Here’s the biggest nightmare of all online retailers: Seeing potential buyers dropping by their virtual store, filling the cart with items, clicking through the checkout pages, and when the payment is about to be initiated, giving up and abandoning the shopping process. A 2021 study by SaleCycle revealed that the percentage of cart abandonment across all sectors stands at 81.8%. The figures are the highest in the travel sector that traditionally has longer research phases and more complex checkouts.
ECommerce business platforms and online retailers often seek for cart abandonment solutions to tackle this issue and better cater to their customers. How does one go about unclogging the bottlenecks of the shopping process and boosting sales? We’ve compiled a list of ideas, tips, and tricks to optimize the checkout flow. Keep reading and learn if you should stick with traditional methods or go for brand new technologies for an innovative approach to fixing the cart abandonment issue.
What Does an Abandoned Cart Mean for My Business?
Let’s start by diving deeper into what shopping cart abandonment is and what the abandonment rates mean for your business. When the potential buyer orders items online and initiates the checkout process but gives up before completing the purchase, we talk about cart abandonment. Other forms of this practice include booking abandonment, form abandonment (which refers to abandoning forms for quotes, subscriptions, and financial products). There’s also browse abandonment, which refers to customers who give up while browsing and before placing an order.
As an important metric for tracking customer satisfaction, the cart abandonment rate should be regularly monitored and analyzed to boost sales. The rate is calculated by dividing the number of completed transactions by the number of initiated transactions. The final figures indicate the percentage of prospective buyers who initiated a purchase but never finalized it. Analyzing this rate is important, but understanding the reason behind it – why potential customers give up on buying your products – is your primary goal.
Why Do Consumers Abandon Their Carts?
Even though the reasons vary depending on the sector, there are some common issues that all consumers experience and cite as the cause of giving up on buying the desired item. Cart abandonment analysis can give you useful insights into the bottlenecks you need to address and clear in order to offer a swift and smooth shopping experience.
- Browsing for fun; Many consumers state they were simply browsing the website and checking the prices and shipping fees without the real intention of buying anything. Additionally, some of them might say they got discouraged by high shipping costs, even though they were satisfied with the product in general and genuinely wanted to buy it.
- Comparison shopping; Aside from high shipping costs, shopping cart abandonment rates spike due to high prices of products and finding better deals with the competition. Buyers may add a product to their cart prior to comparing prices and then abandon it for a cheaper deal they’ve found elsewhere.
- Lack of trust; According to data, almost 61% of shoppers who abandon a purchase decide to opt out due to the lack of trust logos. Trust indicators include Site Seal, Corner of Trust, and TrustLogo. Not seeing any of these logos on a website can hold off potential customers.
- Lack of payment methods; One of the common shopping cart abandonment reasons is the inability to swiftly complete the shopping process due to insufficient payment options. Opening a PayPal account for the sole purpose of buying a single product is a hassle and instead of doing that, consumers are likely to search for an online shop with the same or a similar product that offers more diverse payment options.
- Complex checkout process; Don’t expect your customers to be patient and tenacious – that’s just not what online shopping is about. The main strategy for improving the sales process would be to make it as straightforward as possible. Think of Amazon and its 1-Click ordering. If you make your prospective buyer dig through dozens of pages and fill out tons of forms, you’ll probably lose them.
- Technical difficulties; Finally, cart abandonment statistics indicate there’s a significant number of customers who give up due to technical glitches, bugs, or slow loading times.
How Can You Reduce the Number of Abandoned Baskets?
Obviously, not all of these reasons behind cart abandonment can be addressed by the seller. If someone is just browsing your website and adding stuff without a serious intention to buy your products, you usually can’t influence that by simply optimizing your website.
On the other hand, most of the rough edges and obstacles that make customers give up can be smoothed out. Let’s take a look at some of the best cart abandonment solutions you can go for.
Exit-intent technology employs sophisticated tools to identify customers’ exit behavior. If the potential customer signals reluctance, starts comparing the item with other websites’ similar offers or is about to exit the page, a prompt pop-up message will try to get them back on track.
These layouts can ask for an email, or carry a message that encourages customers to stay by offering discount codes, gifts, or free shipping for purchases over a certain amount. Not only can this motivate the shopper to complete their purchase but it can increase the overall value of the cart, so it’s a win-win approach.
To reduce the average cart abandonment rate, you need to implement the right strategy when creating popups; first, analyze your target audience and your site heatmap, determine your sales goals, and figure out what the best offer might be. Then, hire a designer or expert to help you out with the subtle message display and optimize popup timing for better results.
Email remarketing campaigns
Good old emails remain one of the most effective solutions for attracting customers’ attention once again and having them rethink their decision to completely abandon their digital basket. Sending a cart abandonment email to remind the potential buyer of the product they were about to buy can increase purchases 19 times more than standard marketing emails.
So, let’s see how these emails should look and what information they should contain. Send the first email within 24 hours of the cart abandonment, and two more emails in the following days. Aim to create a sense of FOMO with a personalized tone and an offer such as a discount code, or simply with a reminder that the product is still waiting for them in the cart. Cart abandonment emails shouldn’t sound like one of those generic, cookie-cutter marketing messages; customize them toward potential customers instead and add a touch of intimacy.
SMS remarketing campaigns
In the context of eCommerce businesses’ massive migration to mobile platforms, SMS communication makes more sense than ever. According to a study, text message marketing has grown 23% since 2016. People seem to like reading SMS offers sent by companies, and they spend twice the time on texting than emailing, so that’s your chance to get them back to purchase your product.
Mobile cart abandonment can be easily addressed while the consumers are still holding the phone they were shopping on, using SMS marketing tools.
To refocus a customer’s attention back to their forgotten cart, you’ll first have to obtain their phone number. A good way to do it is to add a phone number capture in the checkout process. Make sure to include a message about the products they’ve added to their basket or a link to the shopping cart. You can also send an SMS to thank customers for the purchase or ask for feedback.
Indecisive and reluctant consumers can be stirred into action with a couple of messages via live chat or a chatbot service. This AI-based technology for cart abandonment recovery can be a decent replacement for those employees in brick-and-mortar stores who are good at talking customers into buying their goods, and we know that 37% of people use a customer service bot to quickly get answers. The live-chat function with a detailed and well-organized FAQ section can assist the buyers with the usual doubts and questions regarding sizes, returns, shipping, and delivery times. Of course, if you have customer agents available round the clock – even better.
Chatbots can follow the potential buyer along the whole shopping journey – from welcoming them, assisting them with the purchase, suggesting similar products in case the one they want isn’t available, to serving offers and discounts to reduce shopping cart abandonment rates. Consider using chatbot builder software to help you out with writing creative and personalized chat messages.
Retargeting is a common and powerful marketing strategy. When you’re retargeting someone, you have more chances of winning their attention, as you remind them of something they have already shown interest in acquiring. Focusing on people who are in-market can potentially curb the negative effects of shopping cart abandonment.
When creating retargeting ads, make sure to include brand recognition and targeted content, as well as a special offer to convince customers to get back to your website. On a slightly different note: Invest some time and effort into optimizing your website for online sale and its design. Not having enough funds is no longer a valid excuse – you can go for one of the many excellent and affordable eCommerce website builders.
Trust and social proof
Creating trust is of utmost importance, especially if you’re a new brand that’s not yet established in the eCommerce business. Cart abandonment solutions we’ve reviewed so far have focused mostly on getting customers back to purchase. The method of implementing trust and social proof relies on prevention instead, convincing customers into purchasing your products by building confidence.
Most consumers will at least browse through customer reviews before proceeding with the order, so make sure to provide verified testimonials or star ratings. Also, include trust badges and certificates on strategic positions on the website, close to payment details. By doing so, you’ll reassure the customers that your page is legitimate and that they can expect a safe and secure shopping experience.
A lengthy checkout process is a nightmare for consumers and one of the most common reasons for shopping cart abandonment. Too many steps and requirements, having to fill out too many forms, as well as not knowing when the process will end can all discourage potential buyers from completing their purchase. That’s why having only a few essential steps with a clearly visible progress bar can make all the difference. With so many online distractions, consumers nowadays have a short attention span and require simplicity. After all, shopping should be fun, not a chore.
Some research shows that the best checkout process has four steps, a prominent progress bar on top, and a visible order summary along the way so that customers can be sure they haven’t made a mistake. Another useful tool for preventing digital shopping cart abandonment is a “Review” step, where buyers can make changes to their order or add more items to the basket without having to start all over again. Having to create an account is another drawback, so you’re well-advised to enable customers to check out as guests.
Eventually, it all boils down to payment; if the customer made it all the way through the checkout process and reached the final step, but there isn’t a single payment method that suits them, chances they’ll quit are very high. Most millennials require flexibility in the way they pay for goods and services, so having an option to pay in installments via third-party checkout partners is one of the most effective shopping cart abandonment solutions. Offering alternative payment methods along with the standard wire transfers and credit and debit card payments would make the whole process customer-friendly.
Reengaging your visitors and persuading them not to give up on their purchase will reduce your abandonment rate and increase your revenue so don’t hesitate to invest time and effort into implementing at least some of the solutions we’ve proposed in this article because these are efficient tools known to work. When choosing shopping cart abandonment solutions, compare and test several and analyze which one works the best for your eCommerce business. Don’t set a bad example for your customers by giving up!