IA woman, let’s call her Emma, walks into a supermarket. She knows exactly what she’s come in for so she starts putting the items into her trolley. Once she’s got everything she needs she begins making her way to the checkout.
Whilst waiting, it occurs to Emma that maybe she could get her, let’s say, milk from the shop across the road. She might be able to buy her bread from the shop nearer home that has offers on, and although she’s pleased with the ice-cream she’s about to buy, she wonders if some other shop would have more options when it comes to flavours.
Emma is thinking all of this, but stays in line, she doesn’t want to disturb the other shoppers who are also waiting. But whilst the checkout assistant puts through her items, it’s all adding up to more than she thought. So, without any warning or explanation, she leaves her shopping, and the store, and calmly goes elsewhere.
This scenario just doesn’t happen. Apart from every single minute of every single day, when it comes to eCommerce.
Things can only get… worse
Unfortunately, the problem of cart abandonment isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s on the rise. According to Clickz, cart abandonment is a growing problem, with Q4 of 2016 seeing it happen most. Those abandoning has now reached around the 77% mark, so think about it this way: Most eCommerce sites lose at least three-quarters of shopping carts before users cross that line and convert.
It’d seem mobile has a part to play in this. It was well documented how 2016 saw the shift when more purchases were being made on mobile devices than desktops, and buyers are keener to abandon on a mobile device. In fact, according to Formisimo there’s only around an 8.5% completion rate when shopping on a mobile.
So with cart abandonment looking all settled in for good, what can eCommerce businesses do?
Get rid of unexpected costs
Statistia found that 56% of shoppers said that being presented with unexpected costs is the reason they leave without completing their purchase. The story goes something like this: They find an item they want, so they click ‘Add to Cart’. But when it comes to checking out, there’s an additional fee that wasn’t clearly mentioned elsewhere. Suddenly the customer feels unsure about whether it’s a good deal or not, or – worse still – whether they’re being ripped off, and decide to look elsewhere before buying.
Online retailers can cut down on abandoners by being upfront about shipping and other costs. Offering free and quick delivery is always a great way to persuade shoppers to convert to customers – but most crucially, be open from the outset. Display any extra fees or charges prominently on your site, and include a shipping calculator on every product page. This will help give customers a better overall picture of what sort of total they can expect. Then they’ll be able to choose products accordingly and go into the checkout process prepared.
Send ‘abandoned cart’ email reminders
These emails are becoming increasingly popular – because they work. According to SaleCycle almost half of these emails are opened and over a third of those clicks lead to a purchase. Abandonment might have happened due to the site crashing, it timing out, or due to the customer getting distracted, and not about the product or the company they’re buying from at all.
When to send is vital. You can send an email straightaway to check they didn’t leave by mistake, without completing but thinking they had. But 24 hours after is when the real campaign should begin. This email should create a sense of urgency. Let your shoppers know that their carts will soon expire, and that any discounts or availability won’t be guaranteed later. If you choose to send another email it should be at least after another 48 hours after that, and make it full of incentives.
What you include in the email really is key too. First of all, you need to remind the customer what they left in the cart – it’s more than possible they’ve forgotten all about it. Make your copy sharp, add puns and humour if it feels right for the product, and offering a discount can really work at this point too: According to Shopify 3 of the top 4 reasons for abandonment are to do with cost.
Reduce steps in the checkout process
A report by WebCredible states that about 10% of consumers abandon their cart display because of lengthy checkout processes, including multi-page checkouts that keep presenting customers with additional forms, questions, or products before allowing them to go through and buy. Make sure you’ve easy postcode lookups and the capacity for the billing and shipping address to be copied over. Saving payment details for their next purchase is also a big plus.
Time really is precious when it comes to making the online sale. Having no more than 4 steps is key according to conversion guru Bryan Eisenberg.
Don’t ask for too much too fast
A common mistake is to jump the gun and ask customers to hand over their billing information, before they’ve been given shipping options and other details they might need to think about and choose from.
Of course, to the eCommerce business, the most important part of this journey is getting the payment details so the transaction can actually happen – but to the customer, they want to know when they can expect the item, how it’ll be sent to them, and what this’ll cost.
The smart business knows they always need to align their thinking with their customers. So think about their priorities: spend time brainstorming and ordering them – putting the journey on the site in the same order as these priorities will help your customer know you understand them, and help them feel comfortable enough to go through with the purchase.
Increase payment methods
Like with lengthy registration forms, many customers simply don’t want to take the time to type in a long credit card number or other detailed information. As well as this, many customers use credit cards that aren’t Visa or Mastercard-based, or want to use third party payment methods like Paypal for instance.
To stop your customers from abandoning ship at this junction, it’s important you offer as many options as possible. Digital wallets, like those by Apple and Amazon, are becoming more and more popular, because they allow customers to use one login to make purchases across thousands of sites really quickly and easily. And remember, when it comes to decreasing shopping cart abandonment, it’s all about the customer, their needs and priorities.