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abandoned shopping cart
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10 Expert Ways to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

victoria-wishpond
By on February 26th, 2019 Reading Time: 7 minutes

Abandoned shopping carts are something every ecommerce business owner is familiar with. Customers browse through your store and load up on items they’re interested in, only to give up right before purchasing.

Studies show that almost 70% of purchases are left unfinished. And if you’re not taking this number seriously, chances are, you’re losing more money than you thought.

If you’re curious to know how you can prevent abandoned carts for your store, you’re in luck. In this article, you’ll find 10 sure-fire ways to fix your shopping abandonment problem.

Let’s get to it!

1. Reduce shipping price shock

Expensive shipping costs are the number one reason why people abandon their shopping carts. And it’s not that surprising, given the fact that industry giants like Amazon are spoiling their customers with fast and cheap delivery prices on each order.

While this is great news for customers, smaller retailers like you have to figure out how to manage shoppers’ expectations. At the end of the day, someone has to pay for shipping so here’s what you can do:

  • Add shipping expenses to the price of a product and use free shipping as one of the main selling points on your store.

Toyshades incorporates shipping cost into all their product price so they’re able to reduce the friction associated with shipping fees at checkout.

toyshades

Toyshades

Offering free shipping is probably one of the highest-recommended ecommerce marketing strategies out there, Printful’s Startup Vitamins store has had great success doing this.

Consider this: A study has shown that 48% of respondents have added more items to their shopping cart to qualify for free shipping, and 44% stated they’ve chosen the slowest delivery option just because it was free.

2. Build trust with secure payment options

You’d never hand over your wallet to a stranger. So why would you expect someone online to hand their payment information to a site they’ve never visited before?

Consumers are increasingly hesitant about who to trust and which companies to purchase from. That’s why trust and transparency are crucial for your ecommerce success.

Payment security is the second largest reason why consumers abandon carts prior to checkout. Shoppers want the assurance that their personal information won’t be jeopardized and that there won’t be any surprise charges down the road.

Add trust badges and payment provider icons on your website to show customers it’s safe to purchase from you.      

Here’s how Fashion Nova showcases payment options on their website using icons of payment providers to build customer trust.

fashionnova

Fashion Nova

Customers are willing to spend more shopping on websites they know they can trust, so a bonus tip for building trust is to show customer reviews. People trust websites others have shopped on. With secure payment processes in place, you can expect both an increase in average order value and in customer retention, too.

3. Create an exit-intent strategy

Online shoppers are constantly on the lookout for the best products and deals. So it makes sense that some add a product to their shopping cart, only to realize they want to do more research. That’s why having an exit-intent strategy is important.

An exit strategy in ecommerce is all about providing a piece of value to a user as they attempt to leave your site. We like to call them exit-intent popups. This can include providing:

  • Discounts
  • Contests or chances to win with prizes
  • Free shipping offers
  • Downloadable content

Think about what users are looking at and how you can make them stay. You don’t need to implement an exit intent popup on every page of your website, but seriously consider adding it to:

  • Product pages
  • Category pages
  • Check out pages

Basically, any page on your website which indicates the user has navigated deeper into your content and has some likelihood of purchasing. Even if users do happen to leave, all hope isn’t lost yet and you can send cart abandonment emails, more info on that later.

For good examples of exit strategies, see 51 Exit-Intent Popup Examples, Tips, & Ideas For More Leads.

4. Don’t require a signup process

When shopping online, convenience is key. While some customers don’t mind creating user accounts in order to purchase products, others want to be in and out as quickly as possible.

22% of users end up leaving a website when forced to create an account, and 28% of all shoppers say that it’s part of the reason they never completed a purchase.

Seriously consider making signing up to your store easy or offer guest check-out.

ASOS gives shoppers the option to sign in to their accounts using their Facebook, Twitter, or Google accounts. Shoppers get quick access to user accounts, and companies get the information they need to finalize the order.

asos

asos

If you’re using Shopify and would like to offer sign-ups through social media accounts, consider giving Oxi Social Login a go.

Macy’s lets their customers checkout as guests if they don’t want to create a user account.

macys

Macy’s

Marketers argue whether or not offering guest checkout should be required. If creating a user account is the only thing that keeps the shopper from completing the purchase, then skipping the signup process is the way to go.

5. Run a promotion

According to Statista, 8% of customers abandon their cart if they can’t find a discount code or coupon. The same report shows that 46% of online shoppers ditch their carts if the code they found doesn’t work.

These findings suggest that some shoppers are die-hard deal-seekers who are willing to search high and low for the best deals before they pull the trigger and make a purchase. And if they can’t find it on your site, they’ll go somewhere else.

Discounts, loyalty offers, and bulk-buy pricing are common business practices that help brands build customer loyalty and increase their lifetime value.

Once a user leaves your site, the likelihood of getting them back is substantially reduced. So strike while the iron is hot. Showcase special discounts on popups, website banners, and sidebars.

Forever 21 is one of the best sites when it comes to discounts and deals.

forever21

Forever 21

6. Have a clear and flexible return policy

The only thing worse than a bad return policy is a non-existent one. Return Cloud says 66% of shoppers agree that the better the return policy, the more they’re willing to buy.

And that makes total sense. Online shoppers can’t physically touch the products, and no one wants to buy something that doesn’t look properly in person.

If you don’t offer free returns yet, have a test run to figure out whether it’s something you want to do. Here’s how you can begin:

  1. For 30 days offer free returns on all products Once the trial is over, compare the number of sales generated in that 30 day period with sales generated before it.
  2. Then deduct the cost of returns from an increased amount of sales to determine if a flexible return policy works for your bottom line.

If you want, you can start with just a few products. You can also specify which geographic locations customers are eligible for your return policies.

That’s exactly what TopShop offers its UK customers. Product pages contain a  “Free UK returns” banner so customers can make a safe purchase.

topshop

TopShop

7. Offer reliable customer service

Don’t you hate it when you’re in the clothing store and you have a question but no one’s around to help? You wouldn’t like it in real life, so why would your online customers?

Bad customer support (or a lack of it) is another big reason why shopping carts get abandoned.

It’s possible that shoppers couldn’t complete the purchase because there was a technical issue. Or maybe they had questions about the product, delivery, or refunds.

Let the customer know that your brand is available when they need you most. Just don’t forget that different customers prefer communicating with businesses through different channels, that’s why there should be several ways to get in touch with you.

The most popular communication channels among online shoppers are:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Live Chat
  • FAQ page
  • Social media DMs
  • Social media comments

8. Improve Customer Experience on the Website

Every little detail on your website can either push incoming visitors away or make them stay.

Shopify found that 39% of customers surveyed didn’t complete a purchase because the website crashed or timed out. When it comes to creating a better website experience for customers:

 

  • Use a mobile-friendly website theme. Let customers navigate your site from any device. Knowing that 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase on their mobile device in the last 6 months, having a mobile-friendly template is crucial.

 

  • Improve your site loading speed. A slow website can turn off customers, affect your ranking on Google, and potential cost massive sales losses. Use GTMetrix to test your website’s loading speed and learn how to make it faster.

    GTmetrix

    GTmetrix

  • Use flattering product images. If a picture is worth a thousand words then an attractive product image is worth a happy customer. Using professional product images builds customer trust and make their buying decision easier.

9. Send abandoned cart emails

If a customer has subscribed and made an account on your online store, you can probably reach them via email.

Use email automation services such as MailChimp to send cart abandonment emails to customers who left their purchases unfinished. This is another opportunity to market your products and remind customers about the purchase they left behind.

A friendly nudge won’t do any harm, just make your abandoned cart email stand out by :

  • Having a catchy subject line
  • Highlighting one specific (popular) product
  • Writing creative copy – this is a good chance to showcase your brand values
  • Offer a discount – but be careful with this, customers might come to expect a discount email after every abandoned cart
  • If you have a rewards program, cart abandonment emails are a good way to remind customers how many rewards points they have and get them to spend them.

10. Use retargeting ads to bring customers back

The battle isn’t lost if the customer left your website or didn’t open that cart abandonment email. You can still reach them by using retargeting ads.

retargeting

Source: Retargeter

In case you’re not familiar with retargeting ads, let me quickly explain how they work.

Someone is on your website while at work, itching to buy your product. Then out of nowhere – boom – in walks, the boss and your potential customer frantically closes their browser tab. Happens all the time.

So how do you get that shopper back? By using retargeting ads.

Retargeting uses cookies – website data stored on your browser – to track what web pages you visit. So, if a user leaves your store checkout before making a purchase, you can show them targeted ads reminding them to buy your products.

Here’s an example of a simple retargeting flow:

colehaan_retargeting

Cole Haan

Retargeted ads are mainly used on Facebook, Instagram, and Google. They target and segment users based on specific page views, location, and the number of sessions.

If haven’t played around with retargeting ads before, Facebook is a great place to start. With the Dynamic Facebook Retargeting option and this guide on creating fool-proof Facebook retargeting ads, you’ll start bringing back customers in no time.

Start recovering abandoned carts

Reducing shopping cart abandonment is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get more value from your site. You don’t need to implement all of these tactics, even just a few will help you move in the right direction.

Do you have your own tips on how to avoid cart abandonment? Comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

victoria-wishpond
Victoria is a Marketing Generalist at Wishpond specializing in all things digital marketing and social media marketing. In love with blogging and Taco Tuesdays. Follow her on Twitter @vitalvines_co.

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