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LoneRegister

A Tale Of Two Carts

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We're currently testing our software with two different shopping carts at Toolup.com

 

One is "checkout1" the other "checkout4"

 

I would love to get feedback from people here about the two versions, and information about what we could test next, barriers that are causing shoppers to leave, etc..

 

If you access our site www.toolup.com - place anything into the cart, and then click the "Proceed to Checkout" button - you will see that your URL will contain either "checkout1" or "checkout4". You can, at that point, change the url to be either 1 or 4 and you will both of them.

 

www.toolup.com/secure/checkout1/checkout.asp

or

www.toolup.com/secure/checkout4/checkout.asp

 

Obviously - you need to access these from the shopping cart - and not just the links above.

 

I welcome thoughts and ideas regarding our take on shopping carts - and any ideas that you think might help us to increase conversion rates.

 

Thank you,

Kevin

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p.s. once you are in the checkout process of checkout1 or checkout4, YOU CAN change the url to access the other cart to check it out.

 

Kevin

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I tried to look but got this...

WEB2: An error occurred on the server when processing the URL. Please contact the system administrator.

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my apologies - you must access the website via www.toolup.com 1st.

 

find item

place item into cart

click proceed to checkout

manually change the URL from checkout1 to checkout4 to switch between the two.

 

you'd never access it direct from the links above.

Kevin

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I definitely like 1 better than 4. It feels "easier" and less intimidating. Now granted, I'm sure by the end of either, I've filled out the same number of items, but first impressions are first impressions, and the checkout1's first impression says "easy" to me.

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We got some commentary about the 1st section of checkout1 (where it asks what you want to do) that the wording was negative etc... So we decided to make it more of a straight to the process kind of thing.

 

I Think - and people correct me if I am off base here - that people are past being "scared" of a checkout page. When they click that "proceed to checkout" button - they expect to have to input their details. 5 years ago - I would agree a 12 item form was scary stuff.

 

Today - not so much.

 

Let's ask this:

 

People what are the top 3 carts of Top 500 retailers that you see and have used.

 

I am not talking wow - this is way artsy and has tons of flashy features. But rather - what carts have you seen that are conversion monsters? Get the job done? etc..

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I agree that most savvy users are past the fear of checkout, but there are still those that are unfamiliar with the web and are nervous about entering their information. Anything that you can do to ease potential anxiety about filling out the form is good. It really depends on your audience, if you are dealing with regular customers that will come to your site on a regular basis I would lean toward the more straightforward approach. If you are dealing with a lot of first time customers I would go with the "wizard" approach that feels like you are taking them by the hand and guiding them through the process.

 

Personally I like to just tab through forms and enter my information, but I think you will find that most aren't going to use it that way. It all comes down to who your audience is and their comfort level.

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I'm extremely web savvy and buy almost everything off the web, and I still like the one that looks easier. It's not a matter of fear as much as a matter of non-annoyance.

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If you already have an account where do you enter this on checkout4?

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I'm extremely web savvy and buy almost everything off the web, and I still like the one that looks easier. It's not a matter of fear as much as a matter of non-annoyance.

 

I went back and read what I posted and it did sound like that is what I was suggesting. I apologize because that is not what I meant.

 

To elaborate more on what I wanted to say, I think that you have different types of users, ones that want to see everything up front and just enter the information tabbing down the fields as they go and others that prefer to walk through the process. The larger the form the larger the group becomes that prefers to be walked through the process.

 

A good example of this where usability testing demonstrated the need to break the form up into manageable chunks was a business ethics survey I developed. It was an incredibly long form that we originally was developed as a one page form. We received massive amounts of complaints about it and watched many people display frustration and anxiety when confronted with it. We redesigned it with the wizard style approach, allowing people to save it as they went along and to return at a later time if they desired. This dramatically reduced the support calls and the frustration observed during testing.

 

What we learned from this was that no one complains if the process is too easy.

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I preferred checkout1, but would add that the options came across as a little crowded. I prefer either/or decisions to be presented vertically alongside each other in columns. If they're underneith each other then I think it implies you need to work down through the options rathar than an either/or.

 

Just my opinion though.... how you have it seems to work just fine for amazon!

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Although this isn't directly related, I thought perhaps the context of this article might spur some thoughts when you consider which one to use (although really A/B testing is probably the only real way to be sure). Anyhow, check out this little article on mad libs style forms...

 

http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?1007

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Hey, i'm curious. I know that this is not addressing your question, but i was just wondering what compelled you to use ".asp" pages, which is quite antiquated? Are you running a test server on an old computer? I also ask about this because your website was VERY slow for me, with pages hanging for MINUTES at a time, particularly around the checkout area.

 

I gave it a go, and got checkout3.asp. I tried to change to checkout1 and checkout4 but the site never responded... I didn't find anything wrong with that page; but there is something else, again, not related to your original question (sorry) that i'd like to comment on: i think that it would be nice when a user adds something to their cart if they were only given 2 options: "Continue Shopping" and "Checkout", which would both be below a visual confirmation that the item was successfully added to their cart. When i added a tool to my cart, i actually didn't see the option to continue shopping the first time, and thought that i had no choice but to checkout.

 

Also, from another stand point (seo), you might want to consider removing your website's name from your titles ("... | Toolup.com"). You only get 66 characters to display in search results (70, if you stop on exactly 70 or less printable characters (eg, in html, "&" is 1 printable character)), and users who are searching for "concrete saws" are not searching for "concrete saws toolup.com", so your page would be deemed less relevant than a page with the SAME title, minus the website's name. Users normally don't care as much about where it comes from as they do with other factors, so the most important step is that you get them to come and look at YOUR site first, by any means necessary. Also, your website's name / address is shown in the search result's url. Google likes Short and To the Point. The more you oblige, the more favoritism you will receive (in so many words). Remember how i said in the other thread about being able to get what i want from results? Well, notice that i never use a title longer than 70 characters; whereas you almost never see a website with a huge title in front page results. Also, if you MUST use one longer than 70, then try to make sure that there is not a word at the 66th one, so that it does not get broken --or rather, taken out-- and turned into an ellipsis (...).

 

That's just my input, fwiw, but maybe it could help to shed some light on some aspects that you have not yet considered.

 

Good luck!

Edited by AlexGrim

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