Shopping Cart Optimization: 4 tips from your peers


As we ease out of election season and into the holidays, an e-commerce marketer’s fancy turns to thoughts of customers filling their virtual shopping carts with all sorts of goodies and then, most importantly, completing the purchase.

To help you reduce shopping cart abandonment, Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS, will host a free Web clinic today – “Optimizing Shopping Carts for the Holidays: 6 last-minute changes you can make to your shopping carts to increase conversion.”

But, before we share our discoveries, we wanted to hear what you’ve learned about shopping carts. Here are a few tips from your peers …

Sticking to the basics

The online shopping cart should have the same feel as a shopping mall cart. Visibility is something that gives a shopper a sense of clarity of what they already have in the cart. If you analyze, a good percentage of shoppers leave the shopping cart if they found they have much more than what they wanted to actually buy and it is cumbersome to remove the items.

Second, intelligent suggestions by the site based on the items they already have in the cart. This can be done using real-time analytics on the customer experience and other customers’ buying patterns. For example, a customer who buys a pair of shoes will surely be a customer for socks and related accessories.

On the other hand, online shopping carts can have many features that mall carts can’t. For example, in one prominent place of the page the total value can be flashing after each item [is] added to the cart.

– Jatil Sharma, managing consultant – BAO CoC at IBM Global Business Services


Using a tool to watch user behavior

One tool that is highly overlooked is (I am not affiliated with them). The tool allows you to watch every visitor’s behavior in a video format to see what users are doing while in the shopping funnel.

After setting up the form funnels, you can see where the user is dropping out of the shopping cart the most, what form fields are affecting conversions, what form fields the users are not filling out, etc.

In addition, by watching user behavior, you can see things that are allowing the user to leave and go back to the content of the site. Why this is important is, if you watch users come to the shopping cart, then say they go back to a pricing page, you may need to address the content of your site or add content to the cart that they need to make an informed decision.

The reason I suggest this is you need to understand what users are currently doing with your shopping funnel, then address the problems, make tweaks one at a time, and then evaluate the results.

– Ben Fisher, owner,


A tool combined with testing

I really like the answer of Ben Fisher. ClickTale shows you wonderful heatmaps and funnels where you can see exactly where the abandon or friction point is. Once you master ClickTale, you learn that you can customize Google Analytics to do that for you.

You can also try test A/B or two different pages or ways of shopping and then understand what they really want.

– Juan J. Aldaz, electronic marketing professor, Universidad de la Sabana


A few shopping cart ideas

  • Security logo next to credit card input area
  • Testimonials from satisfied customers next to “buy now” and “confirmation of order” area
  • Credibility statements near products for sale
  • Guarantee of products or services next to the checkout and next to the offering
  • Live chat facility for any last-minute questions during the checkout process
  • Images and full descriptions of products
  • Clearly labeled button name that advises the customer where they are going next or what will happen when they click the button. For example, “Click here to confirm purchase” rather than “Submit”
  • Short form fields, collecting only what you need to take credit card orders. If you don’t need a fax number, don’t request one. Think about the time the customer needs to send you money and make it easy by reducing the number of form entries (reduce any barriers)

– Dave Lemmon, owner, Redcow Marketing

Related Resources:

Optimizing Shopping Carts for the Holidays: 6 last-minute changes you can make to your shopping carts to increase conversion — Free MarketingExperiments Web clinic TODAY, November 14, 2012 at 4:00-5:00 p.m. EST

Shopping Cart Abandonment: 7 simple steps to completing the sale

Shopping Cart Recovery: Triggered emails recapture 29% of abandoned carts

Online Cart Abandonment: 12% lift in captured revenue through customer service-focused email remarketing campaign

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