Design your Ecommerce Site to Avoid Shopping Cart Abandonment
January 16, 2014

Shopping cart abandonment is an all too familiar term for owners of ecommerce websites.  Someone clicks on your website, likes what they see, puts an item into their online shopping cart but, somewhere during the checkout process, clicks off the website without buying the item.  We have been developing ecommerce websites on different shopping cart platforms in San Diego for more than 10 years and, in our experience, the best ways to avoid shopping cart abandonment are:

  1. The main goal for having an ecommerce site is to sell the products offered on your site, so be sure that your website’s design encourages this goal.  Are the shopping cart and checkout directions clear to your customers?  Buttons should be easily visible and labelled with appropriate names.  Payment and shipping forms should be simple, clear, and concise.  The more streamlined the checkout process is, the less likely you are to lose a sale.
  2. Be upfront with your customers about any other costs, like shipping, that they will have to pay for.  A lot of websites do not display the shipping charge until all of the payment forms have been filled out.  At that point, your customer expects to pay $40 for a purchase and then finds that, with shipping and tax, it is going to cost them $60.  This hidden cost does not encourage consumer confidence, so let them know about any additional charges before they start checking out.
  3. It’s always a good idea to display payment options and credit cards accepted on the shopping cart so customers will already have the right credit card in hand when they begin the checkout process.
  4. Make yourself available to answer questions that may come up during the checkout process.  A lot of last-minute questions may come up that could derail the sale, such as return policies and shipping dates.  If you have an email address and phone listed on your website’s shopping cart, customers can call with questions and give you the opportunity to encourage that final sale.
  5. Do your online industry research.  Make sure the pricing for the products offered on your website is competitive.  One of the consumer benefits of Web 2.0 is that customers have the opportunity to shop the Internet for the best deals.  You won’t see too many sales unless you’ve got a comparable price.
  6. Test regularly and refine your site.  Track your customer’s progress through the website and shopping cart forms to figure out where customers are getting stuck or abandoning their shopping cart.  Based on these results, modify your ecommerce’s site design to encourage more customers to complete their purchases.
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