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10 Rules for Increasing Shopping Cart Conversions

If your business sells a product or service online, the main goal of your website is to get those conversions. There are important steps and features that factor into grabbing that sale all along the way. However, once your online shoppers get to the shopping cart, there are many things that you can do to increase the chances that they will complete that sale. Use the following 10 rules to increase shopping cart conversions and you will certainly see a lift in the amount of sales you get and bring your conversion rate up.

1. Do Not Require Registration: One of the first and most offensive road blocks sites have that inhibit sales is requiring registration or any information before being allowed to continue shopping or after entering an item into the online shopping cart. Do not require registration, always allow shoppers to check out as a guest. Although it is perfectly fine to list or link out to the benefits of registering with your website.

2. Keep it Simple: Checking out should be easy. Only ask for the minimum amount of information in order to complete the sale. You can always incentivize customers to give you more details later on; but during the checkout process is not the time to complicate things. Use technology to make things easier, such as auto-fill technology and using a check box if the shipping address is the same as the billing address.

3. Show Shipping Costs: Shoppers will want to know what the shipping costs are right away. It is often a factor into whether or not they want to purchase in the first place. If you can offer free shipping, that is even better and will increase conversions just with that factor alone. This is often even the case if your pricing is higher because many online shoppers just don’t like to have to pay for shipping. Test out and see if adding some of the shipping costs into your price margins and offering free shipping will give you a lift in conversions. If you do offer free shipping, be sure to display that in large font and very prominently throughout your site and on your shopping cart checkout as well. Free shipping can be just one of several shipping options that you offer. Having the availability of multiple shipping options will also increase conversions because some shoppers need fast delivery and others are looking for a bargain.

4. Upfront Policies and Pricing: In addition to showing shipping costs, you should also show all prices and have links to all of your policies. There is a fine balance to strike between offering the necessary information and over-cluttering your check out page which can confuse customers. However, letting shoppers know about your policies is very important.

5. Instill Confidence with Security: Privacy and security are very important factors when it comes to online shopping today. Customers trust you with very important details about their lives. Show that you take that seriously by using logos and badges on your check out pages to prove your site is secure and you do not share their information.

6. Product Guarantees: If you offer any guarantees or warrantees, be sure to display that, it is important to let shoppers know that they won’t be left out if what they buy from you doesn’t work or breaks.

7. Bright and Prominent Buttons: Your shoppers should easily see what the next step is in the process.

8. Consistent Look and Feel: Make sure that your shopping cart and check out pages have the same look and feel as the rest of your website. Customers will get suspicious or get confused. Some programs look different once shoppers add items to the cart. Make sure not to use programs like this because it will hurt conversions.

9. Test out Different Variables: Testing is a good strategy for all over your website, but it is especially important for your shopping cart. There are even programs that can help you determine if moving buttons, changing the size or color of buttons, or other changes make a difference in conversions for you. You can also test out the amount of information or types of links to policies that you put on your shopping cart page. Even without using a program or software, you can test out different variables yourself and then see the results each change has on conversions.

10. Follow Up: When shoppers visit your site, you should do your best to keep in touch with them whether they make a purchase or not. If they do not purchase, you can try retargeting campaigns or show a quick survey if they leave the shopping cart or check out without buying. If they do make a purchase, be sure to show them a confirmation screen right away and then send a confirmation email. You can send another email when you ship the product and one last follow up, but do not add customers to your newsletter without their permission. In the other email communications you do send, you can offer incentives, benefits, or coupons for signing up for your newsletter or registering with your website.


Constantly monitor and change your shopping cart and check out pages. This is the best way to always continue to increase conversions on a regular basis. Your shopping cart page is a very important part of your website. Make sure to treat your shopping cart pages well and pay close attention to them. Running test orders and asking friends that are not familiar with your website to try it out for you are simple ways to ensure that your shopping cart is performing its best for you.

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About Eric Thomas

Eric Thomas enjoys blogging for BrandMe. Sharing marketing and business knowledge, as well as gleaning knowledge from others is key to him.