Conversion Wednesday – Cart Before the Horse

By Dan G

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2XXexfG6Us

Is your cart before the horse?

Research published by the University of Glasgow has recently reported that 74 percent of online shoppers use shopping carts as “wish lists”.

Many shoppers rely on your ecommerce site having a persistent or permanent shopping cart that remembers which products they added to it so they can come back and purchase those products later.

Persistent carts store items for individual customers so that when they return to the site they can find them again easily and just checkout. Its worth recognizing this “shopping list” behavior and checking to make sure that your site makes it easy for returning visitors.

This is particularly important over the holiday shopping season, where cart conversion rates drop significantly as more consumers are usually just researching potential gifts. If you already have a persistent cart, then check the time-out on your shopping cart. Many default to 24 hours, and it’s amazing the number of sites where default values are used. Setting it to 30 days or more is a quick fix, and one that reflects the way that buyers want to shop online.

In addition to that, you could also add a “Recently-Viewed” section throughout your site that would remember the last 5 or more products viewed. Making it a simple click to navigate back to a product the customer liked.

Please consider both of these options to improve your customers’ shopping experience.

Now lets look at how we can expedite the cart to get the customer through the cart process more quickly and more simply:

  1. Re-order Your Input
    A lot of carts don’t already make sure their input fields are in the correct order. Some even have required fields scattered above and below a lot of other un-required fields. Make sure all of your required input fields are above all of your optional fields, and consider placing the “email address” field at the very top to ensure that if the customer does not complete their purchase, that at least you gain their e-mail address for special promotions.
  2. Mark or Only Show Required Input Fields
    Taking the above suggestion one step further, consider adding a toggle switch or link to show and hide your optional input fields. This way, you’re less likely to overwhelm your customers and you help expedite their cart experience.
  3. Streamline your Cart Pages (Reduce the Number of Clicks Till Purchase)
    If you can, try to reduce the number of cart pages it takes to finalize a purchase. If you have a Shipping Page and a Billing Page, consider blending the two pages together into 1 “ShipBill” page.
  4. Offer “Remember Me” Accounts
    If you don’t already have a system in place where you remember Return Shoppers and offer a quick login for these shoppers to expedite their shopping experience consider adding one.

The more you expedite your cart, the less chance you will have of losing shoppers along the way. Please consider all of these suggestions for your cart.

So have you put your CART BEFORE THE HORSE? Did you find any suggestions that could be of benefit to you? Lets Recap:

  1. Increase You Cart Expiration – Many shoppers may rely on your ecommerce site having a persistent or permanent shopping cart that remembers which products they added so that when they return to the site they can find them again easily. Many default to 24 hours, and it’s amazing the number of sites where default values are used. ReSetting it to 30 days or more would provide a quick fix.
  2. Recently-Viewed Section – In addition to the above suggesstion consider adding a “Recently-Viewed” section throughout your site that would remember the last 5 or more products viewed making navigating back to those products a 1-click procedure.
  3. ReOrder Your Input Fields – Make sure all of your required input fields are above all of your optional fields, and consider placing the “email address” field at the very top to ensure that if the customer does not complete their purchase, that at least you gain their e-mail address for special promotions.
  4. Mark or Only Show Required Input Fields – Taking the above suggestion one step further, consider adding a toggle switch or link to show or hide your optional input fields. This way, your less likely to overwhelm your customers and you help expedite your cart experience.
  5. Reduce the Number of Clicks Till Purchase – If you can, try to reduce the number of cart pages it takes to finalize a purchase. If you have a Shipping Page and a Billing Page, consider blending the two pages together into 1 “ShipBill” page.
  6. Offer “Remember Me” Accounts – If you don’t already have a system in place where you remember Return Shoppers and offer a quick login for these shoppers to expedite their shopping experience consider adding one.

If you’ve found a couple suggestions that you realize your site could use and don’t have the time or effort to put into all of these cart changes consider letting us do it for you! We can comb your site and pick out all of the major outlying issues. Repair them with specific tests for your site and procure and analyze the change’s overall effect, and then present you with the winning changes. It’s that easy!

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