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My personal eCommerce checklist that I look-over when trying to work out what to experiment with next

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5 months ago
Every time I work on an eCommerce project and finish up with the basic marketing layer/stack, the next port of call is to go hunting for new ideas.

Most of the time I'll often scan 2PML.com for inspiration (highly recommend signing up if you're in eCommerce), go stalk my favourite Twitter accounts, or even just go through my Instagram feed to see what gets promoted to me.

Each site, I'll navigate from start to finish through their checkout flow and see if I spot anything interesting.

The following page is my own personal list of observations from these hunts.

You'll notice that not every item will be a perfect win for your business or even applicable.

And that's totally fine.

What this list should provide is some interesting rabbit holes to go down, and spark some great conversations with your team. Where possible, I'll also write where I found them first. I'll also add a 🍱 emoji where you can get this done using Bento.

If you ever need help implementing these things just let me know via email at [email protected] or via Twitter or Facebook. Always here to help.

Anyway, let's get stuck into it. 

** Work in progress // Last update: 26th of March, 2019**

Technical Foundations
  • Speed (Perceived): you are using a technology to make users feel like they're having an app-like experience, even though it's just native web. I've found, that the easiest way to enable this is with Turbolinks. Whilst it takes some time to get setup, the pay-offs can be huge. If you are using Turbolinks, you can also prefetch and cache links on hover, saving an additional second of perceived load times. If you're not feeling confident enough to implement Turbolinks on your site you can always try instantclick.io.
  • Error Tracking: you are monitoring and logging all bugs in a 3rd party tracker (like Rollbar or Sentry.io). Bug tracking is essential to ensuring that your users are having a solid experience and can actual purchase from you. You'll most likely be shocked to see what's going on in your app the first time you get this going.
  • User Monitoring: you are recording user sessions with a 3rd party tracker (like Hotjar or Fullstory). Whilst recording user sessions can provide some really valuable insights, make sure to take a campaign approach to it. Only set it live as needed, as I've personally noticed some fairly big speed decreases as a result.
  • Language: you've gone through your themes language file and updated each item to be more personal. Small things like displaying "Free Shipping" instead of "Shipping method" and "Secure payment method" instead of "payment method" in the checkout process breadcrumbs make a world of difference (h/t Kurt Elster).

Sitewide: Navigation
  • Store: you can easily find where to log in to see your orders, or register a new account.
  • Store: you can easily toggle default shipping country, language and currency.
  • Store: your contact and shipping information is clear to the user at a glance.
  • Store: you can easily navigate to find the daily/weekly/monthly deals or discounts on this site. This helps people avoid coupon hunting if they know the store is being transparent with their offers. 
  • 🍱  Store: you have a site-wide banner above the navigation that changes based on the users progression through the user journey (i.e "Free Shipping" copy for new visitors, and coupon-centric copy for people who have visited a product page or added to their cart). 

Pre-Purchase: Homepage
  • 🍱  Store: your showing unique messaging tailored to the users location.
  • 🍱  Store: your showing unique messaging based on the referral source (i.e affiliates).
  • 🍱  Store: your imagery changes based on location or gender.
  • 🍱  Store: you ask a user directly using a survey what they want to do today, and then direct them straight to the appropriate landing page.
  • 🍱  Store: you can you easily classify the job the user is trying to complete through the links offered on the homepage and once they select a link, the rest of the site is tailored to them (i.e they click on a link for "mens clothing" and the rest of the site, primarily navigation and messaging, is now geared towards mens items). 
  • Ads: you have MoFu ads on Facebook setup to target users who are at this stage.
  • Ads: you have MoFu ads on Twitter setup to target users who are at this stage.
  • Ads: you have MoFu ads on Google Ads setup to target users who are at this stage.

Pre-Purchase: Product List & Search Results Page
  • Store: you can easily filter based on helping you complete your job (i.e "I need to find red, women's shoes in a Size 14"). Filters are easily clickable and load instantly (if you have to do a new page load, then this effect can also be achieved using Turbolinks, similar to what we do over on our blog). 
  • Store: you can view each products rating, sales volume (i.e 1,000 purchases this month) and how many people have favourited the products. Bonus points if you show sales velocity. 
  • Store: you can monitor items price and get email notifications when they drop. For a world class example of this, I recommend taking some time to browse StockX, a sneaker marketplace, who does this better than anyone else I've seen.
  • Ads: you have MoFu ads on Facebook setup to target users who are at this stage.
  • Ads: you have MoFu ads on Twitter setup to target users who are at this stage.
  • Ads: you have MoFu ads on Google Ads setup to target users who are at this stage.

Pre-Purchase: Product Page
  • Store: you are redirected to your cart when you add an item to your cart. This takes an entire step out of the sales funnel, and moves the responsibility of up-selling to your checkout instead. 
  • Store: you can read through customer questions and your company answers them.
  • Store: you can see your product "in action" via a video or series of high resolution images that can be quickly browsed. We've often seen people deploy "Customer Success" galleries for this.
  • Store: you can leave a detailed customer review, as well as rate based on a series of different factors. Bonus points if you can also allow visitors to upload an image.
  • Store: you can see a cross-sell item IN the buy box (h/t Allen Walton). 
  • Store: you can get notified when a product is out of stock after you've clicked it.
  • Store: you have a way to show the user when the shipping deadline is (i.e "Order within the next 16 h 7 m 5 s , we will ship it on the next working day"). Best placed under the add to cart button.
  • Store: you can see your product "in the wild" via a curated image list, most likely populated through IG.
  • Ads: you have MoFu ads on Facebook setup to target users who are at this stage.
  • Ads: you have MoFu ads on Google Ads setup to target users who are at this stage.

Empty Cart Post Abandonment
  • 🍱 Store: you have exit intent overlays.
  • 🍱 Store: you have cart save triggers and pop-ups.
  • 🍱 Store: you have a coupon countdown offer.
  • 🍱 Store: you have a small, floating, animated cart icon that indicates it has items in it. 

Pre-Purchase: Product Comparison
  • Store: you can compare two different products to compare.

During Purchase: Cart
  • Store: you highlight "free shipping" if they qualify for it ABOVE the cart, and if they don't you calculate how much more they need to add to unlock it. 
  • Store: you can easily establish whether tax is included or excluded in the price (default: included).
  • Store: you enable users to one-click add a low value item (10% or less of AOV). This experience should be AJAX, instant, and after they do it it should load another item that qualifies (i.e after a user adds protein powder, show a cart call to action to instantly add a protein shaker, and after they do that offer them wrist wraps).
  • 🍱 Store: you've hidden the footer of your site.
  • 🍱 Store: you've hidden most navigational elements of your site.
  • Store: you can contact customer support easily.
  • Store: you force add a gift to the users cart.
  • Ads: you have BoFu ads on Facebook setup to target users who are at this stage.
  • Ads: you have BoFu ads on Twitter setup to target users who are at this stage.
  • Ads: you have BoFu ads on Google Ads setup to target users who are at this stage.

Full Cart Post Abandonment
  • 🍱 Store: you have a pop-up cart reminder showing users what is left in their cart.
  • 🍱 Store: you've updated your top bar banner with a reminder there are items in your cart.
  • 🍱 Store: you have a small, floating, animated cart icon that indicates it has items in it. 

During Purchase: Checkout
  • Checkout Provider: you've added testimonials to your checkout experience.
  • Checkout Provider: you've added a money back guarantee to your checkout experience.
  • Checkout Provider: you've built an upsell flow that responds to the products the user has added to their cart, and when you accept them it bills your card instantly.
  • Checkout Provider: you've offered the best in-class purchasing options (Stripe, PayPal and Bitcoin via Coinbase).
  • Store: you use descriptive names for your shipping options like "USPS Priority Mail® - Arrives in 3-5 days" and only display two of them at a time (h/t Kurt Elster).

Post Purchase: Thank You Page
  • Store/Checkout Provider: you encourage the visitor to read content to get the most out of their purchase.
  • Store/Checkout Provider: you show the user a video thanking them personally for their order and explain to them how they can get support if they need it.
  • Bonjoro: you trigger a video to be queued in Bonjoro and send them a video thank you message tailored for them via your iPhone (so you can do it on the go).

Post Purchase: Email
  • ESP: you queue up a post-purchase flow based on the products they ordered.
  • ESP: you queue up a re-order sequence based on the products they ordered.
  • ESP: you queue up an email to request birthday information so you can send them a birthday email coupon code later.

Post Purchase: SMS
  • SSP: you send an SMS thanking them for the order, with a tracking number, and allowing them to respond over SMS if they have any questions.
  • SSP: you queue up an SMS in 10 days to see how they enjoyed the product.

Post Purchase: Physical
  • GSP: you send your best customers a physical present based on their LTV and AOV.

What now?
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