10 easy steps to optimize shopping cart to drive more sales in 2019

10 easy steps to optimize shopping cart to drive more sales in 2019

10 ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

Let’s first understand the problem related to shopping cart abandonment before jumping to the solutions.

The below graph lists the primary reason for shoppers in the US to abandon their carts in 2016 and 2017.

Adandondment charts

When you compare the list of reasons for cart abandonment in 2016 and 2017 with 2015, it is evident that some factors are common. Which means that enough actions have not been taken to tackle these issues.

High shipping rates

From the graph, it is clear that 54% of people have said that expensive shipping is the first reason for your customers to abandon their carts. Solutions to reduce shipping costs are given below.

  • Alternate shipping carriers - Look out for alternate shipping carries to reduce the shipping cost for your customers. One good option is to check the regional carries as they might provide the same services at a reduced cost.
  • Consider implementing Pick Up Points - Pick Up Points(PUP) are places where the products are delivered at one place for that particular area. For example, if you are selling special wine glasses, finding a local kitchen store that would accept the wine glasses can save individual shipping costs. This could also save packaging costs as your customers would directly pick the glasses from that store.
  • Cost-effective packaging - Some packaging companies offer discounts in packing supplies. Even if not, reconsider the materials that you use for packaging.

Lesser steps and fields in the checkout process

If a customer has to go a lot of steps to complete the checkout process, then chances for the customer to leave is higher. The checkout process should be simple, and there should be a clear connection between the current step and the next step.

The fields to be filled out by the customer should be as less as possible. Make all the buttons of the checkout page clearly visible. Using autofill feature can be a time saver for customers.

Add your customers' preferred payment gateways

Most customers are used to only certain payment gateways. If an e-commerce business does not provide the payment methods that are comfortable to customers, they might move to another business that provides those payment methods.

If you are operating a business in multiple countries, then care must be taken as payment gateways available in one country will not suitable for another country. Paypal is one of the most used gateways worldwide.

Guest registration

Not all customers are comfortable with sharing information online. Also, some customers would want to shop faster, and guest login is what they would prefer. An excellent example of this is Apple as you can look at the image below

Should you take your customers to the cart or let them continue shopping?

If you are selling a variety of products, let the customers continue shopping on the website site after they add a product to the cart.

If you are selling a single type of product, then it is better to take the customer to the cart. However, these methods might suit most industries, but not all.

Visibility of shopping cart icon

Customers should be able to proceed to their cart as soon as they have added their item to the cart.

The shopping cart should be visible for the customer at all times. In other words, your customers should always be only one click away from their shopping cart.

Most e-commerce companies place the shopping cart icon on the top right corner of the page in both desktop and mobile version.

Product descriptions and control of the cart

The products listed in the cart should have all the essential information that a customer needs. This includes

  • A clear thumbnail of the product.
  • Exact shipping charges.
  • Price of individual products.
  • Quantity of each product.
  • Characteristics of the product like size, colour etc.

In addition to that, customers must be provided with options to add, remove or modify the products. This will eliminate the need for the customers to go back to the product page.

Colour code

The colour code of your shopping cart should match with the actual brand design. For example, consider the image below.

The website of Adidas mostly uses white, black and blue. The same is reflected in their shopping cart page. If you notice, the only buttons that are in blue are the “checkout” and “continue shopping” buttons. Like mentioned before, the shopping cart is placed in the top right of the page, and the blue colour is used. It is the only place where blue is used on the whole page.

Furthermore, you can notify the users that items are waiting in your cart by using a different colour. Using a distinct colour for highlighting notifications is a widely used design concept. For instance, Facebook uses the colour red for notifications which is not used for any of its other purposes.

This is not a new concept in e-commerce too, as you can see in the below image Flipkart uses red colour and Amazon uses orange colour for numbers that show how many products are waiting in the cart. There are various psychology concepts for each colour, research and choose the ones that suit your business.

Methods to boost sales and customer experience

The below steps are not exactly for reducing cart abandonment but for increasing sales by implementing simple methods related to cart.

Option to save items for later purchase

By providing an option to save products for future purchase can increase your sales considerably. A customer comes across a product that interests him and decides to buy later.

If there is no option to save items for later purchase, the customer is forced to once again search and find the product. This could result in frustration and the customer abandoning the website.

Cross-selling and upselling

Cross-selling and upselling play an improtant part in e-commerce. If done properly, these can improve sales incredibly. This process should be approached with care, and it should be regularly analysed.

If you are using a Magento website then Aigento is the perfect solution for cross-selling and upselling. Aigento is an artificial intelligence extension that can provide personalised recommendations based on customer behavoir. It can also suggest relevant products for upselling and cross-selling.

Basics of shopping cart design

Before diving into optimisation techniques let's get the basics straight.

Try to display information on a single page.

Customise the format and style of the shopping cart to display all the essential information in a single page. Though it is completely alright to add links back to the actual product and related pages, always fit the shopping cart in a single page.

However, if the customer has numerous items added to his cart, then scrolling feature can be used or the list can be extended to the next page in order to have a neat view. But try avoiding not-so-important information and visuals on the shopping cart page.

Keep it simple

The customer should get relevant information at first glance of the shopping cart. Use a format and language that is simple and can be understood by most people. Complex elements should be shredded.

The result

If you apply the first two methods effectively, then it will enable the customers to complete the checkout process with ease. Clear navigation is what every customer would prefer as it takes all the hassles out of the way.

Why optimising shopping cart is important?

The average cart abandonment rate in the second quarter of 2018 was around 74.2%. Shopping cart abandonment stands as one of the most significant problems for most e-commerce businesses. Therefore it is one of the vital issues that e-commerce businesses should take care to compete in the market. Shopping cart abandonment takes place in almost all e-commerce businesses. The below graph shows the abandonment rate in some popular sectors.

Abandondment Chart per sectors

Shopping cart is the place where your customers are one step away from purchasing products. It is vital to all sorts of e-commerce websites to effectively optimise their shopping cart and scale up their businesses.

Santhosh Sundararajan
Santhosh Sundararajan works with the marketing team at Codilar Technologies which is a Magento based e-commerce development agency. He writes about digital commerce, Magento, business strategies, technology related to e-commerce and multichannel selling. Follow me on Twitter and Linkedin

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