Three out of every four of your visitors who put an item in their cart end up not completing a purchase. Shopping cart abandonment rates hit 75% in 2011, up 5.3% from 2010, according to a study from SeeWhy. That is a staggering amount of revenue lost right at the last mile of the transaction. Those lost visitors represent a massive opportunity for ecommerce companies to grow their revenues without having to grow inbound traffic. Even a slight improvement in cart abandonment can push revenues significantly higher. We’ve analyzed five of the Internet’s best ecommerce experiences to see how they keep abandonment down by creating a positive shopping experience while eliminating the friction in online buying. If you’re looking to increase your revenue, start with a critical review and optimization of your checkout process. And use these ecommerce leaders as inspiration to make your checkout funnel work harder for your business.
Why is reducing cart abandonment so important? You’ll see out-sized revenue gains for every percentage point of conversion you improve. A 10% improvement in shopping cart abandonment can increase your revenue 30%.
This UK furniture seller puts the products and savings front and center in a clean, visually stunning interface.
- The products are featured in a visually overpowering way. The item is so big, it feels like you can touch it. Compared to other furniture sellers the products feel more alive and vibrant. You really get a better sense for what you’re buying.
- The bright yellow price tag shows how much you’re saving and stands out even on the backdrop of a massive product shot.
- Recommendations from the Made.com staff reinforce the appeal of the product and help give an added opinion for shoppers on the fence.
- Product specifics, including delivery info and dimensions are all presented in a friendly and intuitive format, below the fold.
- The clean checkout, including a guest option, makes completing the transaction painless.
The grandfather of ecommerce. Amazon is famous for their A/B testing of the shopping cart to find the best converting formula. Their industry-leading abandonment rate is said to be around 65%. Even with their notoriously-cluttered website, Amazon does the important things right, over and over.
- What matters most gets top billing: the price, your savings, customer ratings, it’s availability, and it’s price in multiple formats give the shopper the most important information right off the bat.
- The “Buy” buttons are set to the right on a different color background than anything else on the page. They’re also the biggest elements on the page (besides the book cover itself.)
- Free shipping tied with purchase urgency creates a compelling reason to buy now. Knowing that the book will be at your doorstep by Thursday solves for the instant gratification problem that plagues online shopping.
- Need more? Below the fold is a wealth of information about the book. Detailed description, videos, reviews, rankings and recommendations all there for a shopper who needs more information before pulling the trigger.
While Groupon’s stock might leave something to be desired, their checkout is a study in simplicity, social proof and instant gratification.
- A huge discount. Everyone (still) loves a deal, and Groupon hammers home just how much you’ll save buy buying now. Most discounts are north of 50%, creating a compelling reason to buy.
- Urgency. The clock is literally ticking on every Groupon deal. The limited time frame creates a buy it or lose it impulse that makes buying it now safer than waiting and possibly missing out.
- Social proof. It’s in their name – Groupon shows you how many people are buying the deal, validating your buying instinct and giving you the confidence that others think it’s a deal too.
- For all of the bells and whistles on the product page, the checkout page is a single, clean form, making it easy to get through and complete your transaction.
The original crowd sourced design company, Threadless infuses it’s brand and whimsy into a clear and visual checkout experience.
- A clean, visual search page makes it easy to see designs and quickly browse through the hundreds of shirt designs. The filters are intuitive (Size, Style, Price) and fun (Sort by: Awesomeness), make narrowing down available choices a breeze.
- The product pages are an education in less is more, with big images, easy sizing options and a giant “Add to Cart” button that dominates the page.
- Social proof in the form of Facebook likes, Tweets and Google +1’s show an item’s popularity, reinforcing your purchase decision.
- Tertiary page elements, like recommendations and a way to get quickly back to previously viewed products keep the buyer in the funnel, even if they decide the current shirt isn’t for them.
The new design-centric daily deal site brings smart design to the checkout process.
- Fab sells design, and the big bold images and limited daily offering make browsing new products fun and easy.
- Fab’s “feed” is a Pinterest-like feed of all the products being bought and favorited on the site at any time. It creates a fun, crowdsourced way to browse what’s on sale while creating an urge to buy before an item disappears.
- Fab’s checkout pages are an exercise in design. The image zoom rollover functionality lets buyers get an upclose look at items, while the bright red “Add to Cart” button stands out from the other black, grey and white of the page.
- Adding an item to your cart puts the item on hold for 12 minutes, compelling you to complete your purchase before the deal is gone.
- The checkout page is clean and clear, with the countdown clock, your savings and the Checkout button all prominent in bright red.
- As a returning customer, your stored payment and shipping information makes buying as easy as a click, driving repeat purchases and a higher lifetime customer value.
Get with the Best
Cart abandonment kills. Make it your resolution to lose fewer customers this year by improving your checkout experience. Look for areas where you can make improvements by improving the information architecture and UX of your product and checkout pages. Pay attention to consistency from page to page, visual hierarchy of page elements, and reducing the information above the fold to only what matters most to the buyer. Of course, every product and audience is different, so it’s important that you iterate and test your changes to find what works for you. Use an A/B testing platform like Optimizely or Google Website Optimizer to test page variations before committing to an entire overhaul. You’ll have the chance to learn what works without jeopardizing your current revenue.
Have a tip to reduce cart abandonment? Share it with us in the comments!
Here are a few resources to learn more about reducing cart abandonment through better checkout experiences: