Are you wondering why visitors on your buying site do not complete their purchases and instead decide to abandon their shopping cart?
Shopping cart abandonment is a scary subject that keeps many people awake! There are many statistics that show just how high abandonment rates are, when there are more options than ever to push current or potential customers to the bottom of the sales funnel.
The Baymard Institute, a leader in large-scale research that studies all aspects of the e-commerce user experience, reports that e-commerce sites achieve an average of 56.82% shopping cart abandonment. In a similar vein, Smart Insights regularly tracks overall e-commerce conversion rates – from shopping cart addition to sales. In 2020, they have shown that overall conversion rates average 3%, while the rate for mobile devices alone is 1.82%.
Wow! That’s a lot of dollars that don’t go in your pockets.
According to Kissmetrics, there are many reasons why consumers abandon their shopping cart, such as:
- Hidden shipping and handling charges,
- The need to create an account,
- A long and complex payment process,
- Safety concerns or technical problems.
It should also be noted that the process of putting items into a basket does not mean the same thing to everyone. Some consumers add them as a simple step in their online search process; it’s their way of filtering. Others want to compare the prices in a shopping cart with other sites before buying. In the end, in the decision-making process, some will go elsewhere, others will decide to buy in-store, and the majority will tell themselves that they will come back later and finally forget about it.
Despite this reality, there are some proven solutions you can put in place to help the undecided come back and complete their transaction. Let’s take a look at these 10 tips you’ll need to work on to improve your abandonment rate and increase your conversion rate!
1. Get real shopping cart abandonment statistics
Don’t push the panic button on your marketing team right away. To improve a situation, you need to know the reality of the situation. That’s why it’s essential to get an overview of the process your visitors are going through.
So start by studying each step at the bottom of the funnel of your online sales process and ask yourself some questions:
- What is your current conversion rate?
- What percentage of your visitors abandon their shopping cart?
- Where would you realistically like to be in terms of online sales and conversion rates?
- Compare this first information to better situate your success.
- What is the average amount in the shopping cart?
- What is the average shopping cart amount of people who complete the transaction and those who abandon their shopping cart?
- Establish, at a high level, customer profiles based on this information.
- How do your abandoned shopping cart email campaigns perform?
- When do you send these communications?
- What do these emails contain, and what do your contacts click on?
- Starting to understand what works, or doesn’t work, in your current mailings?
Without knowing your current situation, it is almost impossible to measure improvement over time. That’s why your starting point should always be the current situation, even if your re-engagement efforts are weak or non-existent.
2. Review your entire buying process
Beyond the information at the bottom of the buying process you studied in the previous step, you now need to better understand the path your contacts take to get there.
- How many pages does he visit on average?
- What are the most popular pages?
- How much time does he spend on average on a product page?
You can measure more in-depth information using a heat map to assess where your visitors are going and clicking. It is with this information that you can begin to understand what a typical shopping process looks like.
This information will also have an impact on your user experience, since it will force you to present the right content in the right places, considering that people spend little or a lot of time on your pages, scroll little, a lot or not at all… in short, you will have to maximize the information provided about your products to increase their value to visitors, and limit the questions that could prevent them from buying.
3. Feature product ratings and reviews
Don’t relegate product reviews and consumer opinions to search engines and social media. Highlight good comments you’ve received from other customers by posting them on your product pages, and why not keep them throughout the ordering process?
Here are some interesting statistics on consumer reviews
- 72% of customers will not take any action until they read the comments.
- 15% of users do not trust companies that have no opinion.
- Only 6% of consumers do not trust customer reviews at all.
- Google accounts for 57.5% of all reviews worldwide, so they cannot be ignored.
- Best-selling products have ratings ranging from 4.2 to 4.7.
- Local businesses have an average of 39 reviews on Google.
Although this is an increasingly common practice in e-commerce, it is still important to mention that companies cannot hesitate to make this option available on their website. Beyond that, all companies should encourage people who have purchased to leave a comment, as this can only encourage others to buy as well.
For example, Sephora, which is very successful in its digital marketing, systematically asks people to leave comments, about 1 to 2 weeks after a person’s purchase.
4. Ditch or simplify your account creation requirements
Is it really necessary to force your consumers to create an account to make a transaction? Online shopping can already stress many people, so it is important to limit the time they take to think before completing their purchase.
In the image below, it is interesting to leave as many options to the visitor on what he wants to do.
- Pay as a visitor
- Register as a new customer (create an account)
By eliminating an option such as buying as a guest, you are adding an absolutely unnecessary step to the buying process that is happening right now. It’s even worse when you have to validate your registration with an email! You are asking your visitors to get out of their “I want to buy” mindset, in addition to getting out of the buying interface.
In addition, some websites ask to enter identification information for a profile, which is not integrated into the purchase form. This means that people have to enter certain information, such as email, more than once, which makes the process irritating.
There is nothing that is stopping you from asking a person who has purchased to create a profile… after they have completed their purchase! Or why not in the order confirmation email, giving them a promotional code if possible to encourage them to do so. These emails are probably among the most opened and get special attention from your new customers.
5. Be transparent about costs and shipping policies
Avoid consumer anxiety by clearly stating the total cost of the order from the outset, including all shipping and handling charges.
According to CEFRIO’s NETendance (2018), respondents were asked to define the importance they attach to various delivery terms for items purchased online. Of the options presented, not having to pay delivery charges when purchasing online came out on top, with 84% of Quebec online shoppers for whom this condition is important. In addition, in the same study, 80% of respondents indicated that being able to make a return trip to the store is important.
This tells us that it is important to have a FAQ on delivery and return policies. I always find it very strange to have to navigate the footer at the bottom of a website to find this information. It should be much more visible to help visitors make a decision.
The most reassuring thing is to be able to see, as shown in the picture below, the taxes to pay, or to be able to choose a shipping method that will let the potential buyer pay the customs fees, if applicable, in advance.
6. Offer live chat to help customers
Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. With all the products competing in the marketplace, it can be difficult for consumers to choose. To choose YOU.
Implementing an online chat on your website in case visitors doubt or wonder is an interesting solution. Live chats are another way to gain customer trust and connect with them. They are also a great option for B2B, where it is easier to talk to company experts who will be able to meet the more demanding requirements of this type of customer.
7. Let customers know your store and their data is safe
In 2016, a study conducted in the United States revealed that more than 50% of Americans were afraid to give out their credit card information online. In the same study, 84% of online households cited at least one concern they had about online security and privacy risks, and 40% cited at least two different concerns.
Although Quebecers spend more than $10 billion online, at least half of them say they are still afraid to give out their personal information online.
With this in mind, highlight your privacy policies and the means you use to keep visitor data secure (with security badges, for example).
8. Save shopping carts and retarget visitors with abandoned carts.
Nowadays, customers like to make comparisons. They open a lot of web windows, download applications, visit recommendation sites, etc. all to find similar products, compare prices and quality, and get the best deal. In a recent conference I attended, in the tourist industry for example, people will visit more than 130 points before making a purchase for their next destination.
When comparisons are made, it can even take up to several weeks before a decision is made. Make sure that your site automatically keeps shopping carts, so that someone who comes back to see you a few days later can revisit what they put in it. If you want to build a good abandoned shopping cart email campaign, this article has some good tips!
In addition, invest in retargeted type advertising, which can be repeated on various social media or Google. Ideally, use the same product(s) in their abandoned shopping cart for easy reference and to play on the concept of repetition.
9. Leverage the power of scarcity to eliminate shopping cart abandonment
Fear of missing out is a powerful incentive to buy. There are different ways to play on the concept of urgency, including:
- Displaying the number of products left in stock…
- Showing a countdown of the time remaining to the offer
- Display a promotional code valid for a limited time.
More creative ideas are also possible, such as generating additional sales by offering free shipping for one year when the bill reaches an amount X. This sense of urgency, or rarity, can also be played with popups on the page indicating that someone has purchased the item within the last hour. This is a practice that is seen more and more on some e-commerce websites.
10. Make it harder for them to break up with you
Finally, you can always work on re-engagement through an email strategy. Indeed, sending shopping cart abandonment recovery emails is a very effective strategy to entice customers to return to your site.
These emails can include various content, including a reminder of the items in the shopping cart, videos with more product information, or an additional discount when it is to your advantage. You can also extend this strategy beyond email, by maximizing mobile push notifications if you have an application, through web push communication on the browser, or through SMS marketing. A multi-channel approach is more and more to be prioritized, since as mentioned, an individual shops on several points of contact before buying. You have to know how to follow him!
This type of communication helps put your business back in the forefront while consumers are still thinking.
To wrap up
As you can see, there are a multitude of strategies to reduce shopping cart abandonment. With a little creativity, a good analysis of the irritants in your shopping path, and a close attention to the profiles and behaviors of your visitors, your online sales will only get better.