July 2, 2012
Checkout is a delicate point in the online shopping process. Online retailers work hard to present the right combination of information and functionality at this stage to maximize the value of a sale, without introducing any unnecessary details that could draw the shopper off course.
One of the ways to determine what works best for your traffic is to test hiding select elements of your checkout page design. In fact, Monetate Client Success Director Jerry Moyer has devoted an entire blog post to the benefits of hiding elements during tests to produce more optimized pages.
In this example, an online retailer wanted to see the impact of hiding the top navigation from shoppers who had reached the checkout pages. The theory was that offering access to parts of the website that are geared to the earlier stages of the sales funnel could depress conversions by distracting shoppers at this critical moment.
The retailer kept everything else on the checkout pages the same; with one less element in the layout, the remaining information gained more emphasis—especially, the UPS shipping offers, checkout progress indicator, security seal, and cart contents.
The outcome lends further support to the argument that less is more when it comes to ecommerce websites: the test produced an 8.79% lift in conversion and a significant projected impact on annual revenue.
So if you've always believed that your top navigation is just one of those common elements that shoppers no longer notice in the checkout process, here's a good reason to challenge that assumption.