Analytics Spotlight: Goal Funnel Optimization Part 2by Anvil on May 27, 2009Website Analytics
Alright, now that we know to keep forms short, lets tackle shopping carts. As a frequent online shopper, I’ve seen my fair share of online shopping carts, and as an SEO-nerd, I’m highly critical of them. So before we dig into our analytics, I have to get one thing off my chest. Maybe there are studies that suggest this is the way to go, but the worst thing you can do to lose a potential customer (well, at least me) is not tell me the price of something until it is in my shopping cart. I could understand the argument that says if its already in my cart I’m more likely to buy, but really I’m just going to be frustrated that you’re making me do extra work to find out how much something is going to cost. And since shoppers online tend to be bargain hunting or at least more sensitive to price, just make it easy.
Ok, I’m done with that part. Sorry.
So lets look at an example, see what the analytics say and figure out what we might be able to do to increase sales.
Pretty straightforward checkout process here – but only about 1/3 of shoppers who put an item in their cart make a purchase. This site tells me the price before I put a product in the cart, so no excuses there. I imagine the abandonment rate of carts where you are not told the price is much higher.
So what happens when I put a product into my shopping cart? Well, I’m taken to a pretty bland page with small buttons to continue my checkout process or keep shopping at the top and bottom of the page. Easy enough fix, make those checkout buttons larger and place them right beneath or next to my order summary instead of at the top and bottom of the page.
Alright, lets say I’m ready to checkout and manage to find the little button. Guess what? I’m now asked to either log in as a returning customer or create a profile. Nooooooooo! Don’t force me to do this. Give me the option to save/create a profile while I’m checking out. Go buy something at Nordstrom to see how to do this effectively.
On a side note – and this is an analytics situation more than anything, once you are taken to the site’s “Create an account page” its not part of the checkout funnel process, and therefore is counted as an exit from the first step. There is a separate goal and funnel for the sign-up process, so you’re going to have to reconcile some of that data.
If we take a look at the account sign up funnel, which gets most of its visitors from the shopping cart… guess what that exit rate looks like? They get 1,200 visitors from the shopping cart dumped into the account registration, and only 10% register. The rest leave the site, and don’t buy your product.The 182 or so folks get dumped back into your checkout goal. Those other 303 visitors coming directly into the sign-up process are mostly repeat customers in case you were curious.
So, after spending 10 minutes looking at some analytics data, we have 2 actionable changes that are more than likely to improve your conversion rate, and increase sales. Throw some bigger buttons on the site and get rid of that mandatory account sign up process. And then laugh yourself all the way to the bank, baby.