What is Shopping Cart Abandonment?
Shopping cart abandonment occurs when potential buyers add products to their carts but do not complete their transactions
Abandoned carts in eCommerce aren't a new problem. In fact, HubSpot reports that 73.9% of carts remain un-purchased. The question is: why aren't retailers doing more to capture this untapped potential?
Shopping cart abandonment is often influenced by competitive pricing, uncertainty about store credibility and general forgetfulness. To combat these issues, we're outlining clear strategies to help nurture potential buyers and encourage them to convert.
Shopping Cart Abandonment Tips
- Implement An Optimized One-Page Checkout
- Provide Security Assurances
- Add Clear Incentives
- Implement Email Workflows
- Set Up Retargeting Campaigns
- Experiment With Live Chat & Chat Bots
- Remember to Test
1. Implement An Optimized One-Page Checkout
When it comes to checkout, brands need to reduce friction and roadblocks. Enter the optimized on-page checkout.
One-page checkout makes it easier for users to understand purchase progress and move through checkout stages. This approach also minimizes checkout friction by reducing page load time and removing opportunities for cart abandonment.
When designing your checkout flow, make sure button sizes are mobile compatible. We recommend button sizes no smaller than 44 pixels by 44 pixels to accommodate finger tap on mobile devices. These interactions contribute to the overall checkout experience and are opportunities to make the process easier for your users.
Finally, consider adding a progress bar to your checkout if it involves phases to help users understand exactly where they are in the process. These visual queues reinforce forward motion in the purchase process and can also help user navigate forward or backward based on their individual needs.
If you're interested in learning more, we recommend our related blog about eCommerce checkout best practices.
2. Provide Security Assurances
With online scams on the rise, many consumers are still concerned with cyber security issues and identity theft. However, the simplest solution this problem is to proactively address their fears.
Try attaching badges or logos from companies like Norton, Google or the Better Business Bureau (to name a few). These visuals provide security assurances that increase your store’s credibility and strengthen consumer confidence.
Although badges are not a requirement, they are a simple way to help ease consumer worries and increase trust. When in doubt, try testing different messaging and assurances to see what performs best for your customers.
3. Add Clear Incentives
Incorporating clear incentives in your eCommerce strategy can offer numerous benefits for your business. Specifically, messaging and incentives can motivate users to complete their purchases.
Among many available options, we we recommend using promoting free shipping and discounts and promotions.
Shipping is a crucial aspect of your eCommerce business because it is the consumer’s first point of contact with your product. Therefore, it is inherently important to develop a successful shipping strategy.
Free shipping is attractive to customers, which makes the offer a potential competitive advantage. It plays an important role in the potential buyer’s decision making process when it’s time to choose where they will spend their money.
In our webinar with ShipStation about the eCommerce experience, we emphasize that free shipping is no longer a perk – it's a requirement. If you aren't offering free shipping, you are likely losing customers to retailers who can.
That said, we acknowledge that free shipping isn't feasible for every retailer. If you fall into that category, we recommend a few strategies to still incorporate the concept to reduce abandoned carts.
- High shipping costs often deter customers from completing a purchase, but wrapping all costs into the price of each product entices customers to follow through.
- Offer free shipping when customers spend over a certain dollar amount
- Up-sell by giving consumers free shipping when they purchase two or more items
- Set a specific time period for how long the offer is available (this option is most useful during slow periods)
If you haven't considered implementing free shipping, we highly recommend taking the time to evaluate if it's possible for your business.
Introduce Discounts and Promotions
Another effective tactic for eradicating abandoned carts is offering discounts and promotions throughout the checkout process. However, we caution you to consider your specific business needs with discounts.
eCommerce stores with larger margins can often offer discounts more frequently. However, stores with smaller margins should consider discount alternatives to maintain profitability.
In these instances, we often recommend offering an inexpensive complimentary branded product. This type of offer can help brands control their profitability. As a result, many brands can end up saving a higher profit margin than if they were to offer 10 or 15 percent off.
When discounts and promotions are successfully implemented, your business is more likely to encourage customers to convert. This will help drive customer loyalty and customer acquisition. Overall, we recommend building custom promotional offers based on your business, customers and goals.
4. Implement Email Workflows & Automation
Even if you optimize your checkout experience and provide promotional incentives, users can unfortunately still abandon their carts. However, email automation and abandoned cart workflows offer significant opportunity to recover this lost revenue.
Abandoned cart recovery workflows are often “set it and forget it” implementations. For example, brands typically set how long after the cart abandoner leaves before they receive an email and what offers (if any) they’ll receive (whether they are in the first email or follow-up recapture emails).
Best of all, most robust tools include all of the items abandoned in these emails. This only requires users to click once to go back to their previous cart. Even more impressive, the big players in this arena will actually capture the keystrokes in specific fields on your online checkout form so that visitors who aren’t signed in with an account can be captured.
Abandoned cart workflows are truly a wellspring of opportunity for eCommerce marketers. If you're interested in learning more about abandoned cart email strategy, we recommend our related blog. In this piece, we discuss email messaging, testing, layout, promotions and more.
5. Set Up Retargeting Campaigns
There's a reason products you viewed follow you around on Facebook, Instagram and other social platforms. These types of advertisements are referred to as product retargeting.
Product retargeting campaigns use browser cookies to dynamically display products in your social feeds that you previously viewed. By implementing these campaigns, marketers can re-introduce users to their carts as a supplement to existing promotional strategies.
We often recommend this strategy for brands with active user bases on social platforms like Instagram and Facebook. The highly visual nature of the advertisements lends them to high click-through rates. As a result, many brands who run these campaigns experience significant return on investment.
We cover this concept and other ideas to drive additional conversions in our related blog about eCommerce hacks to supercharge your store.
6. Experiment With Live Chat & Chat Bots
The name of the game in cart abandonment is making things easy for your users. Specifically, marketers need to reduce friction and help customers get help and information when they need it.
Online chat has transformed the way that businesses address customer needs. For example, chat:
- Is convenient for customers
- Allows your staff to have multiple customer conversations at once
- Let's you cross-sell and up-sell with product recommendations
- Address your customers’ pain points immediately with a personalized approach.
However, not all online chat tools are created equal. At a high level, there are two types of chat to consider:
Live chat is the most straightforward method to communicate with your customers and prospects. This technology connects users with a live support professional who can answer their questions and point them in the right direction.
Although this option is the most personable, many businesses struggle to scale live chat as they grow. For example, actively maintaining 24-hour staff to answer questions presents logistical challenges for many businesses. As a result, live chat is not always the ideal solution.
However, live chat does have particularly helpful applications. Including live chat during the checkout process during normal business hours can help your brand reach customers when they are very close to converting. We recommend exploring this option to see if it impacts your overall conversion.
Differing from live chat, eCommerce chat bots allow businesses to remain connected 24-7 with reduced personnel overhead. This medium also helps businesses accelerate addressing user inquiries.
Using if/then logic, marketers can create chat flows that mimic real conversations. We especially love the idea of limiting customer inputs to designated buttons in chat bots. This concept accomplishes two things:
- It limits the opportunities for error. Specifically, it removes the chance that a chat bot will not understand user input.
- These flows help users self identify the needs that best apply. Using this information, brands can quickly navigate users to information that makes sense for them.
Although chat bots offer significant value on many pages of eCommerce websites, we typically do not recommend placing them in the checkout experience. Instead, implementing live chat on these pages can help brands immediately address specific payment questions without a technological barrier.
Ultimately, choosing the right chat option comes down to specific business needs. As a result, we encourage you to evaluate your users, desired functionality and overall business needs.
7. Remember to Test
Could your checkout page benefit from an adjustment to aesthetics? Could your customer service information or overall visual hierarchy be improved?
If you’re thinking “yes” to any of the above, you may want to consider eCommerce A/B testing. Although there are many options available, we are fans of Google Optimize for small adjustments. This tool helps brands implement quick adjustments to their websites – often without coding.
From promotional elements to page layouts, every component on your eCommerce story ultimately influences customer action and motivation. As such, it's important to periodically identify areas on your site with user friction and run tests to improve.
Reducing shopping cart abandonment can be an excellent way to garner more sales and acquire new customers.
If you’re not sure where to start and are looking for some tools that you can explore using for this purpose, consider each of the above as they apply to your own eCommerce website.
Want to learn more or need help? Feel free to drop us a line below.
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