It can be a dilemma for online retailers: How to keep the checkout process streamlined and simple—a good way to avoid cart abandonment and boost sales—while also dressing up the process with up-selling and cross-selling to boost sales.
Bob Myers, CEO of Sheplers Inc., a multichannel retailer of cowboy boots and other types of western wear, has honed a strategy that deals with this dilemma. And he plans to share what Sheplers, No. 290 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has learned at the Internet Retailer Web Design & Usability Conference 2012 in Orlando, FL, next month in a session entitled “Creating the streamlined shopping cart that gets buyers to the Pay button fast.”
“I will address one of the key challenges retailers face when looking to improve their online business—how to make the shopping process easier for the customer,” Myers says.
Nowhere is mastering that challenge more crucial than in the online checkout process, where all of the merchandising and design expertise poured into the rest of a web site can go for naught if a buyer frustrated by an overly complex checkout process simply clicks off the site. But if designed properly, checkout pages can also be a gold mine for selling items related to what a shopper has placed in her shopping cart.
“While the checkout process must be as simple as possible for the shopper, it also presents the retailer with opportunities to up-sell and boost their order value,” Myers says. “A balance between a desire for additional sales and simplicity must be struck, and I will offer tips for retailers that seek to improve conversions and average order values during the checkout process.”
Internet Retailer’s editors asked Myers to speak because he has 20 years of retail experience in stores, Internet, catalog, and interactive television. He also worked at QVC.com, and before that, Myers was director of the Internet Home and Leisure Division for JCPenney, where he developed merchandising strategies and financial plans. He also held the position of corporate communications manager for all Internet and catalog store programs.