10 Ways to Improve Shopping Cart Abandonment

Website Conversion September 28th, 2007



It’s not every day that you see a runner-up celebrate a straight set loss in a Grand Slam. Last month Djokovic did just that. After Roger Federer had run rings round him in the finals of the US open, Djokovic did not need a hole to crawl into and sulk. Instead he partied the night away with his family and friends.

Federer’ dominance over his rivals is an old story. If the Greek pantheon of gods had one that could play tennis he would be without any morsel of doubt have a scorching cross-court backhand & complete game like that of Federer.

Djokovic’s unabashed celebration on the night of his loss was homage to the closest thing to a tennis divinity: a foregone conclusion, fate decided by gods: You only play for the second place.

Rewind three or fours years back and you could not help but pity the immensely talented Federer losing matches from a winning position. He simply found it difficult to convert when he had the opponents by the scruff of their necks.

If you are having killer e-commerce website that attracts attention, arouses desire and just when you think you are about to hear that pleasing sound of the click on your “Make the Payment” tab they seem to bail out.

Want to convert more visitors? It’s most important to keep the checkout process short and sweet! No doubt that a visitor if he found the right message on your website will be sufficiently persuaded to go through your lengthy check out process. But remember improving conversion rates means rewarding a customer with an intuitive navigation and ‘I am in control feeling’.

Especially so during the checkout process a visitors senses are razor sharp scanning for reasons to distrust you. Even a two-bit typo is likely to make them skittish. Everything in the checkout process, the navigation, the bread crumb trail, third party reassurance certificate contribute to banish those demons of distrust.

Last week I saw a lead from a visitor who had possibly spotted the only grammatical boo-boo (in a very page dense website) on her way to filling up the form and mentioned it. Thankfully she was convinced that this was the right place to shop.

Other than getting the basics right by consolidating the number of steps to payment and keeping the fill-up fields to minimum what else could you do to keep the visitors doggedly on the track to conversion goals.  Here is my top 10 list of measures you can take to improve your shopping cart abandonement rate and improve your website conversion rates!

1. First keep the person oriented through out the check-out process by using a progress indicator. Let him know which step he is on and how many more are there to go.

2. Label clearly the task to be completed on each page. Always provide a way to go back and review the step and come back to the current page if the visitor does go back.

3. It’s so convenient if a buyer after placing products in the shopping cart can always go back to the product page and confirm he has got the right item.

4. Brilliant if you could put up a thumbnail image of item inside the shopping cart. It could lower the abandonment by as much as 10% as has been proved by various e-commerce websites.

5. Cost! Make it known as early as possible both total cost and shipping cost. It’s THE most important information that a visitor needs to mull over. You certainly don’t want him to hum and haw over the shopping cart.

6. Show the stock availability on the product page. No visitor is ever going to return to your website after having a big let down. You had him hypnotized with an appropriate scent trail, relevant answers and it’s almost evil to tell them them now that particular product is out of stock! It will be very polite to tell a very eager buyer “Estimated delivery date or the “Product ships in x number of days”

6. You cannot do without third party reassurance certificate prominently displayed on your pages. Logos of credit cards and Verisign have boosted the conversion rates. They can only a have positive impact. HackerSafe Certification has helped some clients see improvement in their conversion rates by as much as 15%. www.scanalert.com

7. Make it easier for the shopper to edit the shopping cart during the checkout process. It accommodates last minute change in the preference of color, size and most importantly quantity.

8. Let the visitor have the option to call you if the idea of revealing his credit card information is unnerving him. Preferably display telephone number that is not used on any other pages of your website. This will help you track evaluate & understand shoppers needs.

9. Not all customers are likely to fill the forms correctly in one attempt. Don’t make them look foolish by telling them that they were at fault rather tell them the system was unable to understand what they had entered. At the same time making it very clear what is expected of them. It contributes to an overall pleasant experience of shopping on your e-site.

10. Very importantly you will do well to save the abandoned shopping cart for viewing later. They do return sometimes. Send an email after a while reminding them that they can always return and complete the purchase. It’s also good to call them. If they have made it to the shopping cart they are very likely to purchase.


Post By Nitin Joseph (9 Posts)

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