This is an old post that somehow got deleted. So I am reposting-
Without a doubt this is the most interesting brainteaser in all of e-commerce land: 1/3rd of all online shoppers leave their shopping carts. People abandon for a number of reasons:
1. Lack of trust. This can be remedied with assurances (‘guaranteed returns’, ‘secure transactions’, ‘privacy protection’ etc).
2. Using shopping cart as a temporary storage device.
This ‘unknown’ segment is an area where marketers can improve conversion. Here is one theoretical idea-
Let’s assume a specific SKU is listed at $33.00. Run a split A/B test where visitors to version A see the $33.00 price and others see $34.00. For version A add-to-cart is a standard interface. For version B when someone adds to cart the item is listed as $33.00 on cart page. Being fully aware the item cost a buck more in the previous page the shopper will become insanely excited and assume the e-commerce system made an error. They will now focus on checking-out ASAP. Incentive has shifted to maximizing this unexpected saving. Run test to see which version generates higher conversions.
I know what you’re thinking- “this is a bait and switch tactic”. It’s not; it’s no different from offering a $1 off coupon. We just don’t promote the discount; the way Starbucks doesn’t advertise they own Seattle’s Best Coffee.
Why do I think know this will work?
Value is a convoluted concept and we humans struggle assigning a $ amount to a product. However, comparison is a cut and dry strategy. If an identical item is priced at $14 and $13, buy the $13 option. Back to our example- when someone sees a price and adds it to cart what they are saying is “this price is acceptable”, there is a certain level of intent. When the next page (cart page) has that same item $1 cheaper suddenly perceived value goes up because the shopper is comparing this price with the price on the previous page.