Are you struggling to understand why-oh-why potential customers are not showing the love and following through on their purchases? Instead of counting sheep, are you kept up at night counting sales conversions? Shopping cart abandonment is indeed a scary topic. Statistics abound at how high abandonment rates are—even in 2018 when there are more options than ever before to encourage potential or returning customers down the funnel.
Baymard Institute, a leading large-scale research organization that studies all aspects of the e-commerce user experience, indicates that, on average, e-commerce sites experience 69.23% shopping cart abandonment rates. On a similar side, SmartInsights keeps regular tabs on global retail conversion rates—from add-to-cart-to-sale. Just as recently as December 2017, it showed that global conversion rates were hovering at 2.48%, with smartphones rates alone being at 1.25%.
Yikes! That’s a lot of dollars not falling into your pocket.
According to Kissmetrics, there are many reasons why customers suffer from abandonment issues, such as unexpected shipping and handling costs and issues, having to create an account, a long and confusing checkout process, security concerns and payment and technical issues. Some customers add items to their carts as part of their online research. Others want to compare prices before buying and either go elsewhere, decide to buy in a store or simply forget.
But before you start worrying that your e-commerce site is turning into a barren wasteland of idling unfilled, semi-filled and overflowing shopping carts, there are some quick and easy solutions you can implement that can kick-start these carts into whizzing on over to the promise land of sales. While these solutions may not be applicable for every type of market sector website, product offering or customer, they can definitely point you in the right direction for what’s right for your business.
1. Get the lowdown of current stats
Don’t push the design or marketing panic button just yet. Start by pinpointing each step of your bottom-of-the-funnel ecommerce sales process. Ask yourself these questions:
- What is your current conversion rates? Where would you realistically like to be in terms of online sales and your conversion rate in the future?
- What percentage of your visitors abandon their shopping carts?
- What is the average cart amount of people who buy your products and those who abandon their carts?
- What are the performance levels of your shopping cart recovery campaign emails?
By not knowing where you stand today, it will be nearly impossible to measure improvement over time.
2. Review your entire checkout process
Nothing is more frustrating than a checkout process that takes too long or a PhD to understand. Simplify your UX as much as possible and use conventional ecommerce lingo so that everyone can understand what they have to do and when. Intuitive design is key.
3. Feature product ratings and reviews
Don’t relegate product ratings and reviews to search engines and social media. Add tweaks to your checkout process by highlighting kudos you’ve gotten from other customers. Imagine a customer adding an item to her cart and viewing a quick message “234 other customers gave this product a five-star rating!” These can be the gentle nudges customers need to proceed to checkout!
4. Ditch or simplify your account creation requirements
Is it really necessary to force your customers to create an account before checking out? Enabling guest checkouts can speed up the process.
However, if you do need for visitors to sign up, choose your moment wisely (read: when the order has been finalized) and, again, make it ultra-simple. Once customers add items to their carts and are ready to buy, requiring that customers create a complicated account form only muddies the process and can lead customers to shop elsewhere.
5. Be transparent about costs and shipping policies
Avoid added customer angst by clearly showing the total upfront cost of orders, including all shipping and handling fees. Make your FAQ visible so that customers can quickly find out if you actually ship to their locations. If you can, eliminate customers’ fears of getting a deal better elsewhere by offering a price guarantee.
6. Offer live chat to help customers
Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. With so many competing products out there, it can be hard for customers to choose YOU. Implement a live chat on your website so that when they are starting to feel unsure, you can hit them up with helpful information. Live chats are yet another way to gain customer confidence and establish a connection with you.
7. Let customers know your store and their data is safe
Spam! Accounting hacking! Credit card numbers being stolen! Customers’ minds race as they enter their payment information on e-commerce sites. Be upfront regarding your privacy policies as well the security means you take to keep their data safe, such as security badges.
8. Save carts and retarget customers
Nowadays, customers love to comparison shop. They open a lot of windows and tabs to fine similar products and compare prices. In fact, comparison shoppers can take up to a few weeks before making a final decision. Make sure that your e-commerce site automatically saves shopping carts and invest in ad retargeting users who have not proceeded to purchase, ideally using the same products that are in their carts.
9. Leverage the power of scarcity
Fear of missing out can be a huge incentive for customers to buy a product. Display the number of units remaining in your inventory, add a countdown clock if are running a flash sale, or display a time-sensitive promo code. Even an upselling tactic, for example, free delivery when shoppers purchase for $X, can get customers stoked on buying from you.
10. Make it harder for them to break up with you
Sending cart recovery emails can be a highly effective tactic to incite customers back to your site. These emails can include gentle reminders, high-quality videos that describe the product further, or an extra discount. These emails can help put your brand front and center as shoppers continue to compare products.
As you can see, there are a variety of tactics you can use to reduce shopping cart abandonment. With a little creativity and catering to your customers’ personas, you’ll go a long way into keep your sales humming.