Let’s be honest, shopping cart abandonment can happen to the best of us, in fact, as many as 75% of online shopping cart purchases are never actually completed. This is a huge number of customers abandoning their shopping baskets, and unsurprisingly a significant concern for eCommerce brands across the globe.
Now while as an online retailer you can’t be entirely blamed for what is often a customer’s indecisiveness and wandering attention span, you can however be blamed for not optimising your checkout process to reduce this shopping cart abandonment in the first place. With that in mind, the following tips have been compiled to help ensure that as many purchases are completed as possible:
Don’t make it compulsory that your customer’s register
One of the biggest reasons that buyer’s abandon their shopping cart is because the checkout process is often unnecessarily long and too much of a commitment. Whether we like it or not, customers have very short attention spans and even less patience when it comes to making online purchases, and while data may well be valuable, by making it compulsory for customer’s to part with their data in order to make a purchase may ultimately risk the sale. Think about it, who’s got more to lose? The customer who can likely make a similar purchase elsewhere, or you as the retailer who is going to miss out on their custom?
Instead of forcing your customer’s to register, offer a guest checkout option. According to User Interface Engineering, this can increase customer purchases by 45 percent after forced registration was removed, and once a customer has completed a guest checkout, you can then offer them the chance to set up an account so they can track their purchase.
Avoid offering discount codes unnecessarily
This is something that you probably haven’t even considered, but by offering a form field for a discount code, you actually encourage shopping cart abandonment, simply because many customer’s will leave the site to look for this discount code with many failing to return. To avoid this, consider either offering this form field only to customer’s that have directly come from a discount (voucher) site or have been offered a promotion, or alternatively replace the field with some more subtle text such as “Do you have a promotion/discount code? Click here…”.
Save their shopping cart
It’s important to acknowledge that not all customers will be adding items to their basket with the intention of purchasing them straight away, and many will add with the intention of buying at a later date. In this instance, increase the chances of the customer converting by informing them that you will save their items for later and remind them upon their next visit to your site.
Another alternative to consider, is to use a wish list. This will work in a similar way, but will enable the customer to add the item to their basket once they would like to purchase, and give them the option to email their wishlist to themselves or someone else. By including this feature, you can also encourage first-time customers to provide you with their email address, something which you otherwise won’t obtain until they register or make a purchase.
Send a follow up email
If you already have the email address for customers who have added items to their shopping cart, but failed to complete the checkout process, send them a simple email reminder informing them that their products are still saved in their cart. It can also be effective to add a sense of urgency by mentioning that there is a risk the items will go out of stock in time, as this will often encourage them to complete the sale.
Think like a customer
One of the best things you can do is an online retailer, is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and go through your own checkout process. Start by asking yourself whether it’s straightforward, quick and efficient, with no distractions other than a ‘Continue Shopping’ or ‘Back’ button.
The reality is, there are a whole host of reasons why a customer might abandon their shopping cart, in fact, chances are you’ve abandoned a shopping cart in the past. While the topics we’ve discussed can go a long way to reduce this abandonment rate and increase sales, you should also ensure; you’re offering competitive prices, the website has simple navigation and is unlikely to crash, you offer reasonable delivery options and are clear about the shipping costs, and finally you aren’t presenting the price in a foreign currency.