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When was the last time you walked into a grocery store, filled up your cart with milk, eggs and apples, walked all the way to the checkout, then changed your mind, left your cart in the aisle and walked out of the store? The answer is: probably never! But online shoppers often do just that.
“Cart abandonment” is one of the uphill battles that all ecommerce businesses face. It’s important to understand this phenomenon and work to make your ecommerce website the best it can be for your visitors, so that when they finally reach the checkout line, they’re ready with credit card in hand.
Visitors may vanish from your site right before checkout for a number of reasons, but the good news is that with a little foresight you’ve got a better chance of stopping them. There are seven tips in this series that will help you create a positive experience for shoppers and a profitable one for you.
Tip #1: Make Product Information Clear
When a visitor clicks that precious “add to cart” button, you want to be sure that she knows what she’s getting. Take the guesswork out to prevent last-minute “cold feet”.
- Include information such as product weight and dimensions, sizes, colors or construction materials.
- If it’s an edible product, what are the ingredients? Is there anything a person with food allergies should know?
- If it’s furniture, how wide is it? Will it fit through your customer’s front door in one piece or does it require assembly?
- If it’s a tote bag, is it waterproof?
Your product will dictate the type of details you’ll need to provide. Don’t be afraid of information. Clear and organized details will help your customer feel confident in her purchasing decision.
It may not be possible to think of all the details up front. You may think you’ve covered it pretty well until you get that email from a potential buyer asking something you didn’t think to publish. Use this! Customer questions are valuable opportunities for you. If one person asked it, I guarantee you that there are more wondering about it. Add the extra detail to your site to create as complete a picture of your product as possible.
Make It Visual
Speaking of pictures, they’re worth a thousand words. Yours should be clear, big and detailed.
- The best photos can be enlarged or provide a zoom function so customers can get a real feel for the product. Small, fuzzy photos that “enlarge” to their exact size, but in another window, are just annoying.
- Provide photos of your product from multiple angles.
- If you can swing it, let customers rotate the photos and view the product from 360°.
- Provide photos of any substantially relevant part of your product. For example, if you sell handbags, a photo of the outside is great but a photo of the inside is better. Then I can see if there’s a slot for my cell phone without needing to take the extra step of sending you an email to ask about it. It’s a step many buyers won’t take, when it’s easier to find another website, another vendor, another handbag with better photos.
- Provide photos of the product shown in its various colors or at least provide a color swatch. How many times have you seen a color listed like “dusty blue” or “warm pumpkin” with no visual? What exactly is “warm” pumpkin as opposed to say… cold? Screen colors can vary and may not be true to life but they’ll provide context and a representative approximation of what your buyer can expect.
- Show a product in context. Your beaded necklace actually on someone’s neck gives a buyer a feel for its size, length and style. You can tell me it’s 18″ but without a ruler and some imagination I have no idea what that means. But I can certainly see what it means if someone else is wearing it.
Video of your products in action is a great complement to photos. Show someone how easy it is to assemble your cabinet and that’s worth more than a hundred testimonials.
True story: I once bought a desk because I watched a video of someone assemble it, without help, in just over one minute. Sure, I’d read the glowing reviews and all the marketing points. But to watch someone actually do it was a powerful sell. And it worked.
Details, photos and videos all translate to information. Arm your customers with information and the tools they need to make educated, confident decisions and watch your sales soar.