Chris Cardell – The Horror of Cart Abandonment

Chris Cardell - The Horror of Cart Abandonment

When we talk about sales conversions we tend to look at the whole idea of a “conversion” as being a single event.
But very often it simply isn’t that at all, and is in fact a more complex process involving at least two steps – and often many more. If you send an email for people to click on a link to visit a sales page and then click on a button to buy something, you have at least two steps – the sales letter, and then filling in the payment details on the shopping cart.

But even with this simple-as-you-can-get two-step process things often go horribly wrong; and the more complex everything gets the worse things become.
Consider a typical ecommerce store where you have visitors browsing maybe dozens of categories and hundreds, maybe thousands of products and you can probably imagine how easy it is for things to conspire to kill your sales right at the last minute when you’re on the home stretch and almost have the money passing from your customer’s pocket to your own.
Worst of all is that you will usually have paid to get that visitor there in the first place. Imagine that! You’ve paid, say, £1 to get someone to your site, they’ve decided to buy from you and spend maybe tens even hundreds of pounds… and then you drive them away at the last minute.
You’re not just losing sales, but you’re actually haemorrhaging cash! So here are a few things you can and should check and pay attention to, so you don’t lose those precious sales:

Make Sure Everything Works

Dead buttons, broken links, “broken” formatting on pages and any one of a number of small things wrong with your ordering and shopping cart system can stop a sale dead in its tracks.
Not only are these things frustrating, but, unless you’re a well-known company with an established reputation, they also hammer down on your credibility.
And trust is one of the most important things in any sale.

Avoid All Doubt and Ambiguity

As business owners we commonly make two mistakes:

  1. We assume we’re actually saying what we mean. And to make matters worse we can’t even proof-read our own work, because at that point we’re not actually reading what we wrote — we’re reading what we meant to write.
  2. We assume everyone knows what we’re talking about. The problem here is we’re all immersed in our businesses and the industries of which they are a part and we know everything inside out, back to front, and top to bottom. This is great when we’re talking to our colleagues and peers, but it’s a real problem when we come to communicate with our website visitors who might be brand new to whatever it is we’re doing and be completely clueless. And if they’re faced with obscure acronyms and phrases, opaque assumptions, and, to them, gobbledegook, then they won’t be hanging around to buy anything from you.

The upshot of this is we often tell an incomplete story and leave room for uncertainty and doubt, thinking it’s “obvious” what things mean and what’s going to happen next in the checkout process.
But while it might be obvious to you, it’s not obvious to you customers or anyone else not as familiar with your system as you are.
So the answer is to ensure you’ve made it truly obvious at every stage of the buying process exactly what the visitor needs to do, what will happen when they do, what will happen after the purchase, and, if appropriate, what the consequences of them not buying will be.
A good idea here is to get a 10yo child to test your shopping cart and checkout system (as well as read out all your copy out loud). Because if a 10yo kid can’t figure it out, you can guarantee a lot of adults won’t be able to figure it out, either.

Re-Make the Sale

The sale isn’t made until that final button gets clicked… and you cannot afford to stop selling until that point is reached.
So on your final order page re-state all the main benefits they are going to experience from owning your product or availing themselves of your service.
Particularly important here is to re-state your guarantee.
This is the “make or break” point and as you know, guarantees are a very powerful way of lowering buyers’ resistance – so it stands to reason this is an excellent place to dispel any lingering feelings of doubt by reminding them of your guarantee.
Remember, at this point the sale is all but made and so anything you can do to get them over the “hump” is a good thing.
So something else you can add to the order page are customer testimonials.
Social proof is very powerful and anything other people say about you is far more believable and effective than anything you can say about yourself. If you can, choose any testimonials you have where the customer was initially sceptical but ordered anyway and was then very glad he or she went ahead.

Make the Sale Stick

In addition, to make the sale “stick”, on the thank-you page have some “lift copy” which once more re-states the main benefits and congratulates them on having made a smart choice.


Include this “lift copy” in an email you send to them immediately after purchase, and in letter-form if you’re delivering a physical product.
This doesn’t strictly stop shopping-cart abandonment, but it does help cut down on refunds and returns.

Please share here your thoughts on this article about Chris Cardell, share it on social media and express your views. To learn more about Chris Cardell visit his website or Chris Cardell’s Media Company, Cardell Media Ltd. There is also an interesting video interview with Chris Cardell. His next life changing event is The Sovereignty Summit with Chris and Dan Kennedy on 29th – 30th of September 2015.

Chris Cardell
Chris Cardell is a trusted advisor to business owners across the world on Marketing, Internet Marketing and Entrepreneurial Success. He shows business owners, managers and the self-employed how to win more customers and increase their profits using Advanced Marketing, Advertising and Internet strategies. Chris Cardell Google+ Chris Cardell's Products Chris Cardell
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