Every positive online shopping experience starts with effective web design and ends with a user-friendly shopping cart that facilitates the process of finalising the sale. However, not every product that is added to a shopping cart is bought, and many times there are opportunities to upsell additional items during the checkout process.
Ideally, you want a shopping cart interface that is convenient for the user yet geared towards maximising profits for your online store as well. Here are 8 tips you can use to prevent shopping cart abandonment, increase sales conversions, and increase the average amount of revenue generated per sale.
1. Use Faster Web Hosting
Web hosting is the most fundamental aspect of web design that should be taken care of in order to ensure smooth shopping cart functionality. Marketing research has proven that a significant percentage of cart abandoners leave because of dissatisfaction with site performance. In other words, slow page load times, errors, and lagging shopping cart experiences can lose customers. Thus, securing a reliable and robust hosting plan from the likes of HostPresto.com should be the first step taken in your cart conversion optimisation efforts.
2. Try a 1-Page Checkout Process
Although multi-page checkouts can sometimes do better than a 1-page process, more often than not a faster checkout process is preferable. In most cases, once a user has clicked the ‘Checkout’ button, they’re already more than halfway committed to buying. Make it easier for them to submit their payment details and complete the transaction and you could see conversion rates boost by as much as 20%.
3. Promote Free Shipping and Other Perks
If you offer free shipping or free returns, be sure to proudly display this fact throughout the shopping experience. Likewise, highlight the fact that you use a secure payment gateway, like every good online retailer should. Choose the location for your “free shipping” annotation wisely and you could see major sales boosts almost immediately. Generally, the best place to put your free shipping note is next to or above the most frequently clicked menu button, near your brand name and logo, and alongside product descriptions on every page.
4. Don’t Require a Sign Up
Requiring users to sign up before checking out is a massive mistake and yet shockingly it’s still common practice in many eCommerce stores. Usability studies have shown that up to 30% of shoppers abandon their carts when asked to sign up. That makes perfect sense when you consider how many competitors there are and the likelihood that your visitors have already signed up for their sites. Sign-ups are important, but they’re not a higher priority than sales. Secure the sale by offering a “checkout as guest” option and then worry about the sign up later.
5. Simplify Checkout Forms
Nobody likes to fill out a lengthy form. In fact, form-filling hassle can actually drive away customers or prevent repeat business. People do notice and appreciate a streamlined checkout process and being able to quickly input information plays a huge role in that area. Use smart form features that can pull in the address information from the postcode. You’ll also want to ensure compatibility with Google Auto-fill. Eliminate all clutter from the form and only ask the required information. If you wish to gain additional input from customers, then ask them to complete a survey after the checkout process is complete but not during.
6. Offer a Buy Now or Instant Checkout Option
For customers who only want to buy one item, it’s good to have a ‘Buy Now’ option listed on the page. Clicking this button will take the user directly to the checkout page where they can enter their payment details. This differs from the conventional approach of having the user add an item to the cart and then proceed to checkout manually by clicking a ‘Checkout’ button next to the shopping cart icon. Of course, you’ll want to leave your checkout button as an alternative for users who intend to add multiple items before checking out.
7. Upsell Discount Promotions
If you’re running a sale that only applies to orders over a certain amount (i.e. – 15% off orders over £100), you’ll want to use a shopping cart that can display this information on product pages while the customer is shopping. For example, if a customer has added £71 worth of products to their shopping cart, a floating notification reminds them that they only have to spend £29 more to become eligible for the 15% discount. That way they’ll be repeatedly reminded of the sale and it may encourage them to buy more in order to reach the required amount for a discount.
8. Send Out Follow Up Emails
Finally, as a last resort to bring back customers who have abandoned their shopping cart, you can set up an automated emailer to send out reminders urging users to come back if they’ve left items unpurchased in their account. Although these emails have relatively low conversion rates, the fact that they convert at all is a good enough reason to use them, because otherwise those users might not have come back to finish the checkout process at all. These potentially effective follow-ups are known as “shopping cart recovery emails” and they’re a worthwhile extra step to take after you’ve finished all the above.
Working Towards Above Average Shopping Cart Conversions
Fun fact: The average conversion rate for eCommerce stores sits at about 3% across all industries. That means that out of all the people who visit a website, only about 3% actually buy something. Of the other 97%, roughly 10% will add something to their cart but then abandon it. Therefore, the fastest way to improve your conversion rate is to appeal to that 10% of customers who added something to their cart but left before buying.
By focusing your efforts on shopping cart conversions and implementing the tips in the above guide, you can use existing traffic to boost your sales and generate more brand awareness through enhanced customer satisfaction and subsequent reviews, referrals, and repeat business.