What’s the fastest, cheapest, easiest way to increase ecommerce sales? Decrease shopping cart abandonment rates in your web store.
Shopping cart abandonment is a common ecommerce problem, where a visitor has entered a store, added items to their cart and/or begun the checkout process. But then they leave the site without completing the purchase.
A few simple changes to your store set-up and marketing can convert a significant number of these almost-customers to paying-customers.
I’ve collected a list of 16 proven tips which effectively reduce shopping cart abandonment rates.
Shopping Cart Abandonment Solutions
- First, Identify When are they’re Abandoning: With Google Analytics, you can see whether they are leaving your site from the Shopping Cart page or from the Checkout Page. Identify when they are jumping ship and then that is the page that needs to be looked at first for conversion optimization (using the many techniques suggested below).
- Publish a Phone Number: Some potential customers may sincerely wish to buy but give up before completing their purchase. There are many possible reasons for this problem: their internet connection is slow, their browser is incompatible with your store, your site has a bug that you are unaware of, or they are simply unused to shopping online. Publishing a phone number prominently on your site, including in the checkout page, could lead to an increase in sales over the phone.
- Check for Glitches: Extensively test your shopping cart. Make test purchases with different browsers, devices, payment methods, product combinations, etc. Ask co-workers/friends to try it too. Very often there are technical glitches in your cart that are causing shopping cart abandonment.
- Optimize for Mobile: More and more people are shopping from their phones, but your cart may not display correctly on the various mobile platforms, causing shoppers to jump ship. Analyze the behavior of your mobile visitors. If you notice that they are more likely to abandon, it’s time to optimize for mobile.
- Offer multiple payment methods: Everyone has their trusted favorite, so you should offer a few. Besides secure credit card payments, PayPal is a popular choice, and Google Checkout and Amazon Payments also have their loyal fans. If other payment solutions are popular with your target market, offer them too.
- Don’t require registration: Some checkout processes require shoppers to register with their name, email, password, etc, before they begin to check-out. This could be a killer. No one wants to create yet another account on a site that they know they will likely not visit again in the near future.
- Security Seals: Prominently display your active SSL and other security seals on your checkout page. This increases trust from clients who are nervous to shop online.
- Customer Testimonials: Displaying testimonials from customers who have been satisfied with your service and products is an easy way to give some hesitating customers a little push over the finish line.
- Refund Policy: Have a good returns and refund policy and display it prominently in your checkout process. This reduces the sense of risk that customers feel when making a purchase, and will almost certainly increase sales. Your customers hate the feeling of risking their money (unless you’re running a poker site, of course :)).
- Shipping Policies: Before making a purchase, customers want to know when to expect the item at their doorstep. Your shipping policies and costs need to be crystal clear throughout the checkout process. It can also help a lot if you offer international shipping. There are 3rd-party providers that will ship internationally for you, including Amazon, International Checkout, etc.
- One-page checkout: The more steps in the checkout process, the more customers you will lose along the way. Keep the checkout process as short and simple as humanly possible. When you ask them to jump through hoops to complete their purchase, buyer’s remorse kicks in and they run in the opposite direction.
- Hide the Coupon Field: This little field usually sits innocently on the check-out page, right above the “buy now” button, and it is a major cause of shopping cart abandonment. When shoppers see that field, they will frequently leave your site in search of a coupon code, and once they are gone they usually do not come back. Kill the coupon field and see what that does for your sales.
- Live Chat: Using live chat has been shown to increase conversions on ecommerce sites. You can set it to automatically pop-up during the check out process and ask if the shopper has any issues or questions.
- Ad Re-marketing – This is a tool offered by many advertising platform, including Google Adwords, that allows you to target people who previously visited your store, by displaying ads for your store on other sites he visits after he leaves your store. A person who has products in his cart can be targeted with ads inviting him to return, and offering an incentive to do so. Re-marketing is easy to set up in your Adwords account.
- Email Re-targeting: This tool allows you to capture the email of anyone who entered it into the checkout page but then failed to complete their purchase. An automatic email is sent to them, inviting them to come back to your store, and offers assistance in completing their purchase and perhaps even a discount coupon. Depending on your ecommerce platform, there are various tools that offer this functionality. One example is Bronto.
- Survey them: If you have a real problem with shopping cart abandonment and you’re not sure of the reason, it might be a good idea to ask people. The question is: how to survey people without really annoying them? One method is to survey lost customers that you were able to regain thanks to re-targeting. After they have completed their purchases, send them an automatic email asking them to answer 3-4 short questions about why they originally abandoned their purchase. This may be the best way to rapidly identify shopping cart abandonment causes on your site. While it might seem more difficult to execute than the quicker fixes, it might save you time and money in the long-run.
A site visitor who has begun the buying process is a burning hot lead for your business. Shopping cart abandonment leaches your revenues and has a big impact on your overall profitability.
A little investment in making sure their desire to purchase does not cool off before they have completed the sale can yield immediate results for any e-commerce store.
So choose a few of these tips that are relevant for your store, and start tweaking!