Just how common a phenomenon is shopping cart abandonment? Well, according to SaleCycle, the 2018 rate for all websites was over 79% while the rate for the retail sector was slightly lower at 74.5%. Staggering. The clear majority of consumer’s actions on ecommerce sites end up with no action taking place.
Regardless of the device used to browse the ecommerce site, shopping cart abandonment rates are high. However, the numbers rise as the screen shrinks as noted by Barilliance. For desktops, the rate is 73.1%, for tablets it’s 80.7%, and for mobile it’s 85.6%. Addressing the disparity, a Forbes post cites, “there could be little or no optimization for mobile. [On mobile] it may not be possible for the retailer to throw a rescue line such as a pop-up into the midst of a transaction going sideways.”
Since the numbers are so strikingly high, shrinking the shopping cart abandonment rate to zero is not reasonable. Yet, to join the ranks of successful ecommerce retailers, businesses need to a find a way to get as many customers as possible to go the final mile.
Why Are They Walking Away?
Consider why consumers are abandoning their shopping carts. A Baymard Institute survey, “found that 58.6% of US online shoppers have abandoned a cart within the last 3 months because ‘I was just browsing / not ready to buy.’” These consumers don’t even involve themselves with the checkout process. Other reasons for this sort of behavior include, “window shopping, price comparison, saving items for later, exploring gift options, etc.”
The Baymard survey focused on those who actually go through the process of putting items in a shopping cart. By far, the number one reason cited by consumers for abandonment was extra costs such as shipping, taxes, and fees were too high which was cited by 55% of respondents.
Other reasons that were noted by a significant percentage of respondents include: the site wanted me to make an account (34%), Too long/complicated checkout process (26%), I couldn’t see/calculate total order cost up-front (21%), I didn’t trust the site with my credit card information (17%), Website had error/crashed (17%), and delivery was too slow (16%).
A quick glance of the list reveals that the reasons can essentially be placed into two categories: time and money. When consumers go on an ecommerce site, they expect a fast transaction and a good deal.
The “Extra Costs” Hurdle
To address the number one reason for shopping cart abandonment of extra costs being too high, ecommerce retailers need to be upfront about all costs right away. Sumo offers a few ways to handle this, including showing the final price including estimated shipping costs right on the cart page when someone adds a product to their cart. Apps including Shopify and Magento have this feature. Another option is to clearly display a flat rate for shipping. Also consider offering free shipping if customers spend a certain amount, and where that’s fiscally not feasible for you, consider increasing the cost of the products to offset shipping costs.
The 2018 [online shopping cart abandonment] rate for…the retail sector was…74.5%
The user experience at checkout needs to be as simple and fast as possible. Only fields which are absolutely necessary including payment information, billing and shipping address, name and email should be required. While getting more information through an account is helpful, it should be an option and not a requirement. To accomplish this, progressive online retailers will offer a “Checkout as Guest” option.
Although trust is something that is generally attained through experience, there are ways to encourage customers to take that initial leap of faith while on your ecommerce retail site. “Trust Seals” from known companies such as Norton and McAfee should be prominently displayed. In a Forbes post by Gary Nealon, he notes that he placed a Norton Security Badge on his checkout page and saw “an 18% increase in revenue and a 23.9% increase in completed carts after implementation.”
Don’t Leave Just Yet
Even as consumers are about to leave your ecommerce site leaving a cart behind, there’s one strategy to retain them: exit intent pop-overs and pop-ups. Data shows that 10 to 15 percent of people ready to abandon can be saved via pop-ups. These pop-ups appear when visitors begin to leave an ecommerce site or switch to another window. With these pop-ups, your retail site can offer a last-minute offer or discount. The drawback here could be a lowered profit margin, with some people gaming the system knowing that they can get a better deal. But with a potential 10 to 15 percent abandoned cart recovery, it’s a strategy to certainly be considered.
Once consumers have already abandoned their shopping cart, sending triggered emails if a cart sits idle is a strategy that Shopify recommends. Their suggestion is to send three emails with the first one being sent 24 hours later as a reminder that the consumer has items in their shopping cart. The email should include what they left in the cart, along with product images, and a link to take them back to checkout.
A second email, to be sent 48 hours later, should strive to understand the reason consumers decided to abandon their shopping cart. This can be done by simply asking a series of canned response questions in the email regarding their purchasing hesitancy.
And a third email, to be sent 48 hours after the second email, should include a discount or incentive using the responses from the second email. Be sure to have a clear call to action that directs the consumer back to their abandoned shopping cart.
For your ecommerce site to thrive, you need a strategy to combat shopping cart abandonment. Experimenting with these strategies with your customers to overcome their extra costs objections, providing them with checkout speed and simplicity, offering them last-minute deals, and following-up with them later can improve abandonment rates, resulting in more sales.
Recap: Shopping Cart Abandonment Strategies
- Overcome the “Extra Costs” hurdle
- Remove barriers
- Exit intent pop-overs and pop-ups
- Follow-up emails
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