Every day, you are losing potential orders from shoppers abandoning their shopping carts on your website. Different studies show that shopping cart abandonment hovers anywhere from as low as 55% to as high as 78%.
Of the 100 people who put items on the shopping cart, anywhere from 55-78 users leave their cart without completing the purchase! Can you imagine how much more revenues you can earn if those 55-78 users actually went through with the purchase?
Why People Abandon Their Shopping Carts
There are a number of reasons why users leave their shopping carts. Statista.com has a great graphic on why online shoppers leave without paying:
The biggest reason for shopping cart abandonment is that users are presented with unexpected costs (56%). About 37% leave their carts because they were just browsing while 36% found a better price elsewhere.
How to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment
If you want to increase your online sales by reducing the number of users who abandon their shopping carts, here are 10 surefire ways to do it:
1. Start by understanding why and where shoppers are abandoning their cart.
It is important to understand at what point in your online sales process are users leaving their cart. Are they abandoning the cart just as they started the process? Then it may be due to aesthetics or layout of your shopping cart. Or are they abandoning their carts because they are turned off by your shipping costs? Is your sales copy, product description or marketing messages confusing the users? Are there information on the page that is not relevant to users?
There are a number of tools that can help you understand why users are leaving your shopping carts:
- A/B testing to test different layout and aesthetic options
- Usability testing
- Online chat to help you determine the pain points of the shoppers
Only by sufficiently understanding why users are leaving your site without buying can you make a decision whether you will need only a few tweaks or a complete overhaul.
2. Offer a guest checkout.
Make it easy for users to shop in your ecommerce store. Don’t make them go through the hurdle of creating an account just so they can shop. Some users will not want to do the extra step and just wants to buy as quickly as possible fast. By offering a guest checkout option, users can shop faster without being encumbered by additional steps. After they have paid, you can offer them the option of creating an account should they choose to do it.
3. Show your shipping costs upfront.
One of the best ways to aggravate online shoppers is by springing to them the shipping costs at the end of the process. Show the shipping costs at the start so shoppers can immediately evaluate whether the total costs works for them or not. If you are not offering flat-rate shipping, provide tools that will allow them to calculate the shipping costs.
4. Review your site for errors
Regularly review your checkout process to ensure that there are no errors from your end. Is the product information correct? Can users add multiple products? Can they revise the quantities or other options about those products? Can they remove items on their cart? Little mistakes can be costly.
5. Make it easy for customers to correct their errors
Sometimes, customers make mistakes during the checkout process – e.g. they put in an invalid credit card number, missed some required fields, or put in wrong information.
When the customers make mistake, review your error messages to ensure that they are clear, specific and easily understandable. The error message should pinpoint exactly what the error is. Better yet, highlight the part containing the error.
Don’t make users second-guess and review the checkout form because of your vague error message (and don’t delete the entire information they inputted because of one wrong entry!). Customers are likely to give up the purchase if they get frustrated when they receive the same error message again and again, because they were not able to identify what part of the process was wrong.
6. Test, test and test
Test the look and layout of your product pages and shopping cart process. Do an A/B test of what page look and design increases your conversion rate. Some of the items that you can test include:
- Size, color and placement of the buttons
- What the button says – e.g. Add to Cart, Buy Now
- Size, placement and number of product photos
- Length of the product description
- With or without product reviews
7. Make it easy to contact you.
Some customers are uncomfortable shopping online and they want assurance that there is a real, live person behind the business. Others may have questions about your products and are more likely to buy if they get the answers they need.
Offer a number of ways customers can contact you – whether via chat, toll-free number or email. Put your phone number at the top, bottom and right-hand column of your site, alongside your email address. Make it easy to find your postal address and fax numbers. Your contact information should be in the checkout page to help alleviate any concerns that customers may have.
8. Consider the placement of coupon codes
When customers see a coupon code field, they often tend to get out of your site to search for coupons elsewhere. When the customer is already in the checkout process, your goal should be to keep them in your site until they complete the purchase. The moment they leave your site without completing the purchase, you run the risk of losing them.
Try to prevent users from leaving your site to check for coupons. One way is to show the coupon field only to users who came to purchase from a campaign you launched, while making it easy for them to see the coupon. Some merchants now show the available coupons on their site so users don’t have to leave.
9. Give the customer reasons to trust you.
There are a number of things that you can do as an online merchant to help customers trust you. Some examples include:
- Be upfront with store policies, such as shipping policies, return rules and other store rules. Make it visible to customers to prevent headaches from unhappy customers.
- Put any warranty information within the product description to assure customers who may be having second thoughts in buying from you.
- State any price guarantees that you offer.
- Put in your best customer testimonials on the path to checkout.
10. Accept that some customers will really abandon their carts
Despite your best efforts, some customers will still abandon their shopping carts. However, there are still some things you can do to save the sale, such as:
- Save the cart for later, with a reminder of the items they previously saved in their carts.
- Send a follow up email to remind them that their items have been saved. Consider including incentives to go back to your site and complete the purchase by offering them coupon codes or discounts.
Recommended Books on How to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment:
- The Retargeting Playbook: How to Turn Web-Window Shoppers into Customers
- E-commerce Get It Right! Essential Step-by-Step Guide for Selling & Marketing Products Online. Insider Secrets, Key Strategies & Practical Tips – Simplified for Start-Ups & Small Businesses
- eCommerce Best Practices – How to market, sell, and service customers with internet technologies
- Digital Minds: 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know about Digital Marketing
- Ecom Hell: How to Make Money in Ecommerce Without Getting Burned