectations.

  • Keep Track of Abandoned Conversions and Orders

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The first thing that you need to note is that getting a lead is an expensive and time-consuming venture. The last thing you want is to lose a potential customer who would have purchased the product due to a trivial issue that would have been avoided.

To become one of the most preferred e-commerce websites in Singapore, you need to start tracking abandoned conversions and orders. Surprisingly, most online store owners are not aware of the fact that they can store data from incomplete forms and orders in the database.

The data can later be used to follow up with the customers to know if there is anything that can be done to salvage the situation.

Starting the checkout process is a strong sign of interest in your product and things can interrupt the ordering process no matter how user-friendly and intuitive your website is. For instance, the customer might experience computer problems or get distracted before completing the checkout process.

Set your website to collect data of not only customers who go through the checkout process successfully, but also those who do not complete the process. Then, your sales team should contact the prospects to lure them back to the website to complete the purchase.

The data from the abandoned carts will also give you insights into the checkout process. You might discover a technical issue with your service or product line that has been lurking in the dark and preventing your business from going to the next level.

Smart Ways of Optimising Your Checkout Process

The above tips scratch the surface of making the checkout process smooth for your customers. Let’s dive deeper and look at the specific actions you should take to optimise the process and offer the best shopping experience to your customers.

  • Optimise for Mobile

In 2021, 54% of all online purchases recorded globally were made from smartphones and other mobile devices. With millions of people using their mobile devices to browse the internet, you should ensure that the checkout page and process are fully optimised for mobile. 

Here are the exact steps you should take to achieve this goal moving forward.

    • Test how the checkout process is displayed and functions on different smartphones. You should not limit yourself to modern phones, though; test the past smartphones such as Samsung S8 and iPhone 6s/7/8. 
    • Entering personal details such as names and email addresses is easy on the desktop but challenging and time-consuming on mobile. Save the customers time by enabling an autofill feature. 
    • Check the site load speed to avoid keeping the customers waiting for minutes for all the site elements to load. Even though mobile data providers are launching 5G connectivity, most ecommerce websites load more slowly on mobile than on desktop. Remove unnecessary images and processes to reduce rage quits or cart-abandonments.
    • Confirm that each field has the correct default keyboard. For example, if the checkout process requires customer input numbers, they will soon abandon the page if the keyword keys are 60% smaller than the conventional size.

It would also help to get input from the customers through surveys. Their feedback will significantly help you pinpoint the specific areas that should be tweaked.

  • Be Specific with Delivery Dates

One of the challenges that customers and eCommerce store owners deal with is how to deliver products on time. Keeping customers waiting for days will hurt your business and result in a drop in sales. 

It’s surprising see so many eCommerce websites with a general shipping timeline like “Delivery within 2 business days? Why are you forcing the customers to calculate when the product will arrive? 

Such friction points are the primary reasons why most online stores invest thousands of dollars in digital marketing but fail to achieve significant results. Avoid loses by being more specific and straightforward. 

A confirmation like “Product will arrive by 15TH February 2022” is better and will pay the highest dividends.

Customers won’t keep sending inquiries to the support team before the specified date unless they have had a change of heart and want to cancel the order or buy a different product model.

  • Provide Multiple Payment Gateways

In the last 6 months, 7% of online shoppers confirmed abandoned carts for not having their idea or the preferred payment method. 

Apart from accepting credit card payments, you should have several third-party payment gateways such as Google Pay, PayPal, and Apple Pay. If your business operates in a specific location, be sure to include local payment service providers such as M-Pesa

In your quest to offer the best shopping experience, cushion your checkout process from the Nascar Effect – having too many logos on the checkout page makes it look cluttered and confuses customers who are ready to convert.

How many payment options should my eCommerce website have? Well, there is no specific answer to this question. Market research will help you decide which payment options to add. Be careful not to clutter the page with too many logos.

  • Include Progress Indicators

The customers have certain expectations from the website when adding products to the cart. One of the sure ways to achieve this goal is by using progress bars. The bars will inform them which stage they are in and which information they should submit to move on to the next step.

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Subdividing the journey into a multi-step structure has been proven effective in increasing conversion rates. It will also be easy for you to analyse the sales funnel and identify areas that should be removed to prevent more cart abandonments.

  • Leverage Inline Validation

In a recent study, 22% of eCommerce websites on Zuko analysed confirmed an improvement in conversion rate after adding inline validation on forms. 

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What is inline validation? Inline validation is a new technology that allows websites to offer immediate response/feedback to visitors instead of displaying error messages. 

Make sure the validations are assigned to the correct form space to guide the customers through the sales funnel quickly. 

  • Activate Address Autofill

Inputting every detail of your address is an unnecessary pain that you should cushion your customers from to close more sales. Instead of forcing them to type every letter and character, give them an option to enter their zip code or postal code. Then, based on the code, display a list of address options. 

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Such a simple improvement has the potential to increase the conversion rate by 30%. No special coding skills are required; there are tools online such as Woosmap and Loqate that you can incorporate into your website in seconds. 

  • No Hidden Charges, Please

Hidden charges are also common reasons why most online shoppers opt to abandon the cart.

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They had a specific budget when they added the products to the cart. The last thing you should do is surprise them with additional costs that you didn’t mention in the initial stages of the sales funnel.

If you don’t offer free shipping, make sure that you include that in the product pricing so that the customer can decide whether to purchase it before progressing to the other stages of the funnel. The same case applies to added tax and additional costs. 

If you’re not comfortable displaying information about the shipping fee and taxes, you can add them to the product so that the clients never have to see the “add-on” costs when they almost input their credit card information.

  • Don’t Be Too Generous with Discount/Coupon Codes

One of the challenges of providing too many discount/coupon codes online is that customers often take advantage of them to get the products or services at a discounted price.

Most online customers will rush to Google to search for codes shared by other people online whenever they see a generous discount percentage promo on a checkout page. 

In the end, you will lose hundreds of dollars in profit from such purchases.

They will complete the purchase if they can’t find the code but swear not to shop at your store again due to disappointment. The third outcome is they opt to exit your website and not buy when they fail to get the code. 

All three outcomes will hurt the profitability of your business and should be avoided at all costs.

Here are expert tips on how to cushion yourself from such scenarios.

    • Provide the code so that customers never have to spend hours searching for one on other websites.
    • Instead of the conventional voucher code box, consider switching to pre-discounted links. The links can only be used once, so two customers cannot use them to get a discount.
    • Make it less obvious that the product is available at a discounted price by tucking away the coupon code field behind the checkout button.
    • Change the wording. For example, Amazon recently stopped using “Promotional Codes” and started using “Gift Cards.” 
    • Have a dedicated page with all the available offers and discount codes.

More importantly, make sure that the discount percentage does not impact your profit margin much. The idea behind offering a discount is to increase sales and boost brand awareness– killing two birds with one stone.

  • Avoid Elements That May Distract the Customer

When a customer is finalising a purchase, the last thing you should do is display elements that distract them.

For instance, you should not display the mail subscription box in the initial stages no matter how committed you are to building a credible mailing list.

Concisely, anything that distracts them from the goal will result in a high abandonment rate.

The page should not have menu buttons, flash banners, and other unnecessary pop-ups. You will get a chance to capture the additional details once they complete the purchase. 

  • Allow Customers to Jump Some Stages

This checkout optimisation tip applies to the business whose process is multi-stage or multi-layered.

Allowing the customers to jump some stages or retract their steps to edit the previous input by simply clicking on the progress bar can increase conversion rate and reduce cart abandonment.

The progress bar will ensure that they don’t use the back button on the browser, resulting in the previous data input disappearing. Zuko’s study found that such an improvement reduces cart abandonment by 10%. 

Most renowned eCommerce platforms have a progress bar that works well with this feature. It’s not too late for you to join them.

  • Make Use of Trust Badges

With the rise in hacking cases and the use of stolen personal details such as names and SSNs to commit crimes online, online customers are more than ever wary of who they submit their details to today. 

They won’t hesitate to exit your page if they feel it’s not legit or the chances of getting defrauded their hard-earned cash are high. 

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Win their trust by posting trust badges on the checkout process. The badges have the potential to increase conversions by up to 40%. However, they should be strategically placed in the final stages of the checkout process, just before the customer checkout.

  • Offer Guest Checkout Option

It’s normal and OKAY for your CRM team to focus on getting the customer’s email address for purposes of email marketing later.

However, that should not be the main focus lest you want the customer to feel pushed to complete the purchase and submit personal details.

Most eCommerce websites that complain of high abandonment require clients to create an account to complete purchases. In a recent poll, 34% of respondents confirmed they leave if requested to create an account. 

Be different by offering a guest checkout feature that allows customers to enjoy a seamless shopping experience without creating an account or submitting their email addresses. This feature should be easily located on the checkout page, not hidden away. It should be adjacent to the “create an account” button to help customers decide fast.

The guest checkout button is labelled “Continue to Checkout.” Most customers won’t tell what that means outright, so don’t make such a mistake.

  • Ability Sign-in Using Social Account

Autofill is one of the best ways of offering a seamless shopping experience.

Make it easy for the customers to access their accounts by providing a social account sign-in option. Since most customers are often logged in to Facebook or Instagram, they will quickly see their details in just one click. 

They won’t have to create an account from scratch, and the confirmation process is shorter. Also, the information you will get about their social media usage will come in handy when crafting social media marketing campaigns.

  • Show a Summary of Cart Details and Contents

If the customer is unsure of the cart contents or wants to confirm the product details, clicking on the back button will result in the details getting lost. 

Avoid such a scenario by showing a summary of the products added to the cart and their respective details. That way, they will have a clear picture of the process and won’t have to retrace their steps unnecessarily. This hack works in tandem with the progress bar.

  • Use Visuals to Guide Them

The human brain process visuals faster and better than text.

Use quality visuals to guide the customers through the checkout process instead of text only. In every step, show them the value your product offers and why buying it is the right decision. Words of encouragement will go a long way to increase your sales numbers. 

In addition, make sure that the call-to-action buttons are clear and have the proper colour contrast with the website background for customers to easily find and click them. 

12 Killer Checkout Optimisation Tips to Get Back Lost Sales

Most of the tips discussed above focus on improving the checkout process to get more sales and reduce cart abandonment. Recovering even one sale can significantly impact your business and give you the revenue you need to meet your daily operating costs.

Let’s not shift gears and look at 12 killer checkout optimisation tips to get back lost sales.

  • Use Exit-Intent Popups

One of the realities of running an eCommerce store is that not every customer who adds products to a cart will complete the purchase. You can recover abandoned carts by leveraging the new exit-intent popups that are not too intrusive.

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Advanced checkout optimisation tools such as OptinMonster can detect when a prospect is about to exit your website. It shows them a custom message just before they exit to encourage them to stick around longer, thereby giving you more time and chances to convince them to convert.

If you are still not convinced about how exit-intent popups effectively recover sales, check out this case study on how Wild Water Adventures successfully recovered $61,000 in sales by targeting customers with a custom message just before they exit.

You can get more results by combining the tool’s page-level targeting feature with the exit-intent popup. The popup will only be shown on the checkout page with this feature.

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Here are three tips on how to craft the exit-intent popup message.

    • Offer a coupon to encourage them to buy the product or service
    • Ask a question that compels them to reconsider their decision to exit your website
    • Request them to sign up to your mailing list to get a special discount or coupon

The email addresses you capture using the popup will come in handy when creating email marketing campaigns. If they don’t respond to the coupon, send abandonment emails to try and win them back.

  • Use FOMO and Urgency

FOMO stands for fear of missing out. FOMO and urgency are two marketing strategies that have been around for a while now. They are effective in not only digital marketing but also offline marketing. Online customers are always looking for deals to save money on products and services.

Use their fear of missing out on a discount to trigger them to buy immediately they land on your website. Here is a screenshot from MonsterInsights for inspiration.

The company not only mentions the coupon but also creates a sense of urgency by reducing the number of time prospects have to redeem it.

If a customer adds a discounted product to the cart, make sure that you highlight the discounted price to encourage them to complete the purchase.

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Some brands have successfully recovered lost sales by showing their stock inventory. Check out the LifterLMS case study for inspiration on how to apply this tip to your eCommerce store. The company recovered more than $23,700 in sales by displaying a countdown timer on its landing page.

  • Send Out Cart Abandonment Emails

Earlier on, we mentioned abandonment email but didn’t get into details. Unlike other marketing emails, cart abandonment emails are sent to shoppers who abandon their cart after adding one or more products. The main goal is to convince them to visit your website and complete the purchase.

One sure way of achieving this goal is by offering a special discount on the product in the cart. Sending out this kind of email within the first 24 hours has the potential to recover up to 60% of lost sales.

Please include links to the abandoned cart to help them complete the purchase fast and conveniently. Otherwise, sending them back to the main store to search for products will create an unnecessary friction point and distractions.

Sweeten the deal by offering a personalised offer. Use the customer’s previous buying behaviour and pattern to know which kind of deal would be most relevant to them. If the customer doesn’t respond to the first email, send another one within the next 48 hours.

After that, you have probably lost the sale, and bombarding them with additional emails will ruin your credibility and trigger them to mark your emails as spam.

  • Offer Multiple Payment Options

Unknown to most brands struggling to generate sales online is that 8% of customers abandon carts because the preferred payment option is not available. 4% of them exit the checkout page because their credit card is declined.

Reduce losing qualified leads by offering multiple payment options.

Carry out extensive market research to know your target customers preferred payment options. A recent study by BigCommerce found out that offering a digital payment option can triple an online store conversion rate.

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Today, PayPal, debit card, credit card, and cash are the most popular online payment options. Keep in mind that 14% of online customers prefer mobile payment options.

  • No Unexpected Costs

We mentioned that online customers are always looking for discounted customers. The last thing you want to do is surprise website visitors who have added products to your cart and are ready to complete the purchase with unexpected costs such as taxes and time delivery costs.

60% of cart abandoners exit the page due to such extra costs. Make sure that the price shown on the shopping cart page is final.

Free shipping, low delivery costs, and free return are some of the offers that you can use to increase your online store sales. Make sure that details of such offers are shown on every sale funnel stage to convince the customers to move on to the next stage.

If you decide to offer free shipping or any other enticing offer, you factor that in the product price to avoid hurting your profit margins. Consult the finance team to know how much you can afford to waiver to avoid plunging your business into financial turmoil.

  • Display Trust and Security Seals

Winning the trust of the target audience should be your primary goal. 19% of website visitors leave the website because they don’t trust the payment methods. With the rise in cases of phishing and other related malicious criminal activities, you cannot afford to have an insecure website.

Here are insider tips on creating a positive perception and encouraging customers to complete purchases.

    • Show them your online store is secure by using SSL seals. The most trusted one is the popular Norton seal.
    • Prove your brand is trustworthy and legit by including trust seals on the checkout page and other pages that customers frequent.
    • Denote security by using special symbols such as padlocks
    • Make the credit card section more conspicuous from the surrounding page elements with unique shading.

Concisely, a seal of approval reassures customers that their credit card information and other personal details such as physical addresses are in safe hands and won’t be shared with third parties without their consent.

  • Include a Live Chat Feature

Communication is key to the success of your eCommerce store. It would be best to constantly engage with prospects to convince them to add products to the cart and buy.

There are different ways of communicating with customers, but the most effective way is by using live chat. Research shows that AI-powered chatbots have an immense ability to increase conversion rate than even mobile messaging and email.

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One of the main reasons it’s so effective is that it gives customers a chance to ask the support team questions directly and get responses in real-time. Ensure that the support team has vast information about your business, product, or services and has marketing prowess.

Their ability to market your brand and paint a positive image of your brand will convince customers who reach out that your offer is the best option in the market and you are an authority. As a result, they won’t have to browse the web for other alternatives. They will add the products they are interested in into the cart and complete the purchase with the help of the support team.

Please take note of the frequently asked questions and include their answers in the marketing materials. You can also use it to enhance your landing page copy.

Note that customers are more likely to buy from you if the content on the product or service landing page addresses all their concerns. Otherwise, the conversion process will be unnecessary long if they have to seek clarification from the support team.

  • Request for Payment Information Last

Would you give your bank details or credit card information to someone you just met online? Of course not. The same case applies to checkout optimisation – don’t request this information too early.

Instead, show the customers that you are a professional and only want them to get value for money by first guiding them through the checkout process and only asking for the payment information last. Request for less sensitive information such as the email address and names first. Then move on to the shipping info, billing address, and phone number.

As mentioned earlier, online customers gravitate towards eCommerce stores with a secure checkout process. Make sure that your website is 100% tamper-proof to safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of your customers.

Concisely, asking for payment details too early will paint a negative image of your brand and discourage the customer from completing the checkout process.

  • Get Rid of Friction Points from the Checkout Process

28% of online customers will abandon your cart if the process is complicated. Strive to remove friction points to make the process as simple as possible, even to new customers who are buying from you for the first time.

Here are tips on how to simplify the checkout process.

    • Find zip codes and physical addresses by using an address lookup service
    • Autofill form data from the customer’s password manager or browser
    • Store customer information in a secure server to cushion repeat customers from the hustle of entering it again
    • If the shipping information is the same as the billing information, optimise the checkout page to copy it automatically

If your online store requires customers to create an account first, ensure that the password requirements are not unnecessarily complicated to meet.

Simplifying the account creation process and password requirements helped Invesp lower the checkout abandonment rate for one of their client websites from 95% to 28%.

  • Provide Save Options

Not everyone who visits your eCommerce website is ready to buy immediately, even if they have added some products to the cart.

Offer such customers a sensual and memorable shopping experience by allowing them to save the items added to the cart for later. You could also give them a chance to add the products to their wishlist.

Such improvements will make it utterly easy for them to locate the products when they are ready to purchase them. In addition, it will help you to decide the kind of products you should highlight in the cart abandonment emails.

The item saving options can also increase the average order value by making it easy for your customers to spend more time on your website and add more products to your cart.

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  • Identify and Remove Page Distractions

Any distractions on the landing page or checkout page will lower your eCommerce store conversion rate. Get rid of anything that distracts customers from adding products to the cart and completing the purchase.

For example, sidebars and navigation bars often divert customers’ attention. Consider removing them to keep the pages solely focused on the checkout process. A complicated checkout process results in the loss of thousands of dollars in sales.

  • Ensure the Website has a Mobile-Friendly Design

In 2015 and 2016, online sales made via mobile devices increased by 65%.

You will lose customers to your competitors if your website is not mobile-friendly.

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Here are a few pointers on how to make the checkout process mobile-friendly.

    • Confirm that the mobile checkout page is fully functional
    • Reduce the number of checkout steps
    • Leverage guest checkout
    • Show customers the checkout progress using progress bars
    • Offer multiple secure mobile payment options
    • Use auto-fill

Other improvements you can make to recover sales include:

    • Displaying positive customer reviews on the checkout page
    • Leverage in-cart upsell to increase the order value
    • Offer a downsell to customers who don’t respond to an upsell
    • Use single-page checkout
    • Test and measure the results

In the last 5 years, MediaOne Marketing has helped over 100 international brands to recover sales through custom checkout process optimisation. We apply the best checkout optimisation practices and use advanced monitoring tools to analyse results.

Get in touch with our team for more details on how to realise the full potential of your eCommerce website.

Final Thoughts

If you have been wondering how to improve your e-commerce checkout process in Singapore, the above tips will help you do it well and get tangible results.

Be sure to keep track of the new sales figures to know if the changes had a positive impact on your website.

Get in touch with us for professional digital marketing services in Singapore.

We will work with your in-house sales time to ensure that the checkout process is as smooth and user-friendly as possible. Our team will also run tests to be sure that your site is fully optimized and meeting the needs and expectations of your target customers in Singapore.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Social Media




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