Shopping cart optimization is not a one-time task, but an ongoing process. The same is true of checkout pages too.
These may be considered just another step in the purchase funnel, but they are in fact one of the most, if not the most, important parts of the funnel.
You need to convince your customers of the trustworthiness of your company and its products in order to reduce shopping cart abandonment.
How Can You Improve Your Trustworthiness?
It is important to build your credibility in order to enhance your company’s image. You can do this by building your online reputation on social media channels.
You should make provisions to encourage posting of online reviews of your products and services. This will give feedback on your products to potential clients and inspire them to engage you.
TIP: Ensure that your site contains social proof to encourage conversions. People like to read feedback from other customers and want to know other people’s opinions and recommendations before they commit to purchase.
Before we proceed, bear in mind that:
Not everyone is there to buy. Some people are only browsing your online shop and may just be doing basic research to compare prices and other costs before making up their minds.
TIP: It is a good practice to display the shipping cost on the product page and not leave it until the checkout page. This gives customers a clear idea of the actual cost of the product. It makes your deal transparent and enhances the customer experience.
It’s not essential that all buyers buy immediately. Many customers may browse your online shop and save their favorite articles for future purchase. It makes sense to provide for these potential customers.
TIP: It is a good practice to make use of calls for action. This can be done through advanced online shop optimization by making provisions for “Wishlist” and “Save for Later” options within your website. Make the wishlists shareable and follow up with reminder emails.
Advanced Online Shop Optimization
When you start online shop optimization, you are faced with making decisions about where to start and what to do. Many factors are involved in advanced online shop optimization, and you need to know which to tackle first.
1. Start With Analytics and Tests
If you are looking for a place to start with shopping cart optimization, then you need to first start with analytics. Google Analytics is the most popular tool, as it is free and easy to implement, but it’s not the only analytics tool available.
Over the next few weeks we will cover other analytics tools.
If you have any old data stored, you need to take a good look at it. Dig deep to discover what worked and what didn’t for you. Analytics data will reveal the points of highest abandonment rates for your website.
You should perform your own test orders to make sure that everything is working the way it should, the checkout process is error-free, the PayPal and bank links are working, and shipping and logistics are in place for easy, painless transaction experiences for your customers.
TIP: You can ask family and friends who are not familiar with your website to use it and try to make purchases. Observe what they are doing and take cognizance of their questions and queries. See whether they know what to do. This will give you the user’s point of view in understanding your website and finding the loopholes that need to be plugged.
2. Website and Product Information
When it comes to your website and product information, you need to keep the following in mind:
- The integration of the shopping cart and checkout pages should be seamless. Ensure that these pages are similar in appearance to the rest of your website and look like part of the website.
- It’s estimated that by 2018 almost 75% of internet traffic will be based on videos. It’s time to think about video marketing.
- Use only high-quality images.
- The product descriptions should be relevant.
- Always display the price and shipping cost of the product, and options, at the first point of contact.
- Make use of web personalization tactics; never let customers leave your website without giving them some added benefit. It could be a voucher, free shipping, or products that are similar to the ones they are browsing.
TIP: Prevent too much scrolling by users. You can reduce scrolling on your website by shortening the page and making navigation easy so users don’t have to search for where to go next.
3. Shopping Cart and Checkout Process Optimization
Another area to look into is your cart and checkout processes.
- You need to simplify the process so that even the most inexperienced shoppers can move through without any hassles.
- It’s wise to have a progress bar to show the number of steps the user has to go through. The total should not exceed four steps. This makes users feel in control of the purchasing and payment process.
- Don’t force users to register on your website. Allow guest checkouts and ask customers to register after the purchase is complete.
- You must have return and exchange policies. Display them prominently; they are an important part of the checkout process and should be visible to everyone. Try to make returns as easy and inexpensive as possible. Provide detailed instructions on how to return or exchange items.
- Your interaction with customers should continue after the purchase has been completed. Provide a confirmation page after the checkout and send an email, newsletter with offers, freebies and subscription requests, etc.
TIP: It’s important to maintain a balance between a fast, simple checkout process and adding details that provide security, safety and peace of mind to online customers.
Retargeting and Remarketing Optimization
You need to have realistic expectations of your website. You must realize that even the most well-designed and presented website can’t convert every visitor. There’s bound to be a certain percentage that won’t convert. This is where retargeting optimization is useful. Retargeting and follow-ups can increase the number of after-visit conversions.
This is particularly important when you consider that according to Baymard Institute, shopping cart abandonment is a whopping 67% among online shoppers.
TIP: You should use visitor segmentation based on attributes such as location, gender, and device used, among others. Display messages that target each segment. Make sure that the message displayed for people who only visited your home page is different from that displayed for people who have already converted and performed an action such as signing up, or downloading or purchasing something from the site.
Make your customers feel special. Offer advice that is useful and provide suggestions that are relevant to the products they are browsing or buying, to enhance the usefulness or appearance of whatever it is they are focused on at present.
Have custom landing pages for each of the groups or segments you are targeting, so that each receives a relevant message based on the profile. You can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to retargeting. You need to test everything before putting it into practice.
TIP: You need to optimize the frequency of ad displays so that the messages are geared to optimal attention. They shouldn’t be displayed too often or infrequently. The optimal displays are between 15 and 20 a month. So use a frequency cap for your retargeting campaigns. People may feel uncomfortable if the frequency is too high, as they may think you are web-stalking them.
Going forward, personalization will be influenced by various marketing technologies. Businesses will have deeper insights into customers and their preferences.
This deeper understanding of customers will be facilitated by web and mobile analytics, attribution, conversion rate optimization, marketing and purchase funnel optimization, predictive analytics, and adtech.
Employ tools, data and innovative ideas to increase the conversion rate of your online shop. Retargeting can be used at every stage of the funnel, as long as you carefully plan how and when you will use the technology.
Retargeting gives you opportunities to help attract new customers, as well as establish relationships with existing and past customers.