Shopping on the web can sometimes be a stressful experience. The consumer is asked to take a risk and buy something that he doesn’t have any physical contact with, trading security for convenience.
Even if we know we have a good product, web shopping in itself may trigger doubts and second thoughts, as the consumer does not have the human connection of the store, and is unsure of the product because he has not seen it with his own eyes. It is unsurprising then that more than 50% of shopping carts are abandoned prior to purchase.
We can’t imagine a supermarket consumer just leaving the shopping cart full of groceries in the store and leaving. However, the sense of no commitment that accompanies web shopping experience challenges us to find ways to ease the process of going from decision to check-out.
There are some simple tips and tricks to help the cart experience be more efficient and smooth.
The most important thing to keep in mind is analysis – Know thy site. By applying a sales funnel through Google analytics you can pinpoint the exact hole in the wall through which your clients seep out. This will save you a lot of time to focus your efforts on other matters.
Without neglecting specific problems, there are some rules we’ve tried and that you should check out:
- Don’t make the shopping process too complicated. Imagine a supermarket aisle with one seller for each stage of the process. Now, imagine an exit door next to each seller. By making the process too complicated you are giving the costumer too many exit doors. Minimize, simplify, make an intelligent choice of only the most essential steps. Other ones can be completed later on with a survey or a follow-up mail.
- Spike up the costumer confidence in the choice he or she is making. Alleviate doubts, relax the mind, give the web alternative for the sincere salesman smile. You’ll have to be creative to do that, but start with security badges, highlighting good product reviews, give clear and precise real-life info: telephone number and address, a sales summary and confirmation request. All these can reassure the client, improve the shopping experience and encourage the customer’s loyalty – we always go back to where we feel secure.
- Offer a continuous shopping experience. Even if the consumer decides not to make the purchase now, send him some reminders by email, and with some healthy persistence you can help change the “I don’t know” to a resounding yes. Still, make sure you know when to back off.
- Test your shopping experience on multiple platforms. More and more people today purchase products through their smartphones and tablets. Make sure that the shopping experience does not lose its flow when carried out through these outlets.
With these rules plus some creativity and intelligence, you will have no problem decreasing cart abandonment and increasing the number of satisfied customers.
In the end, the final question is whether you use the tools you have to the max, making their areas of opportunity into advantages. If you are planning to build a web shopping site from scratch or just want a professional eye on an existing one, sometimes it helps to get another perspective; if you want us to look at a project, idea or current app, we’re here and happy to trade experiences.
There’s a comments section below, but we’ve had private messages coming in instead (?) (but great!). Questions, comments or requests can come in via here as well.
Photos for this post were possible thanks to the Free For All Flickr group. Go, sharing communities.