- Build rapport. I suggested one way to put a human face to your company is to have a blog. Amy then promptly railed on concept of blogging â€” so I definitely hit a hot button there with her on that! 😉 I also suggested injecting personality during stages of the ordering process, such as in an email reminding the visitor of their abandoned cart. Most transactional emails that I see like that have no sense of humor or even humanity to them.
- Reduce the number of hoops that you make the visitor jump through to complete a purchase. This includes reducing the number of pages and the amount of scrolling. I shared a stat I heard a while back that over 60% of the time, Internet users don’t scroll. Allow guest checkout, meaning that the visitor doesn’t need to set up an account and select a password prior to completing the purchase. Pre-fill out any info you already have on them on the order form.
- Make a smarter shopping cart. Let the visitor email their cart to themselves. Provide them with the option of creating a persistent shopping cart that never expires. If they abandon their cart, email them with their abandoned cart and let them finish it. Let them switch between moving a product from their cart to their wish list and vice versa.
- Conduct exit surveys. A visitor who is abandoning your site won’t pull any punches. So I suggested: why not ask them why they’re leaving and what you did wrong? Unlike a customer who has to rationalize their purchase (particularly if the purchase was expensive), an abandoner will tell it like it is. You can learn a lot from them!
I, along with Ken Burke (MarketLive) and Amy Africa, spoke to a packed ballroom of somewhere around 1500 people yesterday at the Annual Catalog Conference’s “Power Forum” about a range of topics, guided by our moderator Sherry Chiger, the editor of Multichannel Merchant magazine. One of the topics that got the most “airtime” during our panel discussion was the topic of conversion. We all agreed that a top priority for online retailers is to improve conversion rates (and concomittently reduce shopping cart abandonment rates). Here are some of the ideas put forth by me, Amy, and Ken:
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