Does it pay to remind people that they still have items in their shopping cart when they return to your online store? Yes it does! How can you be sure? By testing!
There’s a good example of this in a test we executed for fashion retailer Free People, which tastefully refers to its shopping cart as a shopping basket. The test was impressive enough to be awarded an Honorable Mention in the Which Test Won Awards.
You can check out the test here. Use the magnifying glass to zoom in and read the extra line of text in Version A. It simply says: “Welcome back! We saved your shopping basket for you, click here to pick up where you left off.” Free People prefers not so say how much incremental revenue this strategy produces for them but the short answer is: Probably a lot.
BTW, that reminder message is not the only clever thing that Free People is doing with its shopping basket.
If you shop a lot at Free People you may have noticed a subtle change to the Shopping Basket that they tested with Monetate: they turn it red when there is something in the basket.
You can see this in the screenshots on the right. The basket is white when there are zero items it in. The basket used to remain white when one or more items were added. Now it turns red, which works well as a subtle reminder, appearing at the top of every page, that there is something in the basket/cart.
What exactly is in there? Sometimes it is hard for shoppers to remember as they click around a site. So one further embellishment you may see on www.FreePeople.com is a “shopping cart mouse-over reveal” which allows the shopper to see thumbnails of items in the cart without having to leave the page they are currently viewing. I think it is fair to say shoppers really like this feature (it was tested and deployed using Monetate). And Free People likes it too because fewer distractions = less friction = higher conversion rate.
So, there you have a bunch of small but very clever ideas that add up to selling a lot more products and satisfying a lot more shoppers. But the big picture story here is that you need a way to quickly and easily test ideas on your site. Only then will you know if they really are clever. And that’s where Which Test Won can help. Take a look at a sample of the tests on that site and you will see that not everyone gets the answer right, as you can see here.
It’s not unusual for the score to be around 50/50 meaning that half the marketing people who went with their gut got it wrong. That makes Which Test Won a great resource for marketers, particularly those who need to persuade the boss that testing is worth doing. For example, this Free People cart/basket reminder test we’ve been looking at more than paid for itself by proving that the strategy improved conversion. Revenue per session among people who saw the reminder was way higher than among those who did not see it.
If you’re wondering what you should test and target on your site, check out our whitepaper of winning strategies for some field-tested ideas drawn from the thousands of tests that Monetate executes for eCommerce companies every month. And if you’d like to see how easy it is to get started with testing, just ask for a demo.