Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site.
Are you looking for a way to secure more sales and build customer loyalty? If so, you’re in the right place.
One of the biggest sales-related issues business owners and marketers experience is cart abandonment. Essentially, cart abandonment is when a customer adds a product to their cart but leaves your website before they complete their order.
This issue is more widespread than you might think. On desktop computers, the average abandonment rate is 67.1%. The truly shocking number is on mobile devices, where 77.8% of people will leave a website before placing their order.
Ideally, you want to keep as many people engaged with your brand as possible, which will lead to a lower abandonment rate. But it’s not always easy to know where to start.
Today, we will explore several strategies you can use to convince consumers to stick around and become loyal customers.
Let’s talk about how to prevent users from leaving in the first place. Every customer that places an order with your company will need to navigate your checkout page. If the process is slow, long, or clunky, there’s a good chance you’ll lose a majority of people that would otherwise buy your product or service.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to fine-tune your checkout process and keep people on your site.
We suggest you start by optimizing your forms. Consumers are not fans of filling out an endless form so they can complete a purchase. Encourage users to create an account and then use that information to autofill the payment page at checkout. This one simple tip will result in more people completing their order, especially when you consider that most people will want to make an account before buying something.
If you still need to gather information, break your form into multiple parts with a progress bar. A visual representation of the process could encourage potential customers to stick around, especially if they are close to the end.
You should also optimize the performance of your checkout page and website as a whole. A slow site is one of the fastest ways to lose visitors. In fact, a 1-second delay in loading times could result in a 7% loss in conversions.
We are going to stay on the topic of reducing abandonment by making sure prospects don’t leave before making their purchase. Social proof in marketing is a strategy that involves showing users that your brand is reputable and worth their time.
The most common type of social proof is customer reviews. You may be surprised to learn that 72% of consumers will not take action on a website until they read customer reviews. Instead of allowing people to look for user feedback off-site, you can encourage them to stay by showcasing social proof on key parts of your website.
For instance, you could simply add an option for customers to leave reviews on your product page. If someone is thinking about buying your product, they can see what kind of experience others had before adding an item to their cart. Consequently, people who do add things to their shopping cart are likely to complete their orders.
You can also include testimonials from satisfied users on your payment page. Imagine someone is getting ready to complete their order but starts having second doubts. When they look over and see other people talking about how your product or service helped them, they are more likely to go with their instincts and finalize their purchase.
It’s also possible to build social proof by including trust badges on your forms. Signals from popular security companies like Norton and McAfee will undoubtedly lead to more people trust your brand, which translates to profits, traffic, and engagement.
Next, let’s talk about a couple of ways you can bring users back to your website after abandoning their shopping cart. Retargeting ads are a useful tool that allows you to reach out to people who decided to leave without buying something from your site.
The most common place to find retargeting ads is on social media websites. Here’s how it works -- a user lands on your site, browses the product catalog, and even adds a few products to their cart. They decide to leave for whatever reason. Because they didn’t complete their order, a retargeting pixel, or cookie, is dropped on their web browser.
When this person is browsing social media or other websites, there’s a good chance they will see an advertisement for your product. You can tweak retargeting settings so consumers can see promotions for the items they added to their cart.
If someone decided to wait because the price was too high, a 30% discount could be the incentive they need to come back and checkout.
You have an excellent chance of reaching users with this strategy. Consider this; a whopping 3.96 billion people use social media. If someone abandons their shopping cart, you can bet that they have an account on a social site like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
The last tip we have for you today is to create subscription-based communication channels and encourage users to sign up. Ideally, you should have multiple subscription platforms if you want to reach as many users as possible.
Our most popular channel is email. We ask users who browse our blog or add items to their cart to subscribe to our email list. Odds are, if someone is so intrigued that they browse multiple product pages, they will sign up for emails from our business.
Add in the fact that email marketing has a return on investment of 4,400%, and it’s easy to see the customer retention value of this strategy. There are plenty of opportunities to increase your sales and customer loyalty through email. Along the way, you’ll find that it’s also a helpful strategy for reducing abandonment.
For instance, if a user signs up, adds an item to their cart, and then leaves without completing their order, you can bring them back through email. A simple reminder can go a long way towards lowering your abandonment rate.
We suggest taking it a step further and adding elements of personalization in your emails. You could include the products they added to their cart and a special promotion that they can redeem by clicking an included call-to-action.
Push notifications and SMS marketing are also effective subscription models you can use to reach your audience. Similar to email, you can send out a reminder when someone abandons their shopping cart. Research shows that, on average, push notifications result in over 13% of customers coming back to complete their order.
There’s no doubt that some people will leave without completing their order and never come back. Instead of letting this discourage you, remember that you can bring a significant portion of users back to your website and get them engaged with your brand.
Use the tips we’ve outlined today to develop a retention strategy. When you’re first getting started, you may want to A/B test some of your messages so you can dramatically reduce your cart abandonment rate while maximizing sales.
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