5 Great Tips to Lower Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates

by Guest Author on April 1, 2018

in Articles, Guest Posts

Shopping cart abandonment is a phrase used to describe what happens when someone visits a shopping site, places items in their cart to purchase, and then, in the shopping cart or at some point during the checkout process, they change their mind and leave the site. The overall global abandonment rate, for all types of shopping, is about 75%, which is much higher than most people think. It’s approximately 73% for retail, 68% for fashion, and 83% for non-profits. When you see the hard numbers, it’s quite surprising.

But why do people abandon their shopping carts? The reasons vary. It can be anything from shipping costs to lack of payment options, or needing an account to finding a better price elsewhere. Sometimes the reason is something you could do nothing about even if you knew it, such as when the customer decides they can’t afford the purchase right now.

Is there anything you can do to stop it? As previously stated, in some cases, you can’t do anything about shopping cart abandonment. But many times, a few simple changes to your shopping cart and checkout process can give you a dramatic decrease in shipping cart abandonment.

Here are five simple, easy to implement tips on how to stop shopping cart abandonment.

Offer free shipping – or be transparent

Shipping costs are the #1 reason that people abandon their shopping cart. Shipping costs that are higher than expected, or nearly as much as the price of the items themselves, can deter a customer from completing their purchase because it makes the price higher than they were anticipating.

Offering free shipping is the best way to eliminate shopping cart abandonment due to shipping costs. Free shipping can even encourage users to buy. Free shipping is a huge incentive to buy, and many times, it stops users from shopping around for a better price.

If free shipping isn’t something you’re interested in offering, or you feel you can’t offer it, being transparent about shipping costs is the next best thing to reduce shopping cart abandonment due to shipping costs. 22% of shoppers will abandon their cart when shipping costs are revealed in the cart or during the checkout process. Make your shipping costs clear across the website with banners or large lettering.

If your shipping costs vary depending on the item purchased, shipping method, or other factors, include an option on each product page to calculate the shipping costs. If there are any other fees or charges that might increase the advertised price, such as sales tax, customization charges, or handling fees, include a mention of those on the product page, as well. Eliminate all surprises so that by the time the customer gets to the cart to complete their purchase, there’s nothing to deter them.

Provide trust signals on your transaction forms

When users make a purchase from you, they have to hand over a lot of personal information: their name, address, telephone number, and credit card details or Paypal authorization. Any piece of that information could be used to the customer’s detriment if they give it to the wrong person or company, and if your transaction forms don’t inspire trust, they’re going to hesitate to hand it over. More than 75% of people have abandoned a shopping cart because they didn’t recognize or see the trust logos.

Trust signals, such as the Norton secured logo, McAfee Secure, or Verified by VISA logos are all images that users are used to seeing when they make a purchase. This indicates to them that you are a trustworthy business that will protect their information and only use it for its intended purpose. Place trust logos in prominent, easy to see locations on your transaction forms so that they can’t be missed.

Make sure, as well, that it’s clear why you need the information you’re asking for. Information such as a name and address are common sense: you need it to ship the product they’re purchasing. But they may question why you need their phone number. If you include an explanation that says it’s for “shipping-related questions” or “in case we have questions about your order,” customers then understand there’s a legitimate purpose and have no problem handing over the information.

Offer guest checkout options

If you require users to create an account before they can complete their purchase it’s likely to make them bounce. You’re asking them to fill out a form that’s essentially unrelated to their purchase, leave your website to check their email and confirm their email address, and then return to the shopping cart to finish the purchase. In the time it takes them to do that, they can visit your competition and complete their purchase. Sometimes it’s the fact that they’re a first-time visitor to your site that stops them. They aren’t sure they’ll want to shop with you again, much less get emails from you that they’ll have to ignore or unsubscribe from.

Offer a guest option for checking out. By allowing users to checkout without creating an account first, you tear down the wall that gives them a second to think about whether they want to make this purchase. You can always ask them to sign up for an account after the purchase is complete, and offer enticements such as the ability to track shipping or receive a discount on their next purchase.

Offer multiple payment options

Cash isn’t an option online, but there are plenty of other options. Credit cards, Paypal, Apple Pay, and Google Wallet are the big payment options, but the key is to offer as many as possible.

When customers see a limited number of payment options, they may be deterred because their preferred payment option (or the only one they have) isn’t available. Offering plenty of options is a hassle for you, but it provides your customers with flexibility, and that’s the key to avoiding shopping cart abandonment.

Save their cart

Saving the cart doesn’t stop a user from navigating away in the moment. But what it will do is encourage them to come back later. Saving the cart provides two benefits, one to you and one to the user.

The user’s benefit is that if they decide to make the purchase later, they don’t have to go through the whole process all over again. This makes them more likely to return to you when they want to make that purchase rather than going to a competitor, even if the competitor offers a lower price, free shipping or another incentive.

Your benefit is that you can retarget that customer. You can send an email reminding them of what’s in their cart. Add a promo code to that email offering them a percentage off or free shipping if they complete their purchase and you increase the chances that they’ll complete the purchase. You can even put a deadline on the promo code to encourage the customer to finish the purchase soon.

Sometimes, shopping cart abandonment is unavoidable. Some customers truly aren’t ready to make a purchase yet. Sometimes they realize they don’t have the money at that particular moment and they need to wait. But by taking these simple steps to improve your cart, you’ll eliminate many of the biggest reasons why people abandon their carts.

Guest article written by: Hayden Stewart is a contributing writer and media specialist for the CreditShout finance blog. He regularly produces content for a variety of corporate and personal finance blogs, based around the many obstacles that come with gaining personal capital, establishing good credit and more.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Anna C. @ Self-Publishing Made Easy Now January 30, 2020 at 09:53

Shopping cart abandonment is really inevitable. Thanks for sharing these tips. I think these strategies are great in preventing customers from abandoning their carts.
Anna C. @ Self-Publishing Made Easy Now recently posted… 11 Top Reasons You Should Be Self Publishing On Kindle To Make Money Online



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