For some e-commerce businesses, the shopping cart conversion rate is an elusive metric, while for others they seem to have mastered the art of converting browsers to buyers. Getting a shopper all the way to the checkout page is not a guarantee for anyone, but it involves more than pure luck. How are online retailers able to increase their shopping cart conversion?
The concept of cart conversion is straightforward: how many potential shoppers come to your website and how many end up purchasing after browsing. Your cart conversion rate is simply the number of conversions (paying shoppers) divided by the total number of visitors to your site. What should your conversion rate be? Of course every business is different, but a KPI Report shows the average conversion rate is less than 2% for most online businesses, across numerous countries.
Cart conversion is frequently tied to the concept of shopping cart abandonment too, so it’s worth it to know the difference between the two. Shopping cart abandonment refers to a shopper who actually has an item in their shopping cart, only to not complete their purchase. It’s estimated the current rate of cart abandonment is hovering around 75% globally.
The reality is, it’s tough to get your shopper to complete their purchase.
Here at Splitit, we’ve provided you with information on increasing your overall conversion rates (whether it’s engaging a shopper in a survey, capturing a new lead or enticing someone to purchase). Now we want to provide you with real solutions you can start using today specifically focused on increasing your cart conversion for purchases and decreasing cart abandonment.
Let’s take a look at how we can improve your cart conversion rate and ultimately increase your bottom line. You can read through it a section at a time or jump right ahead to the one you are most interested in.
- Provide Clear Communication to the Shopper
- Provide the Best Checkout Process for the Shopper
- Anticipate Your Shopper’s Questions and Concerns
- Use Promotions and Discounts
- Re-targeting Your Shoppers
- Optimize Your Site – Diminish Your Cart Abandonment
- Offering Splitit to Shoppers
1. Provide Clear Communication to the Shopper
Having a visually appealing website is one step, but offering valuable content to your shopper is one way to reduce shopping cart abandonment. It’s not as easy as it sounds — you have to provide information they are looking for but without too much clutter to cause confusion. Instead of looking at your overall site to evaluate your communication tactics, it’s helpful to approach it step by step. An abandoned shopping cart can occur when you overwhelm your shopper, or not communicate enough detail, and it can happen throughout your website.
Evaluate Your Landing Page
Your landing page is the single webpage a shopper clicks on first after searching for your site or a search related to your site. It’s also the first chance you get to make a great impression. Whatever sets you apart from the competition (free shipping, great product selection, free delivery, etc.) should be obvious on the landing page.
Another item to check is how fast your landing page loads. While speed is important to an entire website, if you have a slow-loading landing page, then you are destined for a life of shopping cart abandonment. When you optimize your entire site for speed, make sure you concentrate on your landing page so your shoppers aren’t immediately frustrated. Whether your landing page is what your shopper sees after an online search, a Facebook ad or some other means, you want it to be the best representation of your site.
Upfront Shipping Policy
It’s probably not surprising to hear how important shipping charges are to the shopper. But statistics show it’s so vital that unexpected shipping costs are the number one reason cited for cart abandonment. Whatever your shipping policy is — free, reduced or standard shipping rates, expedited service — you should clearly communicate it to shoppers as early as possible. This cuts down on the surprise element a shopper can experience closer to the checkout page.
Clear Pricing Communication
In the same way you present upfront shipping information, you should be crystal clear with your pricing. The pricing should be prominently displayed throughout the search and all the way through to the checkout page. If you offer payment installment plans (such as Splitit) for your shoppers and multiple methods of payment, then consider adding these additional pricing details to your product description.
Customer Service Guarantees
Shoppers want to know right away how easy returns will be if they have an issue – after all, they’re buying a product sight unseen. Whatever your shopper service policy is (such as no-cost or hassle-free returns) make sure you make it effortless for the shopper to find. Providing warranty information is another way to help usher your shopper to the checkout page. The more secure the shopper feels during the transaction process, the quicker they will convert their shopping cart to a purchase.
2. Provide the Best Checkout Process for the Shopper
The User Experience (UX) is important throughout your website, from website speed to graphics and search capabilities. But the specific checkout process is crucial to decreasing cart abandonment and increasing your conversion rate. There are multiple ways you can provide a better experience for your shopper to make sure they make it all the way to the end of the checkout page, here are several tips to make it seamless.
Create a Sense of Urgency
From the beginning to the end of the checkout process, creating a sense of urgency for your shopper can move them along and lower the cart abandonment rates. You can do this by displaying how many items are left in stock, updating your product descriptions to include “Top Sellers” or “Customer Favorites.” You can even add call-outs to the pictures for items with notes such as “almost gone” or “back in stock.”
Lastly, get creative with your call to action (CTA) buttons. Instead of only saying “Place Your Order” you can show urgency by using “Buy Now” or “Order Now.”
A progress bar during the checkout process can go a long way towards increasing your cart conversions. A simple tracker lets your shopper know how far along they are and provides a visual cue of when their checkout process will be complete. Shoppers appreciate being reassured that the checkout won’t last too long.
Accessible Shopping Carts
Providing shopping carts that are easily updated throughout the checkout process is another winning strategy for lowering your cart abandonment rate. If you make it easy for the shopper to view, edit and remove items in their shopping cart, then it creates a more positive experience. Online shopping carts help the consumer keep a running tally on their purchase while they keep their budget in mind.
Offer Guest Checkout
Offering Guest Checkout (as opposed to asking your shopper to create an account) is another proactive step in creating a seamless checkout experience. Studies show the fewer clicks the shopper has to make to complete their purchase, the less chance there is for shopping cart abandonment. By having a guest checkout option, you’re reducing the number of clicks and getting your shopper closer to the checkout page.
3. Anticipate Your Shopper’s Questions and Concerns
It’s easy to get to know your shoppers when you have a brick and mortar business, but when you’re an e-commerce site, it gets a little trickier. Knowing how to anticipate what questions or concerns your shopper may have can help increase your cart conversion rate while they fill up their shopping carts. No matter what type of business you are, you know consumer habits are constantly changing and you have to know what might cause hesitation. Here are several ideas for offering helpful information starting with the beginning of the search to the end of the checkout experience.
Use Quality Product Descriptions
Your product descriptions should be accurate and easy to understand. Your shopper should have a thorough understanding of the product once they read the description. Strong product descriptions not only provide all the relevant information, but it entices your buyer to make the commitment. This is especially important as consumers are shifting away from luxury items right now and focusing more on practicality – they need to be reassured they’re spending their money on the right product.
Detailed product descriptions can include everything from specs, warranties, return policies and suggested uses. The more information you can provide, the more likely you can increase your cart conversions.
Use Meaningful Product Reviews and Testimonials
Product reviews are a powerful tool for e-commerce. It’s the digital answer to having a knowledgeable salesperson guiding your shopper. A Spiegel Research Study suggests having at least five quality product reviews can increase the likelihood of purchase by 270%, versus a product without any reviews. It offers more information to your shopper and can ultimately sway them to fill their shopping cart.
Install a Live Chat Feature
Offering live chat services on your site is another way to boost consumer engagement and confidence. It’s so effective, a recent study highlighted in Hubspot shows live chat is now one of the top three methods for communicating with shoppers. It’s yet another way for a consumer to interact with your company, ask questions about your product and improve overall shopper service experience. Using live chat is another way you can positively impact your cart abandonment rate. If you’ve ever considered adding a live chat feature to your site, there has never been a better time.
4. Use Promotions and Discounts
If you want to decrease your cart abandonment rate, consider discounting the price of a product. Offering a promotion on products or a discount off an entire purchase is an exciting way to persuade your shopper to fill their shopping carts. But there are several ways to offer discounts, and some will work better with your shopper than others. Keep in mind we know shipping costs are the top reason retailers experience cart abandonment, but a discount code that doesn’t work is the second biggest reason.
Overlays or Popups
You can set up an overlay or pop up the shopper sees the first time they visit your site. Think of it as an incentive especially for them since they are a potential new client. Many online retailers offer a discount code if the shopper provides an email address. Not only does this give them an extra reason to purchase, but it helps you build up your distribution list for emails.
Once you have an email address from a new or potential shopper, you can send a direct email with a specific offer. You can reward your loyal shoppers with their own code or offer a big incentive to a new one. No matter how you choose to do it, a strong enough offer will increase your chance of improving your cart abandonment rate.
Use a Free Shipping Offer
Since unexpected shipping costs are the number one reason for shopping cart abandonment, you can address this issue right away by offering free shipping. It may not be possible to run all the time, but it can be a strong enough reason for a shopper to turn their shopping cart into a complete purchase.
5. Re-targeting Your Shoppers
We know shoppers have short attention spans. They’re being pulled in multiple directions and people are busy with their to-do list. We also know, no matter how many discounts you offer, sometimes they forget about their shopping cart.
This simple fact of life contributes to an increase in shopping cart abandonment, but there are steps you can take to lure your shopper back to complete their purchase. This is referred to as re-targeting in marketing terms, and can help increase your overall sales.
Send a Cart Abandonment Email
If you were able to get the shopper’s email address, a strategically worded email reminding them of their cart may be all it takes to complete the purchase. You can automatically send reminders to the selected email address, along with an update on stocking levels or perhaps a pricing change. An additional discount offer through email may be all you need to convert a few of those abandoned carts.
Utilize Your Distribution List
If you can build up a distribution list by capturing the email address of potential and past shoppers, then you have another outlet for communication. Sending a weekly newsletter with valuable information or current promotions is another way to engage with a shopper. The more you can interact with a potential buyer, then the higher chance you have of them visiting your site and adding items to their shopping cart.
6. Optimize Your Site – Diminish Your Cart Abandonment
We’ve mentioned optimizing your website, but what exactly does this look like? There are several ways you can increase engagement on your site and make it easy for your shopper to navigate (and purchase) no matter which device they choose to shop from. Here are the best practices for enhancing UX and lowering the chance of shopping cart abandonment.
Check Your Site for Speed
Shoppers don’t like to wait, and this includes waiting for a website to load. There are multiple techniques for decreasing load times. There are tactics like removing unnecessary plugins, resizing and reformatting your pictures or changing your hosting company. There are professionals who can improve your website if you’re concerned about site speed leading to an abandoned shopping cart. You can also start with Google’s PageSpeed Insights to test how your site is currently performing.
Prepare for Mobile Transactions
All indications are mobile shopping is here to stay. With more consumers using their smartphones for purchases, it also increases your need to be mobile-ready. By making sure your site can respond to mobile transactions means you can lessen the chance of cart abandonment.
There are several ways you can improve your site for mobile devices. You can create an app for purchases, use a website theme and select web-hosting company that is optimized for mobile. And again, website speed is essential in this area too and helps improve the overall experience on a mobile device.
Reassure Shoppers with a Secure Site
Shoppers expect websites to be more secure than ever, especially after being let down by multiple security breaches and rising fraudulent purchases. Consumers are becoming more savvy with security and it’s helpful to offer reassurance. There are several precautions you can take to put your shopper’s mind at ease and decrease your cart abandonment rate.
One important step you can take is communicating security features on your site. You can communicate the steps you take to offer secure transactions. An important sign of a secure website is to clearly display both the security and privacy policies. Installing a badge that indicates your site is a trusted or verified secure site is another reassurance to the shopper. These seals or badges tell the shopper your website has HTTPS security.
7. Offering Splitit to Shoppers
Finally, one of the most important strategies for successful cart conversion is offering a payment installment option (such as Splitit) to your shoppers. Even in the midst of financial uncertainty, potential clients are looking for ways to stick to their budgets yet still fill their shopping carts with meaningful purchases. A payment plan like Splitit can make it possible for a shopper to afford a purchase they might otherwise be unable to.
How Splitit Works for Your Shoppers
Splitit is a monthly installment plan that works with your shopper’s existing credit card. It allows your shopper to split up the total amount of a purchase into smaller monthly installments. The best part is, it’s easy for them to use, doesn’t require additional paperwork or credit checks and they’re not subject to any late fees.
Splitit Increases Conversion Rates for E-Commerce Sites
Not only does it provide convenience and simplicity for your shopper’s budget, but studies continue to show how offering a payment plan can positively impact your cart conversion rate. By using Splitit, businesses have shown an 11% decrease in their cart abandonment rate. How many shoppers would this mean for you?
We know by offering an interest-free installment plan to your shopper, it makes them 35% more likely to purchase. Splitit works with multiple businesses across many industries while helping your shoppers better manage their budgets.
We know businesses juggle everything from managing great shopper service, marketing, website design and every task in between. That’s why having a strong cart conversion rate is so important — it allows you to focus on other aspects of your business while still earning sales. The only question is, which of these cart conversion solutions will you try first?