Abandoned carts are a huge problem. Experts have conducted hundreds of studies in the last ten years, most of which place the average cart abandonment rate at 60-80%. That means that only one in four customers who select an item will end up buying it. Whilst it may not be possible to reduce and recover all of your lost sales, finding a cart abandonment strategy is a cheap and efficient way to boost your revenue. In fact, it is the most cost-effective form of digital marketing.
How to Reduce Your Cart Abandonment Rate in 5 Steps
- Unpack the Shopping Cart Sucker-Punch
- Make Your Checkout Wider
- Neutralise Distractions and Address Doubts
- Create an Emotional Connection
- Apply The Talking Cure
The plight of the abandoned cart is partly due to how people shop online. The number of different options people explore before making a purchase has risen sharply in the past decade. Most online shoppers abandon at least £30 of items each month.
Despite this trend, there are some simple things you can do to increase conversions and reduce your cart abandonment rate.
1. Unpack The Shopping Cart Sucker-Punch
How much are your customers being charged for shipping and tax? One of the main reasons for cart abandonment is shipping costs. If your customers are paying £20 for a T-shirt, they’re unlikely to then add £8 for shipping.
And, if they clicked on an item that looked like a bargain, adding VAT later will break their heart! Breaking someone’s trust is much more of a problem than showing the full cost. One of the best ways to reduce shipping-cost related abandonment is to show your customers the full price, and ho it breaks down, before they get to the Shopping Cart.
There are a few more things you can do immediately:
- Add an order target and throw-in free shipping
- Include part of the shipping cost within the item price (£24 for a T-shirt and £4 for shipping is a much more acceptable proposition)
An advanced option is to identify your visitor’s location and then offer location-specific delivery information. Luxury brands use this strategy to reduce their cart abandonment rate.
By automatically configuring the user’s location, Jimmy Choo avoids unnecessary pain at the checkout.
An easy way to make use of your user’s location is to use Google Tag Manager to set up a location-based cookie and then apply dynamic text to your page.
2. Make Your Cart Wider to Reduce Friction
The design of Checkout Pages is another common reason for cart abandonment. In fact, there are plenty of case studies showing how large eCommerce companies can increase conversion rates by around 30% simply by optimising their checkout.
The best policy is a test-and-learn approach to optimising your pages. However, there are some principles that seem to hold true:
- Requiring fewer fields is usually better
- A simple interface reduces anxiety
- Trust signs are essential (including an SSL certificate)
- Progress bars, summaries and field anchors make a page easier to use
Doubt, confusion and difficulty are all forms of “Friction“, the resistance that prevents customers from completing a process. When a user is presented with one of these kinds of obstacle, they will often simply give up.
By splitting the payment process into three sections and highlighting key elements with colour, this checkout page creates very little friction. The sleek design and minimal copy mean a user spends almost no time reading and understanding the page.
This page is impressively simple, and it includes a progress bar at the top to encourage users to complete the process. The buttons at the bottom of the form prime a user with a feeling of security two stages before their credit card information is requested.
3. Neutralise Distractions and Address Doubts
The internet is a world of seemingly infinite options. In these circumstances, it’s hard to commit to a single option. However, if you can stop people from wondering what else is available, or worrying about a small feature, you can cut down your cart abandonment rate, fast.
There are a few easy ways to address any doubts your customers have. This process starts from the first interaction you have with a customer…
- Offer generous warranties and highlight your returns policy
- Show customer ratings, reviews and testimonials
- Use surveys to identify what your customers want, then explain how you can give it to them
This product page might not be beautiful, but it shows a customer everything they might want to know about the product. It also displays an impressive number of reviews and endorsements, so a customer knows they can trust the seller.
Whilst you can’t completely remove the distraction that comes with limitless choice, you can reduce it by displaying the right information.
- Create a price match policy and display it clearly
- Collect endorsements that show your products are best-in-class
- Add a time condition to your offers to create urgency
The distracting feeling that there might be a cheaper deal available elsewhere is particularly damaging for luxury brands and high-end stores. Creating a price match policy is an easy way to reduce the cart abandonment rate for a premium retailer.
Booking websites rely on customers taking action early. To encourage people to book, these websites display messages highlighting how quick the process is and the limited availability of their offer.
4. Use Psychology To Avoid Abandonment
There are a number of simple psychological effects that make a customer feel attached to a particular item. By engineering your sales process to encourage this connection, you can reduce your cart abandonment rate more effectively.
Psychologists have suggested that the experience of losing something is about twice as intense as the experience of gaining the same amount. This is one reason why so many products come with a free trial. Having to give something up, when the trial ends, feels more significant than the possibility of gaining something for the same price.
…how can you use this in order to reduce your cart abandonment rate
Even the language you use can make customers feel like they own your products. Instead of describing “some oranges” or just “shopping cart”, describing them as “your oranges” and “your cart” so that customers feel an emotional connection.
People gravitate to information that is “salient” (things that apply to them and their situation). For example, viewers often prefer to watch local news, even though the stories may not affect them any more than national news.
…how does this help you to reduce your cart abandonment rate?
Personalising the customer experience is a powerful way to enhance your users’ emotions. You can do this in a number of ways…
The simplest is by providing product recommendations ‘people who bought this also bought…’ or ‘things you might like…’ Store owners using an eCommerce platform like Shopify can easily add these kinds of recommendations to their site with a plugin.
However, as soon as you have a customer profile and some browsing data, you can be much more creative. Retargeting emails and push notifications can be tailored to your users’ preferences in a way that earns their trust.
5. Apply The Talking Cure
The best way to keep consumers engaged is to get them chatting. A good salesperson doesn’t rush in too soon; they begin by asking you how your day is going. Perhaps the most effective way to reduce your cart abandonment rate is to make your checkout part of a conversation.
Starting the conversation is the hardest part of the sales process but it is also the most important, and that’s is a problem for online stores. Very few of them have the gift of the gab…
When a website does have a conversational style, it becomes a powerful disruptor. The way that Innocent speaks to users is so unique that the brand is easily recognised from the words alone. Rather than filling the homepage with sales copy, Innocent focuses on tone of voice. By the time someone thinks about buying one of their smoothies, they have developed an emotional connection with the brand.
However, this kind of branding is not right for every product because it doesn’t appeal to every type of customer. So, why not start a real conversation with your customers? With so many industries going all-in for live chat, it seems like a no-brainer for eCommerce businesses to provide on-page assistance.
The problem with live chat is that you need a staff-member on-call to answer questions. So, if you want to create a conversation without hiring support staff, you need to automate the experience with an app or a plugin. Which leads us to the final, easiest step…
Reduce Your Cart Abandonment Rate With Web Notifications
Web notifications allow you to start a conversation with your customers. Unlike with static text, animated messages make a more living, breathing impression. By setting up a sequence of notifications, you can prevent the shopping cart sucker-punch from harming your sales figures, improve the flow of your online forms and address any doubts your customers might have.