Sure-Fire Ways to Cause Shopping Cart Abandonment 

Shopping Cart Abandonment

Minimizing shopping cart abandonment is the Holy Grail for ecommerce. Less people abandoning = more sales and revenue. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. But what’s causing your users to abandon? And how can you encourage them to hang around and persist with their purchase?

First, it’s important to understand what your abandonment rate is. You need to know where you are in order to understand where you want to end up, and every site in every industry is different. The average shopping cart abandonment rate is around 68%1, so you may well be loosing literally thousands of sales through sometimes simple nuances that cause users to either abandon or switch to a competitor.

There are plenty of reasons why most of your users abandon their shopping carts and we’ve put together four of the major points to look out for:

1. Hidden costs2

Not being up front with the total cost of your items is a sure-fire way to obliterate trust and negatively effect the perception of your company, as well as lose sales. This may have long lasting effects and could mean you lose a customer for life as a result of trying to skim an extra few cheeky dollars.

Ticket companies like Ticket Master and Get Me In do this all the time. You’ll find your ticket, agree with the price, choose your seat, head to the checkout and then you're hit with a booking fee and delivery costs that are sometimes as high as an extra 20% on the ticket price. 

People these days don’t trust businesses that aren’t transparent. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Be up front or remove unnecessary costs that don’t add value to your products and serve only to tacitly increase revenue.

2. Postage

If you can, offer free shipping. This will add pleasant value for your customers, helping push them over the conversion line and will be a strong pull for them to return. 

Whether you can offer free shipping is entirely dependent on your type of business. Selling books for a dollar and charging an extra dollar for postage isn’t such a big deal. However, a $50 shipping charge for a $500 TV starts to sound off-putting. 

73% of online shoppers note free shipping as a critical factor in their purchasing decisions and 93% claim they’re likely to spend more if free shipping is included3. If you’re making more sales and people are spending more, the hit you’ll take on offering free shipping will be recuperated by all those extra sales.

3. No ‘Guest' checkout

If you don’t offer a Guest checkout facility and force every would-be customer to register with your site before making a purchase, you can kiss goodbye to a potential 45% increase in sales2. A forced registration can easily lead to abandonment for those that just want to make a purchase then leave. You may as well redirect 20% of your traffic to a competitor and save yourself from having to pick through your poorly performing web metrics.

It might surprise you to learn that most people don’t care enough about your brand to register before checking out. Some just want to pay and get on with their lives. The best thing you can do is let them pay. Focus on taking the payment. Do this well enough and, if everything else works well (your website’s easy to use, the product is as expected and it arrives on time), they’ll be back. 

If it’s customer insight you’re striving for through a forced registration, then include an option to subscribe to updates by email and lure them into registering this way. Play the long game and don’t be desperate.

4. Mobile optimization 

People usually act with more urgency on mobiles, so optimizing your ecommerce website for mobile could see an increase in impulse purchases. With 30% of ecommerce web traffic coming from mobile devices4, they're very few excuses for not having an optimized site these days. 

Picking and pinching and zooming and aiming are all laborious tasks to do while you’re on a phone or tablet. But, this is exactly what users have to do on desktop sites when they access them on mobiles.

In a world where brands are investing heavily in fingerprint5 and facial6 recognition to unlock your mobile phone, simply to save you the energy expelled from moving your thumb up two inches to type in a pass code, removing any unnecessary friction is imperative when crafting a seamless user journey. If you don’t have a mobile optimized site, it takes a heck of a lot of dedication on behalf of the user to make a purchase. It’s far easier to bail or head to a competitor with a website that’s easier to use. 

Finding Your Holy Grail

Realistically, you’ll never have 100% of users pass through the checkout. Plenty of people simply use their shopping basket as a wish list and never intend to check out in the first place. Also, there’ll always be small nuances that cause users to abandon and you’ll always have small tweaks to make here and there. Your work is ever truly done. However, optimize your processes and minimize the above issues and you’ll certainly tempt some of the current defectors into checking out and surely see that abandonment rate reduce.








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Posted by Tuesday, August 12, 2014 9:53:00 PM Categories: B2C online marketing retail marketing

The Secret Google Analytics Feature That Will Change Your Life Forever  

I’m going to let you in on the single most helpful and immensely useful, but hidden secret in the whole of Google Analytics. There’s no cheats or workarounds involved here, you don’t need to make any adjustments to your tracking code and you don’t need special admin privileges to take advantage.

Have you ever been pondering over your traffic timeline and seen unusual spikes or out of the ordinary traffic? Or have you ever wondered whether those posters you put up, the ad you created or campaign you launched had any noticeable effect on your website traffic? Well, now you can see all of this at a glance by using Google Analytics annotations.

What are Google Analytics annotations?

Annotations in Google Analytics are little notes that you can place across your timeline to monitor or remind yourself of, well, whatever you want! You can use them to keep on top of your marketing activity, online and offline, and monitor what effect it has on your web traffic at a glance. You could note:

  • Product launches
  • Big website changes (or new website launch)
  • Newsletter and email news shots
  • Marketing campaign launches
  • Server downtime
  • Or anything else you feel is important

Then, you’ll quickly be able to see the overall and broad effects that your activity has on your traffic. Plus, annotations stick around, so in six months time when you’ve moved on to future projects, you’ll still have a reminder in your annotations. This is handy for retrospective analysis and completely eradicates those “Hmm, I wonder what that spike was” moments.

How Do You Use Annotations?

Getting started using Google Analytics annotations is simple and, once you do start, you won’t be able to stop. It’s that addictive!

So here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start using annotations:

Step 1. Log in to Google Analytics and head to the Audience – Overview screen.

Google Analytics annotations









Step 2. You see that little, sneaky arrow hiding in plain site? Click that.

Voila. This will open the annotation editor.







Step 3: From here, you can click on ‘+ Create new annotation'.







Step 4. Select the date of your event, newsletter mailout, campaign launch or whatever you want to make a note of.








Step 5. Add your note. You only get 160 characters here, so pretend you’re jotting a tweet.








Step 6. Select whether you’d like it to be a shared or private note.








What’s a shared or private note?

Glad you asked.

A shared note means that anyone with an analytics log in for the site in question can see the note. A private note is only visible to the person that creates it (or the email address currently logged in). So if you only have one email address and one log in for your Google Analytics account that lots of people use, be careful of noting sensitive information. Consider creating a separate log in1 for each person that needs access.

Click Save. Now you’ll be able to see your annotation on the axis of your timeline and your annotations underneath:

Bonus Tip: If a campaign or a specific marketing activity is particularly important, you can favorite it by clicking the little star next to the date:

This allows you to keep track of major marketing initiatives and groups them in the ‘Starred’ tab:

Hopefully, in the future, Google will introduce the facility to create groups of annotations. This way, you could group all of the ‘email’ related annotations together and access them through the same tabs at the top.

Let’s Get to Work

So, now that you know the most useful trick in Google Analytics, it’s time to get to work and use it. Don’t be left in the dark any longer, keep track of your marketing activity and see the effect it has on your web traffic at a glance with annotations.

Believe it or not, few people are aware of this hidden gem, so whether you choose to keep it a secret or share it with your followers is entirely up to you.

There are some sharing buttons below, if you’re tempted.


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Posted by Thursday, July 31, 2014 6:29:00 PM Categories: blogging content development inbound marketing online marketing social media

Three Ways To Find Out Which Social Network is Perfect For Your Business 

social media strategy

What's the ideal social media strategy?


The ideal social media strategy isn’t one where you are active on every network and hope for results. A carpet bombing approach doesn’t work on social media. It is absolutely critical to find out where your customers are most active on, and reach out to them on that network. You may find that they are very active on multiple networks, in which case you should make sure to share content on all those channels. Otherwise all your efforts will fall upon deaf ears. So how do you go about finding out which channels to be active on?

Define what your target segment is

The first step is to establish what your target segment is. Create a customer profile, and write it down. Are they other businesses or consumers? Are they young, or older? What are their wants and needs? All of these impact where they will be most active.

Establish how customers have connected with you in the past

How have your customers connected with you before? This can be a great indicator as to where they are most active. History tends to repeat itself. If you have noticed that you receive a lot more engagement on Facebook than Twitter or LinkedIn, you need to focus your efforts on that channel! Concentrate on maximizing your strengths, and not trying too hard to shore up your shortcomings on other networks. That is the best way to get more ROI on your social media marketing.

Use tracking and analytics tools to evaluate each network.

Social media marketing is constantly evolving. Networks come and go. Currently, the mainstays for B2B and B2C are Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. However, who knows where these networks will be in a few years, or how effective they will remain for your marketing efforts. That’s why you need to use tracking tools to consistently monitor how much engagement you are receiving online. Free tools like work great. Facebook and LinkedIn also provide free analytics dashboards which can provide valuable insights. Keep track of your progress over time, and make a note of any changing trends. If you begin to see that you are getting more traction on another network, then put some more time and effort into that channel. You need to stay ahead of the curve!

View User Profile for Power Site Power Site is subsidiary of Fast Track. It's a robust, customizable website solution package especially developed to help small businesses how to leverage their website as a marketing tool. Follow Power Site on Twitter as @FTPowerSite.
Posted by Power Site Thursday, June 26, 2014 6:11:00 PM Categories: online marketing SEO social media social media marketing
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