Digital Digest: Keeping Business Brisk

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Online shopping is growing in popularity. And there’s not much more proof needed than Black Friday 2018. Reports show that 165 million people hit the web to shop, leaving in-store foot traffic down five to nine percent, according to RetailNext.

If you are a savvy business owner, you probably already have an eCommerce presence, or are at least working on getting one up soon. But with the ever-growing boom in online shopping, your ecommerce site needs to keep shoppers engaged. It’s much easier to leave a virtual cart and shop online somewhere else than it is to drive from store to store.

Fickle consumers can find better prices, easier checkout, and faster shipping with just a mouse click. A December 2018 online shopper study on cart abandonment shows that 56 percent of consumers who add items to their cart and then not complete the full transaction, do so because of unexpected prices. These prices can be additional fees, taxes, or even high shipping rates. In fact, high shipping cost was sited in 44 percent of all consumers leaving an ecommerce site without finalizing their purchase.

How can you avoid these two main reasons for cart abandonment? Put yourself in a consumer’s shoes and walk through making a purchase on your eComm site. While making a purchase, look to see if all costs are clearly stated up front, before even adding the product to the cart. Does the product description include the full and total cost, does it note anywhere in the description that taxes will be added (and what percentage that tax will be)? Do you have it clearly stated how much shipping will cost and the time frame of the shipment?

Shipping is a touchy subject for many online retailers. Consumers want cheap, if not free, shipping that arrives quickly. Some eComm sites offer free shipping but tally the cost into the overall price. If that makes your product uncompetitive, try to find ways to reduce costs elsewhere so free, or near-free shipping can be offered. 

Checkout needs to be simple, with as few steps and complications as possible, and it needs to be secure. Surprisingly, the number of consumers who abandon because of these issues isn’t as immense as unexpected costs and high shipping, but it’s large enough.

Some 25 percent of online shoppers leave an eComm site after adding products into their cart because of complicated navigation. Eighteen percent leave because of excessive security checks (ex. Involved captcha, math problems, or having to click on similar-themed photos). And 17 percent leave because of concerns about the security of inputting their credit card. These can be easily solved by offering your eComm on an https site, rather than http. The “s” means secure. In addition to offering online shopping on a secure part of your website, add a trusted badge, like Verisign, PayPal Verified, BBB Accredited Business, Hacker Safe, or Truste Certified Privacy.

It’s tough enough for small business to compete in an online world where one click can get a consumer almost anything shipped to them for free the next day. So it’s a small business’ responsibility to help the consumer that has chosen to support them by making the online transaction as easy and smooth as possible.

As originally published on Clearbridge Branding Agency is a digital marketing agency located in Glassboro. Visit

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