An increasing number of people are shopping online using their mobile devices lately. You would think this is great news—your potential customers can reach you from anywhere they happen to be. Unfortunately, the shift to mobile eCommerce has brought with it a growing and pervasive problem: a marked increase in shopping cart abandonment.
The smaller the screen, the higher the rate of shopping cart abandonment. Among those who do online shopping from a desktop computer, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 73.1%. On tablets, it’s 80.7%. And on smartphones, it’s even higher: a stunning 85.6%.
A large part of the problem is the technology being used. On such a small screen, optimization becomes increasingly complex. If a shopper encounters a problem, there’s just not enough opportunity for the online retailer to position links to solutions or explanations. More frustration on the part of the online shopper may leave them feeling confused or left in the dark about their available options.
But there’s an even greater challenge. In traditional brick-and-mortar environments, there’s generally easier access to a greater variety of products, and with this access, comes the ability to compare all of the available choices more thoroughly.
This results in shoppers feeling more secure with their purchases; they feel they have seen all or most of the products on offer, which minimizes the perception of the risk of buying the wrong product. However, in the eCommerce environment, the shopping cart abandonment is more common—for instance, online clothing retailers see the highest rate of abandonment among online retailers.
This kind of buyer uncertainty can be minimized with a number of conversion optimization tricks. Let’s take a look at five techniques and content optimization tips that online retailers can use to reduce the incidence of shopping cart abandonment they experience.
#1 Product Reviews Build Confidence
Potential buyers trust the reviews left by existing customers as much as they would trust a word of mouth recommendation from a friend or family member. Allowing your customers to leave reviews on the products they have purchased provides a sense of clarity to the potential buyers, minimizing the uncertainty they feel and therefore the perception of risk.
Allowing customers to recommend products has also been shown to drive sales of those products—which is another conversion rate optimization hack.
#2 Test Different Checkout Offers
Providing potential customers with a choice of different checkout offers can provide insight into why shopping cart abandonment is taking place. By gauging the responsiveness to these different offers, you can begin to predict what most appeals to your customers, and steer content creation in that direction to help with your conversion rate.
#3 Offer Lead Magnets
Anything of value that you offer for free to a potential customer in exchange for their email address is a lead magnet. It can take the form of an eBook or an exclusive review of trending consumer electronics—something that would appeal to your potential customers and offer information on or a solution to a problem they might be facing.
Vary these lead magnets to gauge responsiveness, and tune your offerings over time to appeal to the broadest possible segment of your consumer base. Opt-in mailing lists powered by lead magnets can increase your conversion rate by up to 10%.
#4 Tune Elements of Visual Design
You might be surprised at just how significant visual design elements can be in improving conversion rates. More than two-thirds of consumers reported being influenced in their purchasing decisions by the use of attention-getting or eye-catching images.
Pairing the right image with a product can boost conversion rates by as much as 40%. Testing consumer responsiveness to different images will allow you to find the best image with the most appeal—and because of the significant impact this has on conversion rate, it is perhaps the most important example of conversion optimization tricks you can use.
Testing consumer responsiveness to different images will allow you to find the best image with the most appeal—and because of the significant impact this has on conversion rate, it is perhaps the most important example of conversion optimization tricks you can use.
The color of design elements also has a significant effect on consumer perception and engagement. The “right” color for the job is highly variable and dependent on the kind of product being offered, so be sure to utilize A/B testing for color, as well as other design elements like font and layout.
Slight tweaks in these various visual cues can make a significant difference in conversion rates, and it is only through testing that you will be able to determine the best option for your specific offerings.
#5 Good Copy Really Matters
The words you choose to accompany and describe your products are of vital importance. Copy that is perceived positively by customers can increase conversion rates by 10-15% alone. Also, be sure to pay attention to the language you use when asking for customers to opt-in to things like newsletters or periodic product information emails.
It’s almost a certainty that you won’t find the exact right combination of language, design elements, and the other conversion optimization techniques we’ve discussed here with your initial design. Consistent and continual A/B testing is important in helping you fine-tune these elements and maximize your conversion rates over time by constantly improving the factors that influence consumers most.