6 minute read
10 Easy Tips to Reduce Your Abandoned Shopping Cart Rate
If you’ve been in the online retail industry for more than a day, chances are you’re all too familiar with the dreaded abandoned shopping cart. Every time a prospect puts something in their online shopping cart and fails to complete the transaction, you’ve lost a sale. And it’s a real problem. According to Baymard Institute, the average abandonment rate across ecommerce industries is a whopping 67.91%.
The first step toward lowering your abandoned shopping cart rate involves understanding why people fail to complete a sales transaction online. A survey conducted by North American Technographics revealed the top reasons as follows:
- 44% of consumers said that they abandoned their carts because the shipping rates were too high
- 22% said that they didn’t complete the sale because they felt the shipping rates were revealed too late during the checkout process
- 14% said that they felt the process was too complicated so they gave up before finishing
- 41% of potential customers abandoned their carts because they weren’t ready to buy yet, and/or they just wanted to save the item for future consideration
Now that you know what is driving the rate of cart abandonment up, let’s take a look at some strategies for overcoming these obstacles. Here are some simple yet highly effective techniques you can start implementing today.
Display shipping costs up front
Customers want transparency. When they feel as though they are being treated honestly and fairly, they are more likely to do business with you. Don’t let surprises ruin your chances of closing the deal. If possible provide free shipping or flat-rate shipping, and don't be shy! Show it off to your users on every page of your site.
Reveal product availability and price
Some online retailers don’t show the price of an item until it’s been added to the prospect’s cart. This is an extra step that many busy consumers simply don’t have time for. Your customers shouldn’t have to wait until they’re trying to check out to find out the price of a product or if it is in stock. This practice creates false positives that corrupt your data.
Display the product price and quantity available clearly on product index pages in addition to product detail pages so that consumers know what to expect, and let the checkout process be for checking out.
Make checking out as simple as possible
The fewer steps a customer has to take, the more likely they will be to finish the transaction. Try and make the entire checkout process as short as possible. 3 pages or less is standard, 1 is ideal. Communicate what stage of the checkout process the user is in at all times.
This is the single most important place to configure your tracking events. Ecommerce providers know this, so configuration is easy. If 90% of users make it from page 1 to page 2, but only 20% make it from page 2 to page 3, you have a problem on page 2.
Keep your site optimized and user-friendly
If your customers have to jump through hoops to find what they’re looking for, chances are they’ll be moving on to your competitor. Have your website regularly reviewed to ensure that it’s optimized and easy to navigate. Page load times should be quick and questions should be easily answered. Make sure that your site looks great on all devices and browsers. Use an internal search bar and connect it to Google Analytics (or whatever analytics provider you prefer) to monitor most often searched terms. Place them on the most visible parts of your site.
Make transactions safe and secure
According to a survey conducted by Business Computing World, more than 65% of respondents listed a secure payment gateway as a deciding factor in whether or not they’d make a purchase online. With all of the recent data breeches, it’s critical that you offer your clients the most secure way to do business with you over the internet. This means using a SSL certificate and a payment gateway that protects the financial information of your customers. Don't store credit card information on your servers, instead let a payment gateway like Stripe handle it for you. Make sure you communicate this information clearly to them as frequently as possible.
Create a sense of urgency
We’ve talked about the importance of a powerful call to action in all areas of your online marketing, but perhaps no area is more important than when you’re trying to close the deal. Nearly half of consumers list a lack of readiness as the reason they’re abandoning their shopping carts so creating a sense of urgency is imperative. Something as simple as using the term “act now” or “supplies are limited” is enough to get someone to pull the trigger.
If you really want to close the deal, why not make it worth your customers’ while to complete the checkout process by offering a one-time, time-sensitive deal? For instance, if they purchase today only, they’ll get 10% off their order. The actual promotion doesn’t matter as long as it creates enough motivation to purchase. Alternatively, follow up with customers after they have abandoned their cart with special incentives to complete their purchase. Just be careful not to create an environment that customers can exploit.
Communicate your return policy
If a customer feels confident that you’ll stand by your product, they will be much more likely to purchase from you. Make your return policy simple to understand and communicate it clearly throughout the sales process. Reiterate your return policy in the customer's confirmation email and include your return policy a final time on the product sheet that physically gets shipped.
Be easy to reach
If a customer is having trouble with some part of the checkout process, or has a question about the product or one of your policies, make it easy for them to get in touch with you. Display contact information prominently throughout the purchase cycle and make it simple for customers to have their inquiries answered instantly via whatever method they prefer. This could be a telephone number, a chat widget, or through social media. Be sure to monitor your social channels for any customer service requests that arise and address them asap.
Get the rebound
Whether it’s launching a drip email campaign or engaging in more strategic techniques such as retargeting, stay at the top of your customers’ minds until they’re ready to buy. By following up and reminding them (without annoying them), you’ll have a greater chance of winning their business when they’re ready to make a move. According to Criteo, retargeted customers are 70% more likely to complete a sale. Make sure you’re taking advantage of this.
Reducing shopping cart abandonment rate can dramatically improve your bottom line, but it can’t be done without a clear-cut strategy. These 10 simple suggestions will have your sales numbers rising and your lost customers becoming a thing of the past.
Posted July 03, 2014 in Social Media