5 Key Design Tips for Effective Order Forms

Your website’s order form matter so much. It is a key element in the whole website design where visitors enter their details if and when they decide to subscribe to a service, pay for an item, or sign up for an account. A mediocre customer order form will not garner any attention, much less entice users to perform your desired action.

While there are a number of online order form creator available for free or even pricey order form packages, they won’t matter if you don’t take care of the most important component in creating an order form – design.

In a 2018 survey on web form effectiveness, Clutch found that 86% of 502 respondents fill at least one web form a week. Over 90% prefer web forms utilize a scrolling layout rather than a click-per-page design. 

Effective order forms should be concise, clear, and appealing. But how do you make your order forms such? Here are five tips to help you.

1. Always Include Five Key Design Elements

An effective sales order form template must always contain five essential elements in its design:

  1. Structure,
  2. Input fields,
  3. Field labels,
  4. Action buttons, and
  5. Feedback.

Each element has its function that contributes to the overall design and feel of your order forms.

Structure pertains to the layout of your form, including the arrangement of the fields, the size of the form, and more. Logically, going through the form should be a smooth experience for your users. Better UX, where you can seamlessly incorporate upsells, results in better conversions.

Input fields are where the visitors enter their information while the field labels tell them what information is required.  Action buttons are clickable buttons that perform specific actions (e.g. Download Software, Buy Now, and Add To Cart).

Feedback is an interactive component that affirms the user’s action (“Congratulations!” or “Thanks for signing up!”) or assists the user to make the necessary corrections (“Date field is missing”). It helps facilitate and speed up the process.

2. Keep It Short and Simple

Whether you are using an order form software or a free online order form generator, it is critical that you keep your order forms short and straightforward. No lengthy sales pitches. No unnecessary commentaries.

You have to make sure that you only ask for information that you need and none of the unnecessary details. People tend to respond positively to order forms that are not invasive and not ask them their credit card numbers and secondary emails.

Travel company Expedia found that they were losing over $12 million a year because of an extra field, according to a 2010 ZDnet article. The said field has caused great confusion to its customers, who entered their bank name when the field required their company name. 

Your information requirements should be specific to what you’re offering. For instance, you can include shoe sizes if you’re selling shoes or provide options and tick boxes if you are peddling various packages.

It is also important that your order forms lead to a shopping cart page that is integrated with a full-retail solution. The advent of technology has even paved the way for a dispensary POS software to be available for businesses. It streamlines the process from your end and helps you deliver a consistent experience to your customers.

3. Make It Mobile-Friendly

People buying stuff online through their mobile devices is now the norm. Thus, it is important that your order forms are optimized for mobile platforms. Expert form designers concur that you should ditch complicated looks and feel and should go for a simple and intuitive design. Otherwise, your customers would see the whole process as dragging and you end up losing their business.

When optimizing your order forms for mobile devices, it is best that you include all the important fields on one page. This is to streamline the whole journey and accelerate the data entry process. You should only ask for the basic information such as their name, email, shipping address, credit card number and nothing more.

Utilize top-aligned labels and fields as well as collapsible menus and dropdown lists. Single input entities also work best for mobile order forms. Incorporating a step or progress tracker helps customers monitor where they are in the order process.

4. Arrange Fields from Simple to Difficult

Make sure your fields are arranged from easiest to hardest. Begin your form with queries that are simple to answer such as names and email. Time-consuming questions and multiple-option fields are best placed near the end.

This arrangement helps prevent your visitors from discontinuing the order process. If the first question makes them think or struggle for an answer, they are likely to abandon the whole thing and you end up losing a customer.

5. Don’t Ask for a Phone Number

As much as possible, never require your visitors to give their phone numbers unless it is necessary. Research has shown that people don’t continue filling up the form whenever they are asked for their phone number. 

That’s exactly what happened to ClickTale, a business intelligence and customer behavior analysis company. It performed a small test to gauge the effectiveness of its signup process and saw that 39% of potential customers leave the process at Step 2, where the form asks customers of their phone numbers.

Instead, ask for their email as a way to contact them. Or you can make the phone number field optional.

Loading Speed Is Key

Once you’re done building an effective order form, what’s next? Say you have a great order form design that is visually appealing and has the potential to power your conversions. The next thing you need to take care of is loading speed. Your forms, no matter how attractive and optimized they are, will mean nothing if they don’t load fast enough.

When your customers have reached your forms, that means they are ready to buy or subscribe or do other actions you want them to perform. But when your forms and pages are slow and they don’t transition to a shopping cart page in two seconds, your customers end up losing interest and leaving your forms and carts in a limbo.

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