Is Your E-commerce Checkout Flow Secure?

Dec 9, 2016 8:02:00 AM

Checkout flow.pngSales terms that easily embed into ecommerce checkout flows provide an easy route to recording affirmative acceptance from online users.

Purchase online consists of multiple steps: shopping, adding items to shopping cart, payment, review, and confirmation. Since 30% of annual retail sales occur during the holidays, it is important that ecommerce sites are taking the proper steps for their users to complete secure digital agreements during checkout. 

During the "review" step of ecommerce checkout flows, customers should be prompted to accept Terms of Use, Quality Terms, and other relevant agreements. It is not enough for those agreements to be hyperlinked in a form or footer without the required action to check a box. 

Believe it or not, most checkout flows are not filled with as secure recordkeeping as they ought to be. Here are some checkout flows that need some checkout flow—TLC:

Nordstrom Rack/ Hautelook

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When shopping on Nordstrom Rack and Hautelook, shoppers must become customers before even checking out. But we can see in the sign-up flow that “By signing up, you agree to our Terms & Conditions” is hyperlinked at the bottom without a checkbox to verify what is linked.

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When logging in and actually checking out, the same type of browsewrap agreement surfaces stating that “By placing your order, you agree to our Terms & Conditions.” This also is poor practice as it too fails to include an active confirmation of users' consent.

Walmart

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When trying to purchase a Pink Furby Connect, (which, what? Furbies are back?!) there is not even a place in the checkout flow calling attention to sales terms, privacy policies, or anything of the like. On the actual website, there are hyperlinks in the footer, but that takes approximately ten scrolls for someone on the site to get to. Not exactly ideal when it comes to proper notice of customer agreed upon legal terms. 

Expedia

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Expedia receives a 50/50 review. In their checkout flow, there is also a sign-up flow for users who have yet to register with Expedia. The checkbox at the bottom of the form for customers to agree to point terms and other terms and conditions is a PactSafe dream. Woo! Clickwrap best practice

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On the checkout flow, however, there is only a statement and hyperlink saying users agree to Rules & Restrictions, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policies by completing their booking. Clearly, Expedia knows how to properly execute the sign-up flow, they just need to replicate the checkbox for the checkout as well.  

Thinkgeek

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As the hub for so many of our favorite geekdom purchases, we wanted thinkgeek.com to pass our checkout flow test. But, alas. Their run-of-the-mill hyperlink in the lower right-hand corner is even difficult to find! Not one component of their checkout flow calls attention to what users agree to upon purchase completion.

Embedding PactSafe into ecommerce checkout flows informs users of what's expected of them as your customers. At the same time, once a transaction is completed with PactSafe embedded into checkout flows like this, a time-stamped record is created. Maintaining digital legal records such as this is of utmost importance. It makes ecommerce transactions much more secure and credible, and also provides confirmation of customer agreements should the transaction ever need verified at a future date.

 

Amber Ferrari

Written by Amber Ferrari