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4 Tips for Optimising Your E-Commerce Shopping Cart for Sales

As an e-commerce business, you know how important it is to nurture a lead all the way through the e-shopping experience.
Whether it’s your enticing marketing, your expertly crafted sales copy, or even just the design of your platform itself, ensuring each step of the buyer’s journey is accompanied by a small push towards a sale is crucial to your business’s success.
While you may be especially adept at bringing the customers in, you may still be having a hard time getting them to follow through with the purchase. The result is a less than satisfactory abandoned cart rate and loads of untapped revenue.
And where is the most common drop-off point when it comes to an e-commerce purchase? The shopping cart.
That’s why as a key decision maker it’s crucial that you know what’s causing your potential customers to abandon ship during this critical stage of the customer lifecycle and – just as importantly – how you can improve conversions with e-commerce shopping cart optimisation.

The Shopping Cart: Powerful Marketing Tool or Roadblock to a Sale?

Before launching into the tips to optimize your shopping cart by boosting average basket size, reducing your abandoned cart rate, and improving your online customer experience, it’s critical to understand just how crucial a well-constructed checkout experience really is in the world of e-commerce.
As with any other industry, the step where money begins to exchange hands is the most fragile by far. In the mind of the customer, this is the last chance to pull out of the sale and many shoppers tend to experience at least some feelings of hesitation, even when shopping for a product they legitimately need.
In fact, Business Insider reports that around $4 trillion worth of goods are abandoned each year. And with mobile and web shopping becoming even more of a norm, this number is only expected to grow even higher.
Most cart abandonment takes place due to an un-optimised shopping basket and a cumbersome checkout experience. What’s more, it’s estimated that around 63% of revenue lost due to abandoned carts is recoverable with the right techniques.
The question becomes, therefore, what kinds of measures can you take for increasing conversion rates in e-commerce? How can you ensure that your checkout process and shopping cart are both optimised to encourage the sale?
Simple – all you have to do is follow the four tips listed below!
1. Product Bundling and Up-selling
Two of the best ways of increasing your sales and boosting your average basket size is by creating product bundles and by up-selling before checkout.
As most marketers know, coupling two or more products together is an incredibly handy way of skyrocketing revenue. While this is of course most effective when the bundling comes hand in hand with a discount, reducing the overall cost isn’t always necessary. Sometimes simply presenting an additional product to customers that are already sold on one is enough to get them to purchase more.
Keeping in line with this train of thought, up-selling is a salesman’s best friend. Creating a separate page that makes it easy to buy complementary items (e.g. coffee filters after buying a brewer, cleaning supplies after picking out a mop) is not only easy to implement, it’s also incredibly effective.   
2. Incorporating a Recommendation System
Machine learning in e-commerce is becoming more powerful with each passing day. Powerful algorithms and sophisticated computing software have made it so that processes that used to require intensive man-hours and resources are now available for merely a nominal fee.
One of the most noticeable benefits that this advancing technology provides is an increase in customer engagement and more personalisation in e-commerce, namely when it comes to a recommendation system.
Systems like Segmentify’s personalised product recommendation use elegant software solutions to provide e-commerce shoppers additional products that they might enjoy based on past behaviours. Incorporating this additional feature means a larger average basket size and lower abandoned cart rates as well.
3. Removing Checkout Obstacles
The checkout step is when a potential customer is at his or her most fragile. That’s why it’s critical that you streamline this process as much as humanly possible. That means consolidating screens, simplifying language, and not asking for any unnecessary information.
And most importantly, do not require every customer to make an account! This is by far the most common reason for a high abandoned cart rate. That doesn’t mean you should drop the account system entirely though. Instead, ask if they’d like to create an account…but give them the option of checking out as a guest, as well.
Keeping your checkout process clean and simple will ensure your potential sale isn’t scared off by any unnecessary steps.
4. Beware Shipping Costs!
Apart from required account creation, unexpected shipping costs is the main sale deterrent for many customers. While most people already know that it’s coming, there’s just something about seeing your final costs jump up $10 that really makes you reconsider your purchase.
So, what’s the solution? The bar-none ideal solution is to offer free shipping – which can either mean you footing the bill entirely, or just incorporating the costs into the final price. Depending on your market, however, this might not be feasible, of course.
A better solution for many companies might be to incorporate an estimated cost of the purchase that’s displayed before a customer decides to checkout. This can help prepare them for the final bill and, consequently, make the price tag less of a shock. You can also include a cost calculator for a more exact estimate as well.
Whatever option you choose, avoiding a surprising total cost is certainly one of the best ways to boost revenue and motivate your customers.

An Optimised Cart Means Conversions

There you have it! Four actionable ways you can decrease your abandoned cart rates and make the sale.
With these techniques, you’re bound to start seeing your checkout process as a marketing asset rather than a liability.

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