When it comes to online optimization for e-commerce sites, a great place to start is the shopping cart. This is a pivotal point for your customers when making the final conversion click. They need to feel a sense of security, urgency and confidence. So how can you give your shopping cart a conversion boost?
- Keep them in the shopping mood. Once they’ve selected one item, there’s a good chance that they want another. If they’ve been taken to their cart, be sure to provide a “Continue Shopping” link that will take them back from whence they came.
- Make shipping decisions easy. Too many times we’ve seen e-commerce clients using an overly complicated tier of shipping options. Simplify the methods, avoid using multiple carriers with similar price points and make it based on two things: price and speed of delivery. Urban Outfitters has a great way of encouraging conversion. They offer free shipping with any purchase over $50. As you add items to your cart, you are reminded that you’re “only $5 away from free shipping,” etc.
- Give them a reason to buy now. Urgency always tests well in an e-commerce environment, but it needs to be authentic. We tend to tune out vague statements like “Don’t Miss This Sale!” Whereas using more direct language like “Sale ends tonight at 9pm” gives a deadline that needs to be met. Another effective urgency tactic is used by Amazon.com—the inventory alert. By stating “Only 4 left in stock” under the product in the cart, we are definitely moved to make a purchase.
- Upsells should be subtle. When your customer is putting items in their cart, and they’re met with a large module of “You might like this” or “Customers who bought this also bought this,” it can be frustrating and annoying. That sort of upsell can be moved to a secondary or tertiary positioning to avoid making the customer feel pressured. Putting the choice in their hands rather than in their face can have much more positive results. A subtle way to upsell is using text by the actual product in their cart. For example, if sweaters are “Buy 2 Get 1 Free,”having that next to the product icon is a great incentive.
- Never underestimate the value of safety. If I’m in an e-commerce path and I don’t see security badges anywhere, I’m out. For online-savvy purchasers, knowing that their transaction is safe is vital. Consider a static badge in the footer of all site pages, and definitely place one near the CTAs of all shopping cart stages.
- Give them a reason to come back. People get interrupted while shopping online, so providing them with a “save cart” option is smart. What’s even smarter? Offering a login at the time of saving their cart. This can spur sign-ups for customers not in the registered stream, and it can facilitate abandoned cart emails for those that are.
- Test, test, test. Shopping carts are one of the easiest—and more rewarding—things to test on your site. By choosing elements and testing variations on them one at a time, you can really determine what works and what doesn’t.
Getting your customers through the conversion funnel is great, but if you’re seeing a lot of abandoned carts, then there are improvements to be made (and tested!). What works for your e-commerce conversions?