When seeking to reduce their cart-abandonment rates, many online merchants focus on their website creative, merchandising and promotions while overlooking the shopping cart itself. Ecommerce solutions provider ATG, in a white paper titled “Supercharge Your Shopping Cart”, offers some suggestions for boost online conversion rates by improving the cart:
1) Offer a persistent shopping cart. As the name suggests, a persistent cart is one that the shopper can return to, with all previously selected items still waiting to be bought, even after exiting the site. They compensate for carts that shoppers may abandon unintentionally—say, to check something on another site or because the laptop battery ran out of juice. According to ATG, “Generally, the shopper does not have to register to create the cart, and likewise does not have to log in to reopen the cart on a subsequent visit. A best practice is to explicitly inform the customer that the cart will be waiting for them when they come back, making clear that you welcome an ongoing relationship with the shopper.”
2) Switching from page-based carts to floating carts. Unlike page-based, HTML shopping carts, floating carts (like persistent carts) use AJAX and/or Adobe Flash and are available onscreen regardless of which page the shopper is on in the site.
3) Display shipping costs and options early in the process. Higher-than-expected shipping costs discovered late in the checkout process are a major reason for cart abandonment. ATG advises showing shoppers shipping costs and options as soon as they put an item into the cart. “Similarly, it’s also wise to provide a running total of the cost of the sale,” ATG adds.
4) Offer dynamic promotions via the cart. “While it’s great to say, ‘Free shipping on orders over $100’, an offer of this type can be especially powerful when presented dynamically during shopping: ‘Just $10 more, and your shipping is free’.” You can also use the item placed in the cart to trigger relevant cross-selling recommendations; for instance, if a customer puts a pair of brown shoes in his cart, you could then add a message along the lines of “You may also be interested in this brown belt” with a link to the product page and perhaps a discount as well.
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