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Top 5 Surefire Ways to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

You've spent a good deal of time creating an awesome website with very enticing advertising copy that is very successful in getting your customers to click the "Buy Me" button. However, after examining your websites logs you've come to notice a very ugly pattern - your customers are abandoning your website after they decide to buy your product (after they click the "Buy Me" button). This is called shopping cart abandonment, because it is usually the purchasing process within your shopping cart that scares the customer away. Let's go over 5 ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment:

1. Be crystal clear as to what needs to be done: Complex shopping carts are a sure way to scare away potential customers. Make sure the instructions on what needs to be filled out are simple, easy to read, and easy to edit. Also, if the checkout process is multi-paged, make sure the button or link to get to the next page is clearly displayed.

2. Add a progress meter: The typical purchasing process for a given product on a website is multi-step (multi-page). While it is good to keep these steps to as few as possible, it's even better to let your customer know what step they are on. A progress meter simply tells the customer what step they are in within your purchasing process. You've probably seen them in action on some of your favorite websites. It could be a graphical meter or a simple text-based indicator. A progress meter is absolutely necessary to help reduce shopping cart abandonment.

3. Show the product (or products) in the shopping cart: This can be a small picture, or a very brief (but specific) description of the product. Make sure the picture or description of the product contains a popup link that shows all the details and benefits the product has to offer. Remember, as customers fill out the purchase form they need to see what they are actually buying - so they know exactly what their purchase consists of - and you'll also find that many just need to reread the benefits before they continue with their purchase.

4. Provide the shipping & handling costs upfront: It's a good idea to include the S&H costs in the first step of the check out process - or even better, include the costs in the product description page. Even though they were well aware of the S&H costs, potential customers get quite annoyed when they spend 10 minutes of their time typing all their checkout information to find that the total cost just shot up $15 for S&H on the last step.

5. Add some comfort logos: Do you belong to the BBB? If so, display the BBB logo on the website. Another good logo is the Hacker Safe logo (www.scanalert.com) indicating that your website is Hacker Safe certified. Simple Verisign and credit card logos are also beneficial in adding more comfort to the process. There you have it. five good ways to help put the brakes on your shopping cart abandonment rate. Sincerely, Michael Ellis


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