Online businesses face one obstacle that brick-and-mortar retailers usually don't - shopping cart abandonment. This occurs when customers fill up their virtual cart and don't finish the order. For whatever reason, the would-be customer doesn't follow through to hit "Add To Cart". Imagine a shopper leaving a filled cart in the aisle before reaching the cash register. The shopper exits the store and doesn't return for a purchase. That's exactly what shopping cart abandonment is like online.
E-commerce companies with high shopping cart abandonment rates can obviously see their bottom line plummet. According to Forrester Research, abandoned carts cost e-commerce companies $31 billion in lost revenue each year. Getting more people through the checkout process is imperative.
Finished transactions equal better conversion rates and higher profits. In such a competitive market, online retailers need to design a solid strategy to keep customers engaged. Here are 13 e-commerce tricks that help stop shopping cart abandonment.
1. ALLOW GUEST CHECKOUTS
Cautious consumers may abandon their cart if they need an account. Making an account costs precious time, thinking of a username and a strong password etc. Many people are worried about e-commerce companies storing their private information and credit card details too. Simplify the checkout by giving an express lane to guests. You can always offer another chance to set up an account at a later stage with an incentive.
2. PUBLISH STANDARD SHIPPING COSTS
Online shoppers generally get deterred by surprising shipping prices. Ask for the customer's zip code early to estimate the shipping rate. Advertise flat-rate shipping for a reasonable fee. If possible, provide free shipping for orders over a set amount. Clever business owners will always account for shipping fees within their costing plans. Make your shipping policy known well before checkout to prevent surprises and cart abandonment.
3. VERIFY YOUR SECURITY PROTOCOL
Online shoppers are worried about identity theft. Consumers want to feel confident an online store will protect their private data. Most check for a security logo or padlock symbol before entering their credit card numbers. Find third-party software to reinforce your cybersecurity, then brag about it! Earn a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate to update your website to use HTTPS too.
4. FEATURE A PROMINENT BACK ARROW
Everyone has made a mistake when shopping online. If consumers can't easily fix their error, they'll likely leave. Link the back button to take shoppers to the previous page. Make it effortless to edit items, change quantities, and delete certain products. Put customers in the driver's seat and fully in charge of controlling their shopping experience and orders.
"Make it effortless to edit items, change quantities, and delete certain products."
5. ACCEPT MULTIPLE PAYMENT METHODS
Customers will abandon an item they love if they can't buy it! Perhaps they don't have a PayPal account or Visa credit card. Narrowing your payment options will make the shopping cart abandonment rate soar. Therefore, accept all the major credit cards from Discover to MasterCard. Also, consider adding newer systems like Apple Pay and Stripe.
6. APPLY COUPON CODES AUTOMATICALLY
Online shoppers will jump through hoops to score a bargain price. Unfortunately, some will also abandon their carts to find coupons. Consumers might not return after searching the web for promos. To keep customers from hunting for digits, remove the coupon code bar and utilise auto-apply discounts within your store set up whenever an order qualifies.
7. INSTALL A CHAT PLUGIN
One way to keep customers happy and have all of their inquiries answered quickly is through the installation of a chat plugin. Facebook Messenger is a great free chat plugin that allows you to automate Q&As for customers. This small step has the ability to boost returns for your business by drastically lowering your cart abandonment rate. A simple to install chat plugin like Facebook Messenger will allow you to answer customer questions in real-time. Allowing customers to connect with your customer service team quickly can help ease unanswered concerns and build a level of trust.
"Live, person-to-person online chats with sales reps can stop shopping cart abandonment"
Not up to date with your refund policy? Take a look at the ACCC regulations or direct your customers to a friendly third-party. Such as finder.com.au, their customer friendly guide on how refunds work in Australia – covers issues such as refund eligibility criteria, change of mind policies, receipts, store credit and more.
8. REASSURE CUSTOMERS THAT YOU CAN BE TRUSTED
Shopping carts get abandoned when customers second-guess a company's credibility. Prove that you're a real business with an actual address and real staff. Publish ratings and reviews from other verified customers. People love reading testimonials if they're on the fence. Offer a strong warranty that makes purchases feel less risky. Worried about negative reviews? Read our other blog article for more tips on How Your Business Can Effectively Deal With Negative Reviews.
9. INDUCE FEELINGS OF URGENCY
Tell online shoppers how many products are left. Put deadlines on special deals. Add a countdown clock that times the cart checkout process. Plan flash sales where discounts expire in hours. Limiting the sales timeline makes customers more decisive. Fewer people abandon carts when they think products will cost more or won't be there next time.
10. EMAIL FRIENDLY CART REMINDERS
It's possible customers simply forgot about their saved cart. If they already entered their email address, you can contact them. Send a memorable email with a catchy, click-worthy subject line. Include a don't-miss-this discount for completing the purchase. Persuade them with a free shipping offer. You can also suggest other products similar to their cart items too.
"Fewer people abandon carts when they think products will cost more or won't be there next time."
11. DEBUG YOUR CHECKOUT PAGE
Have you ever had a website freeze up? Have you hit the submit button and only received a spinning wheel icon? Don't let these tech mishaps frustrate your customers. Double-check that your ordering process works perfectly. Send through a sample order to find glitches to fix. Further, increase the page load speed for a faster checkout.
12. INVEST IN RE-TARGETING ADS
When shopping cart abandonment happens, don't give up. You can reach would-be customers through ads on other sites. Re-targeting uses tracked cookies to follow people around the internet. Online shoppers are reminded about items that piqued their interest. Seeing the product again on Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere could be the push they need to buy.
13. CONVERT CURRENCIES AUTOMATICALLY
E-commerce businesses with a worldwide reach must handle different forms of money well. Displaying all prices in Australian dollars can annoy foreigners. Global customers don't want to guess what they'll pay. Use foreign exchange software to post rates for each country. This prevents international shoppers from getting budget shock and leaving.
14. PROVIDE FREE SHIPPING
Offering free shipping is an easy incentive for customers to hit the complete order button in your eCommerce store. While as an entrepreneur, you know nothing in business is "free," your customers love to feel like they are getting the best deal. Using the word "free" is powerful, as it profoundly affects consumers psychologically and dramatically influences their purchasing behaviour. Of course, you will have to adjust the price of your product to provide "free" shipping and still make a profit. One approach is to offer free shipping on all products you sell. A second approach is to offer "free shipping" on all orders over a set amount. While offering "free shipping" may seem like an unnecessary step, keep in mind that consumers are much more likely to pay $25 + Free Shipping than they are to pay $20 + $4.99 Shipping.
15. PROVIDE A MONEY-BACK GUARANTEED
If you can, providing a money-back guarantee on your products is another excellent strategy when it comes to avoiding cart abandonment. You have the power to design a reasonable return policy that works well in your business. While you might have to deal with more returns when providing a money-back guarantee, you also have the potential of gaining more loyal customers if they know they can trust your store to back all the products you sell. A store's return policies and return process has been shown to have a significant impact on customer satisfaction. Overall, providing a money-back guarantee will have more customers hitting the complete purchase as it takes the hesitation or worries out of the purchasing process.
16. UTILISE FAQs TO ANSWER SALE QUESTIONS
Creating a FAQs or Frequently Asked Questions section on your eCommerce store is a great way to improve the consumer experience. Integrating an FAQ section into your store has the potential to increase conversions, while also saving money and time in your customer service department. Some popular FAQs for eCommerce stores to include are:
- Shipping-Based Questions
- Questions Related to Products
- Customisation Questions
- Payment Method Questions
- Questions Related to Delivery
17. Integrate Third Party Plugins
Integrating promotional third-party plugins allow you to offer cross-sell and upsells offers. These plugins also allow you to create a sense of urgency by combining discount and timers into your eCommerce store. Shopify has a number of apps that you can add to your store, and WordPress has some easy-to-add plugins too. Utilising plugins will help boost sales on your eCommerce store, and is a great way to increase customer engagement and overall satisfaction, turning one-time customers into repeat customers.
18. HIGHLIGHT YOUR MOST POPULAR PRODUCTS
You never want to overwhelm your customer with too many options in your store. This sense of overwhelm can have potential customers abandoning their carts in record numbers. One way to ease the mind of customers is to create a landing page or sales page that highlights your most popular products. Making purchasing decisions as straightforward as possible is always ideal. You can easily create these landing pages on WordPress and Shopify through apps.
YOUR MAIN TAKEAWAY!
Online businesses have endless creative ways to optimise their checkout processes and lower their shopping cart abandonment. It's simply a matter of finding the right tactics that suit your business and customer. For example, some other conversion strategies you can utilise are:
- Ensuring a mobile responsive website design provides a smoother experience when shopping on phones and tablets.
- Unleashing a pop-up ad whenever a shopper's mouse approaches the exit button.
- Running A/B testing on your checkout page to see what works for your unique online business.
- Offering incentives such as a "lowest price match" guarantee to keep people from shopping around.
- Creating conversion copy in product descriptions and landing pages etc.
Either way, utilising the right eCommerce tricks that stop shopping cart abandonment will ensure your site revenue growth. If you are tired of going it alone, book in a 1-hour consult with Marketing Your Brand. Let an eCommerce expert perform a site audit and formulate a conversion based plan that will lower your shopping cart abandonment.
What are your top tips to stop shopping cart abandonment? Let us know in the comments section below.