Every ecommerce shopping cart that does not get pushed to checkout is a lost sale. More than half of all customers were once interested enough in a product to add it to a cart, but then decided to pass on the purchase. But while a grocery store can't know who left that unbought loaf of bread on the candy rack at the register, ecommerce retailers often do know whose cart it is that's held a few DVDs for the last three months. So how can an e-retailer change that abandoned cart into a completed sale?
A CNN Money report suggests using real-time online chat. Let retail staff chat with customers, and they may be able to close the sale. One option for doing this uses software from LivePerson.com. One e-retailer quoted in the report said that eight of ten customers will chat with staff, giving valuable feedback, and that retailer is converting one percent of abandoned carts into sales.
A writer at Young Entrepreneur suggests overhauling your site is key. Make sure your pages are well designed. Put no unexpected pricing surprises on the checkout page. Make sure your transactions are secure. Add user reviews and product ratings. Offer many payment options.
The Website Conversion Blog polled 663 ecommerce execs on the issue. The poll results suggest that free shipping, a short, simple checkout, and guest checkout are the most important factors.
Then there's Google Remarketing. The Google advertising service allows e-retailers to put specific ads in front of Web surfers who have visited them. If a customer puts a pair of shoes in a shopping cart, Google can put an ad for those shoes in front of that particular customer even when the shopper is browsing other websites. Of course, the Big Brother aspects of that service may turn off some people, but one thing's for sure: getting a handle on those abandoned shopping carts can translate into increased ecommerce revenue.
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