They came. They saw. They left. The Latin saying Veni Vidi Vici wouldn’t be the same if that’s what it meant.
As small business owners, we work so hard to get noticed above the crowd of similar stores offering similar products at similar prices. It’s not easy! New technological developments, new strategies, and popular culture all play into buying decisions. So it’s a shame when we work so hard to understand the best ways to get people to buy from us…
… only to have them leave their virtual shopping cart and click away, never to return.
Why does it happen?
One reason is that shopping carts are not designed by marketers, they’re designed by technical people. Although we love our techs and need them, not all shopping carts are as easy to use or as intuitive as we’d like them to be. The challenge, then, is that these carts don’t continue to sell our products, they simply act like cold-hearted accountants keeping tally with vague descriptions. To counteract this, you will want to replace the product description with a sales description. Don’t stop selling the product, just because someone clicked the “buy now” button. Keep promoting the benefits. For example, rather than listing your product as “Widget: Round and Blue” continue to list the same benefits you sold it with, like: “Blue Widget: promotes well-being.”
A second reason why people leave shopping carts behind is because the shopping cart simply does not feel integrated to the store. Although this may not seem like a big deal to you (since you know it’s your shopping cart) it can be a big deal to online purchasers who have heard many horror stories about online scams and thus make every online purchase with a VERY wary eye. By clicking a buy now button, if they’re taken to a different-looking site, red flags may go up for them. Unless you have design-control over your shopping cart, there may not be a lot you can do about it. But what you might want to do is consider warning them before they click the button. For example, “Click here to be taken to our safe third-party shopping cart provider.”
Another reason – and probably the most important – is that people don’t know the process involved in your particular shopping cart. Although people likely intend to buy your products, they want to feel like they have complete control over the purchase. Thus, if they’re not clear on what’s going on, they’ll feel confused and will click away. Even if they have not yet left their credit card number, many consumers may be reluctant to click the next button for fear that THAT button will be the decisive one that will charge their card and whisk their products to their doorstep. You need to assure them and guide them every step of the way by describing the step they are on and (near the “next” button) describing what the next step will involve. For example: “On this step you’re going to select the size of widget you want. On the next step you’ll select the color and shape.” By doing that, you’ll help to allay fears that could be going through their mind, like “I don’t see the exact widget I want on this page” or “If I click this button, are they going to send me a widget and bill me for it?”
Shopping carts are vital to doing business online. Just don’t let them drive your customers away from you!