Shopping Cart Optimization


Read Part 9of 20 in our7 Keys to Successful Web Development series below!


Shopping Cart Optimization

  1. Top 5 Checkout Process Mistakes Companies Should Avoid

For many e-commerce companies, simply getting customers to put products in their online shopping carts is a feat to be celebrated. However, the purchase is far from being “in the bag” (pardon our pun). Your customers might run into prompts or checkout process problems that discourage them from completing their orders. You have a lot of control over these types of situations, depending on whether or not you employ best practice techniques in your store checkout process.webdev9img1.png

Your customers may also temporarily abandon their online carts before checking out so they can quickly run an errand or compare prices. You can’t control situations like these, but you can control how your online store is programmed to handle them. Here are the top five checkout process mistakes online companies make, and advice for how to avoid them.

  1. Checkout Distractions

When a customer commits to making a purchase, they typically want to do it quickly. If you bombard them with multiple distractions during the checkout process, their determination may wane. In order to encourage a quick, undeterred purchase, try eliminating any unnecessary distractions during the checkout process, including:


  • Featured boxes
  • Sidebars
  • Main navigation
  • All other unnecessary site elements




The best practice for e-commerce sites is to make the checkout process simple and quick with minimal distractions.

  1. Awkward Mobile Checkouts

You might be surprised to find out just how many online companies make it difficult for users to complete purchases from their mobile devices. If your checkout process is currently not mobile-friendly, it’s time to make some changes! Users who attempt to make mobile purchases from your site should not be subjected to a complex, slow or confusing process.

In order to make sure your checkout process is mobile-friendly, give it a test-run (or ten!) on various mobile devices to ensure that the copy is easy to read, the design is attractive, and the checkout process is quick and simple. Welcoming customer feedback is a great way to keep yourself aware of any challenges or frustrations your mobile shoppers may face. An excellent service for customer feedback is with ShopperApproved. As you make necessary changes to ensure the mobile-friendliness of your site, pay attention to how your conversion rates are affected.

  1. Clearing Abandoned Carts too Quickly

Many customers temporarily abandon their carts, but then come back hours later to complete their purchases. If you clear abandoned carts too quickly, you could frustrate your customers and discourage the completion of purchases. According to research conducted by Baymard Institute (an independent web research company), 67.44% of shopping carts on average are abandoned. According to Forrester Research, 27% of those shopping cart abandoners want to compare prices, which means they could come back to purchase if your prices prove to be competitive.

Forrester Research also shows that 24% of shopping cart abandoners want to save the items in their carts so they can come back and purchase them later. If you clear carts too quickly, then you will discourage customers and miss out on sales. Many exasperated website visitors have left sites in frustration when their shopping carts were unexpectedly cleared after mere minutes of inactivity. Don’t drive customers away by clearing their carts too quickly.

  1. Surprise Checkout Charges

Most people like surprises right? Maybe so, but not when it comes to extra charges during the checkout process! When customers place items in their shopping cart, they expect to know how much they will pay for those items before they get to the very end of the checkout process. If customers are unfairly surprised by high shipping costs or unexpected delivery charges while checking out, they are highly likely to abandon their purchases and never return.

In order to prevent unpleasant checkout surprises like this, make sure your shipping and delivery charges are clearly displayed on the product pages. You can also simply incorporate the extra cost directly into your product pricing. This will keep your customers from feeling blindsided by extra charges while checking out.

Your exchange policies, shipping and return policies, and customer care contact information should also be shown in a prominent area, such as the bottom of each page. The FAQs section is another area where this information is commonly found. Just make sure it is easy for your customers to find all of your policies so that you keep them happy while covering all of your bases.

  1. Forcing Registration on Buyers

Some customers hate registering on various websites, so you should never make registration a prerequisite to purchasing goods or services on your site. Many customers shop in haste, and being slowed down by constant prompts to register may frustrate them and cause them to leave without making a purchase. While it is important to give customers the option to register, you should also give them the option of making their purchase as a guest.

We Can Help!

Wondering how to improve your checkout process and keep your customers happy? 121eCommerce can help! Fill out our contact form online or call us at (216) 586-6656 for more information about improving your conversion rate by asking us assess your checkout process.


Want the full “7 Keys to Successful Web development” whitepaper? Download it now!

New Call-to-action