Thursday, 11 November 2010

Best Practices for Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment

Here are a few suggestions that were discussed over lunch today with the Speak E-C linkedin group!

1. Label the cart button “add to cart.” Don’t label it “buy,” “purchase” or any other creative name. “Buy,” or similar language, leaves shoppers wondering if they can keep shopping or change their minds, triggering a host of psychological barriers to purchasing. 

2. Make sure your customer service number is prominently located in the header of all your pages. This helps increase trust and may salvage a sale if a shopper is confused. The website is the website, and the call center is the call center – the two should never overlap. Your site visitors understand this and are frustrated if they get the same service online as they do over the phone. Make sure your sales reps close a high % of phone sales coming from the online store.

3. Make the buy flow easy and informative e.g. don’t leave shipping and added costs until the end - let the customer know what they are to pay from the start. Show the shipping calculation added to the cart total before you ask for credit card information. If visitors are unsure of what they’ll be charged, they won’t give you this information. Stock indicators also help the buyer check Show item descriptions and images on your cart pages. Shoppers need to be clear about what they're buying; images with text clarify it for them. 

4. Customers are not looking for product and price only - recommend complementary products and services for combos, up-sells, cross-sells etc.

5. When customers come in, don’t let them out.  Provide customer reviews/ratings so there appears to be an impartial third-party giving some word-of-mouth that could push a consumer to buy. Or aim to get them to sign-up to your specials and promos for first timers.

6. Accept the customer’s decision not to purchase, and everyone move on. Too many times eCommerce sites are constructed as if shopping cart abandonment indicates a clear, decisive and final decision by your customer not to buy from you. So show them the product they’ve been researching again if they didn’t convert before!

7. There is easily conceivable efficiency in re-engaging a prospect with a follow-up message, with the same or better offer on that same product, or complementary products. 
You will have some idea of what they may have been interested in at some point. Some past behavior can inform future communication via email, text message or re-marketing in future website visits or external banner ads. That’s efficient. That’s effective. That keeps your customer engaged. Customer auto-login upon arrival is an effective way to remind last product hits - track where they go - profile, segment and remind! Check out Amazon to see how its done! 

8. When customers abandon half way through the shopping cart process automate an email reminder. check out Also if the credit card payment fails automate an email to help the customer pay on the phone etc. check out

Good stuff here too!

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