Losing a customer late in the shopping cycle can be frustrating. Customers have gone through the full call-to-action process, filled their carts and are all set to check out, and then they vanish, leaving you asking yourself what went wrong.
Is there confusion about next steps? Did something on the page spook them? Did they lack confidence in the site’s security, or did they feel like you were asking for too much information?
To find out, 14 members from YEC share how to decrease online shopping cart abandonment late in the purchase cycle. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Set Shopper Expectations Early in the Purchase Cycle
A shopper cares about what they are buying, how much they are spending, how long it’ll take to get the product, how safe they are and what information they need to disclose. Make the process as frictionless and informative as possible. For example, don’t surprise them with shipping costs, out-of-stock items and forced account creation late in the process. It dramatically increases abandonment.
2. Focus on Performance
Slow shopping carts lead to cart abandonment, and that goes double for mobile. Before you start split testing and tweaking your shopping cart experience, get the fundamentals right: Make sure the back-end and front-end performance is where it should be.
3. Use Social Sign-Ons
Registration is a valuable source of data for e-commerce retailers, but the registration process is a major cause of abandoned shopping carts. No one likes being asked to fill out forms, especially on mobile. Social sign-in services like Facebook Login allow users to steam through the registration process and provides retailers with a valid identity and useful data.
4. Look Professional
Would you buy (insert any name) product/service from someone who looked like they had just crawled out of a sewer? Likewise, I’ve personally bailed on many websites because their checkout forms or processes just looked sketchy, which raised questions about security and reliability, etc. So if you want to close sales, your checkout form has to instill confidence, and looks play an important part in doing that.
5. Clearly Communicate Shipping Costs
People abandon their carts when there are surprises. One surprise commonly found in shopping carts? Unexpected shipping costs. Amazon does an extraordinary job of clearly communicating shipping costs throughout the customer shopping experience. E-commerce store owners should take note, and attempt to show customers what their final cost will be before reaching a cart page.
6. Use Cart Abandonment Popup and Recovery Emails
A cart abandonment popup, combined with a recovery email system, can significantly reduce your shopping cart abandonment late in the purchase cycle. This technique is proven to work and can significantly add to the bottom line of any e-commerce business. We use it on all of our e-commerce properties.
7. Have an Autofill Form
People hate re-entering their information, so having an autofill form for them helps keep them there to finish. Integrate with Google and other technology so you can opt for that type of information storage and auto-entry when they are a new customer.
8. Don’t Offer a Coupon Field
We have found that a lot of our cart abandonments happen because customers go looking for coupons. This was a result of us prominently displaying a coupon field in our checkout. Because our customers realized that there must be a coupon in existence, they dropped their carts in search of coupons online. As soon as we removed our coupon field (and coupons altogether) we saw a drop in abandonments.
9. Have a Live Chat to Answer Immediate Questions
If a customer is on the cart page and sees something they have a question about, such as higher prices or shipping, they will likely be frustrated. If there is a live chat customer service agent available to answer their questions, they are much more likely to complete the checkout. There is a reason retail stores have people there to help you. Why should an online store be any different?
10. Don’t Ask for Too Much Information
While more information is always nicer to have than less, it’s not always worth the risk of losing customers. Adding unnecessary form fields in the final moments of checkout is a great way to make a customer stop and think about what they’re doing or second-guess handing their information to you. Take only what information you need and explain why you need it.
11. Address Areas of Concern
Add some promise details to ensure customers feel comfortable with the purchase. This can be elements like your return policy, a badge stating you have a secure site, price guarantees, etc. Addressing potential areas of hesitation will help the user feel confident with the order, especially if they have never worked with you previously.
12. Streamline Your Checkout Process
Your checkout page should be just that: one page with only the necessary form fields. For physical storefronts, the age-old business practice was to make paying the easiest part of the shopping process — customers should be able to pay quickly and without a hint of a hindrance. Online shopping should be equally streamlined, as people should be able to make a purchase with as little effort as possible.
13. Offer Multiple Payment Options
It is important to offer multiple payment options so that your customers have the flexibility of choosing how they pay. Offering multiple payment options minimizes a key reason a customer will abandon their online shopping cart. A single pay option will not only turn off customers but push them toward the competition. Customers are less inclined to make a purchase when they have limited options.
14. Don’t Force Commitment
Allow the shopper to edit the shopping bag or cart as much as they like until they’re officially ready to check out. A favorite online shoe retailer of mine actually allows online shoppers to “save” their shopping bag for later, in case shoppers have to leave the site. It’s exclusive to shoppers that are logged in, and when something in your bag is in limited supply, you receive a notification.
Many businesses and brands are focusing their efforts on new ways to market their sales and increase online sales. However, if they were to simply spend more time on their shopping cart conversions and lowering their abandonment rate, they could be seeing a massive swing in conversions and profits. Implement as many of the shopping cart recommendations above into your existing ecommerce site and don’t forget to split test your results to see what improvements have been made.
To see more expert roundups like this one, be sure to view our previous articles on the next big trends in digital marketing and how to increase your site traffic on a small budget.
My name is Zac Johnson and I have been an online entrepreneur for the past 18 years and blogger since 2007. This is my personal blog and I welcome you to the site. In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website.
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