How to reduce shopping cart abandonment (Article 3 of 3)

Sometimes your customers are in the process of checking out and somehow they get distracted, they start having doubts or stumble upon another website with cheaper products. They leave the site and abandon their carts. A website with superior online experience has inbuilt features that facilitate customers’ buying process and help them to ultimately make a purchase decision.

This article is the third of a series of three, in which I will outline some tips and hints that can help significantly lower shopping cart abandonment rates. Checkout the first article of this series for tips on how to decrease your shopping cart abandonment rate by optimising your shopping cart and checkout pages and the second article to gather information on how you can maximise your online catalogue to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

Monitor and continuously improve your online experience

  1. Monitor cart abandonment – Identify the types of clients that abandon your carts and the products that are being abandoned. Major eCommerce sites such as Magento offer such reports out of the box. You will then be able to modify product detail pages or offer promotions on products that are being abandoned. You will also be able to target customers and remind them of their abandoned carts.
  2. Send reminder emails – Most online sellers forget that around 41% of customers abandon their shopping carts because they are unprepared to make an online purchase decision (Forrester, 2011). This means that those sales are not necessarily lost. Online printer Vistaprint make frequent use of reminder emails for customers that abandon their shopping carts. They provide coupon codes and customer specific promotions that encourage customers to make an online purchase decision.

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There are different ways one can remind their customers to return to their abandoned carts:

  • Send reminder emails with a list of products in their cart. One may also offer coupon codes or percentage discounts. Vistaprint do this quite often and make good use of sending reminder emails and cross sell products in email newsletters.(Please refer to the image above).
  • “Save for later” or “Wishlist” features that do not allow the cart to expire or leave it up to the customers to save the items in their own wishlists. For instance on Amazon one can create multiple wishlists, jot down notes and share the wishlist with your friends. Magento eCommerce solution also provides a wishlist feature out of the box and allows customers to share their wishlist items and write notes against each item

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3. Send “customer satisfaction emails” and ask for feedback. Such emails can encourage repeated purchases and act as a reminder for possible future purchases.

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4. Cart value vs. Cart abandonment Rate. A research carried out by SeeWhy, a customer conversion management company, on a sample size of 350 558 consumers showed that cart abandonment spikes when cart total is low and when shipping charges are close to the cart total. It also spikes near the 100 price mark. A possible reason can be due to the “triple digit” mark. A price of EUR 100 may be perceived substantially more expensive then a price of EUR 99. The hint here is to provide discount or free shipping discounts based on the 99 threshold instead of basing the promotion on the rounded three digit figure.

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5. Google Analytics funnels can also help you to identify the pages where customers tend to abandon your site. If they abandon your cart when on a product detail page, it could be that you are not offering enough product information or your price is not competitive. On the other hand, if they abandon their cart in the shopping cart page, you may need to refer to the hints provided in the ‘Optimise your shopping cart and checkout page’ article and shopping cart abandonment map. Testing different website banners or page layout can also help you to identify customer behaviour and optimise your online catalogue.

Online businesses need to learn how to optimise their website and provide features that help and encourage customers to make an online purchase decision. In order to increase a website’s conversion rate, businesses need to focus on providing a superior online experience by engaging customers. Continuously monitoring of shopping cart abandonment will help you to identify weaknesses in your eCommerce site and cater for such limitations as soon as they occur, or even before that.

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