Posted in How To on April 30th, 2013
My dear not-so-caring eCommerce website owners,
You know what shopping is to me? It’s the very essence of my being. Ah! How I love shopping. The excitement of browsing through the new collection or gadgets as soon as they’re out and that anxiousness mixed with exhilaration that you feel when you click the “buy” button and it’s all yours. And trust me, I speak here for majority of women, and some great shopaholic men as well.
I earn mainly because I’d want to afford all those lovely items you display so beautifully in your online stores. Savings, future plans can many times take a backseat when I’m lured into buying the amazing stuff that I never even knew I needed before I saw it on your website.
Okay, I’m not writing this post to tell you what a crazy shopaholic I am. The reason why I’m telling you all of this is — yesterday, I was amazed to see that even a frantic shopper like me has been guilty of cart abandonment. I saw three of my persistent carts on different websites and that’s when I took a moment to think about why I didn’t go ahead with my purchases on those websites.
And being the psychology enthusiast that I am, it didn’t take me much time to figure out that there are so many basic fallacies that you online marketers love to stay ignorant about.
Let me tell you something — if you do not understand the minds of your target audience, there’s no way you’ll be able to influence their actions. That’s the law of persuasion, you can say. And this also happens to be one of the most crucial things that no eCommerce website should take lightly.
Now if there are any elements on your website that are spoiling the fun for me, I ain’t got time to complain about it. I simply switch to your competitor’s website in the next click. That’s how it is, whether you like it or not!
So next time you crib about your rising cart abandonment rate, take some time to analyze the checkout elements of your website before you speak another word about it.
Get That Registration Form Off My Face
For a person like me, form-filling is real pain. The task is so mundane and mind-numbing; I’ll do what all I can to escape it, whenever possible. But the truth is — we all are often stuck with them in various situations, from course registrations to apartment rentals when we have no choice but to fill the damn thing.
As if this was not enough that you people have now started to ask for registrations/form-filling even when I’m shopping online. I mean what’s up with that? Okay, you need the billing address and all but why do you have to ask me for the shipping address AGAIN? The task is so tedious in itself and you’re annoying the hell out of me by adding another field that I don’t see why is relevant to my purchase.
Sure, now you’ll argue that maybe someone is getting it delivered to some other address for any which reason (gifting or any other). And the billing address and shipping address will be different in that case. Agreed! But let’s face it — for a good majority of your visitors, this wouldn’t be the case. So why not make the whole experience smoother for people like me by automatically filling the shipping address, as soon as I fill in the billing address in a prior step?
As rightly pointed out by Christian Holst in his article, The State of E-Commerce Checkout Design, it’s not so much about how many steps should you include or exclude from your checkout process so that it isn’t hurting your conversions. It’s more about how much can I, as a customer, justify the information you’re asking for my purchase.
Better still, why would you want to take the risk of making me go through the entire registration process (that takes more of my time and I so hate!)? Include the awesome guest-checkout option please and put me out of my misery. And please don’t forget to make the guest-checkout more prominent than the “register as a new user” option (use some typography and design elements). It’s a win-win for both of us. You make the sale. I get what I ordered. Simple.
For Me, Registration For a Purchase = Forced Sign-up For Your Annoying Newsletters
Yes, I do get it. All this while you wanted me to register only because you wanted to sneakily slip in your pre-checked newsletter that you think is so important. But guess what? I’m the customer. I take the shots here. So if you think you’re being so smart by not providing me the prominent opt-out in your newsletter that I’m most probably not interested in receiving, I might not care to register any further only because I do not want to receive those annoying newsletters.
Am I not making sense? See the image below and you’ll know. Yes I know, the image from a registration page would have made more sense, still this checkout page snapshot can give you a good idea about how deceptively these “newsletter signups” are placed on the page. And my dear pretty precious, if you do not have a rightly-positioned guest-checkout that I’m able to track within those miniscule fraction of seconds when I’m looking for it, too bad. I’m outta your website before you know.
Let me give you a clearer picture of what just happened — you lost a sale because you left me with no choice but to believe that registration on your site would get me enrolled for yet another forced newsletter opt-in. But I’m not falling this time! You didn’t respect my privacy and there you have it — a higher cart abandonment rate. Yeah, it’s pretty much “either my way or the highway” kinda thing when I have the wallet, you see.
Blame Your Coupon Codes Box, Not Me!
Fine, let’s say that all these things are taken care of. And you’ve even included the coupon codes box in the checkout process, which makes me love your site a little more. But…Oh sh*t! I just realized that I do not have the coupon code for your website.
So does this mean that I’m going to pay you more than I should because I do not have the coupon codes? No way! I’d rather google and find them first. So I’m searching for them…4 minutes…5 minutes…and look what I found? A coupon code for half off on xyz.com. I so wanted to buy that expensive lavender evening gown from that site. And now I can totally afford it! Umm…but I only have $600 to spare.
What should I do? I’m stuck in a dilemma. I can either look further for coupon codes to buy accessories for my car that are sitting in my shopping cart on your website, or use this other code to buy my gown from xyz.com, which I know, is available at a great bargain. Sorry but I think I’ll buy car accessories some other time.
Now don’t give me that sad face. Maybe this wouldn’t have happened in the first place had there been no coupon code box. Okay, now I don’t want you to remove that magical bargain box unless you don’t have any active codes for my purchase. Maybe what you should consider doing is, add a “where do I find these?” option below the coupon code box and ask for my email address and send those codes directly to my mail box? Or, you’ll be an angel if you could simply offer them automatically.
So if I have the code with me, I can simply enter them and go ahead with my purchase. Or, you can provide me one without distracting me from my purchase.
You take care of my needs and I assure you, you’ll soon see those mountains of cart abandonment rate crumbling down in no time. Don’t want to take my word for the suggestions above? Cool, go ahead and start on with your A/B testing to check these variables and we’ll see how it turns out.
The Cart Abandonment Queen
Know all that you need to get started:
- What is A/B Testing?
- Is it compatible with SEO?
- How to start your first A/B test?