Shopping cart abandonment is a phenomenon that is common in e-commerce. It is an idea that shows the proportion between the number of people who commit to an online purchase and the number of the possible customers who leave the sites at some point, without checking out. Sadly, the registered abandonment rate, as stated by many specialists in the field, is around 60% and up to 80%. We will try to discuss several tips that could be implemented in order to improve the conversion rates and reduce the number of people abandoning your shopping cart.
Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment
Many details have been given trying to state why customers abandon shopping carts. Most of the reasons are similar to the ones that we would find in a real-world shopping environment
You might be wondering, why people abandon their shopping carts:
- Impatience, a thing which that is very common nowadays. Everyone is in a rush and has not enough time to dedicate to product browsing thus an excess amount of time spent on the websites without success will most probably lead the potential customer to abandon the cart.
- Confusion in regard to the functionality of the website or check-out process.
- Extra costs that were not mentioned during the process
- Caution (Most Web shoppers are cautious about disclosing their personal information, especially when it comes to the credit card details. They will easily become suspicious if too much information is requested from them.)
- As with real-life shopping, not any visitor is necessarily a customer. Most of them are checking prices, comparing various retailers and look where and who can give them the best deal. It is possible that a visitor might return later on and make a purchase from your website if he doesn’t feel bothered by anything.
1. Reduce the steps of your check-out process
It is believed that around 10% of customers abandon their shopping cart solely because of a lengthy checkout process.
These are most likely multi-page checkouts that keep bothering customers with extra forms, questions, or products. Check-out itself, even if it seems like a complex process, it isn’t really one, at least it shouldn’t be one from customer’s perspective. The customers should only see a simple yet functional system that lets him complete the purchase he intends to commit without much hassle or struggle, thus simplicity might be considered one of the key points for a successful check-out process. The necessity of a process that has a reduced number of steps comes from the fact that customers will be expecting a usable system, which minimizes the time wasted filling in forms or similar activities.
Additional features might be necessary, thus the need for a feature like “Express Checkout” comes in. Providing an “Express Checkout” will let the users commit the purchase really fast and while viewing their cart, they can immediately check out and complete the purchase.
2. Ask for account registration after the sale
Online shoppers do not like proprietary registration forms during check out. They usually make you waste time and in an era where everyone is in a hurry, time is an important fact to take in consideration when making the users waste theirs. The aim behind asking a visitor to sign up would be to store his data for future purchases or other miscellaneous reasons, but it is to be understood that post-purchase the user is going to commit to a sign-up anyways, giving the fact that he has just committed a purchase on that website.
There are several situations in which storing user data is important, and here’s a solution. Walmart’s website is a great example of this. As you’re checking out, they will give you 3 options for your account. You can login with your existing Walmart account, register now, or wait until you finish the purchase to create an account. This puts less pressure on the visitor, knowing that he can complete the purchase without having to register.
3. Make cart items visible at all times
It can become difficult for customers to keep track and navigate a website just for the sole fact of finding their shopping cart and preview the added items.
Even if it’s easier from a technical view to create customer shopping carts on a separate page from your e-commerce site, visitors need ready access to the cart no matter of the page they are on.
In one report, Movies Unlimited allowed its online shoppers to preview their existing shopping cart via a drop-down menu, rather than navigating to a secondary page. This yielded to an estimated decrease in cart abandonment of 4% to 8%.
ASOS also has a great way of displaying the current items in the shopping cart – just by a hover you can preview all added items and apply changes (such as add/delete item).
4. Provide a variety of payment options
These should include a variety of credit cards, third-party online payment services such as PayPal or Skrill and even various rewards cards. Apart from these digital payment options, receiving payments via check would fill in any possible gap in the payment method inconvenience by reaching more customers and even gather purchases from new customers who haven’t bought before.
- Reinforce your website security/privacy. Even if online buying has been a thing for years and online credit card transactions are usual, if your site is new to a certain customer, he might need the assurance that communicates of the security/privacy of your site in regard to his information. McAfee Secure is one example of a way to communicate extra website security.
- Display shipping fees ahead of time. Shipping costs should be clear before asking the customer for payment info. This can be done by estimating shipping costs and adding an approximate fee to every product or integrating some type of shipping calculator button that enables the customer to calculate shipping prices at any desired time whilst involved in the shopping process.
5. Allow for Easy Order Modification
Users are most likely going to make mistakes during the shopping process. Letting customers to correct and change their order in the middle of the checkout process can prevent abandonment or at least get rid of a reason for its possible happening. Providing a link that allows to remove the item from cart next to each and every item provides the visitor with the feeling that he is under control of situation and also doesn’t make it necessary to go through a lengthy process just to make a small correction. Place the ‘Continue Shopping’ button somewhere close to the order specifications. This way when users spot a mistake, they will be able to correct it immediately by choosing a different item.
What’s the bottom line?
Even if there are several tactics to persuade customers to buy, inevitably some people will get to the payment screen and decide not to continue with the purchase. Almost any method that helps to seal the deal is certainly worth considering, and given the little time in regard to work involved in implementing an email to recover abandoned carts, it’s a great place to start. Designers and developers are in a powerful position to help their clients increase their revenue, by having the ability to interfere in the purchasing process the customer will have to go through.
If you want to learn more about tools you can implement in order to Prevent Abandoned E-Commerce Carts then read this article.
Feature image curtsey of Dan Christofferson