• Get Prospects to Notice Your Shopping Cart Notices


    Shopping cart abandonment is one of those topics that I could really go on and on about.

    Instead of giving you the usual, though, I’d like to give you some tips with unconventional twists to help you minimize it

    After all, shopping cart abandonment is one of those things that has to be aggressively fought every day that you’re in business. Making a few unique choices about how your shopping cart presents notices may help to increase your conversions.



    • Inform prospects of limited stock…even if they already know it

    Informing your prospects of their items’ stock positions is a smart move. Doing this serves as a real-time reminder that you could theoretically sell out of a desired item.

    But giving prospects stock positions can be a beneficial tactic even if your business deals with one-of-a-kind items.

    An example?

    I visit a certain website that’s dedicated to selling vintage and handmade goods. The premise of the website rests on the idea that each item is unique. Yet, I noticed that every time I add an item to my shopping cart, a message automatically populates informing me that there is “only 1 in stock!”

    In instances like these, the tactic of informing prospects of stock positions isn’t so much to literally inform them of their scarcity- that’s obvious. Instead, it’s used to increase the value of the product in the prospect’s mind and inspire an immediate checkout so that other prospects don’t snatch up the product before they do. It means that prospects get competitive and business gets paid sooner.

    • Use visual cues

    Prospects respond to easily understandable checkout processes. You should know that a checkout page is not where you need to include blocks of text. But you should also recognize that even knocking out a few unnecessary phrases can help facilitate the buying process.

    Think about using short and sweet messages when you have to use words and images in place of droppable phrases to further simplify the process. Remember that many online purchases are impulse buys. You need to stay in line with your prospects’ thought processes. Don’t give them a reason to second-guess purchasing from you. Having to read mountains of text before being able to purchase makes prospects think that there’s a bunch of fine print to be understood- fine print that includes catches. The last thing you want prospects to think is that purchasing from you is more trouble than it’s worth.

    • Offer status updates

    Prospects abandon shopping carts for any number of reasons. But one reason that doesn’t rank high with business owners is simple forgetfulness. Why not?  Prospects are human, too. On any given day, they’re likely to have a bunch of different thoughts racing through their minds. Couple that with the fact that attention spans are slim on the Internet, and it’s very possible for a prospect to add something to their cart in earnest, only to get distracted and leave it there.

    Some business owners try to combat this by simply putting the number of items in an abandoned cart near the shopping cart’s link on the home page. The number hovers, supposedly “reminding” prospects that they have something in there, waiting to be bought.

    3M Results

    That tactic is problematic for me. Why? Well, for a lot of reasons. But mainly because…what if there is only one item in the shopping cart? The shopping cart’s link would look something like this:

    “Shopping Cart (1)”

    How is that supposed to nudge a prospect to check out? The prospect will simply say to himself, “Why, yes, I have one shopping cart. Thank you very much.” And he’ll continue doing whatever he’s doing.

    In that situation, the best you can do is hope that he finds another product that he wants, adds it to his shopping cart and discovers that his initial product is still there, too. And that’s assuming that you haven’t emptied his shopping cart after a session or that that he hasn’t already bought the item from a competitor. Here, numbers run the risk of being completely ambiguous. And that’s the opposite of what they should be for any business owner.

    I much prefer to see shopping cart links announce the number of abandoned items and the word “item” (or something similar) next to it. There’s nothing vague about that. Combine that with an extra factor that gets prospects moving like a change in color of the shopping cart link or some (optimized) wordings that tell them to hurry and make the purchase and you may have a recipe for increased, faster sales.

    stop CRO frustrations

    Of course, implementing required registration so that a specific account can be created for each customer can mean that you can get much more detailed. If you do that, you may be able to set aside a little part of their account for shopping cart reminders, payment and shipping histories. Sometimes, a big, fat “UNPAID” sticker is all that a prospect has to see to get them back on the purchasing track.

    Are any of you employing any unique shopping cart abandonment tricks? What are they?

Ayat Shukairy

My name is Ayat Shukairy, and I’m a co-founder and CCO at Invesp. Here’s a little more about me: At the very beginning of my career, I worked on countless high-profile e-commerce projects, helping diverse organizations optimize website copy. I realized, that although the copy was great and was generating more foot traffic, many of the sites performed poorly because of usability and design issues.

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Ayat Shukairy

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4 thoughts on “Get Prospects to Notice Your Shopping Cart Notices”

  1. Great topic! Shopping cart abandonment is a very tricky issue with which to deal…I’d love to read more suggestions about it.

  2. Business Logos says:

    Very good (and important topic) I think the single most important thing that someone can do to reduce shopping cart abandonment is to brand their cart to match their site. Even if you use a 3rd party for ecommerce you can still usually brand the order pages to match your site.

  3. Barbara, I’ll see if I can squeeze in some more stuff about abandonment. It seems to be pretty popular amongst readers. I’m glad it is, really. Abandonment rates are astronomical and should be very high up on an online business’s concern list…

    BL, you’re right, branding a shopping cart page is so important. A lot of people don’t realize that it can be done easily, even if they use third party tools.

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