8 Best Practices for Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment
Why do shoppers leave the checkout before making a purchase? More importantly, what can you do about it?
People abandon shopping carts for many reasons. Some simply change their minds or are just “window shopping.” You don’t have much control over those instances. Some, however, find the checkout process confusing or aren’t sure what you're going to charge their credit cards. You do have control over these issues.
With the current state of the economy, you can’t afford to lose a single sale because your shopping cart doesn’t function the way shoppers expect. Here are eight leading ways to decrease shopping cart abandonment — simple, practical things you can do to make sure your cart meets best practice standards:
1. Make sure your “add to cart” button is above the fold on all product detail pages. Don’t forget to test it on different screen sizes and resolutions — not everyone has a large monitor. Don’t let your “add to cart” button disappear on smaller or laptop screens.
2. 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.
3. Once shoppers have filled their carts, make sure your checkout button is easy to find. Again, don’t get creative with naming it. Call it “checkout” or “proceed to checkout.”
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
8. Test, test and test again. Make small, incremental changes and measure their success. Best practices will take you a long way, but nothing beats knowing what works for your shoppers.
Following these guidelines will help decrease shopping cart abandonment on your e-commerce site. Competition for shoppers’ dollars is higher than ever, and you can’t afford to lose a single sale. You’ve devoted so much to getting shoppers to your site; don’t lose them this late in the game.
Ability Commerce has published a list of 23 Ways to Decrease Shopping Cart Abandonment. View it here.
Terry Jukes is the president of Ability Commerce, a Delray Beach, Fla.-based e-commerce Web site development firm. Reach Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org.