Are You Driving People Away from Your Online Store?

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Virtual shopping carts – which allow visitors to select and order items online without having to make a phone call or visit your premises – are hugely popular and convenient. But if you’re not careful with your shopping cart layout and design, you might chase away prospective sales. Here’s what you need to know about driving conversions through your online shopping cart.

Why People Stop Shopping

Just like not everyone who enters a physical store will walk out with a new purchase, not everyone who visits your website will place an order. Some degree of “window shopping” is inevitable, but is there something you can do to increase the number of paying customers? A study commissioned by Visual Website Optimizer set out to answer exactly that question – what is it that stops a visitor from finalizing a purchase online?

The study looked at 1,000 mobile and desktop users who placed items in their virtual shopping cart, only to abandon the site without buying. Here’s what they found:

  • The #1 culprit, affecting a quarter of respondents, was unexpected shipping costs. When the final price turned out to be higher than anticipated, visitors would decide against the purchase.
  • The next-biggest factor, accounting for almost a quarter of responses, was having to create a new user account. Visitors want to be able to buy what they need without the additional hassle of creating or authenticating an account on the site.
  • Other factors included buyers conducting research for a later purchase, a long or confusing checkout process, and concerns about payment security.

There is a silver lining to all of this, though. The same survey asked users what might motivate them to return to the site and buy the product – and an overwhelming 58% of users said that seeing an email or targeted ad showing that product to be on sale would motivate them to buy. So you may have a second chance at a missed opportunity!

So What Can You Do?

What’s the takeaway from all this? That the key to a successful shopping cart may just be managing expectations. For example: Offer free shipping (or include it in the listing price), or at least prominently display pricing and shipping/handling costs on the shopping cart itself. If the visitor is well-informed about the actual costs, they can budget accordingly and are less likely to click away.

The other thing to consider is the design and functionality of your shopping cart. The easier it is to use, the less likely your customers will wander away while making a purchase. You can discuss your options for updating and renovating your shopping cart with us – we’ll be happy to help you come up with a streamlined solution that can encourage users to stick around rather than click away to a competitor.