There are few things that seem like bigger lost opportunities for site owners due to shopping cart abandonment.
The same goes for most shoppers who would prefer to not abandon their cart when they get that far into the purchasing decision mode.
We work hard using search marketing and other marketing strategies and tactics to drive traffic to our ecommerce websites.
While marketing often focuses on getting the web visitor, we’re often held to the standard of what that traffic did after it landed on the site.
I have recently written about the aspects of user behavior including what to look at and the tools to measure it.
Going a step further, I have outlined the six specific ways to increase ecommerce conversions by reducing shopping cart abandonment.
1. Understand & Use the Best Technology Possible
Technology is always the first factor I consider when working on reducing cart abandonment.
There are a lot of different ecommerce platforms and with respective strengths and weaknesses.
Some are more customizable and are easy to configure.
Others require a developer and going outside of the template or typical setup.
If you have a slow site, one that has a restrictive shopping cart process, or holds you back from mitigating factors that can cause abandonment, you need to keep that in mind as you move forward through the specific ways to follow.
2. Be Consistent with Pricing & Costs
Communicating pricing early and often helps keep customers in their carts and moving through the process.
The earliest you can show the subtotal and total with all fees like tax and shipping included, the better.
It isn’t always possible to show the all-in costs prior to someone logging in or at least giving us their shipping address.
However, there are ways to keep the price and cart contents at the forefront.
Whether it is putting the details in a sidebar, at the top of the screen, or in another conspicuous place, you can keep the mystery out of the customer’s mind.
Also, if you are heavily promoting a promo code that isn’t exclusive to a subset of customers, go ahead and preload it in the field or highlight it prominently.
Sure, we want all the regular price orders we can get.
However, the last thing you want is your customer leaving to go find it on a third-party coupon site or to go check out the competition.
Fanatics.com does a great job of promoting the current coupon code or offer and even making it easy to simply “apply” it to your order.
The more mystery, distractions, or reasons to leave your site during the checkout process, the more risk you have in losing people and experiencing abandoned carts.
3. Making Shipping Options & Costs Clear & Simple
Shipping can be really complicated.
In most cases, retailers want to simply break even on it and not have it add too much to the total making it a deterrent for your customer, but to also not give it away unless there’s profit margin to do so.
While Amazon has trained customers to want or sometimes expect free shipping, in the cases where our stores and operations require it, we can take steps to keep people from bailing based on it.
As early as you can reasonably and accurately display shipping policies, free-shipping tiers, or any flat-rate offers, do it.
If you can promote it before the shopping cart, you can set a clear expectation before customers get deep into the checkout process.
If you have to calculate shipping custom to the items in the cart and location of the customer, find a way to factor in an estimate or communicate how it works in advance or build the shipping part into the first part of the checkout process.
The ultimate goal with shipping is to be as upfront and simple as possible.
If it isn’t easy to understand, you’ll lose a lot of customers who think it is too high or that they aren’t getting a good enough detail simply based on too many options and ways to think about it.
4. Streamline & Optimize Form Fields
Do you need a salutation or surname? Is a birthday required?
To reduce cart abandonment, focus on capturing just what you need to facilitate the order and transaction.
Make it clear what is required and how many – or better, how few – steps are required from when they view cart to seeing a confirmation page.
Form fields and pages of forms can be killers in the checkout funnel.
I recommend using a tool like Lucky Orange to closely monitor what field is causing the most abandonment and to see how long users are taking to complete forms and specific fields.
You can even watch specific recorded sessions to detect individual issues.
When it comes to getting all the great CRM data and account information, rely on follow-ups.
You at least collected their email address and email automation platforms like Klaviyo are easy to set up, affordable, and can do a number of things for you like following up to get customers to come back and give us more info.
5. Offer Convenient, Inline Customer Service Options
Most people don’t like to read.
And, even if they didn’t need to and we had the most basic and simple checkout process there was, we’re still going to have customers who will have challenges with our carts.
I mean this with respect and in the nicest possible way.
But it is reality.
We don’t always get second chances with customers if they leave their carts.
Thus, if they get stuck, we want to meet them right where they are.
If you can pop-up some FAQ or helpful tips, that’s a great start.
You can reduce abandonment by:
- Being mindful of mobile users.
- Having click-to-call, live chat, and other inline helpful customer service options in the flow of the checkout process.
Please also don’t make customers have to re-enter order or cart details.
Use technology to know what’s in their cart and who they are based on their session or other technology.
6. Offer Guarantees
Messaging and policies can go a long way in keeping people in the cart.
If you have a generous return policy or price matching program, you can reduce the temptation to put something in the cart and then leave the site to go back to Google to check out competitor offers.
If you’re willing to give assurances based on price, quality, or how you’ll support the customer after the sale, then you’ll retain more people who know they can come back later for a price match versus having to do their homework checking out all of your competitors before you get the sale.
When you do have an abandoned cart, you haven’t lost the order.
There are plenty of great tools and resources for getting people to come back to their carts.
My favorite duo is using automated email platforms like Klaviyo plus using remarketing through Google Ads and other networks.
Through attention to detail and data that can help us in the six steps outlined, we can work to measure the impact and continuously refine to reduce shopping cart abandonment.
Removing as many barriers as possible and putting the user first seem obvious, but with our website technologies and specific data we want to collect can sometimes over-complicate the process.