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 VIRTUAL CHAT WIDGET
Install a virtual chat widget such as Facebook Chat Bot. Customers frequently have questions during the checkout process. Maybe they're unsure about a product description or return refund policy. Don't let their inquiries go unanswered. Live, person-to-person online chats with sales reps can stop shopping cart abandonment. Virtual chats are much faster than emails and easier than receiving phone calls. You can also utilise FAQs in your chat box pop up windows.
"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.
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.