Shopping cart conversions are the crown jewels of an e-commerce effort. But you may feel it's awful expensive to maintain those jewels.

Well, fret no more. These strategies can help you focus on your resources for retaining customers at the online point of purchase.

Your ability to retain is more than a shot in the arm to your sales. It eases your marketing effort by building a connection with customers that already know your brand, but need reminders of their experience to come back for more.

So outside of a big call to action button, how do you decrease a high cart abandonment rate? You do it in a lot of ways, but for the best in managing your time, let’s use analytics to corral the steps.

Start With Good Content Choices

A good site layout encourages customers to purchase from the start. The key to minimizing cart abandonment is to make navigation easy and site content lucid.

  1. Emphasize second person in site text: Using “You or Your” instead of “We or Our” provides text that feels personal to the visitor. So instead of “We have specialists who can do....” the site notes, “Your specialist will provide you with…”
  2. Use active, clear descriptions: This is a byproduct of using second person. Use active language sets customer expectations. Rather than just saying “Continue,” say “Continue to make your shipping selection,” or “You will be able to review your items before completing your order.”
  3. Avoid Forced Registrations and Be Reassuring With Privacy: Customers should checkout as guests and register for further communication, as they prefer. When they do register, let customers know about the privacy policy. Make sure you have a policy with clear enforceable steps.
  4. Use Images (and Video) That Show Product Usage: Avoid stock photo images — a common mistake among small business sites. Instead invest in quality photos that demonstrate the product or service in use.
  5. Display customer reviews: Reviews build consumer confidence in your business. Links to social media platforms like LinkedIn and review sites like Yelp permit you to share content, updates, and company news. Third-party trust badges also help credibility.

Evaluate Your Customer Segments

The battle to retain customers starts with evaluating segments in an analytics tool.

If you are unsure where to start, consider the following as a primer for setting customer segments:

  • Customers whose orders exceed a spend limit
  • Geography – Visitors attributed to a planned region of service
  • Site visits outside of store hours
  • Product list – you can set a segment based on the list of products customers typically purchase. Note: This segment is available under the Enhanced Ecommerce report setting: Check to see what your analytics solution provides.

The responses will yield ideas for planning remarketing campaigns with paid search ads and emails.

Next, examine the unconverted traffic to see if a pattern exists.

Non-converting visitors reflect opportunities. Appeal to these potential customers through site changes, products, services or operations. Look for easily identifiable segments and see how these compare with intended audience for your business model.

Research Conversion Influences

Here are a few starter ways to research influence on your e-commerce conversion rates.

Shopping Behavior Analysis (Enhanced Ecommerce Reports)

The Enhanced Ecommerce report setting in Google Analytics provides a few additional reports. The Shopping Behavior Analysis report is among them and is a most helpful indicator for conversion improvement. It allows you to evaluate the quality of your purchase funnel through visualizing the flow of users through and out of the funnel.

Checkout Behavior Analysis (Enhanced Ecommerce Reports)

Another Enhanced Ecommerce report lets you evaluate the points at which users abandon your checkout process. The reason may be an activity, like requiring a needless registration, or a signal to a technical problem, like a page taking an excessively long time to load. The results indicate where you can apply usability testing to determine the reasons for abandonment.

Site Search Reports

The site search reports highlight the items in which customers are constantly looking for. Frequent appearance of products indicate customers are not finding brands or products they want; Time after search metrics indicate if people are remaining onsite after a search, or leaving immediately after a query, implying that those items queried should have been offered.

My CMSWire post Site Search: The Right Search to Improve DX explains more detail about how to use site search reports.

Customer Journey Tool

You should also use the Customer Journey Tool in comparing media and which may be better suited for different exposure. That can aid plans in selecting what email and social media messages should be used relative to the sales process that customers see. Learn more about its use in this CMS Wire post A Look at the Google Customer Journey Tool.

Use Email to Entice Browsers to Return

Marketers have a reliable defense against cart abandonment — the trusty reminder email that encourages customers to return to a potential purchase.

There are many techniques for creating reminder email. You can trigger reminder emails a few hours after a cart has been abandoned to keep considered items top of mind for your customers.

The email should have a reasonable subject line tone such as, “Did you find what you were looking for?” In some instances offering a coupon once customers open email reminders can entice customer to complete a purchase.

To get the most from email campaigns, apply some of the email techniques outlined in my previous post Yes, Marketers: You Still Need Email for Digital CX.

Overall, raising conversion rates at the shopping cart requires multiple steps to monitor and adjust the shopping experience online.

Organizing the effort through managing customer segments in analytics, installing clear content online, and planning strategic reminders in email will make that e-commerce adjustment easier.

Title image "Abandoned Trolly" (CC BY 2.0) by oatsy40