CXL Institute Conversion Optimization Mini-Degree Scholarship Program Week 9 Review
I left off last week’s blog post covering the ‘internal search’ and part of the ‘shopping cart page’ modules for the CRO best practices section of the Conversion Optimization Mini Degree training. This week, I will continue to go through more of the best practices modules starting with the rest of the shopping cart page module.
Part of optimizing the shopping cart page involves displaying the cart contents well.
Two key principles for displaying cart contents are clarity and control.
- For clarity: It’s easy and obvious to understand what’s in the cart and the total cost, including shipping and taxes. Surprise costs down the line make people abandon carts.
- For control: It’s easy to make changes (update quantity, remove products, edit shipping information).
Some traits or cart contents present in a good shopping cart page with clarity and control include:
- Product photos
- Product name & price
- Ability to remove, save for later, change details like size
- Show the kind of payments they accept
- Show total price with the option to change shipping
- Clear call to action
Another thing we want to do is to focus on getting the visual hierarchy right.
The number one thing in the visual hierarchy should be the “Continue to checkout” button (test different CTAs if applicable), and you should have two of them: one above the cart and one below the cart.
It’s also a good idea to show all possible payment options in the cart. While most people prefer to pay with a credit card, offering 1–2 alternative payment methods (PayPal, Amazon etc.) is a good idea and has shown to help drive conversions along. Too many choices are hurtful, though.
Moving forward, it is also important to not make coupons prominent.
When people see a “Enter coupon code here” field on the shopping cart page, they feel less special (and possibly believe they can get a better deal elsewhere or it may add friction to them wanting to buy since they know they can spend less money to get the product(s) being purchased). Potential customers may be asking: “How come I don’t have one?”. Many site visitors will go to Google to find one. Many will never return. Leaving the site in search for coupons is a common reason for shopping cart abandonment.
Instead of “Enter coupon code here” or any similar variation (i.e. “Got a coupon code?”), offer a “Got a coupon?” link or something similar, and clicking on the link makes an input field appear. Text links are not visually very prominent, so less people will pay attention to them. People who already have a coupon code will be looking for it — so unless you hid it really well, they will find it and will be able to apply their coupon code.
Furthermore, we want to remind buyers about shipping and security.
They need to know when they will receive their goods, how much shipping costs (is it free?), or if their payment transaction will be secure. Remind them of these things so they do can go forth with buying from you.
And on top of this, we should also make the cart persistent. This allows people to still have their item(s) in their shopping cart if they leave and come back later, whether that may be tomorrow, next week, or next month. Make it easy for them to continue where they left out in the buying process of your sales funnel. The easier you make it for your potential buyers, the more they will buy and the more money you will make. It is that simple.
Now that we have finished discussing shopping cart pages, let us now move on to the final module inside the best practices course of the training: E-commerce checkout pages.
Check out pages are the money page. No way around this. Any lift or positive changes made to this page will increase your bank account. There are a few best practices to make the most of the checkout page to maximize conversions and reduce abandoned carts in the process.
1. Leave the credit card input field for last.
It is better to have buyers complete the shipping information fields before they get to the billing fields. The ideas behind this best practice are commitment and consistency. Once people start doing something, they feel compelled to finish.
Entering credit card or any payment information is the biggest ask for a potential buyer, so it is easier to start with fields that require less commitment like their name, email, and shipping address. Put it this way. You wouldn’t get married before a first date, would you?
Here is another advantage of saving the payment information fields for last: Plenty of information like address and name have already been entered and can be suggested for these same fields, making the form a bit easier to complete.
2. Design a payment form that looks like an actual credit card
3. Make it look secure
Security is a serious concern for most online shoppers. Of course you should make payments secure by using SSL. But it won’t do much good unless you tell people about it. One way to show it secure for online shoppers to trust the security of shopping on your website is to add credit card payment icons and other similar security trust seals or badges.
Other potential things to add to the checkout page to make it look secure:
- Different background color (you can have that only for the credit card number field)
- SSL logo
- Written statement: “Secure credit card payment. This is a secure 128-byt SSL encrypted payment.”
- Explanations for expiry and security code
One thing to note though about security and SSL: If your audience isn’t tech savvy, they might not know what SSL and https are, so better to speak in plain terms like “safe” and “protected”.
4. Store credit cards in your system
You will make so much more money from repeat buyers. When people don’t need to enter their billing info anymore, buying becomes a 1-click move. This is something that Amazon.com takes advantage of exceptionally well, and has made my buying process with them seamless and convenient. The less a customer has to think and the less time they have to spend to buy, the more money you will make. Simple.
Overall, keep the shopping cart pages and checkout pages simple, seamless, and easy. Your bank account will thank you.