Posted September 19, 2012 by fran @ 9:55 am
If you have an e-commerce business then you know that getting people to your website is only half the battle. While SEO, affiliate sales, and, online advertising can definitely boost traffic to your site, the REAL challenge is in getting users to actually make a purchase.
If you’re experiencing high rates of shopping cart abandonment, then you should look into two things: your products and your website.
Let’s start with what you’re selling. Examine various aspects of your products—from quality, to price, to selection—and see if there’s anything that you can improve on. Ask customers for feedback or reviews and take note of any negative comments that you can address. You can also check out similar items in the industry to see if there’s anything that you can change about your products to make them more competitive.
If the problem isn’t your actual products, then perhaps you need to optimize your website to make it more customer-friendly. A few tweaks to your online store can significantly reduce shopping cart abandonment so look around your site for things that need improvement.
Not sure where to begin? Here are few tips to get you started.
1. Shorten your checkout process – Aim for a quick “in and out” process where customers visit your site, pick a product and hit buy. Often, people leave a site without buying anything because the checkout process just takes way too long. If customers need to answer questions or select various options for the product, then consider putting all these options into one form on a single page, rather than spreading them out.
Product suggestions can also prolong the checkout process and cause customers to leave. If you can, find other ways to cross-sell in order to not interrupt checkout.
2. Be transparent with all your charges – Hidden charges can also contribute to shopping cart abandonment. Nothing boots a customer out of site more quickly than surprise shipping or tax charges. Of course, while some of these fees are unavoidable, it’s best to be more transparent and upfront. Add a cost calculator so that you can allow customers to compute their costs beforehand, rather than surprising them with a huge charge in the end.
3. Offer “limited time” sales – Add in a sense of urgency by offering limited time sales. When customers see that your sales and promos will be expiring soon, they’ll be more motivated to complete a purchase. After all, who would want to miss out on a great deal?
4. Make your return policy clear – A vague return policy not only leads to shopping cart abandonment, it also reduces trust among customers, so ensure that it is as clear as possible. Some customers check a site’s return policies before making a purchase, so make it easy for them to ask questions and express concerns.
5. Use Retargeting / Remarketing Ads – When customers do leave your site without buying anything, don’t lose hope. Instead, make use of Remarketing (aka: Ad Retargeting) advertisements to reel users back in.
A Remarketing ad works by tagging a customer’s browser when they visit your site. When they leave without buying anything, the Remarketing technology will then display your ads on other websites that the user visits to gently remind them to go back to your store to complete a purchase.
Image credit: Polycart on Flickr
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