Thursday, June 27, 2019

Why your visitors are just searching and moving away from “Add to Cart”

Recently our office announced organizing Marathon for Cleanliness Campaign.

Naturally, our first step was to buy new gear since we obviously need to look the part before actually doing anything. After Googling “running shorts” we landed on a couple of merchants selling all kinds of running gear.

We clicked through to some nice looking shorts and started investigating.

At first, we couldn’t understand why those “designed for running” shorts cost two or three times more than regular shorts. We had the time, so we dug deep. Eventually, we found the reason in small font, somewhere towards the bottom of the page, why the “designed for running” short we were looking at cost more.

After reading through it, it made total sense. These shorts were made with special breathable fabrics, included reflective details, and more. It all made sense.

But what would have happened if we didn’t have the time or interest and simply glanced at the product page?

We would have given up and left without ever learning why it cost more and potentially actually buying it. And obviously, this problem isn’t limited to running gear. There are merchants selling all manner of different products that make the same basic mistake — they hide product details.

A good product page design would make the most important product details prominent, and easy to read. Clear product descriptions are only one example of a well-designed product page.

Would-be buyers have a lot of questions that they are desperately trying to answer through the information on your pages. The moment of truth arrives at the very second they are considering clicking on that “Add to Cart” button.

If you’ve done your job right, you’ve just made a successful sale. Mess up at this critical high consideration zone(the area surrounding the button), and you’ve just lost one. Essentially what you’re doing, is designing outward from the “Add to Cart” to answer visitors questions and concerns. Let’s go through those questions/concerns, and explore how you can better support them.

The Right Product

When the moment of truth — the decision to buy — nears, customers will often look at product descriptions for that final nudge to make sure that the product fulfils their criteria. This means two things:
First, product description placement needs to be such that it’s hard to miss. Milton bottles, for example, places its descriptions next to a giant picture of the product itself. You have to try really hard to miss that one.

And secondly, the product descriptions need to be short, clear and easily understandable by anyone. It must anticipate people’s thoughts. For example, Milton bottles just do that. Is the material food grade (that’s the important stuff in plastics)? Check. What’s the capacity? Check. How big is it? Check. Can it take the heat? Check.

All the things that are important in a water bottle are brought out in an easy to understand and visually pleasing way. What are the must-know features of your products? Are they present in your product descriptions?

While Milton bottle uses a well-designed bulleted list for its product description, the one from Gym Source shows that good descriptions can also be presented as paragraphs of text.

What’s it like to use it? Check. What is it especially good at? Check. Line width? Check. Efficiency? Check.

Gym Source sells gym equipment. You would think that for merchandise like that, bringing out features as a bulleted list is the only way to go – not the case.

It’s not so much about what you sell that determines if you should be using bulleted lists or plain text. Both can work. It’s about the creative, the words used and how it plays with the rest of your site.

Additionally, displaying user generated content (UGC) such as reviews and star ratings can act as trust markers plus they can be used to find answers that are otherwise hard to find.

The Size Options

After making sure that they have found THE perfect product, the next logical questions is one of size. No matter if it’s a water bottle or a short – is it available in my preferred size or not?

In apparel, having clearly marked and easily understandable sizing information is just the beginning. You should absolutely have sizing information that shows clearly what’s available as well as those that are sold out.

The problem with sizing is that visitors often don’t know what their size is or really should be. Case in point, Amazon. Of all their returns, the maximum used to be due to size related issues. Well over half of all returns because of sizing issues. Not good.

This is complicated even more by added complexities of different brands having slightly different sizing. For that, a precise size chart is a crucial, and basic, first step.

Typically, size charts are a matrix of numbers like this:

Providing a size chart similar to the above is a great start, and it’s certainly better than not having one at all.

It gives the visitor exact measurements and even includes comparisons to “typical” sizing used in different regions and compares that with the sizing of the product at hand.

This is great when your sizing varies slightly from the norm and it’s vital information when choosing between different sizes.

Size charts like the one above have been, and continue to be, the norm, but you can do a better job of helping your visitors find the right size.

After that information is inserted, it moves into more specific questions like your chest size for example. Based on only the three measurements and approximates of other measurements, the system is able to provide you with “Your unique fit” - showing off why a certain size works the best and what might be the possible drawbacks of going a size smaller or bigger.

And the most important questions. Effectiveness. It’s all cool and nice looking, but if it doesn’t move the needle, it doesn’t really matter how nice or cool it looks. The answer to that is yes.

So let’s say your visitor is confident that what they’re about to buy fits them well. But it’s out of stock!

You’ve lost them. Unless...

You include a “Size Unavailable,” “Notify,” or similar text/box/button near the sizing information.

Clicking on it would open an email popup offering to let the customer know as soon as it’s back in stock. This ensures that you’re not missing out on sales simply because the needed size is not available.

The Colour Options

Found the right product and it’s got your needed size in stock? #success! Moving on, colour is another important factor for visitors considering your merchandise. Potential customers have to be able to figure out quickly what colours are available and if that colour is available in the correct size (this is why we let them choose a size first – so that we can display only the colours that we have in the correct size!).

When it comes to displaying the colour options, merchants have largely implemented this as either small product images like the Amazon example above or as solid colour blocks that visitors can choose from:

Either way, the emphasis has to be on clarity – is this merchandise available in black, and in my preferred size/packaging, or not?

Also, when you offer multiple colour options, all the variations need to have high-quality product images so that visitors can see with their own eyes how the product will actually look like.

This is especially important when you have gone the solid colour box route – colours look different in real life, and so having images of real products is needed to avoid customer disappointment down the line.

Take Wooden Elephant Jaipuri Keep work Multi colour antique Look Wine Bottle keeper as an example. They sell decorative containers that keep your bottle. They are multicolour so they are able to keep customer disappointment (when colour is the problem) to a minimum.

Shipping, Free Or..?

The end is near! Our visitors have gone through choosing the right product, the correct size and colour. They’ve seen the price and set the quantity. It’s almost the moment of truth, there’s just one lingering question – shipping. Will that be free? Or is there a threshold to qualify for free shipping? Or maybe it’s a flat fee?
Whichever way you have decided to go about shipping, make sure that it’s abundantly clear.

Several products on Amazon offer free shipping. Going forward, it’s clear to shoppers what they need to spend in order to get free shipping. Great.

And finally, when you add a product to the shopping cart, it notifies would-be customers one final time that the price they are seeing excludes shipping:

By adding these kinds of small reminders along the way, merchants can lessen the effects of seeing the additional costs.

Also, if you implement a free shipping threshold, make sure that the amount is displayed throughout critical pages like product pages and shopping carts. At the moment of truth, the moment of clicking on the “Add to Cart” button, seeing that I indeed qualify for free shipping can easily that final nudge that I needed to carry me over the finish line.

To level up from this, merchants can deploy dynamic free shipping threshold reminders. That means instead of just reminding visitors that free shipping is over $5 regardless of what’s in the cart already, it takes into account the cart value and displays something along the lines of “Only $3 to qualify for free shipping!”

The Return Policy

When dealing with merchandise with high(er) return rates like apparel, it doesn’t hurt to add a notice somewhere clearly visible on product pages about your exchange and returns policy.

The reason being that it gives shoppers more confidence that even if whatever they are buying doesn’t fit, they know that they can always return it.

The Same tactic of giving peace of mind about returns can also be used outside of apparel.

Final Destination

When making purchases online, there’s a process that we all go through. There are a set of questions that we’re always trying to find answers to.

Designing your product pages and especially the critically important area surrounding the “Add to Cart” button in a way that support quickly finding those answers greatly improves your chances of being successful in getting that sale.

We are a digital agency offering services to the enterprises for their Happy Selling experience online from scratch to the final stage. Contact us for more info -


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