Business owners put a lot of focus on the look and user-friendliness of their website. Having these things in place allows a business to not only attract customers, but also retain them. Something that is being explored more and more by many business owners is how the shopping cart they have on their website has an effect on sales and customer retention. Large businesses and corporations have been studying this for a while, and have worked on putting systems in place to help them achieve higher sales through better shopping carts. Now startups and small businesses can benefit from these lessons and replicate some of these tools on their own websites.
Why Better Shopping Carts Are Important
This Christmas shopping season was the first time Black Monday online sales outpaced those of the Black Friday sales at brick and mortar stores. This shows that an online presence for a business is not just crucial, but it must be done correctly to pay off. With the large increase in sales and online customers has come a plethora of online buying options to fit the needs of how people are now using their computers to do their shopping. One of those options that businesses need to pay attention to is their shopping cart. Recent industry studies have documented an ongoing trend in online shopping cart abandonment, where apparent planned purchases are never completed online. In fact, a study by the Baymard Institute found that the average shopping cart abandonment rate is nearly 68 percent.
Reasons for Abandonment
The reasons for this trend vary, but have been known to include things like failing to include shipping costs early in the process, not including a picture of the item being purchased in the shopping cart, and having a confusing checkout with too many steps and not enough indication of where the shopper is in the process. The more confusing a shopping cart is to a customer, the less likely they will be to go through all the necessary steps to make a purchase. Many people are shopping online instead of in physical stores because they see it as an easier option. They don’t have to leave the house, drive anywhere, park and then go search racks and racks of merchandise for that one perfect shirt. Instead, they can sit at home and do everything with a few clicks of the mouse, while the kids play outside. But when online shopping becomes harder than it should due to a poor shopping cart, that’s where you see the sales start to fall off.
Take a Lesson from Physical Stores
Online consumers now rate businesses online in many of the same ways physical stores are rated. For instance, people would much rather do business at locations which look appealing to them. In the same way good curb appeal makes consumers want to walk into a business, a good looking website works wonders to attract business. When customers go to check out at a physical store, they want good customer service and an easy checkout process. Consumers relate this to the ease with which they are capable of using an online shopping cart. This means businesses need to have better and professionally designed shopping carts that are easy to use in order to keep customers from leaving and searching for a better online shopping option.
Getting the Best Cart for Your Business
While ease of use is important, the number one reason as to why people do not complete an online purchase is because they are presented with unexpected costs. These costs are usually seen at the end of the checkout process on the shopping cart. It is the most ideal situation for a business to be able to eliminate any additional cost outside of tax and shipping expenses. If this is not a possibility, then these fees need to be presented to the consumer earlier in the shopping process. An expert shopping cart creation company like Shopify will be able to guide a business on how to do this properly, if it is necessary. Doing this correctly is one way your business will be able to retain sales and grow your bottom line, because once a customer gets a certain amount in their head, they expect to pay that amount. If they see that amount grow significantly by the end of the process, they are more likely to abandon their shopping cart and start over again somewhere else.
The best way to ensure that customers are not leaving your site for any of the top reasons why they abandon their shopping carts is to have an expert help you generate an excellent shopping cart. The right shopping cart generator will help you be more appealing to the special set of customers your website attracts. Investing in this is investing in the long term success of your business. It is worth looking into what the right online shopping cart platform can do for you, your profits, and the overall level of customer satisfaction.