DTC 111: 📦 Biggest mistakes to avoid at checkout
May 21, 2023
Content Tag

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Ya did it. You got past Black Friday, but the fun has only just begun.

Take a deep breath and strap in for Cyber Monday! But first, reply to this email and let us know how your brand did on Friday!

In this newsletter you’ll find: 👇

🚀 Google extension performance.

🛒 Biggest mistakes to avoid at checkout.

🎨 WAS vs. NOW creative.

✅ How to crush on TikTok.

Read till the end to learn more about DTC Scale School! 😎

👉 If a pal forwarded this to you, subscribe so you never miss out. And be sure to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.


When looking at the performance of extensions, it’s not always clear if an extension is actually performing well.

Sitelink extensions can be particularly valuable as they are clickable.

But when you go into the main extensions section for an ad group you see this:

Not all that helpful! Then, you click on the Sitelink link at the top and you get to the next level of detail:

This looks like you have the information you need and, for example, the first extension is showing 29,189 clicks, 2,995.75 conversions, and a cost/conversion of $1.59.

So, if you didn’t know otherwise, you would think that extension 1 was doing great.

The reality is that this data applies to the ad performance – not the actual extension.

To get the actual extension performance, you have to click on Segment –> This Extension VS. Other.

You will then get the following data:

A slightly different story! 477 clicks and 20.5 conversions, at a cost/conversion of $4.29.

Still not bad – but a great example of why you need to dig deeper and segment the data.

Thanks to the Pilothouse Google team for this tip!


It's never been harder to confidently track the performance of your paid media.

Recent Apple updates mean the Facebook Pixel can no longer track a user's path from view to click to conversion with the reliability it once had.

That's why it's time to stop singing the third-party pixel blues, and start usingTriple Pixel, by Triple Whale.

Installing the Triple Pixel will bridge the gap that Apple's privacy policy has created between your website and your digital ad platforms, giving you the ability to more accurately attribute ad clicks (from places like Facebook, Google, Snapchat, and TikTok) to real conversions.

You'll be in full, confident control of your ad spend on any platform. 🙌

Want to be one of the first in the world to experience the magic? ✨

👉 Sign up today with a 100% money-back guarantee.


Why do consumers peace out during checkout?

Research from Baymard shows the main reasons for abandonment include:

  • Surprise extra costs like shipping or tax.
  • Account creation requirements.
  • Slow delivery.
  • Complicated checkout process.
  • Lack of trust with personal info.
  • Not enough payment methods.

Understanding what drives customers away is the key to knowing exactly what *not* to do. Here’s a closer look.

What mistakes can you avoid at checkout?

❌ Mistake 1: Not being transparent about all associated costs

49% of consumers say extra costs at checkout being too high is their main reason for cart abandonment.

It’s a huge turn-off when consumers find a price they are willing to pay, only to get to the checkout page and realize shipping and taxes boost the total cost significantly.

While it’s challenging to provide an exact cost when shipping and taxes vary globally, it is possible to include a price estimation.

Coffee brand Illy does this:

Before you get to the final checkout page, Illy gives you a quick estimated total, eliminating some of the element of surprise for final costs.

Another idea is to offer free basic shipping and transparency around estimated tax.

Kate Spade does this well: free standard shipping, an estimated tax explanation, and an estimated total.

❌ Mistake 2: Not including a guest checkout option

The majority of online shopping today happens on a mobile device.

Customers who shop on phones and are required to sign up for an account, pick a username, and verify a password are much more likely to abandon their carts.

It’s time-consuming to enter several personal details on a small screen.

Not to mention, it’s annoying.

The alternative?

Give the people what they want and offer a guest checkout option. Here’s what Nordstrom does.

Offering both guest checkout and account creation options places consumers in the driver’s seat and provides a smooth checkout.

If you do require registration, allow one-click social sign-in.

❌ Mistake 3: Complicating the checkout process

If your checkout process is inconvenient or involves unnecessary steps, count on losing customers.

The standard checkout process is sleek and includes nothing more than:

  • Registration (guest or sign-in)
  • Address
  • Payment
  • Review and place order

Additionally, within those pages, there are ways to simplify the process and optimize for convenience:

  • Don’t require a registration
  • Allow social sign-in
  • Don’t ask for any unnecessary details
  • Allow autofill for address and payment
  • Remove your site’s header and footer
  • Eliminate all information that is not directly related to checkout
  • Avoid pop-ups
  • Provide multiple payment options
  • Don’t offer additional products too early

Couture Candy is a good example of a brand with an excellent checkout process.

Their website has a lot going on with how many products it offers.

And here’s a look at the formal dress page:

But, the second you make a selection and head over to the cart, you only see what’s necessary.


It’s also worth mentioning that it's wise to use a progress bar no matter how many steps your checkout process includes.

Pura Vida does this.

It’s the same psychology that applies to online surveys.

When people know how many steps it takes to get to the end, they are more likely to finish.

Mistake 4: Not reinforcing trust

If customers don’t trust your website to keep their data secure, they won’t buy from you. Period.

Don’t skimp on investing in securing your website and over-communicating your site’s security to your customers during checkout.


  • Adding trust signals throughout checkout (e.g., including customer support & return links, writing the words "secure checkout" where your headers and footers usually appear).
  • Mentioning your SSL certificate and other third-party validations.
  • Placing well-recognized trust badges on your checkout pages.
  • Including multiple trusted payment methods like Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay, PayPal, etc.
  • Investing in secure and convenient payment apps like Shop Pay, Amazon Pay, or Bolt.
  • Offering buy now, pay later options with trusted apps like Affirm or Klarna.

Here’s an example of how Oura reinforces trust with the Affirm logo and a link to more info.

Small efforts to establish trust go a long way.


Have you thought about selling your Shopify business? It’s easier than you think. 🤔

You don’t need to "dress up" your store or brace yourself for painful negotiations.

💰 Sell your business directly to OpenStore for seven figures.

OpenStore is the most straightforward way to sell your business. You'll get an objective, data-powered offer that’s based on your Shopify performance in just one day.

All you need to do is:

  1. Connect Shopify.
  2. Get your offer in 24 hours.
  3. Transact in 1 or 2 weeks.
  4. Close with certainty and confidence.

Merchants across every category are selling their businesses directly to OpenStore.

💸 Find out how much your business is worth now.


Have you tried this style in your headlines?

WAS $199 | Now $149

Displaying the original price of the product (WAS) beside the current price (NOW) is a great way to immediately display the value and savings of the product at once!

Shoppers can visualize the true value ($199) rather than showing the sale value ($149) and saying 25% off.

The Pilothouse team has seen success in all types of accounts, but if you have a larger priced product, definitely try this one out.


This week on All Killer No Filler, we sat down with Spencer from Pilothouse and Sam & Kyle from Helmkin to talk all things TikTok.

We discussed: 👇

🔥 Platform differences

TikTok is a whole different beast than the tried and tested Facebook.

Copy has always been king, but audio and trending sounds are the real winners on TikTok.

Looking to utilize copy from your Facebook creative testing?

Translate your headline testing too hard audio voiceovers.

If you already have the base creative, text-to-speech, or voice effects are a great way to contrast test.

📈 Trending sounds

We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: If you’re not utilizing trending sounds for your ads, you’re missing out.

TikTok is an app where popularity (generally) wins.

Viewers will watch an entire ad just because they like the sound. Make audio clips the driver to the ad and capitalize on it!

Make the ad feel like it’s not just an ad. Speak to your audience and use a soft CTA to drive conversions.

🚀 Crushing TikTok

Looking for inspiration? If you’ve spent any time in a TikTok comment section, you’ve probably encountered Duolingo.

Their organic game is INCREDIBLY strong. Not necessarily by what they’re posting, but their use of comment moderation.

For more on TikTok burnout, lead generation, and CPM’s listen to the full pod here!


Buy Scale School Today and Save $200!


🏦 Upgrade your business banking to Mercury. With no account opening fees, wire transfer fees, or minimum balance requirements, it's banking built for eCommerce.*

🍓 Startup Daily Harvest reaches unicorn status with $1.1B valuation.

🏡 Family-tracking app Life360 acquired Tile for $205M.

💞 Klaviyo partners with Talkspace to provide free therapy to entrepreneurs.

📦 Deliverr bags another giant round as it works to move inventory closer to customers.


🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

⚡️ Real Talk On The Supply Chain Crunch, Word's Best Checkout Experience, and the Future of NFTs with Bolt’s Ian Leslie.

👟 Vessi’s CEO Tony Yu’s Q4 Lead Generation Brilliance (40K+ New Leads In 24 Hours With THIS Contest Strategy).

🤵‍♂️ 3X to 10X ROAS and Managing Your Customer Lifecycle with Suit Shop'sKristen Jones.

🧲 Wildstorming the Beauty Space – Glamnetic's Head of Growth Margaret Fortner Returns!

Don’t forget to rate the DTC Podcast on Apple (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

DTC Newsletter is written by Thomas Schreiber, Ashley Cummings, Rebecca Knight.

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.


🔊 Podcast.

✍️ Blog and past newsletters.

📱 Twitter and Instagram.

📥 Work for The DTC Newsletter (Writer).

🚀 Advertise in DTC Newsletter.

Get Exclusive Digital Marketing Content From DTC

By signing up you agree to our terms of use