Recently, I worked with a large, high-end hotel brand to help them optimize their check out process. Like many hotels, the checkout flow includes a place to enter payment details to secure each user’s booking, but does not actually charge the card until the time of the stay. The brand suspected that this detail caused some friction in checkout, since users either weren’t aware of this option or were not confident about when they would be charged. Previous experiments had shown that increased communication at other touch points in the customer journey related to later payments could improve conversions, and so we applied these learnings to a new experiment in checkout.
Testing A Pay Later Checkout Flow
When users check out, they have to enter their payment details, and click a “Confirm Reservation” button. For this test, the brand altered their messaging at three stages along the way. The first click upon booking, changed from ‘Confirm Reservation’ to “Continue to Payment Details,”. Additional support text was added that explained that you were not reserving on this click but proceeding to payment and your credit card would not be charged. In the second and third steps, header copy to highlight “Pay later” was applied along with support text to reiterate that credit cards were only required to secure the booking rather than take payment. This additional communication was meant to reassure visitors and clarify their payment process.
Increasing Conversions with Improved Messaging
The brand’s hypothesis proved correct, and the new, updated page saw more than a 9% increase in completed conversions across all devices despite increasing the checkout process by an additional step. On desktops and tablets, the new variation saw close to a 7% increase in order completions, and on smartphones, the conversion rate increased by 13%. This experiment is a great example of how learnings from one test can guide future experiments and lead to big wins.