Keep ĎEm in the Cart 

If youíve got a shopping cart Ė or bag or basket or whatever Ė youíre probably aware of a little problem.† Not everyone who enters your checkout process manages to complete it.† Thatís why, when I talk about the buying process, I make a distinction between deciding to buy and actually completing the purchase.

Between those two acts, your visitor must navigate the obstacle course of your shopping cart process, yet another contained conversion system (typically a third-party software solution) that requires multiple clicks and the willingness to part with some amount of personal information.

But, like I said.† You are probably intimately aware of your shopping cart abandonment rates, because you monitor this sort of useful information.† Right?† Of course you do.

So today Iím going to ask you this question:† Should you be turning your attention to refurbishing your shopping cart?†

A Matter of Priorities

Itís an important question:†before you do anything, decide if the next issue you need to address is shopping cart abandonment.† Yes, you are losing folks there.† Everyone does.† There is no 100% conversion rate because this is not a perfect world.† Even when youíve covered every base imaginable, humans will still leave for reasons you canít do anything about.

But if your Web site is typical, you donít lose the majority of folks from your shopping cart.† You lose them much earlier in the process Ė at the home page, or just a page or two in.† If this is you, Iíd say your efforts are better spent, for now, encouraging more folks to stay with your buying/selling process.†

Because fewer folks bail out of your shopping cart compared to the number who bail out before they even get to checkout, improving your abandonment rates might take you from, letís say, 3% to 3.3%.† Sure, the difference is not to sneeze at.† But keeping more visitors in your conversion process from the get go helps you increase your conversion rate by multiples.

The Metrics to Help You Decide†

If you are on top of your Web analytics, youíll know where your biggest problems are.† These are the key metrics that will help you decide where you should be directing your energies.

You really want to consider these pages before anything else.† What is wrong and how can you remedy it?† I mean, weíre talking folks who werenít even inspired to look a single page further into your site!

If they donít get to the shopping cart, you certainly donít need to worry about them abandoning it.† But letís give them the chance.† Look at the pages they reject and evaluate how to improve things.

How Much Moneyís Left on the Table?

We get lots of questions about how to solve the problem of shopping cart abandonment.† But sometimes you donít necessarily need an answer to this question Ė you need a better question.†

Much better results, relatively speaking, can be yours through providing relevant and persuasive content throughout your Website:†content that is based on an understanding of your visitorsí intentions and needs, content that instills confidence, content that reassures, content that makes an emotional connection.† Visitors who have been thoroughly persuaded demonstrate uncanny motivation to navigate even the worst checkout process!

But, letís face it.†Money on the table is money that isnít in your pocket.† So, if youíve got a tidy little cybershop and want to improve your shopping cart abandonment rates, then Iíve got any number of ideas for you.† Next time!

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