3 Simple (but Effective) Cart Test Ideas

A/B testing is one of the most effective ways to discover problems and resolve issues that contribute to online cart abandonment. Testing ways to reduce your customers’ anxiety, encouraging them to follow through with their checkout, and removing certain “purchase blockers” will help keep your conversions and revenue high.

Here are three simple (but highly effective) cart test ideas that you can try that we’ve carried out.

1. Use a Unique Value Proposition

When you’re A/B testing your shopping cart experience, consider showing a unique value proposition to encourage checkout. Value on the cart is typically communicated with direct savings like promotional codes or deals. It can also be communicated with social proof such as customer testimonials that extol the values of your products or services.

In a test our team conducted, we decided to show the customer a value proposition about why they should choose our product over the competitor. Specifically, our message let customers know that proceeds would benefit the online store’s nonprofit organization. It was a message that resonated very well with the customer at a critical juncture in the shopping process and proved to elevate their conversion rate by 19.5%.

2. Show Your Return Policy

Another great cart testing strategy is finding ways to reassure your audience and reduce purchase anxiety. Simple ways to accomplish this are through security icons, showing in-stock messages, and providing any relevant product warranties. While we were already doing this for one client, we hypothesized we could lower abandonment rate even more by displaying our return policy.

Typically this information is buried on a FAQ page so not readily accessible to the consumer. By bringing it out of the depths and repositioning it as a “30-day Money Back Guarantee” (which still held true), we let shoppers know they could simply return the product if they were not pleased, heavily reducing their purchase anxiety. After testing, we saw a 7.4% increase in conversion rate.

3. Remove the Shipping Estimate

Online shopping carts have many elements there that are intended to help the user complete their purchase. These include things like promotional codes, shipping estimates, and product upsells. To see how users interact with these elements, we recommend using a tool like Hotjar that has many different analysis options like:

  • User Videos: Record user sessions on the cart to see how users interact with it.
  • Heatmaps: Quickly analyze areas of the cart that get a lot of user interaction.
  • User Polls: Ask your customers directly if there is anything preventing them from proceeding with the checkout process. You can add the poll on the cart or after purchase.

In our test, we hypothesized that customers were experiencing increased purchase anxiety because of the shipping estimator, as evidenced by its high click rate. This made sense as most products were large and had a high shipping price. By removing this feature from the cart and having the user do their shipping estimates later in the checkout process, we were able remove the main anxiety producer and delay it until a more invested time in checkout. The results spoke for themselves as Checkouts increased by 14% and Purchases by 6%.

If you’re interested in testing your own shopping cart experience and reducing abandoned shopping cart rates, testing can help forward this goal. For more actionable information from Elite SEM, check out our tips sheet: How to Convert: Top 10 CRO Tips.

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