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Retail Insights

Peter Twomey

Data-driven decision-making is key for ecommerce brands looking to compete amidst an ever-growing landscape of DTC companies vying for the limited attention (and spending power) of shoppers. One of the most crucial data points to consider is cart conversion, which can be a bellwether for the overall customer experience of your brand. 

Shopping cart conversion rate is one of these key ecommerce metrics that can help you better understand how shoppers are interacting with your store and what adjustments could boost conversion, thus boosting sales. Cart conversion allows you to measure the number of complete orders compared to the total number of shopping carts initiated by potential customers. When customers don’t complete their order, this is known as cart abandonment. 

Cart abandonment happens for a number of reasons. Think about the last time you clicked out of a browser window after adding a few items to your cart; anything from unexpected shipping costs to long delivery times can be discouraging and cause customers to give up on your store or (even worse!) look for a similar product elsewhere.

Fortunately, there are a number of simple ways to improve cart abandonment and boost cart conversion rates. Your customers will complete checkout more often, and you can rest assured that your store is maximizing sales whenever possible. 

  • Tip 1: Eliminate friction at checkout

Many ecommerce brands make the mistake of complicating their checkout experience, which inevitably leads to potential customers dropping off and cart conversion dwindling as a result. Several common checkout steps that brands implement actually increase friction for users, but because they are so ubiquitous, it can sometimes be difficult for brands to recognize the impact these details are having on overall sales.

Eliminating friction for your customers comes with transparency across the board. Be forthcoming with things like shipping costs and delivery times—something like a shipping calculator or estimator can also help set expectations for your customers so they’re not discouraged when it comes time to check out. 

Additionally, keep checkout as simple and streamlined as possible. Many shoppers, especially newcomers to your store, don’t necessarily want to make an account in order to check out. If anything, prompt users to save their information as an account after they’ve entered their credit card details and completed the purchase. That way, there are as few steps as possible between their cartful of goods and a finalized purchase.

  • Tip 2: Add a carbon neutral checkout option

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important to consumers—especially the younger generations. When surveyed, 70% of millennials said that a company’s environmental focus influences their purchase decisions. In order to capture this audience, a company has to consider these shoppers’ values, which in recent years has increased the focus on sustainability across the entire supply chain.

EcoCart  is an easy way for brands to increase their sustainability efforts and appeal to these eco-conscious consumers, without the expense and headache typically tied to large sustainability-driven business initiatives. The EcoCart ecommerce plugin helps stores offset the carbon footprint of shipping their orders quickly and easily, offering a “make my order carbon neutral” option at checkout. 

EcoCart utilizes a proprietary algorithm that takes a number of factors into account to determine the specific amount of carbon any order will emit. Once that number is determined, EcoCart donates that specific amount to third-party verified carbon offsetting projects that actively reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. 

Brands can decide to work with EcoCart to offset the carbon emissions on behalf of their customers, or they can provide the option at checkout for their customers to decide to offset their orders—typically 1-2% of their order total. 

Cart Conversion 101 for Ecommerce Brands

Brands that have implemented EcoCart have seen lifts in cart conversion rates by using the plugin to demonstrate their commitment to the planet. Since adding EcoCart to their store in mid-2020, nutrition brand Nuzest has seen a 22% lift in cart conversion, with 15% of all their orders shipping carbon neutral with EcoCart. Made-in-the-USA apparel brand Tribe Kelley has seen a 19% increase in cart conversion since adding EcoCart to their store, and has received only positive feedback from customers about this sustainable addition. 

  • Tip 3: Allow customers to buy now, pay later

Online stores that sell pricier items tend to see lower cart conversion rates across the board. Purchases like furniture, electronics, luxury items, and other big-ticket items tend to require more consideration on the part of customers and are less likely to be impulse purchases. That being said, stores that see a high average order value (also known as AOV) also may see customers drop off during checkout at the thought of a hefty receipt. 

Adding a buy now, pay later option to your store will help you capture customers who are more price sensitive. As a store, it’s important to carefully consider which BNPL provider to partner with, especially because a suboptimal choice could end up increasing friction and ultimately hurting cart conversion. 

With Zip, there are no hidden fees for your customers like there are with credit cards. Unlike traditional payment methods, the approval process is instant and does not require a hard credit check. And with the Zip app, your customers get a transparent, real-time view of every purchase they make—a major win for both customers and retailers. By adding Zip to your store, you’ll be able to remove price as a barrier and boost cart conversion, increasing sales and expanding your reach to those more price-sensitive customers. 

No matter how you choose to go about addressing your store’s cart conversion and cart abandonment, know that there are a variety of innovative options available to merchants looking to improve this important metric. By taking a few simple steps, such as adding a carbon neutral checkout or buy now, pay later options, you’ll deliver a positive experience at all steps of the buyer’s journey and keep your customers coming back.

This article was contributed by Peter Twomey at EcoCart, an ecommerce startup on a mission to make fighting climate change simple, cost-effective, and accessible for everyone. EcoCart offers an ecommerce plugin for merchants on Shopify, BigCommerce, and other major platforms giving brands the ability to offer carbon neutral orders.

EcoCart partners with carefully vetted, ethically proven, and scientifically verified carbon offsetting projects that comply with the world’s major carbon standards to enable brands to seamlessly bring sustainable shopping to their customers. To learn more about EcoCart, reach out to the Zip team or contact EcoCart directly. 

Peter Twomey
Peter Twomey

Peter Twomey is the co-founder and COO at EcoCart. Peter’s professional passion is building software solutions that solve problems he experienced-first hand in his time as an entrepreneur. In his free time, you can find Peter skateboarding around San Francisco and cleaning up the beach with his dog Butters.