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Grease Up Your Shopping Cart

Posted by in Conversion Optimisation

It’s 4am, you get back home alone and switch on your computer. You have an itch and you need to scratch it. So, even though you shouldn’t, you log in to your Google Analytics. You see that you’ve attracted visitors to your website (thanks to your SEO firm), you’ve built trust, convinced the visitor with great content, used some sneaky calls to action and finally got them checking out your product. Woohooo!!!! You’re prying open their wallet and scoring that home run…

Except it all falls apart at the funnel.

AAAARGHHH!!! Your website isn’t closing the deal. Sites like this poke fun at it, and they are a hilarious way to satirise your shopping cart…or your competitors. But what can you do to make sure your cart is a good converter?

Don’t require registration to shop

This is annoying to just about everyone. Yes, it’s good to collect registrations – but give them the option to shop without going through that extra hassle. The registration can be done during the checkout process, by which point they are already so invested in your site that they will continue on. All the same, you should offer an option for them to purchase without registering.

Keep it flexible

Allow your customers to easily modify the order. This can be with an interactive progress indicator or previous/next buttons. Also, don’t forget to provide full functionality for when the user clicks on the browser’s “Back” button. Since this button is heavily used, get your geeks working the kinks out of the cookies.

Provide all relevant information

OK, OK – all relevant information is pretty broad. So here are the main things that your customers would like to know before, during and after your checkout process:

  • Provide photos, specifications, links and reviews for the items in the catalog
  • Present all options (such as sizes, colours and flavours) on the product pages
  • Provide real-time-support, such as LiveChat
  • Inform customers if the item is available on the product page – and always make sure your top sellers ARE AVAILABLE!!!
  • Provide a progress indicator
  • Tell the customers what happens next – send out a confirmation email, providing order information, delivery times and support contact (this won’t help your conversion rate but is a nice touch)

The Takeaway

I won’t lie to you – revamping your checkout process is not a simple job. It will require some hefty development work. Rather than shield yourself from the horror of your shopping cart, have a look through the three points above and ask yourself if it is worthwhile considering it.

About

Dan is an slightly mad and wildly offensive online marketing consultant. He manages campaigns for E-Web Marketing with an irreverent style that inexplicably nets fantastic results. He is obsessed with all things online and can frequently be found blogging about Conversion Rate Optimisation, SEO and whatever random ruminations go through his questionable head.

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