If you’re in the eCommerce business, you certainly know the words shopping cart abandonment. Cart abandonment is a term used to describe a visitor who places an item or items in their online shopping cart then leaves the website without completing the purchase. When it comes to eCommerce, tackling shopping cart abandonment is a huge benefit to the future of your business.
One way to understand shopping cart abandonment is to think of it in terms of ready shopping. Imagine walking into a supermarket, filling up a shopping cart, then leaving the cart abandoned in the aisle and walking out the door without buying anything. This is the same thing as shopping cart abandonment when using an eCommerce store.
Shopping cart abandonment is one of the most crucial problems that online businesses need to overcome. The good news is that you can improve your eCommerce experience to combat and reduce the likelihood that your customers will abandon their cart before completing a purchase. Let’s take a closer look at 13 effective ways to combat this common issue.
Is Shopping Cart Abandonment Common?
Before we just into ways to avoid it, let’s talk about how common shopping cart abandonment is. It is by far the single largest obstacle that eCommerce businesses struggle to overcome. Not only is cart abandonment common, but the extent of the issue is also huge. According to statistics, the average customer abandons their shopping cart before making a purchase at a rate of 81%. That means ¾ of shopping carts are abandoned before a purchase is made.
When you break down those statistics, 4 out of 5 shoppers will not convert to paying customers. Now that you understand what shopping cart abandonment is and how common it is, it’s important to talk about other types of abandonment that eCommerce businesses face. Since many businesses rely on different types of conversions to measure success, cart abandonment statistics go beyond the basic shopping cart.
If your eCommerce business use forms for quotes, subscriptions, or registration, form abandonment may be the struggle you face. The most common cause of form abandonment is transaction forms that are too long, require a lot of detail, and take a long time to complete. While some businesses need longer forms so that customers provide the details needed, good form design can help eCommerce businesses combat this issue.
Although your viewers might not have actually placed items in their shopping cart, browse abandonment can also be an issue. If your viewers spend a good amount of time on your website, browsing through everything, viewing category pages, and looking through the products you have on your site, they have clearly shown interest in your business. If they leave without making a purchase, they add to your browse abandonment statistics. These viewers may be persuaded to return to make a purchase with the right tactic.
Why Do Viewers Abandon Cart?
The reasons why shoppers will abandon their cart varies from industry to industry. But, there are some common reasons why this may happen. This includes:
- A shopper who isn’t ready to buy
- An issue with the cost of shipping
- A viewer who browses to compare prices
- Shoppers decide to purchase in-store instead
- Your site lacks the payment option they were looking for
- Technical issues
- Prices that are too high
- A shopper wants to do more research about your business or the products
- The checkout process was too long
Regardless of why your shopping cart abandonment rates are high, you should take the following steps to reduce your rates and combat this common problem.
1.Use Your Transaction Forms to Establish and Grow Trust
While many businesses look at transaction forms as simply part of the sales process, they actually carry more weight. That’s why you need to be careful about how you set up your transaction forms. They are a vital tool in establishing and growing trust amongst your customers. Think about it this way. When you ask a customer to fill out a transaction form, they are giving you some of their most sensitive personal information. Shouldn’t they have a certain level of trust with your business to give you that information?
When customers fill out transaction forms, they are usually giving you their contact information, name, address, phone number, e-mail, and even credit card details. It’s understandable that some people might be hesitant if they don’t have a full level of trust with your business. To build and grow trust amongst your customers, include trust signals on your website.
Security badges or logos should be placed in a prominent location close to your transaction forms. This tells your viewers that they shouldn’t hesitate to give you their hard-earned money. Choose trust signals that are common and recognizable. If your customers don’t recognize your trust symbols, they might as well not be there. Examples of recognizable security logos include the Norton secured logo and the VeriSign Secured logo.
2.Use a Progress Indicator on Checkout Pages
Let’s face it. Whether in-store or online, no one wants to deal with a long checkout process. Just think of how many times you get frustrated having to wait in line at a store. The eCommerce checkout experience should be fast, easy, and seamless. Unfortunately, some transactions and businesses require a longer process than customers might like. To combat this issue, add a progress indicator to your checkout pages.
When you show customers where they are in the checkout process, they know what to expect. This can eliminate worry and frustration as customers wonder how much longer the process is going to take. Your customers know that they’re almost done and can go back to what they were doing soon. It makes the process clear and upfront. As with anything, you need to be sure you pick the right indicator for it to be effective in reducing cart abandonment rates.
Choose a progress indicator with as few steps as possible. The perfect option is the three-step process indicator. It is less intimidating than most and makes the experience straightforward. It also looks like there is less to do. Progress indicators that display multiple steps can be intimidating and deter customers from completing the process.
3. Display Thumbnail Images of Products throughout the Purchasing Process
While customers aren’t likely to forget what they are purchasing from you, thumbnail images of the products reassure customers what they’re getting. Think about it in terms of making a purchase in a brick and mortar store. You have what you a purchasing right in front of you. Including thumbnail products in the customer’s cart eliminates distraction and hesitation, especially for customers who are on a shopping spree.
Include small thumbnails of the products in your customer’s shopping cart. If possible, use a single page checkout process. This combines the checkout process into one page and is less intimidating than a multi-page checkout process. Providing the thumbnails allows your customer to see exactly what they’re buying throughout the entire process. It also helps reinforce your customer’s desire to make a purchase by keeping your products at the forefront of their mind.
The eCommerce checkout process should be easy, free from friction, and as comfortable as possible to encourage your customers to make a purchase. Thumbnail pictures can ground your visitors throughout the process and reduce the risk of hesitation or apprehension that often leads to higher cart abandonment rates.
4.Provide Easy Navigation Between Your Store and Cart
Unless shoppers are dedicated to getting what they need and getting out, the eCommerce shopping process is rarely direct and linear. The easier you make it for your customers to move between their cart and your store, they more likely they are to follow through with a purchase. Checkout flow is one of the most effective, yet difficult, ways to reduce cart abandonment rates. Even large eCommerce retail stores like Amazon are constantly experimenting with finding the most effective checkout experience.
You should make it effortless for your customers to navigate throughout your site, even if they land in the cart and want to continue shopping. Offer intuitive navigation options between your checkouts and products pages. The harder it is for your customer to navigate, the more likely they are to leave.
5. Offer a Variety of Payment Options
If you want customers to convert, you need to make sure you offer multiple payment options. This is one of the most important parts of seamless shopping experience. By limiting your customers’ payment options, you create an obstacle that might cause your customers to walk away.
Credit card payments are a no-brainer, especially in the eCommerce industry. But in today’s competitive world, you need to offer more. PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Wallet are becoming increasingly popular and are must-haves in today’s checkout process. When you offer more payment options, you minimize one of the reasons customers take their business elsewhere.
6.Provide Strong Call-to-Action Buttons on Your Checkout Page
Believe it or not, many websites fail to use a call to action buttons at all on the checkout page. This is a huge mistake! Check out pages are actually the perfect place to use a strong, clear call to action to encourage your customers to complete the process. Make sure your CTA buttons stand out and use messaging that is consistent with your marketing materials and everything else across your site. Remember, you want the entire process to flow.
CTAs used on the checkout page help your customers understand what they’re doing and what is expected of them. Creating a CTA with a sense of urgency can help you keep the pressure on during the checkout process.
7.Give Customers the Ability to Easily Save Their Cart
Think again about the process of shopping in a store. When you go to a brick and mortar, you either buy something or you don’t. Online shopping doesn’t work the same. This is one of the benefits of online shopping. You need to give your customers the ability to return to an ongoing order. Saving a shopping cart should be easy to do by clicking a button.
Life is filled with distractions. That’s why proactive eCommerce businesses plan the checkout process with the potential for distractions. You need to allow shoppers the ability to return to their carts later to complete their purchase at a more convenient time. There are several ways this can be done.
You can require users to sign into their account, but this isn’t always the best option. A good way to save the cart is to use browser cookies to remember customers’ carts without forcing them to log into an account. Most browsers allow the option to remember login credentials for frequently used websites. This is another way to reduce the friction of demanding customers to sign-in while also making it easy for customers to save their carts and return to them later. Whichever way you choose to offer this option, make sure you are upfront with customers, so they know what to expect.
8.Provide a Guest Checkout Option
While the checkout process definitely offers an opportunity to collect data about your users, you should never force your customers to create an account in order to complete a purchase. This can be a huge deterrent that leads to higher shopping cart abandonment rates. Failure to offer a guest checkout option is one of the leading reasons customers abandon their carts.
Websites that offer a guest checkout option do run the risk of sacrificing the data needed for future marketing tactics, but making the process easier for your customers should be the ultimate goal. The easier you make it shop at your online store, the more sales you will have.
9.Offer Money-Back Guarantees
Since hesitation and uncertainty are huge factors in eCommerce abandonment rates, it’s important to help your potential customers overcome these feelings. The more you can do to overcome potential obstacles, the better your business will be. When you reassure your customers with thinks like money-back guarantees, you should see your conversion rates increase and your cart abandonment rates decrease.
When you offer money-back guarantees, you increase the level of trust involved with the transaction process. Since your users can’t see, touch, or test your products, this is a great way to reassure them that they are purchasing high-quality items. No-questions-asked money-back guarantees or other assurance offers help reduce potential objections your viewers may have about purchasing from your business.
These assurances will help make your customers feel good about purchasing products from you. You should always be bold in your commitment to your customers. If you don’t want to offer a money-back guarantee, be sure you have a killer return policy. And make sure you display it front and center rather than hiding it in the terms and conditions section of your website. Any effort you make to create a better shopping experience should be bragged about a big time!
10. Be Clear and Upfront About Costs
There is nothing more frustrating than expecting to pay one price than finding out the cost goes up with hidden costs, fees, and surcharges. One of the biggest deterrents for completing a purchase comes from outrageous shipping charges. Whatever you do, make sure you are absolutely upfront about what your customers can expect to pay.
Not that business owners want to hear this, but consumers hate to pay for shipping. But, they hate being surprised with shipping costs even more. It’s important that you are as forthcoming about shipping costs are you can be. Your customers should know upfront how much it will cost to get your products, so don’t try to sneak shipping costs in at the very end. In addition to costs, be sure to give delivery estimates. The more transparent you are with all information the more likely your customers will be to complete the shopping process and be fully satisfied with the experience.
11.Watch Out for Leaky Spots in the Conversion Process
Another big mistake businesses make is making assumptions about user behavior. While something might seem obvious, the way customers interact with your website may be far from straightforward. That’s why you need to make sure your conversion pathways identify any possible leaks. To do this, you should have a solid idea of where your traffic is coming from and how your visitors generally flow through your website.
Identifying this information can help you ask important questions about your eCommerce strategy. Is your website easy to navigate? Is your site being flooded by foreign visitors who shy away because of high shipping costs? Is there a bottleneck on some of your product pages that lead to cart abandonment? Examining your visitor flow and conversion pathways can help refine the eCommerce shopping experience and reduce shopping cart abandonment rates.
12.Optimize Page Loading Speed
You’ve heard this tip before if you’ve read some of our other resource blogs. That’s because page load times are important for most aspects of your eCommerce business. Your shopping cart loading time is no different. Every extra second your shopping cart takes to load will be another reason why impatient shoppers take their business elsewhere. When you optimize your checkout pages to improve speed, you’ll optimize your sales as well.
Some technical elements are more difficult to optimize than others. But it’s important to have a balance of great quality and fast speed. To make sure you have this, you should optimize things like images, social plugins, and ad network trackers. Things like payment provider processing delays are unavoidable. To deal with these issues, use a visual representation of the delay to assure your customers that something is actually going on. A loading bar or progress indicator can help your customers know whether or not they have successfully placed their order.
13.Use Remarketing Tactics to Target Customers Who’ve Abandoned Carts
The best way to combat shopping cart abandonment is to accept the fact that it is inevitable. What you can do is use remarketing campaigns later to target customers who have abandoned carts. Cart abandonment remarketing is one of the essential marketing strategies for eCommerce businesses. Businesses who don’t use remarketing strategies are truly restricting themselves from future conversions from customers who were interested in their business at one point.
Facebook marketing is one of the most common remarketing tactics used for shopping cart abandoners. But remarketing with Google AdWords and Bing Ads is also important. Whichever way you choose to do it, remarketing to customers who abandon their shopping carts is an absolute must! Remarketing will help your business win back the customers you will inevitably lose along the way.
Shopping cart abandonment is not easy to deal with, especially if it is drastically affecting your business. But following the tips mentioned above can help you combat this common issue. If you suspect shopping cart abandonment may be affecting your conversion rates, an analysis of your website can help.