Nobody really knows why people spend time shopping online and then bail just before paying or completing the transaction. I suppose there are many reasons why this happens, and thus why it’s so challenging to overcome. Abandon cart rate statistics will undoubtedly shock you. In 2017 up slightly from 2016, 78.65% of orders were abandon before completion. As the internet evolves things are bound to get worse. Distractions on the internet come in many forms. Email notifications, social media notifications, and the simple ease of wandering away to something more entertaining (and less expensive) constantly threaten the attention of your shopper, and the transaction you need them to complete.
The problem is there for everyone, no matter how well you’ve designed your website or how good you are at keeping your visitors entertained. But bringing that statistic down to just 50% would be a huge boost for your business. I’ve outlined a number of ways to do this in the following article, as well as some things you shouldn’t do in case you are. Before you try anything however, you’ll want to find out what your current shopping cart abandonment rate is.
Like the old saying goes. If it’s not broken don’t fix it. Everyone will have some degree of shopping cart abandonment on their website, no matter how well you’ve mastered your online presentation. But if your SCAR is 50% or below, I’d say make changes cautiously and lightly. Second, in order to measure improvement and decide which methods are working, you’ll need to have a baseline.
1. Website Form Restructure
Have you filled out your forms and timed how long it takes you? Do you really need a home phone number and work phone number? Review your forms and take out any information that isn’t totally necessary. Generally speaking, asking for a phone number is a turn off. Unless you plan on calling them, you probably don’t need it. Email is sufficient in most cases.
Are You Protecting Your Clients Data?
If you haven’t switched to a fully secure site now is a good time to do so. People are on hyper alert when it comes to providing personal information online. If your site is not secure, most will think twice about providing their name, much less their credit card number. Provide a safe place to transact and for them to shop and you have eliminated a huge barrier to getting that sale and lowering your SCAR. The new protocol has already begun rolling out (http2) and you’ll need to have a secure site before switching anyway.
2. One Step Checkout
Setting up a one step checkout for returning users to bypass any unnecessary checkout steps is another way to get your visitors thru the payment process before they jump ship. Take it from Amazon, one step checkout works and it works well. Chances are it has a lot to do with why they’ve been so successful. This requires maintaining credit card information from your customers so be sure you have a handle on how to keep their information safe yet easily accessible for transactions.
Registration For One Step Check Out
A pre-order registration option could make the checkout process much easier for your visitors. Getting information from traffic is not as easy as it sounds though. For the best success, running a promo like free shipping on first order to get registration details and capture the info you need. Consider adding a progress indicator within the registration process that follows each step, letting them know they are almost done and that it’s only a few simple steps. This provides your visitors with a goal to accomplish and a means to an end to the menial and somewhat annoying task. You may want to also let them know if they opt for one-step checkout that the next order will be a breeze.
3. Site Redesign and Development
Is your website easy to navigate? Can users go to and from the shopping cart and back to the store easily. Is a phone number visible in the header for them to contact you? Can customers save their cart contents and come back later? What kind of notifications do you have to reel them back in after saving items in their cart? Providing low stock alerts to these individuals on items they have saved in their cart is a great method for reeling them back in for the sale. With good inventory tracking software like Zenventory, tracking inventory with low stock alerts is effortless. Taking advantage of these tools will help your business thrive. In certain installations updated inventory levels are pushed out to the marketplaces, providing added convenience for a retailer. Further, good inventory tracking will ensure you have the necessary stock to fulfill orders when they do happen. This will undoubtedly have a positive effect on your SCAR.
Thumbnails Keep it Interesting
It’s the little things that count the most. For example, thumbnails of products should carry over into the cart/payment process so people remember what they are purchasing. Images also help to keep them focused on the task at hand by drawing their attention inward versus text which tends to put people to sleep. If it doesn’t put them to sleep it will likely send them off in search of something more entertaining.
Overall, when designing your website, make it simple, and easy to navigate and find products. For example, if you provide a search option be sure it actually works. If you sell tents, but searching for “tents” on your website fails to pull up the tents you sell, that’s problematic. Consider just removing the search option all together if it can’t be fixed to work properly. Less frustration equals less reasons to bail.
4. Shipping Costs
Shipping costs have proved time and time again to have the greatest effect on completing a purchase online. If you’re still trying to make money on it, I’d strongly advise against it. You’d be better served by adding that cost into the products rather than presenting it at the most critical stage of the process. Any surprises during checkout, unless they benefit the buyer are likely to impede a sale. Don’t make an already difficult sale, that much harder by jacking up shipping costs to make an extra buck or two. Hopefully by now you’ve figured out just how well that DOESN’T work.
Shipping Offers and Promos
Since many retailers offer free shipping you should try to come as close as you can to an offer that’s similar. Play around with free shipping by increasing your prices slightly to test how it effects your SCAR. Devise a promo to offer free shipping on first orders. Getting that first order can be the most challenging, but each order after that is slightly easier as you establish trust with your customer. Offering free shipping is also a great way to promote registration on site before the checkout process so they can breeze thru your one step checkout when shopping on your site.
Or, on the other hand, you could offer free shipping on orders that reach a certain dollar amount. Yet another great way to not only increase the order average, but to help insure the transaction is completed by eliminating the shipping costs which happen to be a large contributor to shopping cart abandonment.
Email Marketing- Recapture Cart Abandoment
While, this particular strategy won’t help lower your SCAR, it will help you recapture some of that lost business. Putting email marketing automation in place remains as the number one most effective marketing strategy for tackling cart abandonment. Here’s a statistic that will motivate you to immediately put one in place for your website. 45% of emails related to shopping cart abandonment are opened, of that, another 21% are clicked thru and 50% of those result in a sale. Cart abandonment should trigger an email that urges them back to your site via hyperlinks embedded within products that relate to what they left in their cart. Not rocket science but plenty of work to set up, so get going you don’t want to miss out on another sale from an abandon cart. First order of business? Begin creating email promos around your product groups. Ex. create one for camping gear, one for hiking boots and one for cookware,
Some eCommerce retailers use what is known as the wishlist. This is a place that registered customers can add items they like or want but for whatever reason can’t purchase them right away. For a retailer this information is gold. From here devising special offers around products provides some highly targeted marketing opportunities that work. If used to capture abandon cart items from visiting traffic this could provide some powerful marketing opportunities that will surely close the deal the second time around.