Articles

5 Ways to Optimize Your Online Shopping Cart

Thursday, September 20, 2018

There’s been a lot of talk lately about a retail apocalypse with brick-and-mortar giants like Toys ‘R’ Us shuttering and others like Sears closing many of its stores. And then there are other think pieces that show e-tailers like Amazon and Warby Parker acquiring physical locations.

What will happen is, of course, unknown, but Statista is projecting that online retail sales, or e-commerce, will grow by nearly 40 percent from about $505 billion in 2018 to more than $700 billion in 2022. Now, you may be wondering how to prepare for that expected growth in online sales.

The first step is to make sure that your small business has enough server-side storage. This will ensure that your website pages are loading quickly enough for your consumers. Note that the longer it takes for a page to load, likelihood that the customer will leave the page increases.

Next, you’ll want to work on updating your website, having up-to-date contact information and products. You’ll also want to make sure you are responding to any online inquiries — whether through a form on your website or through email.

For all those tasks, you’ll want to make sure your business Internet solution is up to par! Kinetic Internet by Windstream Small Business offers three options, from business-class with speeds up to One Gig in qualifying areas to the most advanced, SD-WAN. And our Kinetic Business by Windstream team can help you find the speed that you need!

Once you’ve got all the necessary tools, let’s look at ways your small business can enhance your online checkout page to ensure shoppers aren’t abandoning their carts.

1. Be Transparent about Costs at All Times

The biggest reason that online shoppers abandon their carts is because of extra costs, like shipping or taxes, that were higher than expected, according to a 2017 survey by Baymard. Another factor for cart abandonment is transparency about total order costs, the survey showed.

The data can speak for itself: Customers want to know how much they’re paying at all times. And yes, that includes shipping, taxes and any other additional fees. Because some of those prices may vary by location, consider adding a widget to the checkout page that gives users an estimate by entering their zip code.

2. Make the Checkout Process as Simple as Possible

The harder you make your online checkout process, the less likely your customers will buy. Things that seem small — like requiring users to set up an account to purchase — may not be to your consumers. Create an option for customers to create an account or continue as a guest. If your store has offers or coupons, place the box where customers can input the code in an easy-to-find spot.

3. Flaunt Your Security Measures

In this day and age, it may seem like data breaches happen all too often, so it’s no surprise that customers want to know that their financial information is safe. They’ll be on the lookout for website security, like the padlock to the left of a URL on the browser window or the “S” after “http.” (The S on “https” signifies encryption between a web server and browser.) It doesn’t stop there, though: Give your customers peace of mind by adding assurances, like “Secured by (company)” underneath the space where they’re entering payment information.

4. Allow Users to Return to their Carts

A little bit of memory can go a long way. Let your customers save products or services in their cart and return to it later. An easily customizable cart — one in which customers can add, delete, save or update quantities — will also simplify their checkout process. This can also give you insight as to what your customers are interested in.

5. Make the Checkout Process Mobile-Friendly

In 2017, mobile commerce, or m-commerce, made up just over one-third of all e-commerce sales. By 2021, some project mobile commerce will be the most dominant way online shoppers will buy. Keep that in mind as you’re optimizing your online shopping cart. If more customers are using their phones to purchase items, you may want to make sure that they are getting the best and simplest experience while doing so. We’ll have more about optimizing your website for mobile later this month.

Try out these five steps to ensure your customers aren’t leaving the products they’re interested to languish in their online shopping carts. And remember that you’ll want a state-of-the-art network, like Kinetic Internet, to carry out the necessary changes to this webpage.