4 Ways to Get Customers to Add More to their Shopping Carts

Posted by SiteTuners on 27 February 2015 | Comments

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In many ways, just getting more people to your eCommerce site already represents some small wins - just getting more visitors over time means your SEO program is chugging along, your referrals are holding steady, and your content is delivering on the acquisitions front.

Because just getting the right number, and the right type, of visitors is already a challenge, you need to present customers with what they set out to find, present them with related products that complement those primary items, and maximize how they use your cart.

Here are a few ideas that can help you do that:

1. Show related products

Personalization is all the rage, but one of the core uses of that technology, “You might also be interested in … “ is not a novel play. There’s a good reason for that - assuming you have the data and the technology savvy to make it work the right way, showing related products can provide huge lifts. To get it right, though, you need to test pretty thoroughly.

Experiment with placement. The related items can show up in the areas below:

  • Product page
  • Cart-add confirmation popup
  • Fixed cart-add confirmation page
  • Cart
  • During checkout

Macys Cross Sell Add to Cart

Aside making recommendations on the product detail page, Macy’s cross-sells too on a fixed cart-add confirmation page by showing what others have bought with the primary item.

You’d do well not to rely on automation completely. Watch out for poor cross-sell selection or off-target cross-sell that’s based on too little information. Cross-sells should be reasonable if they’re not based on a reasonable number of people who have been cross-sold in a similar situation. Showing random stuff will only take away from the customer experience.

Also, decide if cross-sell, upsell, or a combination of both is appropriate. Cross-sell if you’re selling one main item that has a bunch of accessories. On the other hand, if you’re selling comparable items in different price ranges, you might want to upsell the customer to a different item, or maybe combine the two.

2. Upsell to free shipping threshold

Irrational as it may be, free shipping is a powerful motivator to get people to spend more (although shipping might not cost them that much in the first place).

Make sure that you’re maximizing your free shipping offer by reminding customers how much more they need to spend to get free shipping. Do this intelligently, however. Only offer if the customer is within a certain percentage threshold or dollar amount of your free shipping. If the customer only has 5 dollars worth of products in their cart, it doesn't make sense to ask them to spend 45 dollars more, just so they can take advantage of your $50-minimum free shipping.

sephora shipping

Sephora reminds customers how much more they need to spend to qualify for free shipping in the cart-add confirmation pop-up and in the cart.

Here some best practices for upselling to free shipping:

  • Clearly indicate the free shipping threshold
  • Set threshold based on your economics
  • Reward additional sales by setting prices properly – increase average order value by setting the threshold just above the most commonly bought product or price point

3. Offer a discount on certain price threshold

Nudge customers to checkout more stuff by offering a discount if they spend a certain amount. You can either offer dollars or a percentage off if a customer buys X worth of items.

This tactic is very useful especially when you’re trying to move inventory faster in a specific department since you can also limit the coupon to apply only to certain products.

Victorias Secret Upsell Discount

Victoria’s Secret offers a limited time discount that varies depending on the cart size- the higher the amount spent, the higher the discount.

4. Bundle Products

You can also persuade customers to checkout a set of related items by grouping them into a cheaper package. A Harvard Business School research reveals, however, that such deals are only effective if customers are also given the choice to purchase the items individually.

GoPole Bundled Products

GoPole sells GoPro accessories individually and also groups the items into cheaper packages.

As we mentioned previously, don’t trust the technology too much. You wouldn't want to commit the same mistake that Urban Outfitters does where they supposedly offer a “discount when you get 2” of the same shirt. Each shirt is priced at $9.99, but the discounted price for a couple of shirts is $28.

Urban Outfitters Discount

You work arduously to get customers to your site and to convince them that you're the best company to do business with. So, aside from presenting them with what they initially wanted to buy, leverage the customers' buying mindset by showing them related products. Also, give them compelling reasons not to postpone their purchases by offering some sort of incentive if they check more items out in a single transaction. 

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