When it comes to reducing cart abandonment, your site’s design has a lot to do with keeping consumers engaged and interested in completing their purchase. From CTA (call-to-action) placement to the amount of pages involved in checkout, there are a number of choices you need to make to make sure visitors are getting the best possible user experience.
However, some of the factors contributing to your shopping cart abandonment happens behind the scenes. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at a few changes you can make to your site’s back-end to deliver some great forward-facing results.
There have been a few studies regarding load times and cart abandonment and they’ve made one thing abundantly clear: People don’t like to wait for a website to piece itself together while they sit and stare at the screen. If you want to reduce the size of your website, you don’t necessarily need to start from scratch, cutting out features and images. There are some great, readily available tools and techniques that will reduce your cart abandonment by removing some of the deadweight from your site with little to zero impact on the user experience.
Minify – Minification is a programming term to describe the removing of characters unnecessary to the functioning of a piece of code. Minification condenses optimized code snippets into a single, faster-loading file. Luckily, there are some utilities out there that’ll do this automatically. Check out Google’s Minify and shrink your CSS.
TinyPNG – Image file formats, by default, are a blank canvas on which a huge variety of colors can be supported and displayed. The typical image, however, doesn’t even come close to using all of these colors. TinyPNG.org, a free service, will reduce your image’s color range to exclude unused shades and shrink down your .PNGs without a noticeable dip in quality.
Sprites – With some clever CSS maneuvering, a programmer can take a single image file filled with button images and icons in various states of use to populate your website. By calling a single image with all of your buttons instead of calling for dozens of small images, you’re reducing on load times. Take a look at YouTube’s sprite sheet to get a feel for what each sheet can encompass.
No Image Resizing – If you’re an online retailer that displays a thumbnail alongside a long list of products, then it’s imperative that you create images expressly for this purpose. Resizing a 1600×1200 pixel image to something more manageable via HTML doesn’t reduce the size of the image. Even if you shrink an image via HTML to the size of a quarter, it’ll take just as long as the high-detailed original to appear on screen. Manually make thumbnail images in your favorite photo editor for search results, shopping carts, and product pages.
If there are customers out there who are willing to exchange their money for your product or service, you can reduce cart abandonment by providing the right medium for the transaction. Be sure that your website is equipped with all the latest payment options and stay up-to-date with the trends of your region.
Different areas show strong favoritism to specifics types of payment–if your site lacks the means to support your region’s preferred method of payment, chances are that consumers will find a vendor who can take their money.
This next tip is arguably as much about design as it is technology, but it’s still worth a mention. While website technology is impressive in its own right, the end goal of any piece of tech behind an ecommerce entity is to make life easy and enjoyable for the consumer. Currently, tools are available to reduce shopping cart abandonment by making form-filling much easier, they include:
In-line Indicators – When prompting users for specific information, let them know if what they’re inputting is exactly what you need. Monitor field forms in real-time and let the user know when their input is in the proper format. By fixing mistakes as they happen, users can avoid digging through a page for a small mistake.
Relevant Display – In the same vein, if there is an error after submission, show users exactly where something went wrong. By eliminating all properly input fields and displaying only the relevant section, the user can identify the problem, edit their entry, and move on with their purchase. Website abandonment goes up as customers get frustrated–don’t let their purchase hinge on a vague error message.
Although these tips aren’t likely to completely eliminate cart abandonment on their own, they’re certainly a step in the right direction for companies that have already considered the challenge from a design standpoint. It’s common knowledge; keeping your website functional, lightweight, and running is paramount to making sales. However, it’s often under-appreciated that the same clean habits can keep shopping cart abandonment rates low, too.
To speak with a website abandonment expert and to learn how UpSellit can increase your conversions on a full-service, 100% pay-for-performance model request a demo of our complete suite of cart abandonment solutions.
Written by Bryan Gudmundson