Imagine yourself sitting on a couch on Saturday morning. A mug of coffee in your hand, a laptop on your lap and breakfast on the table. You scroll through Facebook while eating. There’s nothing interesting, actually. Well, maybe except for a photo of your friend making a fool of himself on vacation. That’s funny! You Like it immediately and make a short comment.
You’re just about to close Facebook, when an advert pops up. There’s a discount on all earphones in one of your favorite stores. That’s so cool! “There isn’t a better way to start the weekend than with a new purchase,” you think.
So, you click on the ad, search for the wireless earphones you’ve always wanted to have and add them to your cart. Great! Now, time to make the payment..
Unfortunately, in the middle of checkout, you receive a phone call with troubling news from your friend. Half an hour later, you switch off your laptop, take a final bite of your sandwich and you’re already out.
What about the earphones?
Cart Abandonment And Why It Happens
Did you know that the average cart abandonment rate is 69.89%? That means, only 30% of all online purchases get completed. Striking, isn’t it?
Thus, cart abandonment is a huge issue for all online stores. Fortunately, there is something you can do to prevent most cart abandonments from happening as well as win back your lost customers. But, before we try to resolve the issue, first, let’s discuss why people choose to abandon their carts.
In the short story above, I’ve already presented you with one reason why some customers don’t complete their purchase: they get distracted and so, forget about it. However, that’s not the only reason why.
Take a look at the statistics from Statista:
As you can see, people abandon their carts from a variety of reasons, such as expensive shipping, long and/or complicated checkout process or complex site’s navigation.
However, when you take a moment to reflect upon those reasons, you can realize that most cart abandonments can, in fact, be resolved through website optimization, design changes and some follow-up messages.
It seems the devil’s not so black as he is painted.
Now, let’s discuss what you can do to reduce cart abandonment during checkout in your eCommerce store:
#1 Eliminate the risk of “price shock.”
There’s nothing worse than clicking on an item that costs $10 only to figure out later that with tax and shipping you’ll have to pay more than twice the initial sum. What do you do in such situations? You leave the store, right?
To prevent such situations from happening, make sure there are no unexpected costs during checkout in your store. You can do so by informing your customers about all fees before they decide to add an item to their cart.
Be transparent and don’t hide shipment costs!
Also, try offering your customers free shipping, like Ebay does:
Consider: according to a retail study, 9 out of 10 consumers admit that free shipping is no. 1 incentive to do more shopping online.
So, by offering free shipping you can not only prevent cart abandonment in your store, but also, encourage your customers to purchase more items in the future.
#2 Make your website easy to navigate.
The more clicks you put your customers through during checkout, the more upset they get, and the more likely they are to abandon their carts.
Thus, to make sure you’re not losing customers due to your site’s navigation, simplify the checkout process. It’s enough if your customers follow these six steps:
- Choose an item,
- Add to cart,
- Click “checkout” button,
- Choose a shipping type,
- Select payment method,
- Make the payment.
Remember, do NOT make people take a look at your other products with or without discounts during checkout because they’ve already chosen what they want to buy. Also, do NOT ask them to provide unnecessary personal information during checkout and do NOT put them through endless email confirmations. It’s frustrating.
As Henry David Thoreau once said, “Simplify! Simplify!”
#3 Add multiple product images.
Did you know that 93% of consumers say that visual appearance is the key deciding factor in making a purchasing decision?
Visual appearance in your eCommerce store relates to your website’s design, photos and infographics in your compelling blog posts, creative images in your advertisements as well as the images of your products in your online store.
Now, the more attractive your products look on your photos, the more likely you are to sell them. So, make sure your products’ images are creative and not blurry.
Also, remember, the more images you add, the better. Let your customers see your product from all possible perspectives. Check how FootLocker does it:
To reduce cart abandonment in your store, add not only simple product as well as catalog images, but also product thumbnails.
Product Thumbnail Images are images of your products visible in the cart. So, once your customers put an item into their cart, they will see not only the name of the product they want to purchase, its description, and price, but also, its picture.
Next, even if they decide that the final price is too high, the image of the product will appeal to their senses and so, influence their purchasing decision.
It’s a simple, but powerful strategy.
Also, remember, if you can’t invest much money into product photography, you can actually create marvellous images of your products on a budget. Check this guide on how to master product photography without going bankrupt.
#4 Make sure your eCommerce site is mobile friendly.
With 125 million consumers in the US owning smartphones, there’s no surprise that each year more and more people make purchases on their mobile devices.
In fact, according to Statista, that trend is and will be going up. It’s estimated that by 2021, over 70% of all purchases will be done on mobile.
What does it mean for you? It means that if your site isn’t mobile optimized, you’re losing money. Not everyone has time to go through your products on their PC or laptop. Many purchases are made on the go.
Thus, make sure your customers can buy your products on their smartphones without any problems.
#5 Allow for anonymous shopping.
Did you ever experience this? I bet you did…
You’re browsing through a random website. Suddenly, you see a limited edition of your favorite computer game. There are only three of them left. Decisions… Decisions… You horribly want it, so you decide to buy it before it’s too late.
You add it to your cart and click “checkout.” Next, a window appears. It says “Create an account.” It makes you a bit annoyed, but you want that computer game, so you agree to create a new account. Unfortunately, the whole process takes an hour because you have to provide information about every aspect of your life and the confirmation emails get lost on the way.
Eventually, frustrated, you give up and close the page.
To prevent such situations from happening in your online store, offer your customers checkout option without requiring them to create a new user account first.
Remember, you can always ask them if they want to create an account after they’ve made a purchase. Thus, make sure creating an account on your site is an option, and NOT a must.
#6 Offer a variety of payment options and add a currency converter.
According to a study, 56% of consumers admit that what they wish to see at checkout is a variety of payment options.
Every online shopper wants to have a choice. After all, some people prefer paying with their Visa, others with their MasterCard or PayPal.
There are also those who can pay only with their American Express or a JCB card. Now, if you don’t provide them such an option, they’ll close your site and go to your competitors.
To prevent such situations from happening, add as many payment options as you can. The more, the better.
Another smart trick is to add a currency converter. This will encourage people from abroad to do shopping in your store. Thus, it’ll increase your sales.
Also, thanks to a currency converter, all the international shoppers won’t feel conned or cheated. After all, it’s nothing pleasant to make an online purchase and then, realize you paid much more than you thought:
#7 Prove that your site is safe and trustworthy.
Nowadays, most Internet users, as well as online shoppers, are smart, intelligent and well-educated. Thus, they know that crimes can be committed not only in the world outside but also, online.
Just like a seller can con you in a brick and mortar store, so can a website owner online. If you’re not attentive, you’ll lose your money.
Thus, to make sure your customers know they can trust you, add security badges to your site and place them in a prominent position (e.g. close to your transaction forms).
If you don’t know which site seals give customers the best sense of trust, take a look at the results of the survey by Baymard Institute:
#8 Use exit intent popups.
Imagine yourself browsing through products in an online store. You add a few items to your cart, but, eventually, decide not to make the purchase and leave the store.
Suddenly, however, a window appears, which informs you about the items in your cart and encourages you to complete your purchase. What’s more, you’re being informed that if you checkout now, you’ll get a 20% discount.
Now, you can’t refuse that offer, can you?
That’s the power of exit intent popups. They appear when your customer is about to leave your store, interrupt their intention to exit and with a strong call to action and/or a “special offer,” encourage them to complete the purchase.
Thanks to exit intent popups you will not only reduce cart abandonment in your store, but also, increase conversions. So, use them to your advantage!
#9 Add “save the cart” option and send follow-up messages.
How often do you go online and make a purchase in the first online store you find without comparing prices first? Never or not very often, right? Neither do your customers.
Most of them are comparison shoppers.
Thus, they open several pages from a few online stores and compare prices. Next, they make a purchase in the cheapest store, don’t make a purchase at all, or decide to sleep on it.
Now, the question is, what can you do to make your customers feel welcome in your store and give them some time to make the final decision?
You can allow them to add items to their carts and then, save that cart. This way, you’ll give them more space. They won’t feel pressed to buy something they don’t want. Also, it’ll allow them to check prices on the Web and figure out that yours are affordable. Next, you’ll gain their trust and loyalty.
If you want to make sure that your customers consider your products later and come back to your store once they’ve saved their carts, you can send them attractive follow-up messages the next day either by email or an SMS. The choice is yours.
#10 Use scarcity.
You can give your customers a boost of motivation to make a purchase by using scarcity – it creates a sense of urgency to checkout now.
This strategy is simple, but powerful. Basically, you inform your customers how many products have already been sold or how many are still available.
Check how Shoes.com does it:
As you can see on the above photo, sizes 5, 6.5 and 9.5 have all been sold out. By informing their customers about it, Shoes.com sends an indirect call to action, such as:
- “Buy now because soon all sizes will be unavailable.”
- “Since many people have already bought it, it’s a quality product, so make a purchase now before it’s too late.”
- “If you don’t buy the item now, soon you won’t be able to.”
Would you resist that?
Time To Start Acting
There are many ways to reduce cart abandonment in your eCommerce store. Follow these tips and you’ll see the results:
- Eliminate the risk of “price shock,”
- Make your website is easy to navigate,
- Add multiple product images,
- Make sure your eCommerce site is mobile friendly,
- Allow for anonymous shopping,
- Offer a variety of payment options and add a currency converter,
- Prove that your site is safe and trustworthy,
- Use exit intent popups,
- Add “save the cart” option and send follow-up messages,
- Use scarcity.