Wish conversion rates were higher and site abandonment rates were lower? Solving this problem may be as easy as listening to customers.

Shopping cart abandonment rates are notoriously high. Most reports put them at around 70 percent, which means that for every 10 customers who discover a company, visit its website and have enough interest to add products to their virtual shopping carts, seven won’t actually convert. So what’s the silver bullet that will bring this down? Companies should see smaller abandonment rates when they give visitors what they want.

Painless conversions

According to Bayonet’s Fourth Annual Ecommerce Survey, customers blame the shopping carts themselves. When asked about what factors they consider when picking which brand to patronize, nearly three-quarters of respondents said they default to a business that has a simple, seamless shopping cart.

Easy navigation

Regardless of the products or services a brand sells, the site’s landing pages must be designed with a clear call to action that makes it easy for customers to convert, and then makes the rest of the process as painless as possible.

It's important that marketers create website that are easy to navigate to make digital content more effective.

On-site navigation is another touch point where companies can hit the mark or disappoint visitors. Over 70 percent of survey respondents said they tend to pick retailers based on whether their sites allow for easy online content discovery and product location.

On-site search functions and user-friendly organization are both great places to start.

For instance, a monthly archive of news and blog posts is great for search crawlers because it’s linear, but it’s not as good for human visitors. However, people may not be as concerned about reading updates in historical sequence and prefer to have content organized topically into relevant categories, such as “Men’s clothing trends” and “Women’s clothing trends,” or “Summer Styles” for a clothing company.

Complementary content

When shoppers hit the web looking for information about products or services, they may not want to read the manufacturer provided product specs. In fact, 68 percent of survey respondents said they prefer pages that have robust content as well as multiple product pictures.

It’s easy to see how this additional information enhances the user experience. Consider how some clothing companies describe items by explaining what kinds of occasions for which they’d be most fitting. These intangibles are what keep brands top of mind when customers are making their purchase decisions, and can push browsers over the edge to become actual buyers.

Four out of ten respondents said they prefer to visit websites that host product videos.

Have a product that can’t easily be photographed or described? Produce a video. More than four out of ten respondents said they prefer to visit websites that host product videos. This doesn’t just apply to B2Cs. B2B brands in particular have immense opportunities to sell products with videos. Brafton reported that around 42 percent of tech buyers purchase products after watching videos online.

Marketers don’t need to settle for staggering shopping cart rates – they need to understand what customers want from their pages and find a way to deliver those features effectively. Over time, they should notice abandonment rates dropping and goal completion rates rising.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.