Skip to main content

Sales Copywriting: Is Trolley Abandonment Costing You?

By February 3, 2011September 14th, 2019Articles, Blog, Copywriting, SEO Website Copywriting

Because I specialise in sales copywriting, and not sales, I don’t usually include sales articles on this blog. But…I sell myself. So I agree with what Jacques de Villiers proposes in the piece below.


Is ‘Trolley Abandonment’ Costing Your Company Serious Money?

Any marketer worth her salt knows that lead conversion whips lead generation anytime.

So that’s why tracking generation-to-conversion is vital to see if your company is getting bang for its marketing buck.

Trolley abandonment is to a marketer what Kryptonite is to Superman. It knocks the stuffing right out of you.

For the uninitiated, trolley abandonment is when you have a full trolley of goods and leave it at the checkout counter for whatever reason … the queue was too long, a can of beans wasn’t correctly priced, the credit card machine is on the blink and so on.

The same scenario plays out on your website – people want to buy what you have to sell, but you make it too hard for them. You make them jump through hoops just to get what they want.

The #1 rule of both online and offline marketing is “Don’t make me think.” and a photo-finish second rule is “Make it easy for me to buy.”

Don’t make me think

  1. Is your company’s telephone number on every page of your website?
  2. Is it easy for your visitor to find what they’re looking for in less than 3 clicks?
  3. Are you giving your visitors enough reasons to buy – benefits, case studies, special offers and the like?

Make it easy for me to buy

  1. Do you only have one payment gateway? Or can I choose to pay via credit card, bank transfer or bank deposit?
  2. Is the price clear and visible?
  3. Is your guarantee and returns policy visible?

Here are some examples:

Call Centres

I’m not even going to get into call centres. I’ve experienced them, you’ve experienced them and what can one really say about them? Nothing is hated more than lack of service delivery, potholes and call centres. I believe they’re the biggest detractors of a brand and lead to unsatisfactory experiences. One has to jump through hoops just to get to the right person. And, if you have the patience and do get to the right person, it is invariably the wrong person for your problem.

In my opinion, there’s only one big winner in the call centre debacle and that’s Telkom and the cellular companies. An average call can take 15 minutes with all the runaround so the telcos are just going “Ca Ching, Ca Ching” and ringing up those cash registers.

Here’s a novel concept. How cool would it be if I could phone my bank, cellular service provider, Internet service provider, etc and within 3 rings, actually get to speak to a live person who can help me with my problem straight away?

Oops, I fibbed, it appears I did get into call centres.

IBurst and Neotel

Make it easy for me to buy. I recently tried to get a second Internet data contract from IBurst and a second phone from Neotel. [Understand, I’m not picking on them, the malaise that has befallen them is rampant in most companies.] I’m sure you’ve tried to open a bank account, get a car loan, get a query answered, tried to get your inaccurate electricity bill reduced from R10-trillion to its normal R1 000. You get the picture, I’m sure.

Both accounts are under my company name. I waltz into each respective store and ask them to add the second device to my company account. I get told that I have to open a brand new account. You know what that entails, don’t you? ID document, CK1 document, proof-of-residence and retina scan (ok, I made that one up).

Guess what? I abandoned the trolley and left. Can you imagine if they actually made it dead simple to add on another device to an existing account? How many more sales would both companies make? The repeat business would be phenomenal. All the marketing hype that probably cost millions to generate the lead came to naught because the systems failed it and resulted in no lead conversion.


I tried to find out information about a Philosophy course at UNISA. I click the link to the BA courses. It tells me the duration of the course and that’s all. What would your main questions be that you’d like answered?

  • What does the course entail?
  • How much is it going to cost?

I clicked everywhere (and I’m no slouch when it comes to navigating a website) to no avail. Finally I did what all men dread doing: asked for directions. Yes, I sent an email to the help desk to see if it could answer my questions. That was in November 2010. I’m still waiting for a response.

But, I’m onto UNISA. This is its selection process. Sneaky creatures that they are. They figure that if I’m too dumb to follow the maze they’ve built for me, I’m too dumb to enroll at their facility. Absolute genius. They’re only ever going to get the cream of the crop.

Walk in your customer’s shoes for one day and try your own system and see if it would lead you to abandon your trolley.

Jacques de Villiers wrote this piece in Feb 2011 and generously shared with me.

Leave a Reply