No matter how life-changing your product may be, guiding the customer to the checkout phase, and then beyond, can be a delicate process. Knowing what to do (and what not to do) along the way is all-important if you want customers to follow through on their purchases. Here are five important tips to help you improve your shopping cart conversion.
Consider Shopping Cart Recovery Emails
An increasingly common tactic among eCommerce sites is to send customers a follow-up email if they leave items unattended in their cart for a certain amount of time. It gives the customer a chance to reconsider their incomplete purchase. It might feel like harassment, but this practice has proven to be surprisingly effective.
There’s a limited window in which this practice will be successful, however; most agree that the email should be sent within 24 hours, and should contain everything the customer may need to assuage any remaining doubts they may have, including a full breakdown of the final price, contact information for your company, along with shipping and delivery estimates.
Improve Your Product Pages
It’s the year 2014, which makes it exceptionally surprising that so many eCommerce sites still use lousy stock photographs and tiny thumbnails to showcase their products. Customers want to see detailed images of exactly what they’ll be receiving, and anything less is going to drive them away.
With that in mind, it’s probably time to invest in some better product copy. Provide photos that show off your products from every angle, including close-ups. Customers tend to be put off by bad product images, and may take their business to another site that stands behind their products with a little more confidence.
Play the Semantics Game
Engaging in a little wordplay might help to influence customer behavior in some subtle, yet surprising, ways. For example: you might consider substituting the phrase “Add to Cart” instead of “Buy.” Both serve as effective calls-to-action, but “Buy” suggests finality; it tends to communicate to the customer that they’re about to be taken to checkout, while “Buy Now” suggests that they’ll be free to continue browsing. Every step of the way, the customer will appreciate assurances that they won’t be hassled for payment information until they’re ready.
Don’t Insist on Website Registration
Forcing prospective customers to register on your site can be a deal breaker. Make it known that registering will bring certain perks, such as the ability to track their order after it’s placed, but it’s a good idea to provide the ability to check out as a guest for anybody who simply wants to make a quick purchase with no strings attached.
Be Honest About Shipping Charges
Nothing will kill an eCommerce transaction quicker than getting blindsided with shipping charges at checkout. Remember to always be upfront about your anticipated shipping costs, including carriers, speeds, and other options. Also, if your shop offers free shipping for purchases over a certain amount, make sure that figure is posted prominently on your site as an incentive.
What tactics work for you? Don’t forget to comment!