Is your shopping cart hurting your conversion rate?

January 24, 2011

If you are noticing that a lot of people that visit your website are not funneling through and purchasing something, the problem may be more simple than you think. If the shopping cart you use on your site to facilitate the buying process is not set up well or too confusing to understand, visitors are likely to abandon your site and look elsewhere for the products they want. Here are some common issues with online shopping carts that can detract from the user experience and hurt your conversion rate:

  • Required fields are not properly marked – Unless you clearly point out fields that your customers will need to fill out, such as telephone number or address, your customers will be frustrated that they cannot move to the next step of the transaction, and they won’t know why. Using symbols or bolding text can help out.
  • People are forced to create an account – Sure, it would be nice if people would sign up for an account on your site to receive more information, but chances are they won’t. Making opting in a requirement for them to buy from you will turn them off and drive traffic away from your online store.
  • Validation codes are too difficult to read – While it is a good idea to ask customers to enter a captcha code when checking out, using homemade versions can be too hard to see. Simplify things so your customers can buy your stuff.
  • Shopping carts are hard to navigate – From extra fields to fill out on a form to not being able to update the cart before checkout, you may be annoying your customer to the point that they change their mind about the sale. Make things easy to use and find.

In the end, your customer has initiated the sale, so why wouldn’t you want to make it as easy as possible for that to happen? Make sure you clear up any errors and try using the shopping cart yourself. If it is too hard for you to get through, your customer will feel the same way. The only difference is that they will likely tell people. Fix the problems and start seeing your conversion rate rise again.

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