“Who is it?”
It’s your order.
“My order, who? I don’t remember you! Your checkout didn’t give me a chance to review, and now you want my credit card info!??”
Remember the first time you made a purchase online? Recall the uncertainty surrounding the whole process? Feel those reservations about pulling out the plastic and whispering your credit card number into the megaphone of this new “World Wide Web.”
Scary stuff! Most of us have come a long way and buried those creepy feelings beneath receipts of airline tickets and impulsive eBay purchases, unless you’re like my colleague Anthony Garcia who’s a guru of online shopping yet hates doing it.
Lets bring the beginner’s anxiety of buying online back to the surface. Not knowing exactly what you’re going to get, when you’ll get it, how or even if you’ll get it is a ridiculous buying proposition. Yet while analyzing websites with Future Now, it’s painfully obvious that anxiety hasn’t dissipated thanks to any improvement in checkout processes. Only our acceptance of uncertainty can help us type our credit card numbers without cold, sweaty hands.
Let’s consider the standard online checkout process: Shipping -> Billing -> Review -> Confirmation.
Why should anybody have to enter billing information before they get another peek at the order without going back to the shopping cart? It’s unconscionable, yet somehow it’s common.
Sure, the indicator (if there is one) says “Review,” but conventional credit card wisdom says that when you hand over your card, you get charged. So, the online practice of entering info, then reviewing, then proceeding to purchase (if you’re lucky) totally conflicts with everyone’s experience in the physical world.
Instead of asking us to “submit,” e-commerce checkouts should submit to common sense; never ask for any credit info without an explicit order review.