In the world of e-commerce, shopping cart abandonment—or when customers add products to their shopping carts only to exit the website without completing the purchase—has become quite an e-tail phenomenon. In fact, about 67% of shopping carts are left high and dry. With unlimited options on the Internet, customers can’t help but indulge in an online browsing spree, vigorously add every eye-catching item to their cart, only to exit the website without ultimately purchasing for whatever reason.
For customers, this commonplace behavior is harmless. But for business owners, this commonplace behavior can be a major pain point. A high rate of incomplete purchases significantly impacts revenue and financial success. The global yearly losses from shopping cart abandonment amounts to a staggering $4.6 trillion, according to a 2019. Merchandise stuck in a cart, for example, can remain in inventory limbo for days instead of appearing available for sale on the website. Luckily enough, there are effective strategies to help minimize the abandonment rate.
Before diving into the following steps, it is important to first tap your consumer mindset. If you want to reduce the shopping cart abandonment rate for your business, you must first to take off your entrepreneur hat and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think of all the times you browsed your favorite retail site to go on a massive shopping spree, only to close the window and ditch your shopping basket. What usually causes you to click out and abandon cart?
Further, to prevent these cart abandonment scenarios, consider these strategies:
1. Streamline checkout process: Make it simple and quick, requiring minimal steps and information.
A complicated checkout will only frustrate customers and discourage them from completing the purchase. To make the payment process a hiccup-free experience, the general rule of thumb is to provide customers with more options and fewer steps. Last but not least, offer a mobile-friendly checkout process.
2. Clear pricing and policies: Display all costs upfront, including taxes and shipping fees.
Also, don’t forget to state your return and exchange policies. Customers need assurance that they have a right to obtain a refund in case of an unsatisfactory purchase experience. Offering a longer return window boosts trust between you and the consumers. This step can prove that you are transparent and loyal to customers. It not only prevents a high rate of returns or negative reviews, but also eliminates unnecessary surprises that could possibly lead to cart abandonment.
3. Progress indicators: Show users how far they are in the checkout process.
When purchasing an item online, do you ever appreciate the checkout progress indicator at the top bar, that indicates how many steps are left? Laying out all the steps ahead—such as adding shipping and billing addresses, as well as credit card information—gives your customers a sense of how far they are in the process. This gives shoppers a sense of comfort, and how much time and information they need to set aside.
Further, an indicator should have as few steps as possible. For example, give customers the option to mark that the billing address is the same as shipping address.
4. Abandoned cart emails: Send reminders with incentives and discounts.
Send automatic emails to remind your customers of the abandoned carts. Get creative with your calls-to-action and brand voice. Just as your friend would remind you of an upcoming event or sale, a friendly push notification highlights the items they left behind and encourages them to complete the purchase. To make the emails more effective, personalization is crucial. Include the customer’s name, items that they left, and any other relevant details that can convince them to buy.
5. Exit-intent popups: Offer discounts or incentives when users try to leave the page.
One of the most compelling reasons to shop online is the coupons and promotions that physical stores do not offer. Now that you are aware what items the customer is interested in, provide special offers such as free shipping or a discount to convince the customer to close the deal.
6. Retargeting ads: Show relevant products from abandoned carts on other platforms.
Retargeting ads is a great way to re-engage with customers who abandoned their shopping carts. Leveraging “cookies,” or small pieces of data stored by a web browser, to remember who visited your page.
Cookies can help you track the pages that visitors have viewed and actions they have
taken on your site. The data could empower you to target the customers with incomplete purchases with relevant ads. For instance, if a shopper abandons the item right after he/she saw the shipping fee, you can think of offering free shipping via a retargeting ad on other platforms including Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads.
7. Live chat support: Provide assistance during the checkout process.
Offer live 24/7 chat support to assist customers with any questions they might have throughout the checkout process. This can prevent them from ditching the products due to unanswered concerns, be it about the return/exchange policy or the product itself.
Above all, remember, testing and adapting these strategies based on your audience’s behavior is crucial. Continuously evaluate and refine your e-commerce approaches to ensure they effectively resonate with your target audience. Aim to delight your customers to minimize shopping cart abandonment altogether.