7 Tips for Boosting Cart Conversion Rates
Every online retailer knows the importance of a well-optimized shopping cart. However, cart conversion strategies have mostly been driven by gut feeling in the past. Marketers often rely on intuition to determine what features make website visitors become customers. Now, artificial intelligence (AI) and personalization tools are making it easier to gain more insights into online visitor behaviors, including cart conversion metrics.
Why Focus on Cart Conversions?
Why sweat cart conversion metrics? Data from Statista suggests that by 2021 more than 2.14 billion people are expected to buy goods and services online, an increase from 1.66 billion in 2016.
According to Forbes, e-commerce sales are on track to overtake brick-and-mortar sales globally. Having a website that automatically delivers a personalized experience for every visitor is no longer just a “nice to have"; it’s a vital part of your brand’s future growth.
There are many cart designs and content variations that can be applied to different e-commerce audiences. Taking into consideration customer profiles and demographics, creative capabilities, and business objectives, there's no shortage of ideas that can be used to boost revenue.
Over the last couple of years, Intellimize’s average customer has tested 78 million versions of its checkout page, giving us a sense of what might help you deliver more conversions. Here are seven tips we’ve come across that could help you boost cart conversion rates.
While some approaches may work for your audience, every brand’s customer base is different, so some might not. Therefore, it’s important to continuously test a variety of ideas, then apply your learnings to your cart conversion strategy to generate the best outcome:
1. Remove friction by creating "sticky" calls to action (CTAs) for mobile devices.
When desktop users scroll down pages, the large format allows them to compare options and read more about your company's products or services. However, on mobile sites, there’s much less screen space to work with, so actionable buttons like “Buy Now” or “Learn More” can scroll off the screen and out of a potential customer’s immediate view.
To ensure those buttons are always actionable, create a “sticky” CTA that always sits at the top or bottom of the page even as a visitor scrolls. Ensuring your most important CTA always remains visible to the user minimizes friction and removes obstacles when shoppers eventually want to click the “Buy Now” button.
2. Boost basket size with “recently viewed items.”
Just like shoppers browse through racks in brick-and-mortar stores, they will browse the pages of your online store. They often consider various options, and it’s likely they’ll check out several items before adding something to their cart. Displaying a list of “recently viewed items” gives a visual overview of things they were browsing, and is a common way to prompt shoppers to add another item to their basket.
3. Simplify checkout pages by removing unnecessary navigation.
While this seems like just a simple aesthetic tweak, it’s actually significant. It’s likely that once shoppers reach the checkout page, they’ve transitioned from a “just browsing” mind-set and are now seriously considering a purchase. In order to keep visitors in that buying mind-set, reduce the risk of them losing focus and clicking into your navigation or footer. Remove any content that isn’t directly related to the checkout process to keep the purchase front of mind. This idea can create debates within teams that trade off consistency and/or traffic flow vs. increasing revenue. Which is more valuable to your business?
4. Use emotive language during checkout.
Emotionally affirmative content encourages shoppers to feel good about interacting with your brand. By using words and phrases that affirm their buying choices, you can put visitors in a positive mind-set to buy and make online shopping a more human and conversational experience. One of Intellimize’s customers, Stella & Dot, experienced a 52 percent lift in checkouts by using this method, such as adding motivational headlines like “You’re going to rock this!” to its shopping cart page.
5. Leverage location data to better estimate shipping costs.
Shoppers are often price sensitive and, particularly online, want the full cost of their purchase ahead of time — including any shipping fees. Use a customer’s location (through reverse IP lookup) to estimate shipping costs, potentially removing buying steps and avoiding surprises when it’s time to click the "Checkout" button.
6. Arrange your catalog into visual “tiles.”
Humans rely on visual cues to learn and make decisions because they make information easier to process and understand. These principles can apply to your web layout. Design features like tiles allow you to show a family of selections in a clear and easy-to-navigate way. Tiles can provide a path for shoppers to browse products quickly in an aesthetically pleasing way. Using visual tiles also enables you to use fewer words on the page, which is great for visitors looking for quick and clear information. If written content is important, you can display it when visitors roll over tiles on desktop or pause on mobile.
7. Reduce cart abandonment by adding a modal.
If you’ve ever browsed or purchased a product online, you’ve probably encountered an “abandon modal” at some point. What's an abandon modal?
If a visitor is demonstrating behaviors that look like they might leave the site (e.g., moving their mouse outside of the website border towards the URL bar or a new tab, or sitting idle on a mobile browser) an abandon modal can appear with an offer (e.g., a discount code or free shipping) or a reminder that there are items sitting in their cart waiting to be purchased.
Abandon modals are a subtle reminder to shoppers to complete the checkout process.
Guy Yalif is the CEO of AI personalization platform Intellimize, which helps brands increase revenue and conversions by testing and personalizing websites for every unique visitor.
Related story: 5 Design Features Your E-Commerce Site Must Have to Succeed