A Bad Shopping Cart Experience Can Kill Sales

How To Lose A Sale With A Bad Shopping Cart

Give Your Mom An Escape, starting at $104!  Perfect! I needed a Mother’s Day gift. I am going to buy this right now!  Enter Log-in Information. I’ve never even been on this site before. How am I supposed to know my Log-in information?  Wrong Password. Oh, apparently I have been here before, and I set up a username and password. Well, I don’t remember them, so I’ll check out as a guest…  Wait! There’s no guest checkout? Whatever, I guess I’ll just have to get her a card this year instead.

Does this scenario sound familiar to you?  If so, you have probably fallen victim to a bad shopping cart experience.  The following story is a recent, real story of how Best Buy lost the sale with a bad checkout process:

Michael wanted to buy his mother a new computer for Mother’s Day.  He thought, “I’m not really partial to Best Buy, but I have a credit card with them that gets me points/money back, and a $1000 purchase would net me some nice rewards.”  That is, until his shopping cart experience fell short and led him to Best Buy’s competitor. When Michael got to the checkout, he wasn’t able to select the “Shipping” option.  The only option he was able to select was “Pick Up In-Store.”

When Michael went back to the product page to see if it had said the product was only available in-store, this is what he found:

He thought, “Okay, maybe it means ‘free shipping to store.’”  After putting in every zip code he could think of that was nearby, Michael couldn’t find a single store that they could ship it to.  Michael recalls, “I called Best Buy’s number, and the person who assisted me basically could not comprehend what the problem was for 15 minutes, telling me to ship it to a store and advising that such shipping was free. Then, they finally looked the product up and realized that, no, there wasn’t a way to order this laptop. At least, not if I wanted to get it.”

After Michael hung up, he went on to Amazon Prime and purchased the laptop with free two-day shipping.

As The Consumerist stated, “Having the best price and the best rewards for customers aren’t enough: stores have to offer a correctly-working e-commerce site and clear, consistent policies, too!” If you promise a discount or a shipping offer, you need to make sure that you follow through on that promise.  Losing the customer’s trust can be the biggest killer of sales, so it is important to do everything to make the consumer checkout experience run smoothly.  This can be done by simply choosing the right shopping cart software and following these best practices for decreasing shopping cart abandonment.

Ways to Decrease Shopping Cart Abandonment

  • Test, Test, Test – Make sure your checkout is working properly. Testing your checkout process can be as simple as placing the items in your cart and executing the sale yourself.
  • Optional Registration – Registration should be optional. Offer a log-in for both guests and registered users.
  • Simplify Checkout – Try using a One Page Checkout to make the process simpler. You can also give indicators of progress for multi-step checkouts to make it easier to use.
  • Build Trust – Use a shopping cart that is PA-DSS certified and PCI Compliant.  This will reassure buyers that you are secure and that they can trust you to handle their sensitive information reasonably.
  • Clear Product Availability – Don’t wait until checkout to tell them that the item is not in stock; Display product availability at the product page.

Executing these basic checkout usability principles correctly, can improve your customer experience and your sales dramatically.

Read more ways to improve the shopping experience by reading Part 1 and Part 2 of the 10 Most Common Mistakes in Ecommerce Design

Optimize The Shopping Cart Experience

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Infographic by Website Optimization Company Invesp