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Optimizing Your Online Shopping Cart


In our last post, we explored how buyer mindsets, timing and choosing the right eCommerce platform all play an important role in eCommerce upselling. We touched on the massive potential that lies in presenting an offer at the right moment, including during the checkout process. That is when full-blown spending mode kicks in and the potential for spontaneous purchases is ripe.

Because effective upselling centers largely around a buyer’s mindset once they reach the online shopping cart, making adjustments to the customer checkout experience is our No. 1 choice for a supercharged upselling strategy. Here are four ways you can leverage your online shopping cart to increase your profitability at checkout.

1. Offer a one-click buying option


In the late 90s, Amazon acquired a patent on one-click buying technology in the U.S. While there are no exact figures available on the impact one-click buying had on Amazon, many estimate it boosted sales by at least 5% (or $2.4 billion) each year. What we do know for certain is that a hassle-free checkout leads to more completed purchases across the board. Much to the relief of American eCommerce merchants, Amazon’s patent expired in 2017. A couple of months later, Magento became the first commerce leader to offer a one-click buying option — called Instant Purchase — as a standard feature, with many others following suit. (This is just one example of how Magento continually strives to create cutting-edge merchant solutions). Eliminating the need to enter payment and shipping details reduces friction and abandoned carts (and there are A LOT of abandoned online shopping carts in eCommerce). It may surprise you to learn that, on average, the Internet’s abandoned cart rate is around 70%. That’s why it is imperative to ensure your checkout process is as smooth and fast as possible.

2. Tweak your shipping options


A retail study by Walker Sands revealed 79% of U.S. customers are more likely to shop online when free shipping is offered. Free shipping can be a powerful tool for converting shoppers that need that extra push to become a paying customer. Brandon Eley, owner of SitePoint, said his sales grew by 50% overnight when he began to offer free shipping options.

There are several ways to incorporate free shipping into your online shopping cart, one of them being a no-strings-attached approach where all customers get free shipping on every order no matter what. Free shipping can also be offered exclusively to members, to customers who purchase select items or to those who have items shipped to a brick-and-mortar store.

Many businesses also offer free shipping after a shopper spends a certain amount of money. If a customer sees that they can spend $15 on merchandise in exchange for saving $9 on shipping, they are going to start to do some basic math. Essentially, they score something they are interested in by spending just $6 more (which increases your average order volume).

While free shipping is a favorite marketing tactic among online retailers, the study also revealed that cost is not the only important shipping factor swaying today’s online consumers. The research shows that:

  • 54% want free returns or exchanges;
  • 42% want same-day shipping;
  • 40% want next-day shipping;
  • 21% want 2-hour or less shipping.

At a minimum, eCommerce stores should consider implementing some sort of free shipping offer in their online shopping carts. However, today’s shoppers are raising the bar when it comes to product delivery. They want flexible options that offer convenience as well as value.

3. Play with the wording


What if making simple changes to upselling verbiage could eliminate a purchasing barrier? In a  compilation highlighting sites that provide superior checkout experiences, praises stylus retailer  Fifty Three for its think-outside-the-box creativity. Rather than using the typical “those who bought this also bought that” language, they changed the wording in their upsell offer to read “Add Extras.” This wording signals the customer to explore accompanying items that will make their purchase feel more complete. As an alternative to common upselling language, you might also consider using the terms:

  • Special offers;
  • Picked just for you;
  • Get it while it lasts;
  • Bundle and save.

… What else can you come up with?

4. Add social share buttons to your online shopping cart


Adding social share buttons to your online shopping cart gives customers the option to share what they just purchased on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or other social media platforms. While this isn’t a direct upsell technique, it does blaze a trail of social proof that your brand offers in-demand products (which helps drive more sales from your customers’ friends).

Research shows social sharing influences customer behavior, and you can use this to your advantage by adding a simple widget to your checkout page. Here is what research from Social Impact reveals:

  • 62% of online shoppers have read product-related comments from their Facebook friends;
  • 75% of those who read social sharing comments have clicked on the product link leading directly to a retailer’s website;
  • 53% of shoppers who have clicked through to the retailer’s site have made a purchase;
  • 81% of consumers who purchase products as a result of social sharing are valuable social sharers themselves (prompting a cycle of sharing and buying).

The research also shows that when it comes to helpfulness when searching for products, customers rely on social sharing just about as much as they do on Google search. Forty-nine percent said they find Google search helpful, whereas 48% said social media comments and shares help guide their buying decisions.

Look at it this way: Adding social share buttons to your online shopping cart can equate to free promotion for your online store. And, unless there are hiccups with your internal systems, it couldn’t hurt.

Wrapping up

Which of these checkout adjustments make the most sense for your business? Can you take steps to incorporate them today?

While upselling can be a powerful eCommerce tool, we understand that it is only one piece of a well-rounded business strategy. Integrating systems and incorporating recurring revenue streams can also help reduce friction and supercharge your sales. If you need guidance on putting together a results-driven action plan, our eCommerce experts are here to help. Schedule time on our calendar for a risk-free complimentary brainstorming session with one of our eCommerce experts.