Venturing into the eCommerce world can be quite daunting. Competitors are everywhere, consumers are capricious, and you have to bear it if you want to survive — daunting indeed. Online retailers have a lot to consider when building their strategy, including eCommerce KPI metrics to measure for success, because we all want to convert our customers, right?

The key to success is to make sure the user journeys are engaging from the beginning until the end of the purchase, which essentially means driving online sales. Simple navigation and optimised homepage that leads to conversion are the first steps to become a strong eCommerce brand who is selling; however, how many customers actually complete the purchase on your store’s website?

Cart abandonment is a common issue that many online retailers struggle with. Statistically, around 75% of online baskets around the world are abandoned, due to many reasons that your shoppers may describe as “unexpected”. Have they done their research and found cheaper products elsewhere? Does your competitor have an abandoned cart email strategy in place? Each one of the eCommerce businesses out there has their own cart abandonment tactics, and it’s the time for you to discover your options.

If you’re here, you’re probably wondering: How can I improve my shopping cart? There are certainly many aspects to consider, but there are always ways to encourage your customers to complete their purchase. How do you stop a shopping cart abandonment? Let’s find out.

Why do customers abandon shopping carts?

According to Statista, there are 14 main reasons why shoppers abandon their carts. Let’s look at some of them in more detail and then move on to discuss how you can prevent this from happening.

Presented with unexpected costs

56% Shoppers admit they abandon their online basket for this specific reason. If you shop online, you must have experienced it before. You add something to the cart and happily go to checkout. And then it happens- additional fees that haven’t been listed before. You weren’t prepared for that and you’re not keen to complete the purchase anymore, so you leave.

Price presented in a foreign currency

Many eCommerce stores deliver worldwide and accept international orders. If your website offers multi-currency, make sure you allow your customers to display the price in their local currency. Let’s say you’re a UK based company, offering delivery to Germany. To save the time and effort that your German customers will have to put in to find out what the exchange rate is, show them the price in euros and they will be more likely to complete the purchase.

Website crashed or was too slow

Saving money on poor online serves won’t bring you customers. It often results in a slow load, which is frustrating for more than 20% of online shoppers. If you want to sell, your website should be performing well. Make sure you’re using trusted and secure platforms, you have a dedicated team of eCommerce developers that help you fix your problems on a regular basis and that you provide excellent user experience. Investing money in your eCommerce website may result in more conversions.

Found a better price elsewhere

We’ve all been there- browsing the store, adding a few things to the cart and just before the checkout, we decide to research how much a similar item would cost on another website. Often, we may find cheaper offers, deals and sales that encourage us to complete a purchase with another retailer. Ecommerce market is highly competitive, that is why you need to keep up to date with product prices in your niche, screen competitor’s performance and try to offer something different. It’s not an easy task, but in order to be successful, you have to actively work on improvement.

Process was taking too long

How many steps does your checkout process have? Ask yourself this question, because more than 20% online shoppers leave without paying if the process takes too long. Think like a customer- how fast would you like this purchase to happen? Often, people shop on mobiles, which is also the reason why a checkout process should be pretty simple. Make it easy for your shoppers and do not over complicate it.

How to recover abandoned shopping

There are 2 general ways that will help you reduce the cart abandonment issue- prevention and recovery. You can begin with making sure it doesn’t happen, when your customer is still on your website. After implementing these changes, you can then focus on recovery, when your shoppers decided to leave without completing a purchase. Let’s go through these steps in more detail.

  1. Skip registration

It is one of the most frustrating factors during the checkout process. Shopping should be convenient for your users, so offer optional registration, as well as guest checkout. While some shoppers don’t mind signing up, others want their process to be as quick as possible.

  1. Offer free shipping

According to Deloitte study, 69% of shoppers are more likely to shop with online retailers who offer free shipping. What is more, 61% said they would quit their order if free shipping wasn’t offered.

  1. Provide testimonials

Customer’s opinion matters and reviews are the best way to encourage your future shoppers to purchase from your store, help with any doubts they may have, as well as build trust and brand authority. 

  1. Offer customer support

Providing a telephone number and a live chat on your website is crucial for your customers to feel comfortable and know they can ask you anything and get the answer right away.  We all know we can get lost with thousands of emails we receive. Always be there for your shoppers and they will pay back with a purchase.

  1. Include different payment methods

Consider offering payment by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, as well as PayPal and other payment solutions that may convert your user, depending on your target audience. You could also include Klarna, which is a revolutionary online financial service offering post purchase payments.

  1. Run promotions

Statista says that 8% of customers abandon their cart if they can’t find a discount code or a coupon and 46% leave their carts if the code doesn’t work. Most of the shoppers are deal-seekers and they will buy from a retailer who offers the best deal.

  1. Improve the user experience

According to Shopify, 39% of customers didn’t complete their purchase because the website crashed. Slow websites which are not mobile-friendly are a massive turn off for online shoppers. Make sure you improve your loading speed because it can not only result in sales loss but also affect your ranking on Google.

  1. Offer a clear returns policy

Statistically, 66% of shoppers said that the better the returns policy, the more likely they’re to make a purchase. No matter what, returns will always happen, because your customers cannot try or physically touch the products before they buy them online. Make sure it is clear to your customers how they can return the items and how much time they have to make a decision. Not offering free returns nowadays can be a big disadvantage for your future shoppers.

  1. Send abandoned cart emails

This is a great way of getting shoppers back to your store. Setting up email recovery campaigns will remind them that they didn’t complete the purchase. Make sure the message is personalised, has a catchy subject line, contains images of the product they have selected, offers a discount or testimonials from other shoppers. You can start with sending the first email within 24 hours, the 2nd email within 2 days and the final follow-up within 1 week.

  1. Use retargeting ads

Retargeting is keeping track of people visiting your site and displaying your ads to these specific individuals as they visit other sites online. Let’s say a person visited your store, added a bag to the cart and left without purchasing it. You can then use tools such as Google Adwords, AdRoll or Retargeter to manage and display this bag and similar items you choose for this shopper, as they browse other stores online.

Let’s wrap it up

Whether you’re new to eCommerce or an established brand struggling with cart abandonment, implement these techniques to prevent your future shoppers from leaving your store without completing a purchase. If they do decide to abandon their cart, don’t give up and be ready with your email marketing strategy and retargeting ads in place, to encourage them to come back to your store. Try and work with some of these ideas and you will improve you customer service overall and increase your sales.

This blog post is published by Karolina, she is a content writer for London based eCommerce agency Appnova that specialises in luxury brands. She loves to write content based on current ecommerce, social media and marketing trends and provide insight into customer care, fashion and the beauty sector.

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