The potential customers visiting your online store website are there specifically because they have some level of interest in obtaining a product or service that you offer. They have, in some way, taken it upon themselves to seek out information related to your product. That’s why they’re there. If they didn’t hold any such interest, they just wouldn’t be there. However, even though practically all visitors to your online store do hold such an interest in acquiring your offered merchandise, only a fraction of them every actually make a purchase. Why is this?
In fact, there are a number of reasons that customers abandon an online store before making a purchase. But, one of those reasons may very well be shopping cart abandonment due to poor design. Indeed, the design and implementation of your very own shopping cart software may be causing you to lose customers, and thus, of course, to lose sales — lose money.
Research into the habits of online shoppers has shown that an average online store may be losing up to a whopping 75% of its customers during the shopping-cart phase of the sales process. Potential customers find what they’re interested in, decide to make the purchase, take action to place the desired product into the online store’s shopping cart, yet, somewhere during that step of the process, they abandon the purchase. This phenomenon, in the online sales industry, is known as “shopping cart abandonment.”
The reality is that if you’re running an on-line store, the chances are very, very great — almost guaranteed — that you’re currently losing sales, in some measure, due to shopping cart abandonment. The good news, however, is that there are some fairly simple methods that an online store operator can take in order to significantly help in minimizing such shopping cart abandonment issues.
Now, pay attention here, as I’m going to reveal to you the ‘golden rule’ of ANY sales business! This might be the single most important thing you could ever learn regarding making money in any sort of sales business:
A long time ago, when I was quite young and first getting into marketing, I had the incredible fortune of knowing a true marketing guru. This guy had been around forever. He’d started with absolutely nothing and built a fortune for himself. He’d seen it all and done it all. He knew, through a lifetime of real-world experience, what worked and what didn’t. When it came to sales and marketing, his advice was pure gold! And, one day, he revealed to me what he thought was possibly the most important piece of information that every business owner should always take to heart. He said:
Rule number one is: You ALWAYS want to make it as easy as possible for people to give you their money.
If someone wants to give you their money in exchange for acquiring your products or services, you should be able to take it from them with the absolute least amount of resistance or hassles being experienced on the part of the customer. At every point where a potential customer might run into ANY level of difficulty in getting their money to you, that’s a point where you’re potentially losing customers. If your payment system could be made so that it provides customers, in any way, with a more simpler means of paying you, your sales WILL increase by some amount if you implement that simpler system.
And, this, I believe, is probably the primary reason for shopping cart abandonment — the shopping cart is more complicated than it needs to be. You want the shopping cart to be as easy to understand and navigate as is possible. You need your shopping cart to have as few steps that the customer has to go through in order to give you their money as is possible. Always remember this as a rule:
If your shopping cart software is more complicated than it needs to be, your sales will be lower than they could be.
You need to pay attention to your shopping cart software in order to reduce shopping cart abandonment. You need to ask yourself if anything can be done to make the shopping cart experience quicker and easier for your customers. If something can be done in order to better facilitate speed and ease of use, then you need to do it.
Can you eliminate steps that your customers need to go through between adding a product to the cart and the final check out? If so, eliminate them. Each step your customer needs to go through is another opportunity for shopping cart abandonment. Ideally, you’d want your customer to merely think to themselves “I want to buy that product”, and, without doing anything further, their money would magically appear in your bank account, and your product would magically appear in their hands. Of course, that ideal isn’t realistic, but you should always be working to get your system as close to that ultimately unattainable ideal as you possibly can. Even though you can never fully reach it, that should be the target that you’re constantly striving for. You should always — ALWAYS — be asking yourself: “How can I make it easier for people to give me their money?” And, no matter how good — how easy — you think your current system is, if it’s short of that ideal (and, of course, it is) there’s very likely room for some level of improvement somewhere.
Is all the information that you’re collecting from your customers absolutely necessary? Every time you ask your customer to enter something else before they’re able to finally give you their money, that’s an opportunity for shopping cart abandonment. So, always devote some attention to streamlining your system — to making it quicker, easier and more simple for customers to give you their money. The easier it is for them, the less shopping cart abandonment your online store is likely to experience.
Of course, that’s far from the only thing you can do in order to minimize shopping cart abandonment, but it’s certainly one of the most important. It’s one that you should always keep in mind and be conscious of. The savvy and successful online store owner is always looking for ways to improve customer experience, and making the shopping cart and checkout phase of the transaction more hassle-free, quicker and easier for your customers is a big part of improving customer experience for an online store owner.