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Runaway Shopping Carts: eCommerce Cart Abandonment Strategies

eCommerce Cart Abandonment Strategies

Your eCommerce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate Is SO High, But What Are You Doing To Fix It?

There is likely a sign in the parking lot outside your local grocery store that says that they are not responsible for damage done to your car by runaway shopping carts. Similarly, customers do not feel responsible for the damage done to your bottom line by abandoning your eCommerce shopping carts.

Many companies concentrate on improving their eCommerce conversion rates. All this is wasted effort, though, with a high cart abandonment rate.  It might be time to do some investigating to figure out what is making shoppers abandon their cart and not proceed to checkout.

For all eCommerce companies, measuring conversion is a very important factor. Conversion is measured by dividing the number of visits to your website by the number of transactions that took place. After you track your conversion rate, the next metric to look at is your abandonment rate. Find your ecommerce shopping cart abandonment rate by subtracting the number of transactions from the number of visits to the checkout page. Then take that number and divide it by the number of visits to the checkout page to get a cart abandonment percentage.

Many different factors can take someone from a prospective customer browsing your website, clicking on different products and adding them to their shopping cart, and just when you think you’ve converted them to a sale, POOF – they’re gone and the full cart vanishes into thin air.

Would it surprise you to hear that some shoppers practice the art of abandoning their carts regularly? Hidden best practices for online shopping advise them to abandon your cart for the sole purpose of potentially being offered a follow-up incentive from the retailer, perhaps a coupon code to reengage them in the sale.

Lower the Probability of Abandoned eCommerce Shopping Carts

While a 0% abandonment rate is impossible, here are some tips and tricks on how to lower the probability of abandoned carts

  • Security – If you use a third-party vendor to ensure a secure check out, include those logos on the checkout page to reinforce the safety features. This leaves one less reason for shoppers to worry and brings you one step closer to closing the sale.

  • Payment Options – Be sure to include images of all payment options accepted (e.g. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, or PayPal).

  • Save the Cart – Some shoppers might not be ready at that moment to make the purchase because they want to search for additional coupon codes or continue shopping. Allowing them to save their cart cuts out the tedious steps of going back and rebuilding their shopping cart.

  • Registration – This is an important one! Do not force customers to create a user account. On many sites you will see the option for “Express Checkout” or “Check Out as a Guest.” For some, the less steps to check out, the better.

  • Shipping Costs – Do not hide these until the very last step. Doing this might aggravate a customer who just spent their time shopping on your site.

  • Customer Testimonials – Customers love to hear fellow shoppers’ feedback on their previous purchases. Make sure to include strong testimonials throughout the purchasing path.

  • Be Upfront – Let customers know right away what the stock availability is for a product. Include necessary warranty information, return policies, sales taxes being incurred, etc.

    (PDF Checklist) Lower the Probability of Abandoned eCommerce Shopping Carts

Abandoned eCommerce Shopping Cart Recovery Strategies

Aside from the page design, there are additional things you can do once the cart has already been abandoned.

So, you improved the user experience during the checkout process, but still see more abandoned carts than you would like. Now what? 

  • Follow up: As I noted before, online shoppers are getting smarter. They want to receive incentive to buy from you. Try following up with a personalized email or pop-up window when they abandon their cart offering an incentive to get them back to the checkout process.

  • Survey: By asking the user questions after they did not follow through with the check out process, you can better understand what triggered them to abandon the cart.

  • Promotions: If you are running a promotion, let them know. For example, if you are offering free shipping on orders over $100 and the shopper is currently at $91, send the customer a link to their shopping cart and let them know they only need to spend $9 more to receive free shipping on the entire order.

  • Track Behavior: Use programs such as Google Analytics to track the behavior of the customer. Where did they go after they left your site? Investigate all factors to try to nail down the reason for the abandoned cart.

    (PDF Checklist) Abandoned eCommerce Shopping Cart Recovery Strategies

To sum it all up, do not be alarmed if you have a high shopping cart abandonment rate. There are steps you can take to try to lower these rates, but you also need to be proactive once the shopping cart is already abandoned. You might even find that some consumers are using your online shopping cart merely as a way to compare prices and shipping rates. Remember to take baby steps while trying to solve your abandonment cart rate. A 2% decrease in abandonment for a month can make a very significant impact on your sales. Don’t be afraid to investigate what is causing such a high abandonment rate, and always be sure to follow up with those customers.   

In the comments below, let us know what steps have you taken to improve your SHOPPING CART ABANDONMENT RATE?  Have you seen them be successful?

Another post by Lauren Bolmeyer on eCommerce or Social Media: Best Practices for Handling Negativity in Social Media  

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