Online shopping has been around for quite some time now. While there has been a long period of trial-and-error to see what works, there are some basic shopping cart mistakes that are still being made even by the “big boys” of ecommerce. Here are the top 5 and how to correct or avoid them:
- One screen size doesn’t fit all- In the old days of cyber-shopping, screen aspect ratios were fairly universal. Most monitors were based off of TV sets with a 4:3 ratio. Today, desktop monitors come in several different aspect ratios. People also shop extensively on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. If your page doesn’t look good on all of the devices people are likely to be using, you are more likely to lose sales. Solution: Use a “responsive web design that has somewhat different layouts depending on the device being used. According to some reports, users check their mobile devices 110 to 150 times a day, with some individuals checking around 900 times! With this kind of audience, you need to look your best on their screens.
- Long Checkout Procedures- Customers are likely to get frustrated with a lengthy checkout procedure, especially if it forces the customer through “upsell” and “add-on” screens. Trying to increase the sale at every point during the checkout process is tedious at best, sales-killing at worst. It’s like having a perfume saleslady standing next to you in line at the store, spritzing you with every scent she has while you’re trying to pay for your purchase. Some sites loop customers back to screens they’ve already filled out, adding confusion into an already frustrating mix. Internet Domain giant Go-Daddy had the title of “Most Hated Checkout Process On the Web“. Even after streamlining it didn’t seem too much better.Solution: Put your specials, add-ons, and upsell attempts long before the checkout line. Nobody will fault you for trying to make a bigger sale, but they will complain on social media if you hound the customer for it. Make your path to the checkout page straight and simple.
- Abandoned Carts- Window shoppers are the bane of any merchant. They browse around, handle the merchandise, then walk away without buying anything. There’s nothing you can really do to stop window shoppers. However, there are people who come to your store with every intention of buying, but abandon the process when surprise! they see the shipping costs finally revealed to them on the last page. Delivery time is another surprise that drives people away. Solution: Keep all of your attendant costs like shipping and handling up front. If an item is likely to need peripherals, make it clear, along with the cost. (For example, some older video game systems shipped with only one controller despite advertisements showing two players.) Also provide a “save for later” option as a gentle reminder for the returning customer of what they were interested in before. Finally, make your estimated delivery times clear and easily seen.
- Outsourced Checkout- Customers can feel confused or suspicious if they find themselves suddenly being sent to another site to pay. They thought they were doing business with Company “A” but now they have to pay Company “B”. Some might even think there was a problem in the URL and they’re about to give their personal information to a stranger. Solution: People like to do business all the way to the end with the same person or company. Host your cart on your site. This not only makes the customer feel more comfortable about who they’re doing business with, it also makes sure everything stays “on brand”.
- Forced Registration- Having to sign up just for the privilege of shopping at your store is a big turn-off for online shoppers. Having an inbox full of advertisements is a concern for many who are asked to register before they can hand over their money. It’s like forcing a customer to ask permission before you let them shop at your store, plus you’re forcing them to have yet another account name and password to remember. Some places can get away with it. Car parts stores, for example, ease the shopping process by asking if you want to register your car make and model. It makes finding parts easier for future purchases. Most retailers, however, have no real reason to insist on forcing someone to register just to shop. Solution: Get rid of the registration and log in buttons, or just make them optional. Provide a “Guest” option if you like, but respect a customer’s privacy. According to one cyber-shopper, “I’m not here to enter into a relationship. I just want to buy something.”
Internet shopping has been around since 1991. Since that time it has been the goal of every ecommerce retailer not only to get people onto their sites, but to get them to complete the transaction and make a purchase. If you can avoid these 5 simple mistakes that date back to those olden days, you can convert lookers into buyers. We’d like to help you do that. Contact us today!