Hackernoon logo10 ways to combat shopping cart abandonment by@ashely-john

10 ways to combat shopping cart abandonment

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@ashely-johnAshely John

Entrepreneur

The best way to comprehend shopping cart abandonment is looking through a shopper’s perspective. For what it’s worth, let’s assume you are shopping in a brick and mortar departmental store.
You walked into the store, picked up an empty cart, and started putting items into it. While you are still looking for more items to purchase, you see a kitten playing with a ball at the 3rd aisle. Mesmerized by the cuteness, you watched it play for a while, and walked out of the store without completing your shopping. You left your cart unattended somewhere in the store.
Does it sound so easy?
I guess no. You have walked to the store to purchase something, and it’s not that easy to forget what you have been doing there. However, it’s quite possible when you are shopping in an eCommerce store. There are tons of things that can distract you from your goal there. 
Considering the same about the above-mentioned scenario, there could a situation where you were not distracted by the kitten, and actually made it to the checkout counter. However, right at the payment counter, the attendant informs you that they don't accept cards, but you don't have cash either.
In a parallel world, let’s assume they also accept the cards, but later-on you got to know that there is an additional surge charge on cards payment.
Undeniably, similar stuff happens like innumerable times with virtual shopping carts of an eCommerce store. Customers visit a website, add products to cart, and then just leave the site without completing the purchase. This phenomenon is termed as shopping cart abandonment in eCommerce.
E-Commerce customers cross through N number of distractions that try to stop them from completing their purchases. Don’t take my words for granted, but you have to trust the data from Baymard institute. They revealed that an average of 68% of the eCommerce carts get abandoned regularly.
That means, out of every 100 sales an online store makes, it actually loses 68 other potential sales.

How to deal with abandonment issues?

Honestly, there isn’t any defined list of steps you can follow to completely bring the cart abandonment rate to zero. Nobody can give you a thumb rule to make abandonment just vanish from your store. They will always be there for some unattended reason that you might have missed to entertain.
In fact, a large percentage of cart abandonment are a normal outcome of how users browse an e-commerce store. Many users visit an eCommerce store for window shopping, price comparison, saving products for later, or exploring products. Carts abandoned for such
reason are mostly inevitable.
But carts do get abandoned and also get converted somewhere. So, how to convert abandoned carts right on your store?
Well, not all carts abandoned on your store represent the lost sales. However, the carts abandoned because of manageable reasons are indeed your loss, because still, a significant populace leaves eCommerce stores for practical reasons. Baymard Institute states following manageable reasons for why most of the eCommerce shopping cart abandonment happen from the checkout process:
  • 55% of customers were surprised by the unexpected costs (like shipping charges, and taxes)  
  • 34% left the site after it asked them to create an account to complete the purchase.
  • 26% found the checkout process lengthy or complicated.
  • 21% left because the store did not give an upfront estimation of the total cost.
  • 17% could not trust the site with payments information.
  • So, how to Overcome?

    While you cannot do much about dealing with abandonment due to the reasons such as "I was just window shopping", you definitely can make some credible efforts to improve the overall online shopping experience on your store. You can fix many of them by merely tweaking your store design.
    Here are 10 such optimizations
    that you can do upfront to curtail most of the cart abandonment and grab as many potential sales.

    Increase trust in your storefront

    Online customers don't just shop online, but they also make payments online. They put a lot of faith in a business when they share their sensitive information with it. A little discrepancy in your web store and you would lose that faith. Especially, new web stores that do not carry any well-known brand name with them are hard to trust.  Not just from the payments point
    of view, but customers feel vulnerable for also a lot of other reasons:
    1. The website might be vulnerable to data leaks.
    2. The products and services might not be good.
    3. There might be no way to return the products.
    4. Seller might deny delivering the products after
      getting paid, and so on.
    By following the below-given measures, even a recently launched eCommerce store can develop trust among the customers:

    1.     Install an SSL certificate:
    You can grow a significant amount
    of trust by merely shifting from HTTP to HTTPS, which is a guaranteed seal of trust for any kind of website. SSL certificate is a must if you are handling
    online transactions on your website, as all credible payment gateways demand SSL certificate to work.
    Note: Go for EV or OV SSL certificates. Avoid DV SSL for eCommerce.
    2.     Show trust symbols:
    Get your site verified by well-known security parameters. Once verified, put their seals on strategic touch-points
    such as website footer, checkout page, About US page, etc.
    3.     Showcase Easy return:
    Specify your Return policies and refund policies on strategic positions where they are clearly noticeable. Doing so will let them know that you offer returns as well, which in turn will build trust among the customers.
    You can also mention the specific return policies on the product pages to inculcate additional trust factor. For example, besides a dedicated "Return Policy" tab, eBay also mentions "Money-back Guaranty" and "Return Period" to make things clear on the product page itself.
    You can further enhance the trust signals by also mentioning your physical office address in the About Us section. Doing so will let your customers feel that they are dealing with an actual person and they know where to reach in case of any issue.
    4.     Warranty information:
    Clearly mention the warranty
    information in the product descriptions. Do not forget to mention if it’s a
    store warranty or manufacturer’s warranty. You can mention warranty information anywhere in the product description, like below:
    Or even better, place the information above the fold so that it’s readily noticeable. Similar to what Walmart’s Flipkart has done with a dedicated section for warranty information:

    Avoid price bombshells

    Who doesn’t like surprises? Well, Customers? If you are planning to put your customers in shock with unexpected shipping charges and taxes. In fact, an unexpected increase in the buying cost is one of the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment.
    Online stores showcase lesser prices of products in the catalog or listing to attract users. However, the attraction turns to shock when they find the final cost much higher on the checkout page. Trust me, it's the worst you can do with your eCommerce platform.
    Here are the measures you should consider applying for strategically putting price information on your store:
    5.     Handle shipping cost wisely:
    Shipping cost is one of the most hated additional expenses by the eCommerce customers. Nobody wants to pay for the shipping when several other sites are offering it for free. 
    Is it so?
    No! Nobody offers to ship for free. They already calculate their shipping margins and include the shipping expense in the retail price. In this way, the customers get the feeling that they are not paying for the shipping, while they are actually paying for it.
    Another way could be offering multiple shipping options, where you can provide one ‘FREE’ but slow shipping mode, and another one is paid but a faster alternative. When customers see the value (faster delivery), they will hardly have an issue paying some extra amount for the shipping.
    6.     Showcase expected final cost (inclusive of taxes and shipping)
    For any reason, if you are forced to include extra cost in the product price, it's always wiser to mention the same in the product page itself. You can handle this measure strategically by following the below advice:
    Mention FREE or Paid shipping cost on the product page with an expected time of delivery- You can include the tax in the retail price itself if it's fixed. Alternatively, you must always clear if the final cost will have Tax included or excluded.
    For example, Asos delivers in multiple states of the USA.  That means,
    it cannot decide the tax upfront unless customers mention the billing and
    shipping address. Hence, the website makes it clear on the cart review page itself that the final price will have tax included. Hence, the added tax does not come as a surprise to the shoppers.

    Re-market to get them back on the site

    Re-marketing has an untapped potential to convert your abandoned carts into final customers. If done precisely, you can recover most of the potential sales in no time. However, this step requires some deep insight into customer behavior. You need a clear look into the reasons that pushed them out of the checkout funnel.
    You can use the tools like Google Analytics to track some critical metrics, session time, exit page, entry page, and bounce rate, which you can later analyze to study the user behaviors. For example-
    If the customer jumped out from the cart review page- it’s more likely that he/she found the product price costly, or the checkout form was quite lengthy. In such a situation, you can re-market with several applicable marketing tools at your disposal.
    7.     Send abandoned cart emails
    You can send mere reminders, or you can also club the reminder message with an exclusive discount to trigger a buying decision.
    8.     Trigger abandoned cart push notifications
    Convince your customers to subscribe to your push notifications. You can use these awesome marketing tools to not only send both abandoned cart notifications but also engage the customers more efficiently. Abandoned cart notifications are just one of the many applications of push notifications.
    You can program your push notification tool to trigger a real-time notification to the users as soon as the system detects an abandoned cart. It’s easier when you have an m-commerce app, however, the feature is achievable on eCommerce websites as well. You just need a supported web push notifications tool on your website.  
    Below is a web push notifications from ray ban sent to a customer who had added ‘Pale Yellow Aviator’ in the cart but left the site without completing the purchase. So the site has issued a personalized notification to the user.

    Optimize the checkout page and the process

    Most of the bounce backs from an eCommerce store occur right from the checkout funnel. There is a critical need for working on this front to curb a major proportion of cart abandonment. There is a lot you can do with your checkout page to make online shopping a pleasant experience for the customers. Here I have mentioned a few but prominent checkout
    optimizations:

    9.     Accelerate the checkout speed:
    26% of cart abandonment from checkout page occur because of a lengthy and complicated checkout process. Factors like slower page loading, complex forms, multiple page reloads, redundant form fields, etc. add up and extend the checkout process.
    Did you know a delay of one-second delay in page loading speed can cause you to lose 7% in your overall conversions? That means, if your website makes $100,000 per day, a delay of 1 second could cost your business over $2.5 million in a year. That’s huge.
    Therefore, you need to make your checkout process as quick as possible by adopting the following advice:
    Loading speed:
    Improve checkout page loading speed on mobile as well as on the desktop. You can use the tools like Google's Test My Site and
    Page Speed Insights to test your page loading speed and get suggestions to improve on the same.
    Reduce fields:
    Remove unnecessary fields and details that you don’t require from the customers. Ask only the necessary details. For example, make Telephone Number option if you are already asking for mobile number in the address form.
    Auto-fill:
    Auto-fill as many details you can fetch from the records and other sources. For example, First Name, Last Name, Gender, DOB, etc. can be fetched from the user account. However, you can also save the details of the previous shopping history and offer to auto-fill on a repeat shopping. You can also auto-fill State, City, and Nation, in the address field by simply asking the Zip Code first. 

    10.  Cut the clutter to make transactions easy: 
    The more clicks and steps you put between the customer and the final order, the more is the chance for customer jumping off the funnel. Additional steps do not only clutter the checkout process but also create negative impressions, which influences a customer’s future buying intent from you.
    So keep things as simple as possible and reduce the number of steps and clicks the minimum level using the following advice:

    Guest Checkout: Offer guest checkout as an option to all those customers who do not want to create an account to complete the order. They should be allowed to
    checkout by simply providing their email addresses and delivery details.
    Social login: Offer social media login for those customers who do not want to create an account manually but are ready to share their social media accounts data as a quick option. 
    Showcase accepted payment methods: Showcase all accepted payment methods before the actual checkout page so that users are readily informed if their preferred payment is accepted on the site. This will save a lot of time and efforts of the customers.
    A perfect implementation of all three measures is seen by Asos in this regard. They showcase accepted payment options before the checkout page in the cart review section, sign up section, and also on the website footer-
    They offer both regular sign-up and sign-in options in addition to social media login + Guest Checkout option.
    Hope this article was able to give some useful ideas for reducing the cart abandonment and maximizing overall conversion rates. However, these are not the only ways to overcoming abandonment issues on your eCommerce store. There could be several other optimizations you can adopt. If you are already using any such idea that can help our reader's deal with cart abandonment rate on their stores and boost user experiences, you are more than just welcomed to share in the comments.

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