10 More Surefire Ways to Curb Shopping Cart Abandonment
In my presentation for eM+C's All About eCommerce Virtual Conference & Expo on June 4, I discussed ways to curb shopping cart abandonment.
In my article that appeared here last week, I offered four proven ideas for improving your shopping cart and checkout process. The ideas included the following: know your real abandonment rate; determine exactly which steps folks abandon on and why; one-page checkouts aren't for everyone; and offer a guest checkout. Here are 10 more:
(For more, check out the on-demand replay of the All About eCommerce Virtual Conference & Expo.)
1. Determine if you really need a "view cart" page. Many companies have "view cart" pages even though they don't really need them. If users are abandoning on your "view cart" page — or the two subsequent pages — definitely test your process. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Where are they abandoning?
- Are your upsell and marketing messages confusing users?
- Is there information on the page that's not appropriate, such as catalog codes for a pay-per-click customer?
- Is your number of items per order low enough that it makes the page just an extra page to plow through?
- Could you further folks along the process without it?
Decide if you need to make a few tweaks or a complete overhaul. Your decision will depend on your customers, your days to sale, whether there's purchasing authority involved and so on.
2. Reduce, eliminate or delete as many navigational elements as you possibly can in the checkout. Users don’t need distractions — they need to place their orders. Don’t worry, they don’t need to disappear for long; you can offer them again at the confirmation page.
3. Use big buttons. The bigger, the better. Buttons leading to the next step should be bigger than the ones leading to the previous step. And next-step buttons should be to the right.
4. Use a picture of a Wilford Brimley-type (read: old-fashioned Santa Claus) in the right-hand column of your site. Why Wilford? You need a picture of someone you’d give your money to. (And no, not for a lap dance. Someone, er, a little more reputable.)
5. Offer alternate ways to contact you, in several different places. Put your phone number at the top, bottom and right-hand column of your site. Your email address should be in those three areas as well. Fax numbers and postal addresses should be in the right-hand column and along the bottom. You don’t want phone calls? Tough bananas. Users won’t call you unless they need to — that’s why they’re on the web in the first place. If they call, something is likely wrong with your site or they’re in the category that won't place orders online, even with incentives. For some groups, this can account for more than half of the people.
6. Address privacy and security on every view. Users need to see this every time they scroll down to a new page.
7. Show payment method icons. Tested, these icons work better than just showing the text links or line-listing drop-downs. Remember: People see things in pictures, not in text.
8. Collect a secondary email address. Very few companies do this, but it’s a very effective way to collect “good” names.
9. Use a temperature bar. Yes, it's ugly. Deal with it.
10. Review your error handling messages, presentation and choices. For many, this is a huge issue and can result in up to 15 percent of your abandons.