Performing A/B tests on an e-commerce cart should give you valuable insights for improving conversions. What makes people increase the sizes of their purchase? Which shopping cart elements raise a person’s confidence in site security? Can you make a new user more likely to register for an account instead of leaving without purchasing?
Here are six A/B tests you should consider running for e-commerce cart optimization purposes:
1. Simplify the Selection Process for Optional Goods/Services
Perhaps your company offers suggested items based on the things in a person’s cart. If so, you might hypothesize that more people would complete their checkouts if you simplified the process for choosing those extras or allowing a person to confirm they didn’t want them. If you need to prioritize your hypothesis after coming up with several options, consider how drop-down lists and pop-up windows could aid in picking optional extras.
A company that specializes in helping customers book travel packages performed an A/B test that changed the steps individuals took to add optional services. The control option had three large buttons at the bottom of the page. Then, the revamped version included small plus sign (+) buttons that people could press to indicate their desire to tack on extra stuff to their purchases — then a large green Checkout button.
The changed version caused a 36.5% increase in cart conversions. It also made the process of paying for something less cumbersome. If customers get confused or upset about the checkout process, they may give up, causing the business to miss out on near-sales.
2. Make “Cart Carrots” More Visible
Besides getting customers to buy things, marketers also want them to buy more in each transaction. They could achieve that with strategic A/B testing related to “cart carrots.” Those are prompts that urge people to add more items to their carts to qualify for a special offer or discount.
You may hypothesize that your cart carrots get missed in the overall layout of your shopping cart, meaning that people don’t see them. If trying to prioritize a hypothesis, figure out which options are most likely to increase visibility and sales, and choose one of those selections. You can always go back and try the others in future tests.
The beauty retailer Ulta puts its cart carrots in red text and displays them directly above a person’s total on the shopping cart page. Some other companies place their cart carrots elsewhere, such as in banners in the uppermost section of a page. However, it’s easy to see why putting them near a person’s total price to pay is a smart idea.
Most people arguably look at the total amount before consenting to it. They might want to ensure their monthly budget is big enough to accommodate the purchase. Or, they might consider whether the amount is small enough that they can add a few more things before moving further along in the process.
3. Add a Security Badge to the Shopping Cart Page
Since data breaches have become so common, many customers want extra assurance that e-commerce retailers are doing what they should to maintain a stable cybersecurity infrastructure. Your company may hypothesize that people will buy more frequently if you add a security badge to the checkout page. That possibility is not far-fetched.
For example, the owner of a website called RTA Cabinet Store decided to test the effects of placing a Norton Secured Seal to the right side of his shopping cart, directly underneath the list of all the items a customer purchased and the respective prices. He reported that the minor change caused a 23.9% boost in cart completion rate, plus an 18% uptick in revenue.
If you are trying to prioritize hypotheses related to several kinds of security badges or their placement on your website, focus on name recognition and prominence. For example, the provider of the security badge should be a brand that most people know, and you should strongly consider putting the graphic in an easy-to-see location on the shopping cart page — such as not in the footer.
4. Implement Social Login Buttons to Drive Shopping Cart Conversions
Imagine a scenario where a person begins shopping at your e-commerce website and fills a cart with things they want to buy. They likely can’t progress past that point without registering or logging in first. Even when a company offers a guest checkout option, most shoppers typically must provide at least an email address so that the system has some well-defined way to identify them.
Statistics indicate that nearly 80% of people prefer to use social login buttons instead of creating new registrations. Maybe you hypothesized that registration forms are the top reason why shoppers don’t purchase their items after putting them in their shopping cart. In that case, you could put the social login buttons directly on the shopping cart page and call them out as options that let shoppers finalize their transactions faster.
Fashion retailer ASOS ran a test to include social login buttons for facilitating site registration. The retailer added a prompt on the shopping cart page that asked, “New to ASOS?” and paired it with a Continue button. When people clicked the button, they saw a screen that displayed the social login buttons for new users, plus allowed registered users to log into their accounts. That change cut the cart abandonment rate in half.
5. Display Information or Resources Within the Shopping Cart Page to Inform Customers
If customers have items in their shopping carts, but unanswered questions remain, they may decide it’s not worth the risk to complete their purchases. Gap, the clothing retailer, addressed that matter by adding links to the shopping cart page that customers could use to get details about shipping, returns and the company’s credit card safeguards.
6. Create a Dedicated Cart Page for Mobile Users
Smith Optics, an online eyewear retailer, wanted to increase its conversion rates. The found a significant drop-off in mobile traffic on the cart page. Moreover, user tests showed that mobile users scrolled up and down within the shopping cart screen, unaware of the next steps. Once the company made a specific page to help mobile users, there was an 8% lift in checkout visits and a 3.4% increase in transactions.
These six ideas are not the only A/B tests you can implement for your e-commerce cart. However, they could be a good start.
PS. Even when e-commerce businesses run tests, a shopping card is often left untouched because “it’s just the way the [shopping platform] has it set up”. That’s a mistake. There could be some easy wins waiting to be won.