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Business 2 Community – Your Shopping Cart Sucks. Fix It!

business 2 community

By Paul Ryazanov

April 11, 2013

Care about your visitors! Improve your conversion rate.

One of the most complex parts of ecommerce website is a checkout process. Especially when we are talking about multiply steps. Every step has a chance that visitor leave our page without competing an order.

In these cases we might have a “dropped” cart – list of items that potentially grab our customer attention but for some reason they don’t proceed ahead with purchase.

There are many factors inside and outside of you – sometime is complexity of checkout process, sometime it’s a very different factors such a phone calls, urgent things to be done.

Based on ecommerce research organized by British company Experian UK business owners lost more than 1 billing pounds per year. In 20% cases that was a really customer decision but the rest options are usability mistakes.

Based on same research about 44% of customers drop off due to very complex checkout process, forms.

Top reasons to leave the cart by customer behavior

From many reasons why your customer drops off during the checkout we could really select the top ones. Based on market research about 44% of clients don’t complete checkouts due to expensive shipping fee that they only see at the cart page, about 25% due to very high product cost.

24% of customers want to save shopping cart with product for a future use – may be some sort of replacement of the wish list, when they can easily get back to the store later. 22% simply can’t find the information about shipping fees and etc. as this info is not clearly visible during the checkout. Around 14% don’t want to create an account with the site and prefer quick checkout process.  Around 11% simply drop off during registration process when they are disappointed with how complex it is.

About 12% just required some extra info about the service and the websites failed to provide it. Around 11% were simply unable to complete due to slow internet connection.  8% don’t expect sales taxes. Around 7% don’t find a comfortable payment method to complete purchase such as PayPal or AMEX.

6% of buyers drop at checkout when they release how long the delivery cycle is going to be.

So there are many reasons why customers never complete the purchase – so we need to allocate resources and try to convert these visitors into buyers.

What are our steps?

There are several possible ways, tactics and technics associated with conversion rates optimization.

Keep the cart for a while

It is very useful to let customer save the shopping cart with your site for a while or better to handle that automatically. For example you can set a cookie and keep tracking all customer activity – the list of products will be associated with a unique visitor – next time the customer lands on your site he or she will see all previously selected items. This will be a personal touch and great user experience to showcase that we care about them personally. You can store cart info for 3 months.

Use social networks

Have a quick signup using social networks like Facebook – it will also help to share experiences with your site at different networks.

Clean it up

Get rid of additional buttons during the checkout – there has to be a very clear checkout funnel. One call to action button per step – that’s the goal.

Ignore duplicate data

Don’t ask clients to enter the same info twice.

Simplify password combination

Don’t ask for any fancy password – sometime it takes 3 min to generate an appropriate password – may be you can auto-generate this password and simply let the user focus on the purchase. Once done you can let them change their passwords or auto-generated password will work just fine for them.

Keep focus

All links, banners that drive customer out of checkout, all those things have to be hidden. Remove extra banners, animation etc.

Showcase all pricing options pretty clear

Explain what product cost is, how much the delivery fee makes, total cost, sales tax etc. All delivery fees have to be on the same page before customer starts the checkout. In case you have free shipping – good to mention that at once.

Opt-in and double-opt-in

You may ask to subscribe for newsletter but keep it really optional.

Showcase any warranty you have

You may have 30 days money back – show the icons.

Secure and safe transactions are important

Make sure that special icon that guarantees safe shopping appears at your page – SSL certificates, secure anti-virus labels are extra way to showcase that transaction is going to be done safely.

Last chance to catch up

But what happens if after all the above actions the client still wants to leave?

Well, this is a last chance for us to keep them. You may showcase the popup message with text and special offer.

It can be something like – “We are very sorry to see you go! Please let us get a special discounts and deals for you. Subscribe for our special offer and we will make sure to pick you up something nice!”

At different stage of process you may show case different messages – for example in case customer has just added product to the cart – you may ask them to enter email to keep the products in cart – or get better recommendations. For these who start checkout but didn’t complete, extra 5% off might be a good deal and reason to finalize the payment.

What can be done for email marketing?

If you get a chance to get customer email – then everything is in your hands. You may remind them about the cart  – if you do that in 2 hours after they drop – about 54% of customers would complete the purchase – that’s according to research done by SeeWhy company, that analyzed about 60,000 dropped carts.

Usually you would send the reminders 3 times – on the same day, on the third day and then one week after.

The main thing to remember – every email has to be different – means you have to carefully prepare text for every message, make it loyal:

  • Offer help to complete the purchase – suggest phone order option or something else.
  • Direct link to pay for the order.
  • Direct link to shopping cart page with products.
  • Product details have to be in this email.
  • It is a good practice to add product photos – as in many cases they influence the decision most.
  • You have to put contact details of call centers just in case the customer needs any assistance.

In general the look and feel of the email needs to be very close to what appeared in the shopping cart with delivery pricing, sales tax etc.

You can add even more to the list of mistakes to watch out for, fixes and ways to improve completed checkouts at this free CRO and UX webinar that I will be hosting very soon.

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