For most online retailers, shopping cart abandonment is a real nightmare. There’s nothing worse than a missed sale opportunity when a customer just drops off without finalizing an order. For eCommerce businesses it means a huge amount of unrealized revenue.
A climbing shopping cart abandonment rate is a global issue and now represents nearly $4 trillion in annual lost revenue. The trend is only getting worse. Back in 2011, the average abandonment rate was about 60%. While in 2013, it hovered upwards to 70% and is still growing. In a nutshell, it means that now 7 out of every 10 customers jump off a shopping cart without making a purchase.
Surprisingly, what is considered to be online retailers’ biggest headache can also be a great marketing opportunity. Estimates based on real market suggest that around 60% of all abounded carts (or approximately $2.5 of that $4 trillion lost revenue) can be recovered.
How? Read on to learn more.
1. Don’t hide extra costs
Problem: A huge amount of shoppers leave a shopping cart without completing a purchase because of unexpected extra costs. Additional expenses (like shipping costs, product wrapping, etc.) make people frustrated and kill purchasing intention.
Solution: Be upfront with your customers about your pricing model. If you have the technology, make sure you inform shoppers about additional fees at all points of the purchasing process.
Ideally, your shipping policies and the info about possible extra costs should be available on all product pages. Additionally, you can place it on every page of your e-commerce site (as a part of the website template).
Below is the example that shows how to include shipping expenses into on the product page.
2. Stand out with the best offer
If you offer something unique to the market, skip this point. But if you are one of those vendors who is trying to survive in a highly competitive marketplace, you can’t but offer something special to stand out in the eyes of your potential buyers.
Problem: These days, the market is crammed full of similar offers. This is the case, when the decisive factor is the price. The majority of shoppers continue surfing the web until they find the lowest possible quote on the desired product.
But what can be done if there’s no way for you to lower the price?
Solution: Offer your customer more benefits of shopping with you over the competition. These can be:
- free of charge services: free shipping, free gift wrapping, etc.
- optional extra services your competitors don’t offer — that can be rush delivery, gift certificates, etc.
- the possibility to customize or configure products (e.g. a customer may choose different items included within a furniture set)
- discount coupons on further purchases in your store
- little heartwarming presents that will create a lasting memory and a desire to come back to purchase again.
And don’t forget about building credibility with potential customers.
A low price means nothing if an online store doesn’t evoke trust. Make sure your site serves as the proof of your reliability. As the Yoko Co team noted in their Word of Mouth Marketing report, the appearance of your website alone is one of the biggest factors that come into play in establishing trust. In addition a separate section with testimonials, ‘Our Happy Customers’ page, images of you and your team – this is what will convince visitors that you are the vendor they can trust.
See how we did that on our website:
3. Give a helping hand to ‘just browsing’ shoppers
Problem: As Forrester Research reports, on average only 3% of store visitors complete a purchase during their first visit. The other 97% either simply leave a website or put a product into the cart and drop off without buying anything.
The common mistake online merchants make devoting too little attention to ‘just browsing’ shoppers. Yes, these people may have no strong buying intention when they come to a site, they may be just collecting information, evaluating various options. However, if you manage to convert this category of visitors, that may significantly increase your sales over time.
Solution: There are several things you can do to cater to this category of shoppers. These are:
- personalized shopping experience — study your customers’ behavior and provide them with smart product recommendations, and more precise search results;
- creating a sense of urgency by introducing time-limited offers — make people feel like they have no time to look for other options;
- engagement and communication— make visitors interact with your website: e.g. leave an email address to get some sort of freebie, leave a comment to express their personal opinion on how you should improve your store, etc.;
- email retargeting — gently remind customers of your store and the opportunities they may be missing.
4. Make sure your online store is easy to navigate
Problem: Customers can leave your site because it’s difficult to browse through. Truth to be told, a lot of ecommerce websites are badly planned and overloaded with information, so it’s a challenge to find the desired product or get to the relevant product page.
Solution: Keep it simple. Generally, for e-commerce websites it’s enough to have the main navigation bar (to list your main product categories), the section with your best-selling items and the section with your new offers.
These are some useful tips on how to improve e-commerce navigation:
- minimize number of clicks — effective e-commerce navigation should make it as easy as possible for customers to get to the products they are searching for
- use auto-complete options — this is a huge time-saver that will also help to eliminate the risk of misspellings and inaccurate results
- use customer review data as a navigational aid
- make sure you have a consistent store navigation and people can find their way around from whatever page they may land.
Below are the examples of bad and good website navigation:
5. Relieve payment security concerns
Problem: Security concerns may stop online shoppers from completing a purchase at the very last point when they already put a product into the cart.
Solution: Just make sure that you:
- make your checkout is running on HTTPS (SSL encryption) – This also helps with SEO to a small degree as Chris and Max mentioned on Digital Marketing News in August;
- make safety logos (SSL certificate, payment provider, etc.) visible in the website footer or checkout sidebar;
- display a full list of payment methods you accept;
- show your customer testimonials on the checkout pages.
So there you have it, 5 ways you can implement today to ensure you won’t lose your customers! If you have your own suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments below. And of course if you have concerns about building an ecommerce site, or are ready to take yours to the next level Yoko Co’s here to help.