As a blogger that covers the world of B2B and B2C ecommerce, I find that quite often my personal online shopping experiences drive content for my blog. Today’s blog post is no exception although I am a little stunned by the site that frustrated me.

I love First because I am an avid reader, consummate nerd and I love to learn new things. Second, because is far and away the leader in ecommerce functionality and user experience and is quite often an organization’s benchmark when they venture into the world of ecommerce.

Today, threw me for a loop. Stumped me. Did not lead me, instictively without my having to ask, to what I wanted. And what’s odder still is that the hiccup happened during the payment process. Here’s the scoop.

I was looking to purchase a couple of books. I reviewed my cart and started to check out.  I got to the “Review Your Order Screen” and realized that there was a third book that I wanted to purchase. I scanned the page, looking for the helpful “Continue Shopping” button. No dice. All I could find was the “Place Your Order” button.

Let Your E Commerce Customer Buy More During Checkout

I clicked on the logo. Nothing.

I tried to click on the bread crumb string at the top of the page. Nope.

I was stumped. I wanted to buy more. I wanted to give Amazon my money and I was frustrated with the prospect that I would have to close my browser window and start over.

As my mouse pointer hovered over the “X” button to close the window, I had a flash of clarity. This was Amazon. The Holy Grail of ecommerce websites. Could there really be such a blatant flaw in their checkout process that would limit my ability to increase my purchase??

I refused to believe it and I returned to the page. I continued clicking and scanning. And then I saw it.

Let Your E Commerce Customer Buy More During Checkout2

There at the very bottom of the page, in the itty bitty font that follows most every page these days was a tiny link that said “Go to the homepage without completing your order.”

I was instantly relieved and then immediately even more concerned. Had I not gone back and looked again, I would have completely missed this link. I would have just recreated the order because I wanted the books and Amazon is my site of choice, but how many customers wouldn’t have?

I’m guessing that the super smart people over at Amazon know something that I don’t, which probably includes the pull of the Amazon brand and that customers are likely to order again if they can’t amend an order during the “Review Your Order” stage. Of course, this is because they are Amazon and people love them. But your site is not, and while that is okay–good even, there is a lesson here.

Make sure that you give your customer the chance to buy more from you by allowing them to go back and add more items to their cart during checkout. This does not have to be an active solicitation to purchase more–outright promotional offers at this juncture would probably derail the sale–but should be clearly labeled so that a customer can go back, add the additional item(s), check out and continue with her day.

To learn more about how to maximize the effectiveness of your ecommerce initiative, download the white paper, B2B Ecommerce Success – Seven Questions to Consider When Beginning an Ecommerce Initiative.