August 6, 2010, 12:18 PM

Site tweaks pay off for Pegasus Associates Lighting

Clearly presenting policies and help options reduces shopping cart abandonment.

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Pegasus Associates Lighting decreased its shopping cart abandonment rates thanks to design and customer service adjustments that help make shoppers more comfortable buying from the company, says company vice president Chris Johnson.

The web-only retailer put in bold type its toll-free number and moved it so customers wouldn’t have to search for it on Pegasusassociates.com. The lighting retailer also prominently displayed a live text chat link and added a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. The company also made its shipping and return policies more visible during the checkout process.

“The changes that we made don’t mean they are calling us more and I don’t think people are using live chat more, but I think it may have provided a sense of trust and comfort more than it did before,” Johnson says.

The revisions resulted in the checkout cart abandonment rate dropping to 13% from 16%.  The changes took place during the first quarter, and the rates are a comparison of cart abandonment in the first and second quarters.

“Because we have so much content on our web site we unknowingly hid things we shouldn’t have,” Johnson says. To come up with the site design tweaks, Johnson says the staff researched e-commerce best practices and noted what they liked and didn’t like on sites they shopped. The company made all the site changes in-house.

“These were incremental changes. It’s not like I’m getting tons more orders, but the cart abandonment improvement was a change I was happy to see,” Johnson says.

Pegasus Associates Lighting averages 50 to 60 orders daily. About 60% of sales come from business and institutional customers, with the remainder from individual buyers. The company brings in less than $5 million in sales annually.

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