Checkout - image: Annabelle Bota Gaspar/FlickrOne of the great questions when optimizing an online store is how to improve the conversion rate. Most of all problems regarding abandoned carts are related to layout and we can list 9 design tips which will help your store to sell more and prevent customers going away without finishing checkout.

Let’s see them, even if your store is not powered by Magento:

1) Keep shopping cart always visible

The customer is browsing in your store. Every time she founds a product she wants, she adds to the cart. It would be great to the store if she was really interested in all these items but most of all she doesn’t realize how many items she put into the cart and can be surprised with the amount value after few pages, when finally she decides it’s enough and goes to the checkout. When this happens, probably you lose a customer.

Keep your shopping cart always visible, on the header or any sidebar, showing at least the total value of the purchase and in a special style, remembering the customer it’s time to go to checkout. Magento does that by default.

2) Improve Add to Cart button aspect

There are some different behaviors according with text and button color. When you read “Add to Cart”, the idea is different from “Learn More” or “Buy Right Now”. Check which text is better to your target and which colors will perform well.

3) Use a clear navigation menu

Your customer has added a product into her cart. Now you have two options, take her to checkout page or offer some products to increase average ticket. Remember, if you want to sell more, you should provide a clear navigation menu and close related products, avoiding distractions which could drive to an abandoned cart.

4) Turn easy your customer’s experience

Every customer is unique and deserves an unique experience. Allow your customer to filter out, sort out, select products in the way she thinks it’s better. If she is looking for cheaper products, she wants to see them first. If she seeks for a specific brand products, this feature must be available and so on. Freedom is the word here.

5) Add a quick view to your product listing

This is specially useful when your product listing page uses grid stile, with few information (usually only image, name and price). If the customer stops the mouse over a product, she will see a bundle of more informations, like a small description, available colors and sizes. This allows customers to see more product details without clicking on it – and risking lose them in a complicated navigation.

6) Organize product informations in a clear way

Probably, this is the most important item here. If a customer doesn’t find what she is looking for of if she has many doubts, you are not able to sell to her. Every time somebody has doubts, the most common decision is to return to Google and search again.

Organize product informations in a clear way, inserting most important ones first and additional after them. Make yourself clear to your customer about what she’s got in her cart and all specs.

7) Display if the product is available or not, in a clear way

We still can find several stores that don’t show to the customer if the product is available – she discovers only after trying to insert it into the cart. Sometimes, a customer only discovers that many days after the purchase without an apology or a refund. You can’t be wrong here: if you have the product, perfect, show “In stock”. You don’t have the product, perfect again, show “Out of stock”. If you are working without your own stock, tell customers about that, saying a message like “This product may be out of stock” or “Verify availability before purchase”.

8) Offer a shipping estimate on product page

Sometimes, we discover that product shipping costs almost half of the product price; so most of times paying that much for this product is not a wise decision. If your customer had discovered that early, you could have saved at least your image. Offer a shipping estimate box along product page.

9) No distractions on your checkout page

Your customer has entered your checkout page. From this point, no more distractions which could lead her to an abandoned cart! It’s not time anymore to sell an extra product or to offer additional options. Get her shipping address, her payment data, get her confirmation and be happy. Next time, you can sell more to her!

Andre Gugliotti

Andre Gugliotti is a lucky guy. In 2008, he knew Magento and started to work with this amazing platform. Yes, we can say that Magento is amazing even when it drives everybody crazy. He is a specialist in ecommerce with Magento, wrote two books about Magento and is in charge of Bargento Brazil.