Abandoned shopping carts can be a heartbreaking sight for online businesses. So close and yet so far! There you had a potential sale, but missed out on due to a reason that could have been easily rectified.
Listrak shows a whopping 74% cart abandonment rate over a period of 6 months. In other words, out of 100 potential customers 70 leave in the final stages of your sales funnel.
Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment
The first thing you should do is identify the reasons behind all those abandoned shopping carts and treat each of them differently. The easiest way to find out why a shopper left the store without completing a purchase is asking them directly:
You can use an exit pop-up that appears whenever they are about to leave the page and asking them what should happen to the items in their cart while they are gone.
In case you have managed to capture their email before they left, you can simply follow up with an email reminder. Emails sent within hours of cart abandonment actually have an impressive 54% open rate. So there’s a healthy chance that you will get a response.
And, once you know the specific reason, you can act. We’ve compiled 4 reasons and solution to help you reduce your cart abandonment rates.
1. Unexpected Price
It’s the prime suspect
The most common reason for shopping cart abandonment are additional, unexpected costs revealed only after the customers reaches the final stage, i.e. checkout. It’s like saying … Thanks for shopping with us, but we’ve got a nice little surprise for you. You will have to pay an extra $45 for shipping.
Needless to say, majority of customers will frown on such a surprise and leave.
What you can do:
Fix and/or communicate your shipping costs early
Ideally, you should be offering free shipping, as long as it is feasible. To sweeten the deal, you can entice shoppers to place bigger orders to be eligible for free shipping.
If free shopping is not possible, you should start showing the estimated shipping cost right from the start. There’s no point in hiding the cost till the very end. Instead of leaving at the checkout, they might leave without going through the order, but at least, they would leave without a sour taste.
2. Just Browsing
The Millennial’s Entertainment
Do you know that Millennials consider browsing retail websites for entertainment? So, a large percentage of your abandoned shopping carts might be the result of people simply browsing or doing comparison shopping and might even be using your shopping cart as a wishlist.
In case you are thinking that there’s nothing you can do with these carts, you are wrong. Bear in mind that even if they were browsing products for fun, or doing comparison shopping, they are still showing some interest and could end up buying them in near future. These users are your potential customers, and they should be treated accordingly.
What you can do:
Fire up your retargeting campaigns
Retargeting allows you to serve customized ads to people who have visited certain pages of your website. You can use Google Remarketing Ads to engage these “Just Browsers”.
Even if you aren’t running Adwords Campaign, treat these customers as sales prospects, and follow up with personalized emails that talk about the product or service that they were browsing. Ask product related questions, offer expert advice, and try to form a relationship.
And if your shoppers are using your shopping cart as temporary storage or wishlist, you should think about adding this function to your store.
3. On-site issues
Your site is frustrating
According to this compilation of most common reasons for shopping cart abandonment by Statista, on-site issues are the biggest culprit behind cart abandonment. 26% customers felt that the website navigation was too complicated, the website stopped working or crashed for 24% customers, 21% got irritated because the process was taking too long, and 15% customers encountered a “website time-out”, and fled the scene.
All of these issues are related to website performance, usability, and compatibility. The good news is that these are easy to rectify. The bad news is, only a few stores really do.
What you can do:
Fix, fix, fix!
Forget worrying about shopping cart abandonment for now. Testing and fixing your online store for usability, performance, and compatibility should be the first thing you should do.
It has to be compatible with all popular browsers, devices, and operating software and should be hosted on a reliable server. Website crashes or poor loading speed will create the worst impression on your customers.
4. Checkout and Payment Problems
All about the money
Some of the most common issues that prevent shoppers from moving forward are forced registrations, complex or lengthy checkout process, and a lack of payment methods.
What you can do:
Don’t make it hard to buy from you
Allow guest checkouts. It’s nice to get the shopper’s emails, and have them sign up as a member, but it shouldn’t be done at the cost of repelling a potential customer. Keep it optional, and share the benefits for registered members to entice them into signing up (e. g. exclusive offers, personalized experience, order history, etc.)
Make it simple, get rid of extra fields, and try to keep it to a single page. In case you have a multi-page checkout, you should be using a progress bar to keep them going.
Make sure you offer a number of payment methods. PayPal is a good choice, but there are regions where PayPal is not supported. So it’s better to use a payment gateway that allows customers to pay at least via PayPal, credit card or invoice.
And remember: An abandoned shopping cart is always an opportunity to reclaim a once lost sale.
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