[Pubcon 2009] 7 Habits of Highly Effective Shopping Carts


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  • Started consulting in 2004 – brought in 3 new employees in May/June 2007 and have been growing ever sinceHighly customized ASPDotNetStoreFront eCommerce sitesClients have typically outgrown their current sites and are looking to go to the next level. Typically average between $1 million and $5 million/yr in salesProvide full eCommerce solutions throughout the entire process. Design to Development to Managing to Marketing.
  • We did some research and found that out of the top 100 eTailers on the web, nearly 50% of them preferred a 2 column, centered layout. Next was a 2 column, left-aligned layout, which nearly 30% of the top eTailers preferred. Only 10% actually had 3 column layouts.Different industries use different layouts. Electronics eTailers prefer wide, 3 column layouts while clothing eTailers prefer tight, 2 column designs.What should be part of your layout? You have to remember not to just set up your layout to please yourself, or one type of shopper, but to please them all. You need to provide avenues for all different types of shoppers if you want to maximize your site’s potential and boost your conversion rate. For example, give visitors the opportunity to shop a number of different ways: by brand, by product type/style, by color, price, etc. By doing so, you’ll be pleasing people that only by brand names, the fashion-inclined, and the bargain hunters.Mini shopping cart:Provides a prominent call to action, allowing visitors to always see what’s in their cart and how they can begin the process of finalizing their purchase.
  • 3 Column, Aligned Left - 3 (3%)3 Column Center - 10 (10%)3 Column Full Window - 6 (6%)2 Column Center - 47 (47%)2 Column, Aligned Left - 28 (28%)2 Column Full Window - 4 (4%)1 Column Center - 2 (2%)
  • KineticFountains.com category pageCategory layout – shows category title, product images and product infoShop by CategoryShop by AccessoryShop by PriceShop by Material
  • Cafepress.com shopping cart page
  • Highlights:Enlarged imagePrice clearly displayedOptions are straightforward and easy to selectAlert visitors when an item has been added to their shopping cart, providing a link to the cartReviewsRelated ProductsStrong call to action – Ready to Buy? Add to Cart.SEO friendly (header tags, internal link anchor text, page titleThe redesign of this product page helped bring conversions from a paltry .25 % to over 2%...a 700% increase!!
  • Conversions were stagnant at 5% and the average order value was around $47.
  • The new site nearly doubled the conversion rate, from 5% to 10% and the average order value went up over 21% from $47 to $57.Notice also how we attract different shoppers with the targeted categories on the left hand navigation.Fight CavitiesAll Natural XylitolDiabeticsThey all actually lead to the same products, but people get to them through different avenues.
  • Give your visitors what they want. Make sure your site search is able to provide relevant results, otherwise your visitors will stop searching and leave your site.Now that Google Analytics can track site search, a lot of new opportunity has opened up for exploring the benefits of internal site search and recording how many visitors use, what they search for, and if it ultimately leads them to make a purchase. The conversion rate of visitors using site search is nearly 5 times higher than those who don’t use it! Make your search prominent so people will see it and what to take advantage of it…once they do, don’t blow the sale by giving the a poor search results page…We found that between 6% and 10% of visitors to our clients websites use the internal search. It’s definitely an area of your site that needs to be attended to in order to maximize conversions across the board!
  • WallysWine.com search results pageLook at all the different ways you can narrow your search for ‘Red Wine’ – By Country, Price, Wine Type, Varietal, Region, or SizeProminently displayed images, product descriptions, and specific details of the wine encourage you to click through to the product page. They also serve to quality those who do end up clicking through.Add to cart button displayed next to each result
  • The ‘No Results’ page – EpicDental.comDisplayed when there are no relevant results. Instead of simply saying “No Results” when there aren’t any, this page aims to send searchers that didn’t find anything directly to product and category pages. Once again, you’re trying to explore all avenues, no matter how small, across your site to maximize conversions.
  • Before you expect people to hand over their personal information and give you their hard-earned money, you need to ask yourself three questions:Why should visitors trust my company?Why should visitors trust my products?Why should visitors trust my web site?You need to start working on gaining a visitors trust from the moment they visit your site. Aside from a professional looking design, they need to have specific assurances to feel comfortable making a purchase…About Us pageReturn PolicySecurity PolicyShipping PolicyPayment OptionsIndustry-related associationsThird party trust certificates (SSL certificate, Hacker Safe)PartnersAssurances should go in the footer of every page of your site; the most important ones should also be strategically located near the top of every page.Within your checkout, your assurances should be reiterated in the appropriate place i.e. ‘shipping policy’ next to where they fill out their shipping information, ssl security certificate where they fill out their billing info, etc.
  • Sample footer with customer assurances from NorthernTool.com…highlight include:26 Years in BusinessHacker SafeVeriSign SSL800 numberAccepted payment options
  • ATouchofBrass.com Footer Highlights: Top Manufacturer PartnerSSL Certificate11 Years OnlinePayment Options800 Number
  • Show progress throughout the steps of your checkout process. Make sure people know what step they’re on and how much longer they have to go.Remove all navigational elements from your checkout page. People are more likely to go back into your site and get distracted from their purchase, leading to a high abandonment rate.How can you tackle abandonment?Aside from the above, make sure you provide the following within your checkout:Order Summary, including product names and pricesEstimated shipping time and cost of shippingCustomer assurancesMultiple payment options800 number to call and orderA note about errors in your checkout process:Make all errors seem like your fault, not the customers. This is proven to be a big turn off, and can cause shopping cart abandonment to skyrocket! If visitors can’t figure out what they’re doing wrong and how to fix it, they will become frustrated, leave your site, and buy from somewhere else.
  • Checkout page on EpicDental.comFill out all your information on one page…Billing Address, Shipping Information, Payment InformationProvide customer assurances throughout as well as a detailed order summaryEliminate all navigational elements to keep visitors from leaving the checkout processChart their progress at the top of the pageDon’t make visitors fill out their personal information twice…give them an option to use the same information for both billing and shipping.
  • Essential on page SEO factors:Internal linking – providing links to other pages within your site. This is the easiest way for search engine spiders to find all the pages on your site, index them, and begin to display them on their search results pages.Header Tags – H1’s and H2’s and all the way down the list, help search engine spiders and visitors alike understand the main points of the page they are on.Page Titles – still considered to be one the most important on page SEO factors. The title is displayed at the top of your web page within your browser. More importantly, it’s what shows up as the title in the search engine results. Search engines consider it so important because it is telling users, in a nutshell, the entire theme of the page they are considering visiting.Anchor Text – Your keywords need to be in the anchor text of your internal links throughout your site. This will help you rank for these given terms and give search engine spiders and visitors alike and idea of what your site is all about and where they’ll be going when they click a linkImage Optimization – A lot of people search for images, and it’s yet another way for visitors to find your site. To get your images to show up in search results, they need…to have keywords in the file name and keywords in the ALT tag
  • Using your images to sell your products – the better the image, the more effective it will be in selling your product. People want to see what they’re buying, and if you can’t show them, they’re a lot less likely to buy. One study by Future Now, Inc. showed that high quality images boosted conversion rates by 147%If applicable, your image needs to tell a story. Display your product in action, and visitors will get a better idea of what it is, what it does, and how they can use it.At the very least, provide a larger image where visitors can see your product in more detail. Providing additional images that show different views of a product or different colors are also proven to be highly effective.On the next slide, we compare two images of the same product…
  • A product image from Epic Dental’s old site vs. one on their new site that was professionally done. See the difference a quality image can make?
  • Link building is an essential part of off page SEO. You can have all your on page factors taken care of and your site may be optimized perfectly…but without link building, you’ll never achieve the high ranks that I’m sure you all want.A couple of ways to build links steadily over time:Online press releases – keyword-targeted online press releases can provide a great boost for your site in the search engines. Make sure to include your target keywords in the anchor text of your internal links and direct them to relevant pages deep within your site. A number of news and informational sites will pick them up and you can get a large number of links in a short amount of time. Since they mostly live on the web for around 30 days, you should be sending them once a month.Online press release sites to consider….PRWeb.comPRWebDirect.comDirectory submissions – submit your site to both free and paid directories. The essential ones are Business.com and Yahoo! Directory. Together, they cost about $500/year, but will pay instant dividends. Also submit to a number of other directories to start building links and authority. The top free directory is DMOZBlogging/link baiting – write industry-relevant articles on hot topics to get people to link back to your site. Get creative! People will gladly give you a link if you give them something worth reading.Shopping Feeds – submit feeds of all your products to free comparison shopping engines like Google Products & Live Product Upload and also to paid services like Yahoo! Shopping and Shopping.com. Optimize feeds to include links back to your side and keyword-rich titles/descriptions. This will give all of your products, as well as your entire site, more visibility. Often times people will leave your site and go look up a product in one of these comparison shopping engines. If you’re listed in there, your site will appear more legitimate…if not, visitors may buy elsewhere.
  • Thank you!Questions?This presentation is available for download on our site…go to www.groovecommerce.com/landing/pubcon/
  • [Pubcon 2009] 7 Habits of Highly Effective Shopping Carts

    1. 1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective Shopping CartsEthan Giffin | CEO, Groove Commerce
    2. 2. About Groove Commerce• Boutique eCommerce consulting firm• Located in Baltimore, MD• Builds search and conversion-friendly web sites• Scan Alert Hacker Safe premiere partner• Nextopia site search partner• Services include: – eCommerce web site design – Google Analytics consulting – SEO/SEM
    3. 3. 1. Designing for Success• The top 100 eTailers prefer…• Designing for all types of shoppers: Your category pages• The ideal Shopping Cart page• How your Product Page should look• The results of a successful design
    4. 4. Top 100 eTailer Layouts
    5. 5. KineticFountains.com Category Page
    6. 6. CafePress.com Shopping Cart
    7. 7. ATouchofBrass.com Product Page
    8. 8. EpicDental.com Before…
    9. 9. …And After
    10. 10. 2. Searching for Sales• Internal Site Search is not an option…it’s a requirement!• Displaying relevant results• Google Analytics site search report• Site search conversion rate is 5 times that of other visitors• Your search results page
    11. 11. WallysWine.com Search Results Page
    12. 12. The ‘No Results’ Page
    13. 13. 3. Why Should I Trust You?• Establishing trust with your visitors: – Why should visitors trust my company? – Why should visitors trust my products? – Why should visitors trust my web site?• Where you need to assure your customers
    14. 14. Where to Put Your AssurancesSource: NorthernTool.com
    15. 15. ATouchofBrass.com Footer with Assurances
    16. 16. “Shop with Confidence” Assurances• Guarantee customer satisfaction• Inform them of your shipping policies• Let customers know that their shopping experience will be completely secure• Remind them of how you value their privacy and personal information
    17. 17. 4. Make Buying Simple• Showing progress• Eliminate distractions• Reducing shopping cart abandonment• Relaying error messages
    18. 18. EpicDental.com Checkout Page
    19. 19. 5. Let Your Site Be Known• Internal Linking• Header Tags• Page Titles• Anchor Text• Image Optimization
    20. 20. 6. An Image Says a Thousand Words• Your images sell your products• Telling a story with your images• Multiple images• Comparing product images
    21. 21. Before & After Which image will sell more product? Source: EpicDental.com
    22. 22. 7. Climbing the Ranks• Online Press Releases – Best practices – Where to submit – When to send• Directory submissions• Blogging/Link Baiting• Shopping Feeds
    23. 23. The 7 Habits1. Designing for Success2. Searching for Sales3. Why Should I Trust You?4. Make Buying Simple5. Let Your Site Be Known6. An Image says a Thousand Words7. Climbing the Ranks
    24. 24. Thank You! Please feel free to come up to me anytime during the conference with questions! Ethan Giffin | CEO, Groove Commerce ethan@groovecommerce.com To download this presentation, go to:www.groovecommerce.com/landing/pubcon/
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