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7 ideas to fix your product site

People are abandoning their carts on your site. Your mind is probably racing with solutions because your product site could use help. Funny enough, the good news is most of the reasons people leave the shopping cart are related to pricing and on site factors, most of which you have full control over. For all the reasons that could be related to a distracted buyer or bad timing, well there are also solutions for that.

Keep your head up, before you jot down how you're going to fix your site, here are 7 ideas to get you started:

1) Dont be sneaky with costs

The top reasons people exit eCommerce sites are price related. Always be clear and transparent about the money. Your job is to work hard to keep your prices competitive and your margins healthy. Dont try to inflate actual shipping costs to make up for discounts or other insufficiencies. In the end, you will lose sales over it and you fool yourself into thinking you have unique selling proposition. Over time you will understand how sensitive your market is to price and this will help you adjust by lowering prices or adding valueor eliminating that product or line of products.

If there are tax implications for buyers or other added fees for expected features, be ultra clear with this on the product descriptions. Surprises and added fees on the checkout page tend to upset people and send them off looking for a better, more straight forward shop. To note, the one thing that is worse than losing someone on the checkout is a customer who is fooled and realizes it after. Sure you make the sale, but you'll end up losing more than your margin in the long run.

2) Dont flush the cart

Want another crazy stupid stat? 99% of website visitors will not complete a purchase on their first visit. Its pretty simple really. Trust, human distractions, connection speeds and visitors at different stages of their buying cycle.The expectation of the user is that if (when) they come back, all of their products will still be in their cart.

3) Stalk them, kindly

Ok, I actually mean remarket to shoppers via email, Facebook and display ads. For most people, we are over the creepy feeling that we had the first few times a brand followed us around the internet. Most experts understand the technology behind this now, but for many of novice internet users, who are often our customers, this can be extremely effective.

The main idea here is to leverage the ability to track the shopper via a cookie on their browser or with their captured email address which are both used to recall that they have something waiting for them in their shopping cart. In our businesses, we've had tremendous success using an app to recapture lost shoppers with special offers. Not only do we get conversions, but we get awesome email feedback from some shoppers about why they didn't go through with the purchase in the first place.

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4) Be a Good Host Allow Guest Checkout

Based on a research report, 23% of shoppers will abandon your shopping cart if you ask them to register before checking out. Don't actually buy that report, it's not worth it. Test the impact of dropping the forced registration and allowing for Guest checkout. If you want some kind of registration to happen, another option is to present the shopper with an access for repeat purchases or short registration form immediately after the purchase. At this point the buyer is engaged with you and has a stronger inclination to register.

5) Inline validation is not an option, it's a must.

This one isn't so obvious but it should be, it's hard for me not to be an eCommerce snob about it. Inline validation is when you allow the shopper to be aware of field errors as they go through the checkout form fields. Alternatively, you can wait until they submit and list out the errors in red font, but this tends to aggravate people to no end. You've probably been a victim of this.

One user testing study found that inline validation resulted in a 22% increase in success rates of checking out.

6) Test everyday

Testing your site, and more importantly your shopping cart, should be core to your daily business habits or QA process. We test ads, we test landing pages, we test emails and we should be testing the shopping cart. A checkout process with too many steps/pages can be a scary endeavor for some. Test reducing your steps in the checkout process. I've never seen any site that actually needed more than 3 steps to convert better. Everything can be reduced and simplified, but that is an assumption so test it.

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Posted in Web Design Post Date 11/12/2015