The shopping cart is your money maker. Because a lift here automatically results in a lift in your bottom line. And with the average cart abandonment rate around 68%, retailers can see huge value from optimizing their checkout.
These 7 tips will help to optimize your shopping cart and convert more browsers into buyers.
1. Save the Surprises
Surprises can be fun but your shopping cart isn’t the place for uncertainty. In fact, unexpected shipping charges are the number one conversion killer with 28% of shoppers citing it as the reason they abandon a cart. The solution is to let shoppers know about any and all charges early in the funnel. Sure a few may leave earlier as a result, but the ones that do enter your checkout process will be much more likely to complete it. You might even want to offer free shipping considering that 93% of online shoppers are motivated to buy more when free shipping is available.
Button text is another area to remove uncertainty. Buttons that simply say “Continue” aren’t valuable. Continue to what? Tell customers what the button actually does. “Continue to payment options” or “continue to review” are much more descriptive and shoppers will feel confident moving to the next step when they know exactly what is coming.
2. Eliminate Distractions
Shopping carts have one goal: complete the order. You can help customers get there by minimizing the number of distractions competing for their attention. Removing distraction such as left-side menus and search bars will limit what customers can do while in the midst of checkout and keep them focused.
Retailers can use white space to ensure their checkout remains focused. You can always add a “go back to shopping” button which redirects customers to content-rich pages that encourage more sales, but keep distraction in the checkout to a minimum. SeattleCoffeeGear has removed virtually every distraction from their checkout, resulting in an elegant and highly focused checkout experience.
3. Fewer Pages, More Conversions
Like distractions, less is more when it comes to pages in a checkout. The more pages in a checkout process means more friction and a longer amount of time required to complete it. According to a study by Webcredible, 10% of customers abandon carts because of a lengthy checkout process, so slim down your cart.
4. Show Their Progress
If you’re checkout is lengthy then using a one-step checkout may not be viable. In this case, display a progress bar to show users how far into the process they are and how much is left. One retailer increased completion of a two-step form by 28% simply by including a progress bar across the top. Have a look at how Haggar Clothing uses a progress bar across the top of the their checkout showing the steps a shopper has completed and how many are left to go.
5. Cart Retargeting
Retargeting is one of the most powerful tools marketers have at their disposal. Retargeting shows ads to customers even after they have left and is a highly effective way to get these potential shoppers back to your site.
Don’t say “goodbye” when a customer abandons their cart. Instead, say “see you later”, save their cart, and send them an email that makes it easy to go back and complete the purchase. A study by Forrester found that 41% of the shoppers that abandon their cart do so because they aren’t ready to make a purchase, so a reminder email gives these people the opportunity to go back and complete the purchase once they are ready.
6. Make Prices Palatable
Another strategy retailers can use to improve conversions in their shopping carts is by making prices more palatable. Price is one of the biggest hurdles shoppers have to get over before they are willing make a purchase, so do what you can to make the price appear acceptable. There are several techniques retailers can use to make prices more palatable, such as by showing the price broken up over monthly payments or removing the comma from products over $1,000 ($1000 is better).
Walmart is well known for making prices look more palatable by leveraging the “left-digit effect” and ending prices either in 9 for discount items, or 7 to make the price appear more precise. Don’t think one or two pennies can make a difference? You would be surprised. A study conducted by researchers at Washington and Colorado State Universities, asked consumer their willingness to buy a pen worth $2 or one worth $4. When the pens were priced as $2 and $3.99, 44% of participants chose to the higher priced pen. But when they were shown as $1.99 and $4, only 18% of participants chose the higher priced pen. This shows that even a penny can impact out perception of price.
Or consider adding a payment option like FuturePay, which lets your customers break up their purchases into flexible and affordable monthly payments. This way customers can work your product into their monthly budget.
7. Multiple Payment Options
Payment options are often over-looked when it comes to checkout optimization, yet they are a major contributor to the 68% average cart abandonment. There are two main reasons to offer multiple payment options:
- Research has found that retailers with more payment options convert more browsers into buyers.
- And on the flip side, 6% of customers will abandon a cart that doesn’t offer their preferred payment method.
Now perhaps you’re thinking, “I already accept credit cards and an alternative payment option, isn’t that enough?” While years ago that would have been sufficient, today’s shoppers demand more flexibility. In fact, research by PYMNTS.com and BlueSnap found that the top converting ecommerce sites have an average of 6.8 payment options with the lowest converting sites having 4 or fewer. Payment options can even improve your customer experience. That’s because they are more than just what you pay with, they’re how you pay.
Now Go Boost Your Bottom Line
Eliminating cart abandonment entirely is virtually impossible. Not everyone that starts the process will finish it. But by improving your checkout process with strategies such as these, you will see significant and measurable improvements to your conversion rate and ultimately to your bottom line.
P.S. Enjoy this post? You’ll love Plug a Leaky Cart: How to Reduce Cart Abandonment and The Need for Speed – How Friction at Checkout is Costing You Money