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Conversion Rate Optimization

7 Insider Tips on Boosting Cart Conversion Rates

Planning cart conversion strategy used to be driven mostly by intuition in the past. Often marketers had to go with gut feelings and instinct to determine what website optimizations made visitors eventually become customers. Today, data and personalization tools are making it easier than ever to get more insights into web user behavior, especially cart conversion metrics.

Why focus on cart conversions?

There’s a very good reason why marketers tend to sweat cart conversion details. According to Statista, more than 2.14 billion people are expected to buy goods and services online by 2021, up from 1.66 billion in 2016.

Global ecommerce sales are also on pace to overtake brick-and-mortar sales in the next decade, according to Forbes. Creating dynamic website variations that are automatically personalized to customers is no longer just a “nice to have.” It’s a necessary component of your future business goals.

There are many cart conversion content and design variations that cater to a wide variety of ecommerce audiences. Depending on your customer profile, creative capabilities, and business goals, there’s no shortage of ideas that can help you drive real revenue results.

To help you get started, we’ve put together 7 great insider tips from our team. While some of these tips might work for your audience, some might not. That’s why it’s important to test a lot of ideas continually, then fine-tune your cart conversion strategy to implement what works best for you.

1. Make calls-to-action (CTAs) “sticky” on mobile websites

When a web visitor is scrolling down the page, they might be comparing their options or reading more about your product or services. On mobile devices, there is a lot less space to work with and the actionable “Buy Now” button might scroll off the top of the screen and no longer become visible or actionable to the viewer.

Amazon keeps its “Proceed to Checkout” button sticky on its mobile website for easy purchasing.

Having a “sticky” CTA that stays at the top or bottom of the page and remains visible to the visitor is one way to ensure your customers are still able to see the CTA while learning more about your products. This removes friction and obstacles when it comes time for your customer to eventually click on the “Buy Now” button.

2. Looking to increase basket size? Show “recently viewed items”

Shoppers often consider several options, so there is a good chance your web visitors looked at several products and services before adding something to their cart. Including a list of “recently viewed items” could be enough of a push to get them to increase their basket size, and taking the next step of giving shoppers a visual overview of everything they were “browsing” previously might motivate them to buy more.

One of Intellimize’s ecommerce clients, Tiger Chef, includes “Recently Viewed Items” to keep web visitors engaged with the buying process.

3. Remove top-level navigation or unnecessary footer info on checkout pages

This might seem like a simple design tweak, but it’s significant. There’s a good chance that once your web visitors have reached the checkout page, they have moved from the “just browsing” phase and are seriously thinking about a purchase. Removing content that’s not directly related to the purchase process keeps visitors in a buying mindset and reduces the risk of them focusing on and clicking away on other CTAs. This variation often causes heated debates within companies, and the tradeoff is often one of consistency and/or spreading around traffic versus driving more revenue. Which is more important for your business?

              Native removes the top-level navigation on their checkout page so that customers can focus solely on buying.

4. Add emotionally affirmative language in the checkout phase

This type of content simply makes the customer feel good about interacting with your brand, and it helps puts them in a positive mindset to buy. It also helps make the buying process more conversational and human. One of Intellimize’s customers, Stella + Dot, experienced a 52% lift in checkouts by simply adding affirmative headlines to their shopping cart page.

Stella + Dot, one of Intellimize’s ecommerce retail clients, experienced significant lift in cart conversions from using emotionally affirmative language at checkout.

Important note: This tip might be helpful for some audiences and not others. For instance, an IT buyer of a B2B product might not care much for emotionally affirmative language in the same way a B2C retail buyer like Stella + Dot would.

5. Use the visitor’s location to estimate shipping costs

Customers like to see what the full cost of their purchase will be ahead of time — including their shipping costs. If you offer shipping services as part of your ecommerce business, using a visitor’s location (through reverse IP lookup) to estimate shipping costs can help remove buying steps for your customers.

Many companies use reverse IP lookup and other methods to estimate shipping and handling costs.

6. Place products into visual “tiles”

Humans tend to learn a lot from visual cues. It’s just in our nature. Tiles that outline your products and services allow you to show a family of products more easily, and tiles give a clear and easy-to-navigate path for your web visitors to explore the products that are right for them. This also avoids adding too much written content the page — which can be a turnoff for customers who just want quick and clear information about your products and services. If the written content is important, you can have it appear on rollover on desktop or pause on mobile.

Nike relies heavily on visual tiles throughout its website to help customers weigh their purchasing options.

7. Add a modal to reduce cart abandonment

If you’ve ever purchased a product from a website, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered an “abandon modal.”

What is an abandon modal?

If a visitor looks like they are going to abandon the site, an abandon modal can engage them with an offer (often a discount or free shipping) or a reminder of recently viewed items that are sitting in their cart. The abandon modal is triggered by the visitor moving their mouse outside of the website area of a desktop browser, or by sitting idle on a mobile browser,

This is a subtle reminder to customers that they still need to finish up the checkout process, and the goal is to get them to come back and complete their purchase. For the web, you can implement the modal once the visitor moves outside of the diversion page. For mobile visitors, you can set a timer to add it once the user goes idle.

The key to finding what works for your customers? Test many cart conversion ideas, and test often

Every website visitor is different, so it’s helpful to try out a lot of ideas in parallel to get a more accurate and actionable read of purchasing patterns. To see how your marketing team can do this at scale with machine learning, simply click the “Request Demo” button on our website.

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