9 Steps to Reduce Ecommerce Cart Abandonment

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Posted by Paul

Just like shopping in real life, as buyers, we shortlist items to be purchased and put in our trolley. But just like that, we get distracted by some offer or scheme and abandon those items in our cart. The same happens with online shopping, and more than being a lost opportunity for business owners, it is downright frustrating.

Photo credit: Rostyslav Savchyn

With the ecommerce industry becoming exceedingly competitive, it becomes vital to attract and satisfy customers. While it is gratifying to see people visiting your digital store is equally disheartening to see them leave without checking out the items they added to their cart. The reasons are as varied as the customers themselves. If this problem is not addressed duly and at the right time, it could lead to disastrous results.

Approximately 36% leave because they find a better deal or the same product at a lower price somewhere else doing some comparison shopping.

Before we get to the solution to this grappling issue, let us first understand why customers abandon their cart before checking out in the first place.

Why Are the Customers Leaving?

Even though customers can be categorised into numerous segments based on age, sex, demographics, or habits, their reason to abandon the cart before check out broadly remains the same. Here are the primary reasons, according to a study by Statista.

Around 56% of consumers leave when they learn about extra or additional costs such as shipping charges, handling costs, taxes, or transport charges.

37% have no intention of buying whatsoever and are just browsing through the collections.

Approximately 36% leave because they find a better deal or the same product at a lower price somewhere else doing some comparison shopping.

25% left because they found it challenging to navigate and make their way around the website. This can be an incredibly frustrating experience for a customer. This can be further frustrating if the checkout process is long and complicated.

Finally, 17% did not check out their carts because they had severe doubts about the shopping website's safety and security.

In essence, the customer is not confident and is not getting the experience they're expecting; hence, they'll usually not complete or proceed to checkout the items in the cart.

Now that you know why your potential customers are leaving without completing the checkout process. Let's explore the options you can employ to stop the damaging effects of shopping cart abandonment.

Here are 9 proven steps to decrease digital shopping cart abandonment:

1. Establish and Build Trust

Anyone shopping online puts a fair amount of trust in the e-retailer when or even before making a purchase online. And why not! The customer is about to hand over their valuable credentials to you to make the purchase. Be it bank details or credit card information; these are highly personal and vulnerable information. This could be uncomfortable for many individuals, especially those who are visiting you for the first time. There is always a looming threat of financial fraud or a data breach that could drive away customers from completing the transaction.

Make sure you buy an SSL certificate. Installing the certificate will encrypt all communications taking place between client and browser server, thereby eliminating the possibility of hackers sniffing your customers' PII (Personally Identifiable Information) such as credit card, debit card credentials. A COMODO SSL certificate is one of the most popular certificate authorities in the world.

2. Have Product Thumbnails for the Checkout Process

Having a thumbnail of what they've liked and shortlisted reassures the customers that they're not being scammed. It shows that they're in control and reinforces that the website is not trying to cut corners by adding items without their consent.

Additionally, they get a preview of the purchase and know that the same product would reflect when they're checking out. This also keeps the product on top of their mind and subconsciously active.

3. Efficient and Easy to Navigate Checkout Process

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Efficiency and ease are the primary reasons why customers prefer to shop online. But if you have a long, complicated and confusing checkout process, it can turn your customers off, and they would leave without completing the sale. The more clicks and navigation they have to go through, the more likely they're to leave without finalising the purchase. Get to the checkout with ease and with minimal clicks. Ensure your site is simple and easy to navigate by presenting your audience with well-defined categories to choose from.

Another alternative that you can consider is offering your customers a "Checkout as guest" option. This allows customers to directly checkout their items without registering on the website. Sure it would mean one less registration, but it also results in a guaranteed sale. So try and optimise your checkout by streamlining the process.

4. Avoid Unexpected Shipping/Handling Costs

Imagine finding just the right product you're looking for at just the right price, only to be shocked to find the price hiked at the time of checkout. The hidden costs such as shipping or handling added at the time of checkout are a huge buzzkill.

In case there are unavoidable charges or expenses, make sure to mention it clearly at the product window itself so that the customer is aware of the extra charges beforehand and don't get a shock at the inflated price they see at checkout.

5. Offer Multiple Payment Options

Ease is what all your online shopping aspects should focus on. We already discussed having an efficient and easy navigation process earlier; the same applies to ease of payment when shopping online. Your customers would generally complete a transaction using a payment method that's most convenient for them. There might be some shoppers who would be ok with choosing the default payment options available to them.

However, many customers have specific payment preferences like Google Pay, PayPal, or pay on delivery. If they don't find their payment preference at checkout, it will result in them giving up the item and leaving your website for your competitors.

6. Optimise Your App and Website Speed

The fact of the matter is that people shop online because it's quick and handy. As soon as your customers start waiting for transactions to go through or it takes ages for your website or app to load, they'll lose interest and leave! It's the digital age, and people are not patient enough to wait or stand by for something they can buy from another website. Therefore, your app or website's page loading speed must be optimised to ensure those who visit are not waiting.

An unstable or buggy website that keeps crashing or takes a lot of time to process payments would lose customer trust. As discussed in the beginning, we don't want to lose the customer's trust at any cost.

7. Live Chat Option to Save the Day

Online shopping can and often is a confusing affair. There are frequent situations of customers not finding what they're looking for even though you have it. Or probably have some query about a particular product and it's warranty. At times like these, they usually feel stranded and alone. Having a friendly staff member to answer their question makes the customer more comfortable and feel relevant.

With a live chat window, customers can directly interact with your team, who can guide them through their confusion all the way to check out and even after the sale is made.

8. Assure and Reassure Your Customers

Online shopping is all about deals and offers, but what drives customers away is a lack of assurance from the sellers. Uncertainty is one of the most significant factors why a lot of customers abandon their shopping carts. This can be tackled by offering warranties, guarantees and returns on products. This works in two ways. First, it creates a sense of confidence in the shoppers that the products are vouched for, hence building credibility. Secondly, it assures the customers that their purchase is legitimate, and if anything goes wrong, their transaction is not void and is duly covered.

9. Don’t Give up, Retarget Your Customers

Even after doing your best, you might still find a lot of customers abandoning their carts. While multiple factors are attributing to the same, the good news is not all is lost! You could aim to retarget the customers who have abandoned their carts by prompting them with relevant remarketing ads. Remember, the goal is not to spam them but remind them of the purchases and deals they're missing out on.

In conclusion, even though each customer is different and may have another reason to abandon the purchase. Most customers prefer only to make a purchase from a safe and legitimate website. By following the above tips, you can ensure this is reduced, thereby leaving your customers satisfied and your website or app booming.