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January 24, 2008

Increase Conversions by Decreasing Shopping Cart Abandonment Part 2

In part one of Increase Conversion’s by Decreasing Shopping Cart Abandonment, we shown you the first 10 top tips to increasing your conversion rates. In part 2, we conclude with our final 10 tips, and a conclusion. Read on for more top tips…

11. Give the visitors the option to call.

If visitors have a problem during the checkout or just feel uncomfortable using their credit card online, give them a phone number to call. Use a separate telephone number that is different from the one you use for the rest of your site. this will help you track, evaluate & understand shoppers’ needs and behaviors. While you are at it, give them a fax-order form so they can complete their order by fax if they prefer.

12. Make it always about your new customer.

Make the focus of the checkout process easier for your new visitor with whom you do not yet have a relationship with, than for your registered customer. It is much harder to acquire a new customer than to keep selling to loyal customers. Registered customer’s will find a way to sign in (if they don’t already have a cookie), but don’t make the registration and log-in a barrier in the way of the new visitors finding their way to check out.

13. Add third-party reinforcement messages.

Verisign, BBB or logos of credit cards have either greatly boosted conversion rates, or kept them neutral. in other words, they never hurt. HackerSafe certification seems to be helping clients all across the board, especially in sites with larger average order sizes. They claim a 15.7% average increase in orders – directly attributable to earning the Hacker Safe certification.

14. Present coupon codes carefully.

Be careful how you handle these – you don’t want to decrease your conversion rate. You might want to think carefully about where you present this option and how you label it. Coupons should add to the experience, not create doubt for those may not be shopping with a coupon.

15. Deal with pricing issues head-on.

If you sell name brand products and your store is price competitive or truly provides better value, why not try a “Lower Price Match” guarantee?

16. GTC: Get the cash.

Offer more payment options and add other ways to collect the cash. You can offer visitors the option to pay by cheque, PayPal or any other means you can to get the cash.

17. Offer point-of-action reassurance.

Check how often information critical to your customers buying decision gets buried in tiny type at the bottom of the page or in some place where it is not immediately visible when the need to know is foremost in the customers mind. If you walk into a store, its fairly easy to find out product warranty information. One can read the box at hand or chat with a salesperson.
Online, give your customer this same option at the POA where he’d figuratively be examining that box. Link right there to product warranties, your company’s specific policies, testimonials, even optional extended service plans. Right there! Maybe you take them to the information or perhaps give it to the shopper in a pop-up.
At the exact point when your customer has to start filling in a form with personal information, reassure the customer that privacy is sacred to you. At the point the customer might be curious about your company’s shipping costs, make them concretely available. Just when the customer is wondering whether or not it is possible to return the item if it doesn’t suit, make it clear that you have a no-questions-asked returns policy. Make the best use of your assurances at the right time and place.

18. Track your mistakes.

Develop a system that keeps you notified of errors during your checkout process. One client noticed a portion of their visitors had cookies turned off. He developed a cookie-less checkout option and his conversion rate and sales jumped.

19. Save it for them.

We know that customers often leave a shopping cart with items in it, but they do return sometimes. Don’t be overly concerned if visitors leave items behind. Just plan on doing your best to give them a reason and reminder to return and complete the sale. You may have the ability to save the cart for them or email them that they left items in their cart and can complete their order when they are ready. This can be done online at your website or through the telephone with interactive voice response (IVR). Remember, if they’ve gotten to the shopping cart, they are most likely considering the purchase.

20. When all else fails, survey.

Try an exit survey (think of it as an objectionator) if people abandon your checkout. Try offering them an incentive to complete your survey or even save their cart. They might just tell you why they didn’t complete their order.
These twenty tips can help you reduce your shopping cart abandonment. Of course, every site is different and has its own environment and issues. Don’t overly obsess about abandonment rates, since many people simply use the shopping cart as a placeholder for considering purchases of interest to them. These tips help you focus on those whose intent it is to check out and purchase, but may have questions, doubts or obstacles holding them back. Some of these tips will result in dramatic improvements and others might not do much. the only way to find out is to test each.

Author:  Andy MacDonald owns and runs his own website design company called Swift Media UK which also incorporates logo design & reliable web hosting. Also checkout our SEO Blog which is updated regularly with posts to help you achieve a top search engine ranking.

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