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  • Don’t Leave That Cart

    Minimizing shopping cart abandonment can do wonders for your online business.

    Upstart: Tech/E-Commerce

    Don’t leave that cart!

    Have you ever felt like screaming these words at your site visitors? Why come and browse and add things to your cart and then leave without completing the sale? Shoppers in brick and mortar stores rarely do that, so why do online shoppers?

    When you begin analyzing customer behavior online, it turns out that there are several reasons shoppers might abandon shopping cart items. Here are some of the most common, as well as what you can do about it.

    Required Registration

    Wait a minute—isn’t this a common practice online? Requiring a visitor to register on your site may be common practice, but often it’s enough to send that visitor to your nearest competitor.

    Most online shoppers have a healthy fear of spam, one of the biggest reasons people hesitate to share personal information. When you give customers the option to check out as a guest, you put those fears to rest and make them more likely to complete the sale.

    Lack of Security Reassurances

    Along with fear of spam, the other great fear of online shoppers is identity theft. They have to trust you enough to share their credit card number and other personal details with you, so if you don’t provide plenty of assurances that their information will be safe, they’re likely to bolt.

    You can reduce their propensity to abandon shopping cart selections by placing security reassurances such as third party verification symbols and links to both your privacy policy and security information near key action points such as your “add to cart” button.

    Shipping Surprises

    I can’t count how many times I’ve visited a website and added things to my cart, only to discover that no shipping information was available anywhere on the site until the very last moment.

    By waiting until late in the checkout process to let your customers know what their shipping costs will be, you set them up to abandon shopping cart items.

    While you may not be able to give an exact total shipping cost until you know what they plan to buy and where they live, you can allow shoppers to estimate shipping using a simple tool that uses their zip code to let them know the approximate cost of shipping specific items.

    The key to reducing shopping cart abandonment is to think like your customers think. Ask yourself whether you would feel comfortable handing over your personal information and whether all of your questions can be answered on the site before the checkout process. Better yet, ask someone who isn’t familiar with your site what they think. By optimizing your shopping cart procedures, you’ll keep more customers on task, ultimately resulting in higher completion rates.

    Filed Under: Gamechangers

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    About the Author: Marty Diamond is a conversion optimization specialist. She shows small businesses how to get more leads and sales from their website’s existing traffic. Find out more about Marty at DiamondWebsiteConversion.com . You can also connect with her on Google Plus at +martydiamond.

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