I Lost The Sale, But I Was Able To Measure It

July 8, 2006

I don’t usually beat up on my friends, but today I just had to take issue with a comment that June Li make in her excellent blog, Share the Genie’s power.

June’s overall premise is a good one, site owners should design for measurability. However, I disagree with one of her points: one-page shopping carts should be broken up into multiple pages so that website owners can do a better job of measuring where people abandon their carts.

First, there is a technical solution: some analytic packages will let you create events in each field of the shopping cart, so that you can see exactly at which field the customer jumped ship. However, not every package is so sophisticated.

So, if your package doesn’t allow you to create an event for every field in the shopping cart, should you “chunk it up” into multiple pages, as June says in her blog? This takes me to point #2: Absolutely not. MarketingSherpa’s recent study of e-commerce sites addresses the value of a one-page shopping cart. While they do point out that they have limited data, we all know that clicks are precious. If you have a one-page cart, you are probably performing much better than you would with a multi-page cart. True, you can’t measure abandonment of the multi-page cart as well, but which would you rather have: the money or the measurements?

Robbin Steif