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5 Tips for marketing through the purchasing process

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 15 Feb, 2013
Essential Essential topic

Examples showing how to help conversions after shoppers click Add to cart or Basket

When you run an ecommerce website, marketing doesn’t stop when your customer clicks the “Buy now” button.  According to research by the Baymard Institute, the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is 66.22%.

In order to encourage your online customers to input their credit card information, and complete the purchasing track, you need to keep marketing to them throughout the entire process.

Here are 5 tips on how to convert your online customers

  • 1. Use informative product pages

The more information you provide on your product pages, the more likely your customers will complete their sales. Check out this product page from ModCloth and the wealth of information it provides to the customer:

  • An engaging product description with a tab containing additional details.
  • Information on product availability.
  • Links to the company’s returns policy, shipping information and customer care.Megan Webb-Morgan 1
  • 2. Add reviews and testimonials

Another great feature of ModCloth’s product page is their customer reviews, which provides an overall product rating as well as more specific assessments of fit, width, and quality. A potential customer can’t try on the boot before they buy it but with this information, they know ahead of time whether it will be right for their size.

The first review on the product page and the only review above the fold, is a negative one. By responding to the review in a positive and forthright manner, ModCloth not only mitigates the effects of a bad review, but cements their branding as a responsive, customer-informed company.

  • 3. Keep them in the loop

There are two ways to keep the conversation going with a customer who abandons their shopping cart. If the customer has an account, a follow-up email can remind them to complete their purchase.

You can also provide customers with a means of actively staying in the loop regarding products they are interested in. For example, ModCloth shoppers can sign up to receive an email when the product they want is back in stock. Upon receipt of the email, the customer can return to make the purchase.

Megan Webb-Morgan

  • 4. Improve navigation

Customers need to be able to navigate to and from their shopping cart easily. If they can’t figure out how to continue shopping or return to their cart afterwards, it is highly likely that they won’t complete the purchasing process.

Megan Webb-Morgancheckout

  • Good example:When you add a product to your cart on ThinkGeek,you are given clear, intuitive instructions on how to navigate. The website follows ecommerce norms, placing the shopping cart in the top-right corner of their page header.
  • Bad example: If you continue shopping on Walker Metalsmith’s site,you’ll be hard-pressed to figure out where your shopping cart went. It’s hidden far below the fold in the bottom-right corner of the site (here, circled in red), where no experienced online shopper would think to look


  •  5. Make it easy to buy

In order to complete a purchase on Amazon, you must click through at least eight pages before your purchase is finalized. While these additional pages are useful for promoting upsells, add-ons, and accessories, they can also cause a customer to become frustrated and abandon their cart.

For this reason, Amazon has implemented a 1-click ordering option for registered customers. Giving customers a way to shorten the checkout process through account registration can improve conversions, while also providing you with the wealth of data that comes from customer accounts.


In order to reduce your retail website’s shopping cart abandonment rate, you need to:

  • continue marketing throughout the purchasing process.
  • encourage customers to complete their sale by improving navigation and providing product information and reviews.
  • let them sign up to receive product updates.
  • make the checkout process an easy, intuitive process, so that finalizing the sale is a no-brainer.
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By Expert commentator

This is a post we've invited from a digital marketing specialist who has agreed to share their expertise, opinions and case studies. Their details are given at the end of the article.

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