Often times, cart abandonment can be curtailed. Getting prospects to visit your shop should be the hardest part. Once they’ve added the items they’d like in their cart, it should be natural for them (at least, the majority) to check out the items in their carts.
So, if most shoppers on your site are abandoning their carts, that means something is not right. But don’t worry because there are strategies you can implement to reduce the number of shoppers abandoning their carts on your e-commerce store.
We'll walk through a few of these strategies below. But first, let's start by defining the term to establish some common ground.
What is Shopping Cart Abandonment?
Shopping cart abandonment occurs when a customer adds items to their shopping cart but does not purchase the items before leaving your site. If a shopper puts an item in their shopping cart and then leaves the site without completing the purchase, that item is considered “abandoned”.
A high cart abandonment rate can kill even the best online store. But what's behind it?
Reasons for cart abandonment can be personal and unique to each customer, but they usually fall under a few common categories, viz:
- High additional cost (shipping fees, tax, etc.)
- Forced account creation
- Complicated checkout process
- Lack of Trust
- Unfavourable delivery terms
- Unsatisfactory return policy
Now that you know what causes shopping cart abandonment, let's talk about what you can do to reduce it.
1. Minimize Extra Cost
A big reason why customers abandon items in their cart is due to a high additional cost (shipping, tax, etc.). According to research by Baymard Institute, 49% of shoppers abandon items in their carts due to high extra costs.
Curious how you can reduce additional cost? Read on.
You can reduce extra cost by working with a fulfilment company that ships items at affordable rates, and ideally provides a wide range of shipping services like fast, cheap, next-day delivery, etc.
Customers will be more likely to complete their orders if they find your shipping fees to be low enough.
2. Offer a Guest Checkout Option
Besides reducing shipping costs, you can also encourage customers to proceed to checkout items in their carts by reducing the number of steps in the checkout process. One way to do that is by offering a guest check-out option.
Some customers hate the idea of having to create an account on every e-commerce store they shop from, which is understandable since most people shop from multiple places.
By offering a guest checkout option, you’ll be making it easier for potential customers to check out items as guests instead of requiring them to create accounts.
3. Use Trust Symbols and Social Proof
Data from the Baymard study linked above also showed that 17% of shopping carts are abandoned because the shoppers couldn’t trust the site with their credit card information.
You can prevent this from happening in your store by making use of trust badges. Shoppers want to be assured of the security of data shared with your store before they put in their credit card information.
Having a valid SSL certificate installed on your store with a few well-known trust symbols (e.g., PayPal Verified, Verisign, Verified by Visa, etc.) is sometimes all you need to encourage a customer to put in their credit card details and complete the checkout process.
Asking previous customers to review products they’ve bought on the site is great way to create a sense of trust through social proof.
4. Provide Multiple Delivery Options
Offering an affordable shipping rate is good, but there’s something better: offering your customers multiple delivery options!
Some shoppers would pay more to get their items delivered the next day. And others would opt for the cheapest shipping fee, even if it means waiting several days (or even weeks) to get their items.
Providing multiple delivery options ensures that both shoppers can buy from your shop, instead of having a customer abandon their cart because of unfavourable delivery terms.
You can offer your customers multiple delivery options by working with a fulfilment service that provides a diverse range of shipping services.
5. Offer an Easy Returns Service
Shoppers, especially those who are buying from your store for the first time, want to know how your returns service work. E-Shoppers don’t have the luxury of seeing a product in person before purchase, so it helps to know that they can return a product if it turns out it wasn't what they wanted.
You may want to review your returns policy after this to ascertain if it’s fair enough. You can also make handling returns easier for yourself and your customers by using a shipping service provider that provides comprehensive returns service.
6. Streamline Your Checkout Process
An unnecessarily long checkout process increases the shopping cart abandonment rate. A customer can easily get distracted while shopping, and a complex checkout process increases the likelihood of a distraction taking a shopper off your site.
Streamlining your checkout process makes it easy for shoppers to check out items in their cart in the shortest possible time. Which reduces the chances of them getting distracted off your site. Plus, a long checkout process is discouraging in itself.
Consider how you can reduce the amount of information customers need to fill in or making it easier with addresses that autocomplete.
7. Integrate Marketing Tactics to Target Abandoners
What do you do when a shopper gets distracted off your site before checking out items in their cart?
You leave them to go?
No. Instead you could try to remind them to return and complete their checkout with retargeting. Retargeting ads can help get cart abandoners back to your site, and direct to the checkout page, in some cases.
You can use any of the popular online ad services (Facebook, Google, Bing, etc.) to retarget shoppers who didn’t complete the checkout process. You can also use personalized follow-up emails where you offer them a small discount.
Sometimes a reminder accompanied by a discount coupon is all that’s needed to get the customer to complete their purchase.
Get More Shoppers to Complete the Checkout Process
Shopping cart abandonment can really take a toll on your business—but only if you allow it to. Reroute your store’s trajectory today by applying the tips we outlined above.
You can start by choosing a shipping service provider that offers you competitive shipping rates, multiple delivery options, and also offers an easy returns service so that your customers needn’t worry about being stuck with an item.