28 Jun 2010

25 Ways to Ensure Shopping Cart Abandonment Doesn’t Happen to You

Abandoned Shopping CartIt’s one of the saddest things that can happen to an etailer, a nice full shopping cart abandoned; a conversion left by the side of the road, tumbleweeds rolling by as vultures circle above. You get the idea. But why did it happen? Why were your great products orphaned?
According to Forrester Research, 88% of web shoppers say they have abandoned a shopping cart. Do they feel bad about it? Probably not, as many online shoppers are comparison shopping.Forrester Research lists these top five reasons for cart abandonment:
1.     Cost of shipping
2.     Not ready to purchase
3.     Price checking
4.     Price too high
5.     Wanted to save products for later
If you want your shoppers to commit and click the “Complete My Purchase” button, the checkout process better be quick and easy. Here are some tips to try:
1.      Don’t require registration to your site until after the sale is complete. The longer you stall a shopper, the quicker they will bail on you.
2.     Use a font size and color that is clear and visible, especially if your site caters to seniors.
3.     Make sure your product pages and cart load quickly. Savvy online shoppers have no patience for slow sites.
4.     Make searching for items fast and accurate. Allow a shopper to search for a “black t-shirt” or “purple high-tops”. Never have a search that provides results off your site, that’s like pointing to the Exit sign.
5.     Shopping in a store allows for close inspection of items, so having quality photographs of your products is essential. Having a “zoom in” feature and views from different angles are excellent ideas.
6.     Show accurate color choices and label the variations. For example, if a product description says you carry lipstick in matte, shimmer and frosts, then be sure to mark each color with the type: Mauve Delight-matte, Rose Wonder-frost.
7.     Your brand should be visible on every product page and every page during the checkout process.
8.     Make sure promos (like free shipping) and coupon codes work 24/7. There is nothing more frustrating that picking out $100 worth of products in order to get free shipping and then having the shipping charge still show up in your total.
9.     Allow for shipping address variations, such as c/o. When people aren’t home during the day, it’s sometimes convenient to have a package delivered to someone who is home.
10. Create error messages that are very gentle and apologetic if the shopper has filled out something incorrectly or incompletely.
11. Provide a progress indicator showing where the shopper is in the checkout process. Have “Next Step” or “Continue Checkout” buttons all along the way.
12.  Offer a “Quick Shipping Calculator” where the shopper enters their zip code and it gives a total for the order with shipping and taxes. Many shoppers want to see the total before they actually enter their payment information.
13. Show inventory availability on the product page and list the estimated shipping date as well.
14. When an item has been added to the cart, offer a “Continue Shopping” button that takes the shopper back to the last page they were on.
15. Have thumbnail images of the products in the cart with a link back to the product. Avoid having the shopper hit the “back” button.
16. Ensure that your toll-free phone number, with hours of operation, is visible on every page of the checkout process. Some shoppers need a friendly voice to help them along.
17. Display “HackerSafe” or “VeriSign” seals so shoppers will feel comfortable entering their credit card information.
18. Offer the shopper a way to login and save what’s in the cart for later.
19. Make the “Shopping Cart” and “Checkout” buttons nice and big.
20. Allow editing of quantities, sizes, colors, etc. within the shopping cart.
21. Use the opportunity to upsale. Recommend other items during the checkout process based on what’s in the shopping cart, such as “You might also like.”
22. Have prompts like “Spend $15 more and get free shipping.”
23. On your product pages, don’t forget about SEO. Be sure to have product descriptions that include your targeted keyword(s).
24. If you have a brick and mortar store, please display your store hours on your site. Many times a shopper will see something online and want to go to the physical store to purchase it. There’s nothing more frustrating than not knowing what time your store opens on a Saturday morning.
25. A good website is constantly evolving. Test different shopping cart tactics and options to see what works best and what motivates shoppers to click the “Complete My Purchase” button.
The shopping process needs to be “smooth like butta” with no frustration, no questions and no fear. Compel the shoppers to want to complete the process and be jubilantly waiting for their package to arrive.

1 Comment

  • Rebecca Aug 31, 2010

    This is a useful list of tips! As consumers we've all probably experienced the frustration of poor online shopping cart systems and the sorts of things that can make us abandon shopping at the last minute- so it's important to keep these principles in mind when setting up your own online shopping site. I would definitely suggest making clear the shipping costs from the start, and to remember to specify early on if you do or dont do international shipping.