On the face of it a shopping cart might seem like a straight forward mechanism. A customer adds the item, clicks checkout and the money slips neatly into your pocket. Yet in reality a purchase is seldom that straight forward – any website marketing consultant will tell you that. It is quite remarkable how many online store owners manage to royally confuse the process and deter the purchase from taking place. In light of this, here are 3 important shopping cart tips to help you increase checkout conversions and reduce abandonment.

Don’t Confuse The Checkout Process With a Market Research Opportunity

It might seem like a good idea to obtain as much information about a customer before they leave your store, but if you knew that 12% of customers abandon the checkout when asked for what they consider to be too much information you might well reconsider your actions. (Source: Forrester).

So before you go landing a consumer survey on unsuspecting visitors think again. Keep it simple, less is more, etc. Study your checkout forms and think about what fields you could do without – remember, the more you sacrifice the more conversions you are likely to see.

Persistent Cookies

Another little tip is to use persistent cookies. These little gems remember what’s in a customer’s cart, so if a customer leaves the site and then returns to purchase their intended item, the cart remains preloaded. If a customer returns and has to repeat the item search and add process they may simply abandon the sale altogether.

Remove The Rubbish

When a shopper enters the final stages of a purchase the last thing you want to do is introduce distractions, i.e. buttons that will take the customer away from completing the sale. Instruct your web developer to eliminate unnecessary navigation buttons, clickable adverts and any other annoying features that might deter the completion of a sale.

As a website marketing consultant I see these issues popping up daily, yet it is only until I point out statistically just how much business a site is losing that business owners are compelled to make changes. With Christmas looming you might want to think about implanting these tips ASAP.

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