Tom Nason Team : Project Manager Tags : Common Sense User Experience

Is cart abandonment killing your business?

Tom Nason Team : Project Manager Tags : Common Sense User Experience

If you’re anything like me you try to do your shopping online whenever possible. The idea of driving to a shopping centre, battling for a park and then fighting my way through crowds of people sounds a lot like a chore.

Over the weekend I was reminded of why one might actually want to go to the shops. The weather is getting cold here in Sydney and I needed a new jacket. I turned to a brand I trusted and chose to buy direct as they had a bigger range than their partner retailers.

At first glance the site ticked all the boxes.

  1. It was mobile responsive
  2. I found it relatively easy to navigate to the product I was interested in
  3. The photos showed the different colour variations (this is still far less common than it should be in 2015!)
  4. Adding items to the cart was easy and it gave me information about shipping times and costs up front

So far so good.

Then I hit the checkout process which was as easy as one, two three…4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9? I lost track.

First I had to register for an account. This involved waiting for a confirmation email so that they could verify my details. It didn’t log me in straight away so I found the log in button myself. This cleared the cart. Frustration built as I looked for the product again and added it to my new cart.

Then it was time to enter my address. I wanted it shipped to work because that’s where I am during business hours. The form validation refused to let me a company name or “ground floor” or “Wiliam pty ltd” in address line one or two so I wound up putting this information in brackets after my last name just to make sure it got printed on the packing slip.

The developer had also chosen to clear the entire form if a validation error was triggered in any of the 5 steps. At this stage I was just about ready to call it quits.

When I finally reached the end of the process I was left feeling frustrated and my respect for the brand had dropped significantly. I’d lost half an hour of my life and I wondered if the goods would even arrive.
Enough whinging, let’s talk about how this particular site may have wound up the way it did, and how the owners could improve it.

The solution to the above problems could be as simple as:

  1. Making the guest checkout more prominent
  2. Adding a company, unit or special instructions field
  3. Rethinking the Magento plugin they used to offer a “one step checkout” (really just 5 steps on one page)
  4. Spending a few hours polishing the address validation rules

These changes may have taken their development team less than a day and would likely have increased conversions tenfold.

The interesting thing is that by adding conversion/drop off tracking, North Face could easily have identified these issues shortly after the website launched and addressed them on the spot. I’d love to get my hands on their analytics to see just how many carts are being abandoned.

Customers have high expectations. Offer a subpar experience and they might abandon their cart and take their business elsewhere, or worse, write a blog about you.