Shopping Cart Optimization
What is that crucial page to finalize the purchase that eCommerce websites have in common? It is, of course, the shopping cart page. A crucial section to transform a visitor passing through to a customer. Since online shopping started growing rapidly while gradually replacing traditional retail, eCommerce sites have begun to receive a lot of demand. If you’ve been in this field for some time, you should know by now the process of the checkout is one of the fundamental elements for an online store. Without it, eCommerce websites won’t function properly, because most people tend to analyze products one by one before adding them each at a time and proceeding to the checkout. Thanks to the latest technological advancements, shopping cart optimization and tailoring to specific groups of users has never been easier.
So, what are the best practices for shopping cart optimization?
How to Perform Shopping Cart Optimization
Unfortunately, despite this page being full of potential, few are concerned with making it really magnetic.
This could be a reason why there are so many abandoned carts and as a result; lost sales.
Many users will view the shopping cart page before proceeding to the checkout. This is because the checkout page is seen as the final destination where all they have to do is enter their details and shipping information.
This is why the cart page needs to display the total amount that the consumer needs to pay. There may be some niches where you would calculate the total order amount on the checkout page. If this is applicable to you, the cart page should clearly indicate that the user needs to proceed to the checkout page to finalize the amount. The majority of abandoned shopping carts take place on the actual shopping cart page, so make sure this information is clear.
The Cart Page
You need to fine-tune the buying process and make it really simple and effective. Among all the pages to be optimized on your website the shopping cart should be of high priority.
In reality, the cart page can be used for different purposes:
To save the products without completing the purchase, in order to finalize it at a later time
This happens especially if there is not a section dedicated to a wishlist.
To count the total amount of an order before paying
Often consumers add several products to the cart and then check the page to see if there are discount coupons or free shipping.
To object, consider, and evaluate
When the products are inside the shopping cart, you should ask the user if they want to continue shopping or proceed with payment. Some people like to view their cart so far and then continue to browse the store, add more to their cart, and then decide what should stay or go. It’s all part of the buyers journey.
To proceed with the actual purchase
In this case, the consumer may think a little bit and decide in a short time to proceed and enter the transaction and shipping data. And here the conversion, in this case, ends positively.
Live Chat System
This a fantastic way to get closer to the customer and especially to raise your conversion rate and sales considerably. This is because it’s much more convenient for the buyer to know certain information in real time while they are interested the most in the product than to have to look it up online. Not only that, but this will also give them less reason to seek other sources for the product. Moreover, real-time conversations build trust and customers who connect with sellers are more likely to have confidence in them.
All of the consumers pre-sales questions can be answered via a live chat system and can strengthen the reasons they have for purchasing from you. This enables you to convert your visitors while they are warm and ready to buy and saves a lot of missed opportunities.
With Upselling, once a person has put a product in the cart and you know what they’re interested in, you can take advantage of this information to propose them to buy a comparable but more expensive product, for example; a different model cell phone to what they were looking at.
A similar technique is Cross selling, which is when you propose to the customer related products compared to the one chosen. For example, if you sell electronics and the customer adds a laptop to their shopping cart, you could recommend a mouse to go with it as it compliments the laptop.
The date when the order will arrive at a destination is crucial information for those who buy. It may seem like an insignificant detail, but try adding it to the cart page (especially if you have a quick delivery system) and you may see an increase in sales.
You can make it clear that your delivery times are strictly estimates, as you reasonably have no control over third parties such as courier companies or instances of mother nature. With the way that technology and the world are progressing, people are expecting their online deliveries faster than ever, especially with services such as Amazon Prime paving the way for speedy delivery. It is an unfortunate aspect of eCommerce that more customers are becoming increasingly impatient when it comes to delivery times, so you really need to make sure your shipping management is optimized and on-point.
The Checkout Page
The checkout page is probably the most single important page on your website. This is where people make the ultimate decision to give you money in exchange for your product or service. Having this page properly optimized and tailored for your audience is vital for driving conversions. A lot of eCommerce retailers don’t take advantage of this page and just use the standard format that comes with the eCommerce management system. And while the format does work, it could be tweaked and fine-tuned to enhance the customer experience and drive conversions.
Include an Order Summary
This is the essential part that you have to add to your checkout page. Basically, it offers the user a brief summary of what they are ordering. This builds mutual trust and shows your site’s transparency. Everyone wants to know how much they have to pay before they pay for something, and a summary will do this and add an itemized list of everything the customer has put in their cart. If you are using Shopify or WordPress then order summaries will be done on your checkout page automatically without you having to code anything.
Many people are wary when buying online, which is why it is important to reassure them continuously, always highlighting guarantees, points of contact, and other useful information.
You can include a list of guarantees relating to the reliability of the courier, your accepted payment methods, and the invitation to contact you for any inquiries. People need trust and validation online, so make it easy for them and show them why they can feel this way about you. Including trust badges and accepted payment methods can go a long way for creating reassurance and increasing your sales and reputation.
Ask for Relevant Information
Even if users are interested in the product and proceed to check out, sometimes they decide not to complete the process if they are asked about private information that they do not wish to reveal. The information that you ask for on this page should only be the information you need that is applicable to the order and the local laws and regulations. If you sell a digital product or service, you don’t need the customers physical address unless your country or their country requires you to obtain it by policy, most likely for tax purposes. Keep the fields on your checkout page as minimal as possible without unnecessary requests.
Make the Payment Process Easy
Ensuring that the payment process goes smoothly and efficiently for each customer is critical in making sure they finish the sale. Ideally, numerous payment options must be available, and you should at the very least accept PayPal. Like it or not, this payment method is extremely common for eCommerce and you may notice a large difference in sales if you don’t accept it. You can also integrate payment gateways such as Stripe and Authorize.net so you can accept debit/credit cards.
More and more people are using their mobile phones in their everyday tasks, including online shopping. That’s why your checkout page should be optimized for mobile devices and be responsive since the majority of customers will be from a mobile source. This is not something to overlook, because customer frustration means fewer sales, so they have to be able to easily and conveniently proceed to checkout through their smartphones. Once again, Shopify and WordPress are the easiest options because their themes and layouts are built to automatically adjust to mobile devices.
The Product Page
The product pages also make up a part of your shopping cart optimization because this is the point where someone decides to add your product to their cart. These pages often get neglected and aren’t living up to their potential. Literally everything you put on this page can have the ability to drive sales from countdown timers to deals, coupons, limited stock,and more.
Creating a sense of urgency is a traditional but very effective persuasive technique. You may have seen something like this at some point, with the classic technique being “Hurry now, while stocks last!”.
This can also be tied into a coupon code displayed clearly on your website with an expiration time on it, encouraging the user to act now before the offer is gone. It’s common for eCommerce retailers to have a bar at the top of the page that is always visible and contains a coupon code that visitors can clearly see.
Step in at The Right Moment
To avoid cart abandonment, you could design a pop up that allows you to save the shopping cart before it potentially gets lost. You could set it so that after X amount of seconds a window pops up and offers the user a discount coupon, possibly in exchange for their email address.
If the user is on the cart page for too long, they may be evaluating or reconsidering their purchase. If after say 15 seconds this promo box appears, it may be all that the user needs to justify buying from you and a great way to recover a sale that could have otherwise been lost.
Once again, Shopify and WordPress offer a variety of solutions for implementing this type of feature on your website with ease.
In which way? For example, you can indicate the number of pieces available in stock or, if you manage a booking system, you can indicate how many people have already booked or how many slots remain available for that date. When people know and can see that there is a limited amount available for what they want, they can act a lot faster as a result. If you legitimately do have limitations then you can play on this by showing scarcity and potentially drive more sales.