One of the first things we look at in our analysis process of a site is the conversion funnel, whether it be a lead generation form, a shopping cart checkout, or otherwise. This is the point at which the visitor has determined they are ready to take action, and it’s your lead/sale to lose. Your shopping cart and checkout process must be seamless in order to be sure that you’re literally not blocking your customers from taking action.
One of our new clients, CuriousCountryCreations.com, sells dried wheat and plants online. We started analyzing their site by looking at their shopping cart and checkout performance. Our initial goal with every client is to turn more late stage visitors (ie. ready to buy) into sales. We saw great opportunity to reduce their abandonment rate in their shopping cart and move more visitors through the checkout.
A few stumbling blocks screamed out at us in their shopping cart (click to enlarge). Their reassurances were not professionally featured at the top of the shopping cart window and there wasn’t a satisfaction guarantee clearly featured, either. There wasn’t any copy to clearly tell the visitor that there was free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount. Most importantly, the calls to action to move forward to checkout and to continue shopping weren’t prominent or high-contrast.
Here is the variation with the recommendations implemented (click to enlarge). The green circles identify the areas that were changed in the shopping cart. We recommended to feature their reassurances more effectively, as well as a satisfaction guarantee. We also recommended featuring the free shipping information here. Finally, we recommended that they improve the look and feel of their buttons to “proceed to checkout” and “continue shopping.” Because we felt confident in all of these changes, we ran all of these changes as part of a single A/B test.
The original shopping cart converted 27% of visitors to the next step in their checkout, and the variation version (with our recommendations) converted 38% to the next step. We ended the test with a 40.7% increase in the micro-conversion rate from the “view cart” page to the first step of checkout. Their conversion funnel (view cart page to thank you page) currently converts at about 18%, so it’s easy for the client to see that:
Adding 40% more visitors to the funnel at the first step…
… X their funnel conversion rate…
… X their Average Order Value…
= real revenue about to hit their bottom line.
If you’re an online retailer just starting your conversion optimization efforts, you have a lot to consider – analytics, testing platforms, how your site’s goals overlap with your customers’ goals and how best to measure those, what makes for a “good” test - before you can even get to the list of what to test and how to test it. Remember: each business is unique, so even though the items we tested for this client might pertain to you, you must consider how they pertain to your business before setting up your test. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from the experience of others…. we’ve written plenty about what makes a fantastic shopping cart experience so feel free to browse our archives for more articles about shopping cart optimization. If you’re struggling or feeling overwhelmed about where to start, or what to test, reach out to us to find out how we can help you get started.