We are getting to the end of this series of posts on product recommendation strategies for online stores. Today we will focus on one of the most critical pages: the shopping cart page. This page should achieve a balance between conversion (avoiding getting it wrong and users leaving without having purchased anything) and increasing the average shopping cart value, usually by seeking cross-selling and offering users products that complement their purchases.
Don’t waste the shopping cart page and sell more
Some online stores display a one-step checkout process in their shopping cart page, making clear their intention of seeking conversion above anything else. This approach is good, as long as you are aware that you are missing out on opportunities to increase the average shopping cart by means of cross-selling.
However, setting up a multiple-step checkout process where the shopping cart contents are the first step involves a significant loss of opportunities, as you are forcing users to go through several steps (with the ensuing potential losses of opportunities at each step) and missing out on those opportunities. This is the case of GeekBuying, an american consumer electronics business where cross-selling is pretty obvious (cables or accessories for devices, batteries for the electronic devices purchased, etc.) and the lack of recommendations in the shopping carts stands out in particular.
Zalando shopping cart
Another frequent failure consists in displaying recommendations but following the wrong strategy. For example, Zalando shows other purchase options in the shopping cart page which make no sense for many users. Take a look at this example: when you add a pair of hiking boots, you are recommended other hiking boots, even cheaper ones. What is the point of not cross-selling or up-selling in the shopping cart? In this screen, the user has already taken a purchase decision – if you make him or her hesitate, it should be to complement the purchase, or at least to buy something that is similar but more expensive.
Recommendations in the Zalando shopping cart page, following a rather ill-conceived strategy.
Learning from Amazon, which makes the most of recommendations
Let’s take a look to what Amazon does when you add a product to your shopping cart. It creates a special, interim page where recommendations are the main pillar of the strategy. They don’t just show recommendations based on cross-selling, but rather they mix several strategies to maximize opportunities:
- Other products
- Recommended promotions
- More generic recommendations aimed at serendipity
- Recommended products in the Amazon shopping cart
- Amazons makes the most of recommendations in the page that is displayed when you add a product to your shopping cart, seizing their opportunities to sell.
In BrainSINS we think that you should make the most of the opportunities provided by these pages, and the following example shows the Toys’R’Us recommendation strategy (their spanish online store). In this case, there are three different strategies. There is a block of products that complement the purchase (cross-selling), just below the cart details (“Los clientes también compraron” which means “Customers also bought”); more generic recommendations (the store bestsellers) aimed at encouraging most users to discover items of their interest and increase the average shopping cart (at the right, with the caption “Los Más Vendidos”, which means “Top Sellers”); and finally a block with a list of the products recently viewed by users (“Visto recientemente”, which means “Recently viewed”), so that users can reconsider whether to add some of the products in which they have already shown an interest to their shopping basket. Toys’R’Us is a good example of how to use recommended products in the shopping cart page.