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WEB/DIGITAL Shopping cart conversion help

Discussion in 'Business Models, Niches, Industries' started by GoldenEggs, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. GoldenEggs
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    GoldenEggs Contributor

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    Our numbers are terrible. We have a high number of orphaned carts and I am trying to figure out why. I am totally new to e-commerce so I am not sure what to do.

    We have the traffic, despite no marketing or advertising. The only way people find us if they are looking for a certain item or they are a repeat customer. Suprisingly enough, the website keeps on going, even when we tried to let it "die."

    Our web guy is debuting new features/tools/new system to our shopping cart so I am very excited about that. However, I would really like to decrease the orphaned carts and increase our fulfillment. Another of our webguy's clients sells organic peanut butter and their fulfillment rate is 52%! What am I missing?? :bgh: Here is a link to the site, if someone could help me with what we are doing wrong or if I am taking the right steps below to correct it.

    Things that need to be improved that I am aware of:
    - need to have more selective, unique items, we don't want to compete with musicians
    friend or guitar center
    - need to advertise and market ourselves
    - need to include reviews and videos of our products (this is readily available from the
    manufacturer - just have not been able to get to it yet)
    - create product packages (for example, if you buy this ukulele, we recommend Cases
    A, B and C and here are the package prices)
    - website needs to be updated (this should be happening within a month or so)
    - some resource type things, the listening lounge, venue listing, artist pages are on hold
    until I/we increase our shopping carts

    Things I am doing now:
    - updating our current product descriptions and pricing
    - creating a small collection of FAQ on certain products (I have very little musical
    instrument knowledge so everytime we get a question from the customer I have to
    ask my husband about laqcuer shrinkage or the difference between a soprano ukulele
    and a concert ukulele, etc. I have been compiling the answers to create a resource
    library of sorts)
    - researching what tasks can be outsourced and creating a sample project before I
    commit to someone (so I can work on the things that need to be improved!)
    - 99% of our products are drop shipped so that helps me

    What can I do to increase our sales fulfillment and decrease the number of orphaned carts? I am a little hesitant to make a drastic change considering that we are getting an updated website and new shopping cart features.

    Right now, the site pays the bills and very little fun stuff. I want to improve it so we can really start pursuing the other aspects of the original plan. For example, I would love to be able to talk to Russ or Yves about the possibility of having a music clinic or festival at their locations. We also want to build up our real estate portfolio, which is where my husband has been spending most of his time. But I need to get more money coming in first!
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
  2. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Where is your cart being abandoned at? Check out my post about my ecommerce site and my abandonment rate.

    http://www.livelearninvest.com/blog/the-google-funnel/



    [​IMG]

    I have since updated my goal funnel so I it's more revealing. If they are abandoning from shopping cart -> exit, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I just did that on your site twice while clicking around. If they are leaving after creating an account or just before confirmation, that would worry me more.
     
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  3. GoldenEggs
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    GoldenEggs Contributor

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    I will have to look at that in more detail. Right now, the customer can select the item to buy, fill out their billing/shipping info, select a shipping rate, see the order total, pay and then receives an email confirming their order.

    The only time they would need to create an account is if they wanted to see our lowest price on certain items.

    What I do see a lot of is people placing items in the shopping cart and then leaving. I will need to look further if they are leaving because of the shipping/handling (not sure how to fix this as it is a straight pass through from the manufacturer). What do you think about wishlists? It's a feature we will be getting when our site updates but is it really helpful?
     
  4. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    I placed a few items in a cart and shipping was $87.00. That seems really high.

    I also got this with some other items.

    PACKAGE 1 - Shipping could not be calculated and may be added later. - $0.00
    1 - Rocktron Accessory, Tap Adaptor Cable Set 006-2019

    PACKAGE 2 - Shipping could not be calculated and may be added later. - $0.00
    1 - Route 66 Neon Clock


    How can you expect someone to purchase something when they don't know the shipping amounts?

    I can see many people abandoning here.
     
  5. GoldenEggs
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    GoldenEggs Contributor

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    Yes!! Thank you! This is the kind of thing I looking for!!

    Only a few vendors do US Postal mail delivery; it's mostly UPS and Fed Ex. I know that if the customer enters a PO box, we can't calculate the shipping but a message is supposed to pop up that that we need a street address. Also, I know that if an item does not have a shipping weight then shipping/handling can't be calculated so I am fixing that as I go along.

    There are some other quirky things I've noticed, such as when I remove the buy button on an item, it isn't removed globally from the site. I'm making a list of errors that I'm coming across to send over to my webguys.

    There are some things I can do now, such as make sure shipping weight is present on all items and other things that I need my webguys to fix. And there are other things, like the high shipping costs on some things, that I just don't know what to do about yet. We don't make any money off the shipping/handling so I can't reduce it since it some cases it would cancel any profit we would get on a product. But I appreciate your feedback greatly!! Totally helps!
     
  6. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    What if you raise your prices on your products and offer fixed shipping prices.
     
  7. GoldenEggs
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    GoldenEggs Contributor

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    We're in the process of changing products and pricing structure. So there is room to play around with the pricing on some of the products.

    Fixed shipping price is something I would like to do in the future. I'm not sure how to work it now because we lack a central warehouse. Items are shipped directly from the manufacturer so if the guitar vendor is in San Francisco, a CA resident would pay less shipping/handling than a FL resident. Also, guitar picks are cheaper to ship than an upright bass, and an upright bass is cheaper to ship than a full size jukebox. Also, while we have not sold any yet... we do have tour busses available! Shipping/handling on that will be interesting...
     
  8. CactusWren
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    CactusWren Contributor

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    Just curious...

    Are you moving from an open source cart (ie zen cart, oscommerce, etc) to your own website?

    I am contemplating the possibility and would like to hear more about it. We have been having lots of trouble with USPS since they increased/changed their rates before the holidays last year, but I am using zen cart...

    One big thing I am working on is getting a merchant account vs just paypal (if interested see thread with that title).

    I am using Google analytics to see patterns and to see were potential customers are leaving the site. I do not master the program even remotely but it is certainly helpful, and gives me ideas for changing stuff around. Marketing Sherpa has a book that was recommentded to me in this forum about Landing pages. My biz cannot afford the book, but the excerpt available has given me work for a month.

    Good luck!
     
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  9. Diane Kennedy
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    Diane Kennedy Bronze Contributor

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    Where's your thread on merchant acct probs, Cactuswren? I have some resources in Phoenix that might be able to help.
     
  10. GoldenEggs
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    GoldenEggs Contributor

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    Cactuswren,
    I am not sure what opensource is or how it is different from what I have now. We use Spidercart (have the enterprise version) and use awesome.net for analyzing our web traffic. I will look into Google Analytics. From Spidercart, I can get an idea of where people are leaving. But I looked at Biophase's test order and I couldn't tell that shipping was not calculated. I may be missing something so I need to ask my husband to clarify some things.

    We use authorize.net and paypal. Thanks for the Marketing Sherpa tip, I will have to find that thread and check it out!
     
  11. CactusWren
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    CactusWren Contributor

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  12. CactusWren
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    CactusWren Contributor

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    Goldeneggs,

    Open source basically means free software. Its stuff that people also update for free.

    Google analytics shows you where people are coming from, as well as where they leave. I am completely new to this, but it seems very helpful.

    Also, if you are only doing Paypal I suggest you visit the abovementioned thread to see what the real experts are saying.
     
  13. GoldenEggs
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    GoldenEggs Contributor

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    Cactuswren,

    Thanks for the explanation and links to the other threads!

    We use authorize.net along with Paypal. Paypal is not our only source of receiving payments. We don't get much business with Paypal; 99% of our sales are through authorize.net. I remember someone saying that Paypal does not accept personal check but the rare checks that we have received, were through Paypal.

    And I think I finally figured out why Biophase didn't see a shipping total. It was driving me nuts, trying to recreate the error because I was always able to see the shipping options/pricing. Somehow, the country selection was EC. We need to remove country designations from the checkout process. International orders take too much of time to ship right now and calculating the shipping was a problem because not all vendors would do small international vendors. We do have a UK contact so we're trying to work something out with them.

    And I just "found" a feature on our cart called Reports! Apparently there are already several reports available and I can create a new one anytime. I'm still learning how to use our backend so the information I need to find our bugs or what isn't working is probably there... I just haven't used it yet.
     
  14. GoldenEggs
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    GoldenEggs Contributor

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    FINALLY!!!

    We had a loooooooooooong overdue conversation with our web guys today! I knew our website was "old" but WOW! I didn't realize the extent of how out of date! A lot of the problems or glitches that I was bringing up, the answer was, oh, that's the old way, or we've moved on to something better. Uh, ok, thanks for telling us! :smx4:

    Anyways, now that we can focus on the website again, I'm excited that things will be working correctly and then we can really promote our website.
     
  15. psynapse
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    psynapse Contributor

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    GoldenEggs,

    First of all, congratulations on developing a website that generates traffic, and has people adding to the cart! Once you have traffic, there are two main points for improving conversion: 1. Getting people to add to cart (done by improving bounce rates, exit rates, creating appealing packages, cognitively appealing product/landing pages, etc)
    2. Getting people to finish the checkout.

    People abandon the cart for a variety of reasons; primarily difficulty of navigation, lack of trust, and lack of belief in value.

    Let's start with what happens when you add to cart. You first go to this page:
    http://www.themusicmotel.com/store/spidercart/cart.asp
    Here, the person sees their cart to confirm their order before going to final checkout. You want to make it "stupid obvious" where to click next (easing navigation difficulty).

    Studies show that the eye first moves to the price, then searches for a checkout button. On this page, your checkout button is the same color scheme as the rest of the page, causing it to 'blend in', even though it is flashing. If you notice major eCommerce sites, their checkout button/action button is usually yellow/orange. Try using an orange checkout button to cause it to 'pop out' more, and this simple fix can improve checkout rates dramatically.

    Next, you will want to move the checkout button right next to the price. Make their eye travel as little as possible, and in a smooth, guided line. So customer clicks cart, looks at cart, is now able to checkout easily. The attention threshold of shoppers is amazingly low, so even if they have to scan 2 seconds to look for the "next" button, you've lost people right there.

    Now, Trust. The next page they move to is:
    https://secure2.spidercart.com/themusicmotel-com/secure/checkout.asp
    This page is fairly bare, and does not scream "trust". Some tips to improve trust factor:
    Yes, you have the Verisign logo in the top left hand corner, but again, the eye would need to "jump" to see this. Place the Verisign logo in the standard eye path - at the top middle, and right next to the "next" button. Again, you may want to make your "next" button yellow/orange.

    Consider utilizing HackerSafe/HackerShield/Better Business Bureau. People are weary about giving their information over the internet, so any third-party references increase trust. Place their logos and badges next to critical eye-points.
    Examine:
    http://www.racksandstands.com/asp/basket.asp?fromadd=1&upsell=1&goHome=
    Notice their shields and logos on the bottom.

    The other thing they do really well is reminding the user of Value. Notice the highlighted "you save", "Free!" shipping, and "No Tax" reminders. As customers go through the checkout process, they may have mini "buyers-remorse", and abandon the moment the impulse to buy has gone.

    Couple of other quick tips/best practices:
    * show a picture of the item in your checkout. Studies have shown this can improve abandonment by almost 10%. After all, they are buying the mental image, not words that say "xx guitar"
    * utilize Google Checkout = instead credibility (plus, it will help PPC .. but that's another point of discussion).
    * utilize a white/light colored background. For some reason, this instills more trust.
    * place your contact information on every page. Make them feel that they can call a number and speak to a live person at any time. Even if you only have it go to an answering machine, it will still help conversion rates by mere presence.
    * reduce # of fields and page length as much as possible. Some people don't know how to scroll (yes it's true), so they never see the "next" button. ie: keep everything above the fold if possible.

    These are some things I have personally done with my eCommerce websites to increase conversion.

    Lastly, I'll leave you with this formula that I gained from a page conversion webinar:

    C = 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) - 2a.
    C = "probability of conversion"
    m = motivation of user (when) - this deals with getting people to add to cart.
    v = clarity of value proposition (why they should buy from you, discussed above)
    i = incentive to take action eg, "buy now to receive a discount" etc. . whatever it takes to motivate them NOW
    f = friction elements of process (improved by reducing # fields/clicks)
    a = anxiety about entering information (improved by adding trust elements)

    Best of luck, feel free to PM me for personal examples.

    ::
     
    CactusWren, CMCarlin and GoldenEggs like this.
  16. GoldenEggs
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    GoldenEggs Contributor

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    Thanks for the input! rep++

    The unfortunate part is that TODAY is the first time I've ever had the VeriSign logo appear! I have been wanting that and HackerSafe/HackerShield/Better Business Bureau, amongst other things, but had to wait.

    We JUST got the ball rolling with our website guys again. So we will be doing a redesign of the the site on the front end AND the back end. One big factor was that we never pushed for anything from our guys so we fell off their radar for a bit and that was ok becuase we were thinking of just dropping the website all together. We just decided last September that we DO want to continue with the business so I had to figure out how it all worked and started noticing problems/glitches/things we should have but don't, etc.

    Anyways, our site is very behind but that will change! I think 99% of our problems is due to the fact that everything we have is very outdated! Until this February, we had scrolling descriptions on each product. I hated it and couldn't figure out why it was there. I mentioned it when we were at their office and he said, oh yeah, that's the old way and removed the scrolls right then and there. Unforunately it's not going to happen overnight but anything that can be fixed quickly will get done first.
     
  17. CMCarlin
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    CMCarlin Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Excellent tips psynapse! Rep ++
     

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