It’s the $4 trillion dollar question. What can I do to prevent cart abandonment? According to the Baymard Institute the rate of documented cart abandonment; where people add items to their cart but never check out is 68.07%. Cart abandonment represents a huge opportunity to online retailers, approximately US$4 trillion in sales globally.
Research from BI Intelligence indicates that approximately 63% of abandoned carts are potentially recoverable through intelligent web design and marketing strategies. Here we look at what you can do to reduce cart abandonment and increase revenues.
1. BE UPFRONT ABOUT FEES
Research from Statista finds that approximately 56% of customers abandon shopping carts because of hidden fees like taxes or additional charges for certain items. To fix this, display shipping fees on your home page, as a pop up (Juicy Couture get it right) or have ‘shipping’ information easily accessed from the menu so customers can work out shipping costs. If your store is dealing with different tax rates, one way to eliminate hidden fees is to add a tax calculator to the shopping cart so customers know up front what their order total will be.
2. OFFER FREE SHIPPING, IF YOU CAN
According to Accent, 88% of consumers would be more likely to shop with an online retailer if they were offered free shipping. Research by the Boston Consulting Group found that 74% of consumers view free shipping as a factor that would improve their online shopping experience. So in other words, offering free shipping is correlated with the perception of superior customer service. If you do offer free shipping, clearly communicate this on your website.
Offering shipping options with the free variant being one gives customers a choice of paying, or not. Indicate expected delivery times with shipping costs, as some customers may choose paid options to get their order quicker which reduces your costs. Urban Outfitters do this well.
3. OFFER MULTIPLE PAYENT OPTIONS
The last thing you want is to get a customer to the payment stage, and then not accept their preferred payment method. Consider adding alternative payment methods like PayPal and American Express. PayPal accounts for 18% of total ecommerce payments with US$315.3 million transacted everyday and with 106 million accounts worldwide.
4. OTPIMISE YOUR WEBSITE FOR USER EXPERIENCE
How easy is it for customers to navigate your website? Approximately 25% of customers will abandon their carts if your website offers a poor shopping experience due to poor user experience. Mobile shopping is up 27% on last year, accounting for 22% of all online sales according to IBM’s Digital Analytics so if your website isn’t optimized for mobile, make it a priotrity for 2015.
5. CONVEY TRUST AND CREDIBILITY
6. OFFER GUEST CHECKOUT
Collecting client details is obviously useful however most people just want to complete their purchase as quickly as possible, which does not include filling out long registration forms. By forcing customers to create an account you will see a higher level of cart abandonment. By providing a guest checkout option, you remove this barrier.
7. PROVIDE CUSTOMERS WITH THE INFORMATION THEY NEED TO MAKE A PURCHASE
To get customers to checkout, you need to reduce purchase uncertainty. Having professional product photography is a must along with adequate product information. If possible also include customer reviews, which impacts 90% of consumers purchase decisions.
8. PROVIDE A PROGRESS BAR FOR YOUR CHECKOUT PROCESS
Some checkouts are simple one step wonders, others require multiple steps but whatever yours is, let customers know by implementing a progress bar.
9. OFFER SUPPORT
A study from Forrester found that 57% of online shoppers are very likely to abandon their purchase if their questions are not answered quickly. For 44% of consumers, online assistance is crucial during online browsing so provide a telephone number and/or online chat functionality on your website. This is really about providing exceptional customer service that will lead to repeat purchases.
10. USE AUTOMATED EMAIL REMINDERS
Shopify introduced Abandoned Cart Recovery emails back in 2013. Here are some stats on the carts that were saved over 12 months.
- $12.9 million in products and services checked out
- 6% recovery rate (although some retailers use third party apps for this so the rate of recovered carts would be much higher than 3.6%)
- Retailers can choose to send out recovery emails either 6 or 12 hours after abandonment, the 6 hour emails have a higher recovery rate of 4% compared to the 12 hour emails of 3%
Integrate an email retargeting campaign and get some of your abandoned carts to checkout.