Losing online customers is frighteningly easy.  You rarely see people abandon a half-full shopping cart in a store and walk away -- unless something dire has happened. Online, however, over 50% of potential sales end in abandonment, usually due to a bad shopping cart model. But it is hard, exactly to pinpoint what is wrong with your shopping cart. In many cases it takes a few months/weeks of research before you figure out what is going wrong. But this quick guide can help you pinpoint the cause without further loss of revenue.

 

Visibility

 

You have great products, but it takes too much time to actually find your shopping cart. How do you know this? Try looking for it on your website. Maybe the image or link is too small. Maybe it is not optimized for that particular browser. How can you even make one sale if your customer gets frustrated just looking for the cart? They will just head on to another website without a second thought. After all, they did not spend for parking or dress up particularly nice to go shopping. They will simply be closing a browser.

 

A professional web design company can help you create a useful and visible shopping cart that your customers can easily find. One great thing about it is they can do all the testing for you and make sure your cart is giving you good returns.

 

Steps and Progression

 

If you are hip deep in consultation with your design company, discuss adding progression to your shopping cart. Does your shopping cart show your customer what step they are on? This is often a visible toolbar found at the top of the shopping cart process that clearly shows the customer what part of the process they are currently on. In many cases, these steps also act as links, so customers can go to and from areas of the process to make corrections or changes. Sometimes it is not about the number of steps, but whether or not your customer knows about it.

 

Think about it as the online equivalent of waiting in line.

 

Limited Shipping

 

You only ship during full moons, and only if the full moon occurs on a Wednesday, given that you are in the mood.

 

A bit overdramatic, but customers tend to think in hyperbole, especially if you give them limited shipping options. Hidden fees or "silent" costs are also detrimental to your shopping cart success, especially if you hide them as part of the last step. Combine this and customers will never buy from you. After all, the competition delivers. For free. Any time of the day.

 

The Upsell

 

Upselling can be risky, but it can also add profit to purchases. You might be a little wary about it, but upselling has been a tried and true practice since the first door-to-door salesman knocked on the awning of a cave.

 

It can be something as simple as offering gift-wrap options, green packaging options or additional products for the next purchase. Upselling online is not as upsetting because customers do not have to listen to a customer service rep give them a long spiel about benefits. For most customers, it just means clicking a small box.  It also gives you a chance to bring the customer back, by offering rewards, memberships or even subscriptions.

 

Explanations

 

In any sales setting, giving the customer information or letting them know why you want certain information can go a long way towards clinching that sale. Many people are still hesitant about giving their online information, but a simple explanation that mentions that you use site encryption, SSL and other layers of protection can finalize the sale. Little FAQs scattered around your shopping cart can also help guide those who are less than familiar with using the Internet, a customer base often taken for granted.

 

Customers object less when they know why -- so adding a few guides to your shopping cart can reduce the number of questions asked and increase the number of sales. Think of it as having a sales assistant answer their concerns, except virtually.

 

In most cases, these minor tweaks can help you boost sales and create more revenue. In the worst case scenario, you just have to revamp your shopping cart. Either way, you will return with a more persuasive cart that can help you close those deals and keep your customers coming back for more.

 

 


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