Shopping cart abandonment has become one of the biggest problems for online stores. According to Baymard Institute, 67,45% of shopping carts never make it through check out. If you are doing business online chances are that you are familiar with this number. But do you know why users are abandoning their purchase?
According to a survey by North American Technographics cart abandonments are due to 3 main reasons:
– financial concerns: 44% say shipping cost is too high while 22% said it was listed too late in the process
– not ready to purchase yet: 41% said they were not yet ready to buy while 24% just put the product in their cart for later consideration
– the check-out process is too complicated: 14% said they didn’t want to register with a site to buy while 12% thought the site was asking for too much information
BONUS REASON – lack of quick assistance: In addition to the 3 reasons above, a study from Forrester also points out that 57% of online shoppers are very likely to abandon their purchase if their questions are not answered quickly.
Based on those researches, we put together 5 simple tips to help you decrease shopping cart abandonment and increase profits.
1. Remind Customers About Their Abandoned Shopping Cart
Many potential customers save products in their cart to buy them later. Don’t see every abandoned purchase as lost forever. You will just need to take few simple actions to make it easy for customers to eventually complete the purchase.
– save all shopping carts: if you sell thousands of items, customers will find it irritating to search every item to repopulate their newly empty cart. Most of them won’t even bother to do so and you will loose a rather easy sale.
– send cart recovery emails: don’t be scared to get a little personal, it will create a deeper connection with your client. Even if he doesn’t buy right away he will remember you if you made him smile.
Look at this email from hellonomad:
Offering a “deal” or discount is always a good idea but let’s focus on how the email is written.
The style is rather informal, they use expressions like “make a deal” and “cold feet” making it sound like they are talking to a friend. Also notice that they use the client’s name in the subject line making it sound even more personal.
And my favorite touch: the client is offered to contact Chloe directly using her personal email address.
Check out Shopify’s article for more examples of good cart recovery emails
2. Display Product Availability
Nothing is more frustrating than searching for an item and finding out that it is not available.
If you don’t do it yet, you need to show stock levels on the page of the product. You don’t even have to show exact numbers. Boards reading ‘Currently out of stock’ are more than enough.
Those are basic rules you can’t ignore but you are going to need a little more than that if you want to save few additional carts.
– offer to notify the client by email when the item is back in stock: look at Zappos’ example bellow. After selecting my size a pop-up appears saying that it is out of stock but offering me to leave my email address:
Zappos chose to notify the user about availability after he selected the product size. This is a good way to make it easier to save the sale but some will prefer seeing availability up-front. Being aggressive like Zappos is a good strategy to get more email addresses but it might disturb your client’s navigation.
If you display upfront which products are not available, they will keep searching for other products that are. Chances are that they will give up if they have to click on their size every time.
– offer similar products: Zappos for example shows other colors available for the chosen size. Clothes stores have no problem offering alternatives but if your product range is not as wide you can always offer products from the same category.
– create urgency when stocks are low: That’s what most big online stores do when they show “only 2 left” or similar messages on the product page. By displaying that they create a feeling or urgency for the customer who will feel like he could miss out on the sale. This is triggering impulse shopping to not give customers time to check out prices elsewhere or reconsider the purchase.
One of my favorite example is how Hotel.com does it: They say there are 2 rooms left creating a first urge to buy but if you look at the bottom a little pop-up also tells you that 2 people booked a room in the last 24 hours, creating another urge.
Of course a simple “only 2 left” will work wonders for most shops but Hotel innovative method is worth mentioning for 2 reasons: it gives proof that people are interested in this room, therefore validating it as a “good” product & it gives you an idea of how long it can take for the 2 rooms left to be booked (24 hours here).
3. Make Everything as Easy as Possible
We saw at the beginning that more than 10% of your customers are abandoning their purchase because the check-out process is too long or complicated. This shouldn’t be too complicated to change for you. Consider that your shoppers are used to buying online so they are not expressing unrealistic expectations like not having to pay.
Follow these simple ecommerce checkout best practices to become a store that offers a user friendly check outprocess:
– only ask for what’s essential to you: basic informations (first and last name / email to send confirmation of order / date of birth for legal reasons…) ; address for delivery ; payment information
Those are the information that are going to be mandatory, you can then add additional fields without making them compulsory but explaining why users should fill them. For example you can ask them to subscribe to your newsletter to receive news about latest products. Never add more additional fields than you have required ones.
– show the steps of checkout from the beginning: it always makes things easier when you know what to expect
– offer more than 1 way to pay: you don’t need to offer as many choices as Asos but always at least have the basics (visa, Mastercard, American Express & Paypal). Then you can run a poll among your customers to know which methods they wish to see on your website.
– explain what you are going to do with the information provided:
– make it easy to go back or change the order: no one wants to do something all over again so make sure your customers can go back easily to previous steps and change their order.
Asos has a pretty easy check-out process with a really clear design:
4. Be Easy to Contact During Check-Out
Visitors might encounter a problem anytime during checkout or might have second thoughts about using a credit card online. Those are concerns that are quite easy to fix with a short chat conversation.
There are 2 ways you can be there to save a sale:
– display a chat button or window during the checkout process indicating that customers can reach you if they encounter a problem
– use proactive chat invites (see image below to know when):
If you want to keep users from leaving the website and their cart, you need a solution that will allow you to give them an instant answer. Phone could also do that, provided you don’t a have long hold time, but live chat offer one big advantage: your customers never have to leave your website. They can even go on with the checkout while talking to you.
5. Keep in Touch
When customers abandon their online shopping cart, it doesn’t mean they will never buy from you. But you need to remind them of your existence.
One way to do that is to use remarketing. You know those banners or Facebook ads showing you offers for hotels you where just checking yesterday? That’s remarketing. Some companies offer the possibility to track your website visitors and show them ads about the products they viewed on your website after they left.It can be a great way to get customers attention but you have to be careful. Those ads can be a little (a lot) invasive and make your customers feel like you are stalking them. People are still sensitive about their personal data and how much brands know about them and remarketing can be view as a total privacy violation for some.
Another way to keep in touch would be using live chat tailored invitations.Our system allows you to easily spot returning visitors so you can tailor your chat invitation to welcome them.
Here are a few easy way to show a customer you know he’s been there before without being too invasive:
– greet them saying “Thanks for visiting us again, don’t hesitate to chat with us if you have any question”: if you chatted with this visitor before he might just come talk to you to thank you again but that’s how you create long lasting relationships.
– offer returning visitors a special discount