Are you tired and disheartened because your ecommerce site visitors keep abandoning your shopping cart? Would you like to know how to reduce shopping cart abandonment on your ecommerce site?
Let me give you an example of how your site experience and design makes a huge difference to your purchase.
I recently went to the BookMyShow site to purchase tickets to Mumbai Comic Con. When I clicked on the ticket I wanted to purchase, this is what I saw. There was no Buy Button or Call To Action that tells me how to enter the tickets into my shopping cart.
Only after I had called into their support center (again, not an easy process) did I realize I had to click on the numbers to order. This is hardly an intuitive user interface.
If you do not have a buy button in your shopping cart, it’s just going to end up frustrating a large percentage of your shoppers. And if I was not so determined to purchase that ticket to Comic Con, I would have given up at this step and never called support.
According to the Baymard Institute, 68.53% is the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate. There are four main reasons customers abandon their carts, says the UserTesting.com report, Why Your Customers Abandon Their Carts.
- Difficulty with the checkout process
- Shipping Surprises
- Lack of trust
- User distraction
Here’s the list of 17 best practices for reducing shopping cart abandonment
1. Test your design and user interface
The way to build trust and rapport with your customers is by giving them a great experience on your site, says the UserTesting.com report. A badly designed website can turn away even the most determined shopper.
Make sure your site loads fast and that your user interface is intuitive and easy to use. As in the example above, a shopping cart that is not intuitive and does not have a clear Call To Action, is going to frustrate your shoppers.
Remember, unless you’re the only one selling that product, your competition is just a click away.
2. Create a mobile app from the ground up
In this day and age, not offering your mobile app users an optimal shopping experience is just a disaster. If you have an app that your customers can download to shop, make sure you use large and easy-to-click Call to Action buttons in your app.
In their report, Why Mobile Doesn’t Convert, and How to Fix It, UserTesting.com recommends that you do not create a single master site design for desktops and then use responsive design to adapt it to mobile. Conversion will be higher when the shopping process on mobile is rethought and tested from the bottom up, before a site design is locked in.
3. Create an omni-channel experience
Monetate reports that conversion on personal computer websites is three times the rate on smartphones. UserTesting.com also notes that ecommerce conversions are lower on mobile devices than on personal computers.
Smartphones have the lowest conversion, but the conversion rate on tablets is also lower than that of computers. Their research shows that the best results happen when a site or app adapts to where the user is in the decision process.
A lot of shoppers browse on apps, but prefer to complete their purchase on the desktop website. (I personally prefer to do that because I do not want my credit card or bank information stored on my mobile device. I’m sure there are many shoppers who feel the same way).
The best way to get around this is to create an omni-channel experience for your shoppers. Allow them to browse and store their purchases on the app and then complete the purchase on their desktop device, where they may be more comfortable with the checkout process. Omni-channel has helped us a lot in reducing shopping cart abandonment rates. You should definitely plan to implement it.
4. Make your checkout process a breeze
Make the checkout process as easy as possible by enabling guest checkout. That way your customers can breeze through the checkout process by entering only their shipping and billing address, says UserTesting.com. Also allow them to register using social media accounts.
In your user interface, offer clear indicators of your shopper’s progress, and backlinks in case they want to retrace their steps and add more products.
Allow them to edit their cart easily, selectively increase or decrease the number of products, and add or delete products right in the shopping cart, instead of having to start a new order.
5. Prefill promo codes
Make it easy to enter promo codes by pre-filling the form fields with the promo code applicable to their purchase. Allow them to click on a link, right in your ad or email, that pre-fills the promo codes into their shopping cart. That way they won’t have to go back and search through the site for the promo codes they wanted to use.
6. Offer all popular payment options
Many customers are reluctant to enter credit card information into a shopping cart that they have never used before. Make sure your shopping cart software offers all the popular payment options, including Paypal and Google Wallet. Don’t force customers to enter their credit card data, if they don’t want to.
7. State shipping prices clearly
56 percent of consumers drop out of the checkout process when presented with unexpected costs as the image below shows.
UserTesting.com also found that high shipping costs and prolonged delivery times are two of the most common reasons shoppers abandon their carts.
Allowing customers to calculate their shipping costs earlier in the purchase process can ensure a more satisfactory checkout.
8. Free shipping rocks
Offering free shipping for a minimum purchase price is one of the best incentives you can give your customers. Let them know, during the shopping process, how much more they need to add on to their order to qualify for free shipping.
9. Delivery tracking
Give your customers a realistic estimate of their delivery time and make sure you deliver on time. Implementing delivery tracking codes is a good way to do this.
10. Display trust badges prominently
In my last article, 20 Ways To Make Your Website Trustworthy To Your Visitors, I offered a number of ways to boost your visitor’s trust in your website.
Since your website is collecting your customer’s private data, let them know that you can be trusted with their personal information by purchasing a TRUSTed Websites Privacy Certification or a Thawte® Trusted Site Seal. Display your certification prominently on your order pages.
11. Provide chat support
I also recommend providing chat support to respond to customer queries during the purchase process, and ensure that you do not lose orders. You can use a plugin such as Zopim, WP Live Chat Support or WordPress Live Chat Plugin to achieve this.
12. Display reviews and testimonials
Including product reviews and testimonials is another way to boost trust with your shoppers. Most customers would like to see reviews on a site’s product pages, says the UserTesting.com report.
See how Amazon.com promotes upsells and encourages impulse purchases by displaying related products to shoppers.
You can increase your shopper’s purchase price by doing the same. Just make sure you don’t overdo this, so your customers don’t feel like you’re shoving more products down their throat.
Amazon.com presents the offer in an unobtrusive way, right on the product page, which is the best time to get them to buy more than they intended to.
14. Use exit intent popups
Use an exit-intent popup WordPress plugin, like WP Exit Popup, if a user is about to exit your site before completing their purchase. Prompt and encourage your customers to go back to the shopping cart page, so that they can continue from where they left off.
You can also display a special coupon code in the popup for those visitors about to abandon your cart. The number of times the coupon code was used will tell you how many times the exit intent popup worked to keep a customer on your site.
15. Use abandoned cart emails
99% of all new visitors won’t buy on their first visit. It actually takes multiple visits and even multiple abandonments to complete the order, says Heidi Pungartnik in the post here.
Since there’s little you can do as a retailer to fix issues of shopping cart abandonment that originate from the customer’s end, abandoned cart emails are the single most effective counter-measure you can take to combat these issues, says this post on Hubspot. They don’t help you in reducing shopping cart abandonment rate but certainly get the users attention once he/she has left something in the cart.
Hubspot suggests that you capture the customer’s email address as early as possible, so you can reach out to them no matter how far down the ordering “funnel” they get.
To send out abandoned cart emails, you can use a service like GhostMonitor that detects when a customer abandons their cart, and immediately sends them an email inviting them to complete their purchase, while it’s still fresh in their mind. Firecart also does something similar while offering a lot more features.
16. Use retargeting + discounts
Use Facebook or Google’s retargeting ads to offer discounts only to those people who abandoned their shopping carts. According to the VWO eCommerce Survey 2014, “54% of shoppers will purchase the products left in their carts if offered again at a discounted price.”
17. Test and track
Test and track how every element of your site performs in the shopping process. Get a few friends to go through your site and actually make purchases, so they can spot any bottlenecks or errors that would increase your shopping cart abandonment rate.
Use Google Analytics to track your buyer’s path through your ecommerce site to see which pages are causing the most abandons.
All the above practices are going to help in reducing shopping cart abandonment on your ecommerce site if you implement them properly. If you have any other suggestions or tips or strategies that you applied to reduce abandonment, then please share them with us in the comments section.