5 Clever Features that Reduce Cart Abandonment

MARCH 25, 2015
Written by Bryan Gudmundson

Reducing cart abandonment isn’t always as straightforward as improving load times or tactfully placing security symbols. The shopping cart is a complicated middle ground between user experience and merchant utility. Any tactic employed to reduce cart abandonment needs to add to the shopping experience while giving worthwhile value to the vendor–a tricky balance to maintain.

Fortunately, ecommerce is a quickly evolving industry with some of the world’s most clever innovation. Today, we’re going to take a look at 5 modern cart features that reduce cart abandonment in a sleek, useful, and functional way.

 

1. The Expanding Image

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What it is:
This cart tactic from Stella & Dot is a subtle, creative way to give shoppers a better look at their order from a glance. When the user puts their mouse over an item on the cart page, the thumbnail (roughly) doubles in size, giving shoppers a chance to quickly look over the finer details of a product before moving on to checkout.

Why it works:
The shopping cart, in short, is supposed to be a preview of your entire order. Customers want a concise, compact look at all of the items they’re about to purchase. Typically, if you want to give customers another look at enlarged imagery, you need to either open a new window or redirect shoppers to the product page. An expanding image is a great compromise that allows users to view larger images without navigating to an outside page. Removing the necessity of any intermediary page change is a great way to reduce cart abandonment.

 

2. The Slide-Out Cart

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What it is:
We’ve seen this sleek technique employed on a number of websites, including the snapshot above on Bonobos.com. When you add an item to your cart, a sidebar slides into the frame from the right to show the status of your current order. The same happens when you click “Your Cart” on the top-right of the page. Unlike other ecommerce sites, there is no cart page–this slide-out is the only intermediary step between product and checkout flows.

Why it works:
There’s a golden rule in ecommerce: The fewer pages between entry and checkout, the better. The slide-out cart effectively removes a step, shortening the conversion funnel and reducing abandonment. Additionally, the slide-out cart helps shoppers know exactly when they’ve successfully carted a product without having to double check the cart page.

With active, on-screen techniques like this, it’s important to make sure everything functions as normal on mobile devices as well. We were happy to see that Bonobos doesn’t disappoint–the mobile version of this function is identical (as seen below).

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3. The Policy Snapshot

hiut_denim_thumbWhat it is:
The Policy Snapshot is a technique we saw employed on the website of stylish jean retailer, Hiut Denim Co. On the cart page is a quick, concise list of relevant company policies. The snapshot tells shoppers exactly what to expect during an upcoming transaction and answers all kinds of common questions before users ask, saving shoppers a trip to the help desk.

Why it works:
Any support method that keeps shoppers on-task and doesn’t distract from the conversion is an effective method of reducing cart abandonment. A policy snapshot like the one shown here is a great way to highlight selling points while greatly reducing the amount of simple questions that filter through to customer service.

 

4. The Quick Up-Sell

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What it is:
The Quick Up-Sell is a unique strategy we spotted on Indochino’s website. When a consumer selects a suit, they’re taken directly to the shopping cart page. There, suits are paired with links that instantly add a matching vest and additional pants to the order. There’s no need to select size, fit, or color, as they’re automatically selected for the suit of choice.

Why it works:
Indochino’s implementation of the quick up-sell is one of the cleanest ways to bump up order values we’ve seen. The recommended add-ons are custom selected for each product and, with the simple click of the link, the item is added to your order.

The quick up-sell allows shoppers to stay on the cart page and complete an outfit without having to go look for any matching article. The process is quick, customer-friendly, and reduces cart abandonment by promoting accessibility.

 

5. The Cart Countdown

made_cart_thumbWhat it is:
The business model of Made.com is centered around the fact that customers can order pieces of furniture to be made custom at the hands of a skilled artisan. As you might imagine, products are of limited supply and don’t go on sale forever. Once a product has filled its order capacity, it’s gone. The cart countdown is a fantastic. real-time utility that shows customers exactly how much time they have to purchase what’s in their cart or make way for another willing buyer.

Why it works:
The cart countdown starts with your first visit to the cart page and immediately begins counting down from 15 minutes in real-time. 15 minutes is a generous amount of time to complete checkout, quickly forcing the distinction between serious buyers and window shoppers. When the clock is ticking on what looks like the perfect product, some otherwise-hesitant shoppers may jump on the chance to convert, effectively reducing cart abandonment.

 
 
As long as there are online stores, people will continue to develop new and fascinating methods to reduce cart abandonment. For more information on reducing cart abandonment, contact UpSellit!

 
 
Written by Bryan Gudmundson


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