Bah! Stop Doing These 4 Awful Things In Your Shopping Cart!

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The world of eCommerce continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Online shops are selling in an ever more competitive marketplace. We’ve seen what happens to the winners vs. losers equation when things happen at the “speed of web”.

Our Fort Collins eCommerce experts recognize that an eCommerce website is more than a simple cart and checkout. Every visit to your online store is a potential sale. If your shopping cart is doing these 4 terrible things, however, you will see a lot of abandoned carts, vapor sales, and empty bank accounts.

Avoid these four terrible shopping cart mistakes:
[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h5″]1. Offsite Checkout[/x_custom_headline]
Imagine. It’s 2003 again. You are preparing to dip your toe into online selling for the very first time. You start to price out the various pieces: shopping cart, payment gateway, bank fees…whoa. It adds up.

But then you notice some of the providers have cheap options that don’t require direct integration. Yeah, let’s do that! Actually, please don’t.

Nothing separates the actual eCommerce players from the hobbyists like offsite checkout. You have your credit card out to pay, and suddenly you are on a different-looking website where the payment details have to be input. Many of us have purchased this way before.

Like a decade ago.

In 2016, there is one offsite payment experience most of us will tolerate and that is PayPal. If your non-PayPal credit card processing is pulling your visitors out of your site, you are sending clear messages that your shop is not well-designed, possibly not secure, and definitely old.

[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h5″]2. Discount Code Fields (especially unused ones!)[/x_custom_headline]
Of course, feel free to use coupons. Feel free to leave a coupon code field in your checkout process to manage your coupon offers for customers.

But if you are like the majority of eCommerce shops, you don’t have any regular coupon strategy, and you likely just left the coupon field available in case it ever comes up in the future.

The problem with this approach is twofold: first, it looks…template-y. Coupon fields showing up on absolutely every shopping cart are just an unintended consequence of a few popular shopping cart engines default settings. Second, there is data suggesting higher cart abandonment directly caused by coupon fields. Essentially, having a coupon code field implies there may be a code somewhere. People in the middle of checkout are seen to back out, search around the site for any coupon codes, and sometimes leave the site altogether, all in the quest for a coupon code they may have missed. And once they have left your site, who knows what competitor coupons they may encounter?
[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h5″]3. Forcing Registration During Checkout[/x_custom_headline]
Many of these lists about shopping cart mistakes are melodramatic. Being of this web world, I tend to look past a lot of these mistakes when I’m checking out with my purchase. But not this one. There is no faster way to get me to walk away than a forced website registration process during checkout.

Let me be clear: there are many reasons to register during checkout, depending on the product or service being offered, and in many cases, it makes sense to include this option during checkout. But if you are selling sneakers or books, your checkout process better not require users to sign up or register as members.

Let them opt in to a newsletter or a site membership, but don’t require it. And for goodness sake, don’t add extra steps in the checkout process forcing this on your customers.
[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h5″]4. Lack of Trust Signals[/x_custom_headline]
Just as people were getting used to handing over their credit card information on secure checkouts about ten years ago, hackers and thieves’ attempts to thwart or steal from online buyers came to a fevered pitch. Despite the worst of these efforts creating real damage for real people, most of us refused to sacrifice our newly found freedom and purchasing power on the web. We compromise by checking websites for validity. There are things that any eCommerce shop should be doing to reassure their customers. We call these trust signals. The top 4 signals are not negotiable (in fact some payment processors will require them to do business with you) and should be highly visible for all visitors:


  • Refund Policy
    You must explain the terms of your policy on refunds. Even if (or especially if) you don’t offer refunds of any kind.


  • Privacy Policy
    Tell users exactly what you are going to do with their personal information. Hopefully it’s “nothing”, but in any case, this information should be spelled out for site visitors and plainly visible.


  • Payment Gateway Trust Badge
    Most payment gateways have trust badges, which connect directly to their own servers to provide a certificate of validity. People don’t know your name, but they’ll know or Simplify. If they see a badge, this is a terrific trust signal.


  • SSL Certificate
    Here again, more and more providers are requiring SSL if you are handing off data between your website and a payment processor. Google even recommends SSL for all pages of your site. That way even contact forms, login forms, and anything else you might have on your site will be encrypted and secure.

That wasn’t too bad was it? Don’t you agree that these mistakes are horrid and should be expunged from our collective web buying experience going forward?

Bill lives and plays in Fort Collins, Colorado. After a fulfilling career for a Fortune 50 company, Bill founded Colorado Web Design in 2012 with a passion for creative digital solutions for business. Bill likes to manage a wide variety of projects and tasks for his clients in the digital space. The creative elements of website design, application design, and marketing are enough to keep anyone busy and engaged, but wiping the slate clean over and over at the start of new projects comes with its own challenges. "I like to start with really good client communication sessions. The rest is easy if you get started in the right way." He plays tennis, bikes, and hikes and then undoes all of that with too much delicious food and TV watching.

About Colorado Web Design

We've been building websites for Colorado businesses since 2002. We are a small team of dedicated individuals who love the challenge of each new marketing project. We live and play in northern Colorado.

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