How To Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment (The Concise 51 Point Guide)
How To Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment (The Concise 51 Point Guide)
Shopping cart abandonment refers to the situation where a customer adds items to their virtual shopping cart but fails to complete the purchase.
This is obviously frustrating for an online shop as it results in lost sales and revenue. However, there are strategies and tactics you can use to address this issue.
Before you can fix the problem, it’s good to know why it happens. Is your website terrible to use? Maybe, but probably not. So why do people add products to their cart but then not buy from you?
According to our friends and world leading eCommerce researchers at the Baymard Institute in Copenhagen, one of the primary reasons for shopping cart abandonment is when the buyer is not ready to buy at that time.
A recent Baymard survey showed that 58% of cart abandoners were simply browsing and not ready to buy.
Can You Turn Browsers Into Customers?
Here are some tips to improve your website to have a chance to turn these visitors into customers when they are ready to buy.
- Encourage visitors to bookmark your site so that they can easily find it again when they are ready to make a purchase. You can do this by adding a bookmark button or link to your website.
- Encourage visitors to share their contact information, such as their email address or phone number, so that you can follow up with them later. You can offer them a discount or special offer in exchange for their contact information.
- Encourage visitors to join your email list so that you can send them updates about your products and promotions. You can offer them a free guide or ebook in exchange for signing up.
- Offer visitors the option to receive SMS updates about your products and promotions. This can be a convenient way for them to stay informed about your business.
- Offer visitors the option to receive push notifications about your products and promotions. This can be a great way to keep them engaged with your brand.
- Encourage visitors to follow you on social media so that they can stay up-to-date with your latest news and offerings. You can add social media buttons or links to your website to make it easy for them to connect with you.
- If you have a physical store, encourage visitors to come in and check out your products in person. You can offer them a special promotion or discount to entice them to visit.
- Encourage visitors to ask you a question if they have any concerns or questions about your products or services. You can add a chat feature to your website or provide a form, an email address or phone number for them to contact you.
- Encourage visitors to fill in a form with their information and preferences. This can help you to better understand their needs and preferences and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.
- If you have stockists who sell your products locally, encourage visitors to visit their local stockist and check out your products in person. You can provide them with a list of your stockists or a map to help them find the nearest one.
- Provide visitors with a phone number to contact you if they have any questions or concerns. This can be a great way to build trust and connect with your customers on a more personal level.
- Allow the shopping cart to be easily saved as a Wishlist: Offer visitors the option to save their shopping cart as a Wishlist so that they can easily return to it later. This can be a great way to keep them engaged with your brand and products.
- If a visitor indicates that they are just looking, engage with them and ask questions to better understand their needs and preferences. This can help you to tailor your marketing efforts and product offerings to better meet their needs. You can use this feedback to improve your website and customer experience.
- Have an intelligent chat: Use an intelligent chatbot or live chat feature to engage with visitors who abandon their shopping carts. You can offer them personalized recommendations or promotions based on their browsing behaviour.
- Follow up with visitors who abandon their shopping carts and ask how they went. This can show that you care about their experience and are committed to providing excellent customer service.
- Ask visitors who abandon their shopping carts if they found what they were looking for. This can help you to identify any gaps in your product offerings or website content.
- Offer a discount or promotion: Consider offering visitors who abandon their shopping carts a discount or promotion to entice them to complete their purchase. You can send them a personalized email with the offer and a link to their abandoned cart.
- Use social proof, such as customer reviews or testimonials, to show visitors the value of your products and encourage them to complete their purchase.
- Retarget with ads: Use retargeting ads to reach visitors who abandon their shopping carts and encourage them to return to your website. You can show them personalized ads based on their browsing behaviour and interests.
It’s important to understand that interruptions can happen for the shopper at any time during the shopping process. Some customers may intend to buy but get interrupted by a phone call, a family member, or a work emergency.
By acknowledging that interruptions happen, you can take steps to help customers pick up where they left off.
- Use Abandoned Cart Messages: Abandoned cart messages are a great way to remind customers that they left items in their cart and encourage them to complete their purchase. These messages can be sent via email or SMS text message and can include a special offer or discount to incentivize the customer to return and complete their purchase.
- Automated Message Sequences: Use an automated sequence to send abandoned cart messages at specific intervals, such as 1 hour, 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours after the customer has abandoned their cart. This ensures that the customer receives a reminder at the most opportune time.
- SMS text messages have high open rates, making them an effective way to reach customers who may have abandoned their cart. Use a short and compelling message to remind the customer of their cart and encourage them to complete their purchase.
- Show Remarketing Ads to Cart Abandoners: Remarketing ads are a great way to remind customers of their cart even after they have left your website. Use display ads or social media ads to target customers who have abandoned their cart and show them a reminder of the items they left behind. This can help keep your brand top-of-mind and encourage customers to return and complete their purchase.
Shipping And Other Unexpected Costs
Of the people in the Baymard survey who were looking to buy and were not ‘just browsing’, 48% abandoned their cart due to unexpected costs, such as shipping fees or taxes.
Customers may add items to their cart only to be surprised by the additional costs at checkout, leading them to abandon the purchase. To address this issue, be transparent about your shipping pricing and provide clear information about any additional costs upfront.
This can include displaying shipping fees and taxes on product pages or offering free shipping for orders over a certain amount.
- It’s important to be transparent and up-front about any extra costs, such as shipping, tax, and fees. This can help to manage customer expectations and reduce the likelihood of abandonment.
- Explain your shipping: Provide clear information about your shipping options and rates. You can also offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount to encourage customers to spend more.
- Consider ways to reduce costs for customers, such as offering discounted shipping rates or waiving fees for first-time customers. This can be a great way to incentivize customers to complete their purchase.
- Offer a discount or promotion: Consider offering customers a discount or promotion to offset any extra costs. For example, you could offer free shipping or a percentage discount on their order.
- Provide a shipping calculator: Offer customers a shipping calculator on your website so that they can see the cost of shipping before they reach the checkout page. This can help to reduce the likelihood of any surprises or sticker shock.
- Consider offering a flat-rate shipping option: Offer customers a flat-rate shipping option so that they know exactly how much they will be charged for shipping, regardless of the size or weight of their order.
- Provide free shipping for returns: Offer customers free shipping for returns to encourage them to make a purchase with confidence, knowing that they can easily return the item if it’s not what they expected.
Allow Guest Accounts
24% of abandoners who wanted to buy gave up because they were being required to create an account:
- Allow Guest Checkout: One of the simplest and most effective ways to address this issue is to allow customers to complete their purchase as a guest, without having to create an account. This can be a great way to reduce friction and make the checkout process more user-friendly.
- Explain the benefits of creating an account: If you still want to encourage customers to create an account, be sure to explain the benefits, such as faster checkout in the future, access to order history, and personalized recommendations. This can help customers see the value in creating an account and make the process more enticing.
- Offer account creation after the purchase: Another way to encourage customers to create an account is to offer the option after they have completed their purchase. This can be a great way to reduce friction during the checkout process while still giving customers the opportunity to create an account if they choose.
- Simplify the account creation process: If you do require customers to create an account, be sure to make the process as simple and user-friendly as possible. Consider using social login options, such as Facebook or Google, to make it easier for customers to create an account without having to fill out a long form.
- Provide an account creation incentive: Consider offering customers an incentive, such as a discount or free shipping, for creating an account. This can be a great way to encourage customers to take the extra step of creating an account while also rewarding them for their loyalty.
Speed Up Delivery Times
22% of abandoners did so because delivery was going to be too slow.
- Optimise logistics: One of the most important things you can do to address slow delivery times is to optimize your logistics processes. This may involve working with your shipping partners to streamline processes or investing in technology that can help you more effectively manage inventory and fulfillment.
- Use local warehouses: Consider setting up local warehouses to reduce delivery times for customers. This can help to improve the customer experience and reduce the likelihood of abandonment.
- Offer express shipping: Providing an express shipping option can be a great way to reduce delivery times for customers who are willing to pay extra for faster shipping. This can be a great way to generate additional revenue and improve the customer experience.
- Encourage customers to buy from a local stockist: If you have local stockists who sell your products, encourage customers to buy from them instead. This can help to reduce delivery times and improve the overall customer experience.
- Offer click and collect: Click and collect is a great way to reduce delivery times for customers by allowing them to pick up their order at a local store or warehouse. This can be a great option for customers who need their order quickly and can also help to drive foot traffic to your physical locations.
ALWAYS Build Trust
18% of shoppers abandoned the shopping process even though they wanted to buy because they just did not trust that online store website with their credit card information.
- Improve security: One of the best ways to build trust with customers is to improve the security of your website. This may involve implementing SSL certificates, using trusted payment gateways, and displaying security logos prominently on your site.
- Show legitimacy: Customers are more likely to trust sites that they perceive as legitimate. To improve the perception of your site, include important business details such as your ABN, opening hours, business history, and physical address. This information helps customers know that you are a legitimate business.
- Improve social proof: Social proof such as customer reviews and membership logos can help to build trust with customers. Make sure to display customer reviews prominently on your site and consider adding membership logos from reputable organizations that you are a part of.
- Improve website content: Providing high-quality product images, descriptions, and videos can also help to build trust with customers. Ensure that all the necessary information about your products is available on your website.
- Show the people behind the store: Finally, it can be helpful to show the people behind the store. Include information about your team, your story, and your mission on your website. This can help customers feel more connected to your business and more willing to trust you with their credit card information.
Simplify, Improve & Be Awesome
Here are some additional strategies and tactics that can help reduce the number of customers abandoning the shopping process on your online store.
- Simplify Your Forms & Process: A long and complicated checkout process is a major turn-off for customers. Simplify your forms and process as much as possible, and try to reduce the number of steps required to complete a purchase.
- Be Up-front! Displaying the total order cost up-front is important for customers to know exactly what they are getting into. Be transparent about any extra costs, such as shipping, taxes, and fees, and make sure they are clearly displayed.
- Test, Fix & Enhance: Errors and crashes can be frustrating for customers and can cause them to abandon the shopping process. Regularly test your website to identify and fix any issues. Additionally, keep enhancing your website and making it more user-friendly to improve the customer experience.
- Develop An Awesome Returns Policy: A poor returns policy can be a major turn-off for customers. Develop a clear and customer-friendly returns policy that makes it easy for customers to return items they are not satisfied with.
- Promote It Well: Once you have developed a great returns policy, make sure to promote it well. Display your returns policy prominently on your website and in your marketing materials to let customers know that you stand behind your products and are committed to their satisfaction.
- Add More Payment Methods: Limited payment options can be a major barrier to completing a purchase for some customers. Consider adding more payment methods to give customers more flexibility and convenience.
You Can’t Win Them All
Finally, it’s important to remember that not every customer will complete their purchase.
Some customers may have a declined credit card or simply change their minds. While it’s important to address any issues that may be causing customers to abandon the shopping process, it’s also important to recognize that not every sale can be saved.
No BS Digital Strategist & Director at Concise Digital
I've been in online business for over 25 years. During this time, the digital age has transformed the world, and now many people take it all for granted. I don't. In 2012, I wrote 'Catching Digital', a practical guide to business planning in the digital world. Now I work with business owners looking for over-the-horizon vision, strategic clarity and better business results.
In 2014 & 2015, I was the national Chair of Judges for the Australian Web Awards, which gave me deep insights in the Australian web industry. Not all of it is good, which makes me appreciate, and indeed love, the no-BS way we do business here at Concise Digital.
I'm a straight-talking keynote speaker, seminar-workshop presenter and a qualified trainer, and I've run Internet business seminars and workshops throughout Australia, New Zealand and in Asia and the USA. These days, most of my training work is for Concise clients & our team, including our Concise Webinars.
I live in Perth and Busselton, and in my spare time, I enjoy wine, fishing and AFL footy. I'm also a long-suffering member of the Fremantle Dockers football club. ;)
No BS Digital Marketer/Educator
My passion is helping small businesses be more successful online by showing you the mistakes I made and ensuring you avoid the advice that did nothing for me.
I’m one of the directors of Concise.Digital. I run regular talks, workshops and meetups on Google, eCommerce and all things Digital Marketing.
I live in Perth, Western Australia, enjoy wine, food and the sun.