According to research by the Baymard Institute, the vast majority of ecommerce stores of all different sizes experience the same problem – incredibly high shopping cart abandonment rates. In fact, when looking at some of the biggest companies operating online today, there is an astonishing average of almost 70% of products that are abandoned before checkout.
Just imagine what that percentage of products being dumped at the registers of real world stores would look like – utter chaos would quickly ensue. And also, think of the extra money your store could be making if you could reduce that rate by half.
While we can’t guarantee that will happen after putting some of these ideas into practice, each of the following suggestions should help you ensure your customers are buying more than they do currently. So, if you are having a shopping cart nightmare, let’s put some of those abandonment issues to the sword – read on to find out more.
First up, have a good look at what your customers see when they are buying products from your online store. Given that the modern online consumer is a lot more security conscious these days, it’s vital that you display your credentials to ensure that your site visitors trust you. And if you don’t already have secure payments set up, you should really think about getting them. Look into services such as VeriSign Secured, GeoTrust, and TRUSTe, as well as speaking to your merchant provider and bank. In short, if you have security, it will be more likely that a visitor will proceed with the checkout process than it would without.
Upgrade Your Site
While it’s never been easier to set up an ecommerce store and start selling than it is today, it’s not always recommended. Sure, there are plenty of templates and online store builders that you can pick up for next to nothing, but you have to ask yourself how your customers might view your business. Plus, hiring a reputable ecommerce website design agency or freelance developer will give you the specialist knowledge you need. Make sure that your designers operate within the ecommerce niche, as they will have lots of ideas on how you can halt your high abandonment rates. If you can afford the investment, we suggest going for it – it could mean all the difference to your profit margins.
Online consumers like things easy. And the clearer you can make your shopping cart process, the more psychological impact it will have when it comes to your visitors deciding to check out. Far too many ecommerce businesses feel that just because an item has been placed in a cart, the customer is ready to buy. But they aren’t, and it’s a huge mistake to make. Your customers still need clear incentives, so consider doing something like including a strong Call To Action message on your checkout page. It will help strengthen the client’s desire for the product and result in more people taking the buying decision. However, don’t forget that your call to action – or CTA – should be strong. It’s not enough to have weak messaging – ‘Continue’ or ‘Checkout,’ for example. You are far better off using more dynamic language such as ‘Finish My Order’ or ‘Ship My Products.’
Show Your Customers What They Are Buying
Being able to see what you are buying has an enormous psychological impact. It’s why ecommerce businesses rely on images on their product pages, of course. But what happens when your visitors go to your checkout page? While they are unlikely to forget about the products they intend to buy, it can help ground them and tip them over the edge if they can see images of the products waiting for them. Take a real world store as an example. You pick something up that is of interest, and then put it back in the rack. By the time you have made your way through the store, you might have been distracted, and forget about that product before you pay for anything. It’s the same principal online – always try and show your customers what they have in their ‘hands’ and they will be more likely to buy it.
This section causes anger, frustration, and is one of the biggest turn-offs for online customers – shipping charges. Here’s what happens: your customers browse for an item, take a liking to it, and add it to their cart. They assume that the price is set, and then they go to check out and make the purchase. But, then your customers realize that you want to add on some tax, charge them a small fortune to deliver the goods, and slap in a few extra surcharges to ensure recorded delivery. What do you think your customer will do? To avoid them leaving enraged, make sure you are upfront about all additional charges. Given that it’s the single biggest reasons for shopping cart abandonment, it’s clear that a lot of online businesses have plenty of work to do here. So, no surprises – be as forthcoming about delivery costs as you can, and you should see your abandonment rates reduce.
Offer Flexible Payment Options
Another significant trend that some ecommerce businesses are failing to keep up with is that consumers are beginning to pay for products and services in a variety of different ways. And, they like it that way. Unfortunately, this means that if you aren’t offering them their preferred and trusted payment method, there’s a high chance they will seek out your competitors that do. Ultimately, that means a sale lost to your rivals, which no business should be encouraging. So, look into services such as PayPal, and any other that you can think of. It might even be worth looking into crypto currency payments in the not-too-distant future. You will need to bear in mind that there are costs involved, of course, but in basic terms it[‘s important to understand that the more payment options you offer, the more payments you will receive.
Finally, what are you doing with all your customers that are abandoning their carts? Most businesses see these people as disappearing, but this is a huge mistake. After all, you know exactly what that customer was looking for, right? Which instantly gives you an insight on the type of other products and services they might be interested in. So, it’s important to set up some sort of remarketing program. The idea is to get people that are close to the finish line but didn’t quite make it and give them a gentle nudge in the right direction. You can do this with Facebook remarketing ads, Google AdWords, or even email if you have the customer’s address. The chances are that you have seen this kind of thing before, on your personal computer or smartphone. Savvy ecommerce businesses understand that it’s a great way of keeping in touch with their visitors and getting more out of them. Ultimately, if you don’t do any remarketing, then you risk the prospect of losing every single customer who abandons their cart for good.
OK, so there you have it – a few ideas on some of the areas that modern day ecommerce businesses can – and should – improve. Are there any other factors that you are struggling with, or that we have left out? If you have any ideas, problems, or solutions on stopping shopping cart abandonment, why not add your thoughts to the story? Leave them below in the comments box and join in with the conversation.