The ecommerce industry continues to boom with sales expecting to see a 265% growth rate by 2021, reaching a total of $4.9 trillion.
For ecommerce advertisers, this brings both good and bad news. The good news is the reassurance that you are in a lucrative industry; the bad news is the competition you’ll likely face to capture the audience’s attention and secure sales.
The best way to do both is to use pre-cart landing pages to warm audiences up for the sale.
What is a pre-cart landing page?
A pre-cart landing page is essentially an ecommerce post-click page that helps bridge the gap between the ecommerce ad and a product or purchase page. The pre-cart page is a gateway page of sorts because it ensures there is no disconnect between the ad click and the conversion.
The page provides audiences with more information about the offer highlighted in the ad and assists them in completing the final sale/conversion.
Let’s see what a pre-cart landing page looks like in action.
The Hello Fresh post-click page featured below is a pre-cart page. The page follows an ad offering new customers $80 off + free shipping, and clicking the ad promises to show visitors the plans:
- The ad and pre-cart page maintain message match consistency — the page is a natural extension of the ad. The ‘discount successfully applied’ above the header ensures the user they’ve landed at the right place.
- The post-click page doesn’t overwhelm the user with choices. Instead of directing visitors to the Hello Fresh product page or the company’s homepage and flood them with multiple offers, the page stays relevant to the offer and features only the meal plans applicable in the ad.
Now let’s compare the page experience with what a user would see if they landed on the Hello Fresh recipe page (which acts as a product page) instead of the pre-cart page:
The sheer number of choices on the page is bound to kick in the choice overload phenomenon and make the “Sign Up” CTA button click less likely to happen.
Using a pre-cart landing page for your ecommerce post-click experience helps the user focus on the offer you advertised, persuading them to convert on the post-click page. Directing users to a product page or other website pages doesn’t have this effect because these pages aren’t focused on one goal.
Ecommerce brands should always use pre-cart landing pages, and here’s why.
Why should ecommerce brands use pre-cart pages?
According to Marketo, even though nearly 1 in 4 online shoppers begin their customer journey on a website page or product page, and about 96% of visitors aren’t ready to buy when they arrive on the page.
This inaction is because the pages fail to engage them.
Data from nearly 2 billion shopping sessions that occurred in the first quarter of 2018 demonstrate how product pages are failing to engage customers:
Here’s a breakdown of the ecommerce engagement data:
- Users who are directed to a product page view 42% fewer pages (8.8 per shopping session) than users who land on a post-click landing page (12.5 per shopping session)
- Product page visitors convert at about half the rate of post-click landing page visitors (1.5% and 2.9%, respectively)
- Revenue per session on product pages ($1.72) is about half that of revenue per session on post-click landing pages ($3.43).
The pre-cart landing page experience outperforms the product page experience because the former has the ability to drive more conversions, generate more leads, and ultimately, deliver a higher ROI.
Every visitor that comes across your ad and corresponding pre-shopping cart landing page is unique, so they require personalized attention and engagement to convert.
Directing users to generic product pages won’t convince them to purchase because the page isn’t dedicated to one offer/ product. This isn’t the case with pre-cart pages.
An optimized pre-cart page landing page experience smoothly transitions the user from ad to post-click page to the conversion.
Let’s look at some examples of ads and pre-cart pages that take visitors on an optimized experience.
Pre-cart landing page examples
Despite the search phrase for a Casper mattress, clicking the third ad for Nectar sends prospects to this pre-cart page:
The pre-cart page lists the seven reasons why Nectar should be the users’ mattress of choice and clicking the “Shop Nectar” CTA button goes to the product page where they can purchase the mattress.
Without the pre-cart page, there is too big of a leap from ad to shopping cart page and people likely wouldn’t convert. Instead, the pre-cart page demonstrates Nectar mattresses’ value by providing persuasive reasons to click through and purchase.
The ad features videos that describe GEICO’s Smartdogs car insurance and clicking the ad takes visitors to the following GEICO pre-cart page:
The page acts as a click-through page that asks visitors to get a quote and transitions them to GEICO’s main car insurance page:
This page includes all the necessary information about car insurance plans, providing users with complete details before they purchase their preferred insurance plan.
The paid search ad promotes the free trial offer with two free audiobooks included. Once clicked, people land on this page:
The page gives users more information about the trial and clicks them through to this sign-up page:
The ad highlights the service’s main UVP and clicking the “Learn More” CTA takes visitors here:
The page details the Caviar service, what plans they offer, and what types of food they specialize in. Also included is a two-step opt-in form that opens up where visitors can enter their information to talk to a specialist about the most appropriate plan for their eating habits.
With the generic search phrase “bed in a box,” people are in the exploratory stage of their customer journey and not searching brand-specific products yet. So, it doesn’t make sense for the PPC ads to direct people to a product page and purchase immediately. Since users are exploring their options, they require education — what are the benefits of one brand versus another — before purchasing.
Clicking the Casper search ad above goes to the pre-cart page here complete with customer testimonials (below the fold) and highlighting product benefits:
It acts as a click-through page and clicking “Shop Mattresses” goes to the mattress product page with more details about pricing options to add to the shopping cart:
6. Sun Basket
This PPC ad promotes an $80 discount off 3 orders, details what the user can expect from the service, and takes them to this page:
The page gives visitors details about the Sun Basket’s menu, why organic produce is good for them, and the planet. Clicking through the page takes visitors to a form where they can sign up for the service and customize their profile.
Pre-cart landing pages engage users and secure sales
An engaged user is someone more inclined to purchase from you, and pre-cart landing pages are ideal for securing sales post-ad click.
Connect all your ecommerce ads with dedicated pre-cart pages that give visitors only the information they require about your offer instead of sending them to busy product pages that dilute the message promoted in the ad.
See how to do that — at scale — with the Instapage Advertising Conversion Cloud™. Get a custom demo here.
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