This article was contributed by our partner, X-Cart
Abandoned carts are an ever-lasting headache for most online retailers. There are various reasons why online shoppers leave their shopping carts behind without making it through the checkout process: distraction, budgeting, shopping around, waiting for a discount, etc. Did you know that an average of 75% of customers will abandon their cart? Can you imagine? Only a quarter of items added to a shopping cart convert into sales.
Those numbers are daunting, but try to think of it as an excellent opportunity to increase sales dramatically by merely recovering abandoned carts. A strategy isn't a short-term initiative. If done right, a long-term plan for reclaiming customers can help your business grow and surpass your goals.
What is Cart Abandonment?
In the digital era, we are so used to multitasking that we hardly ever notice it. We can have snacks while watching a new episode of our favorite TV series, or watch kitten videos on YouTube while cooking, or listen to music while jogging.
Just like that, shopping online is rarely just about visiting your favorite online store and buying whatever you came to buy. A situation when you add an item to your shopping cart and realize your dog's suspiciously quiet in the next room, or get otherwise distracted, is highly likely to happen.
That is a definition of an abandoned shopping cart. An online shopping cart is labeled "abandoned" if it never makes it through checkout.
How to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
There are hundreds of reasons for cart abandonment, and it's next to impossible (and ultimately pointless) to name them all. Start with these conversion-boosting strategies and see the impact they have on your business.
Create an Enjoyable Buying Journey
Achieve this goal by checking your website for the following factors. Try to implement as many of them as possible:
- A variety of payment options. Start with offering the most popular payment methods, like credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, and more. Then, provide an opportunity for customers to save their payment information for future purchases.
- Cutting-edge website navigation. Consider instant search with suggestions as you type or smart real-time filtering.
- Optimize shipping costs. Try and find the most cost-efficient shipping carrier. Explore options, as it might be more efficient to offer different types of shipping options depending on your customers' location.
- Simple and clear offers. Creating a special offer if an order meets special conditions is a popular way to increase conversions. However, try to keep it as simple and as transparent as possible.
Think About Your Customers' Security and Comfort
There is no better way to turn your one-time buyers into return customers than showing you care. Create an experience where your customers feel comfortable, and you'll see two things: increased customer retention rates and more repeat customers.
I know you have invested a considerable amount of time and effort into building your website. You know it inside out and are used to things operating in a certain way. However, your visitors may see it for the first time and not find it so easy to use. That's just the way it is, and you should take time to step back and look at your website impartially as if seeing it for the first time.
Take some time to navigate step-by-step through the buying journey. You could also ask a friend or family member to walk through the process and share their feedback. This practice has proved to be an effective way to find potential leaks.
There are a few necessary steps to creating a personalized experience:
- Build trust. There are many ways to build brand trust, but none of them are fast. Be patient as customer loyalty and advocacy takes time. Work out a strategy and stick to it.
- If you offer your products globally, think about localizing your site for your customers from other countries. This step includes translating your website to their native languages, converting weight and dimensions into their conventional system (e.g., lbs to kg), and offering payment and pricing options in their currency.
- Engage your customers in loyalty programs and provide your returning customers special prices or shipping conditions.
- Offer a secure checkout. Don't be afraid to invest in security because being cautious will pay off in the long run.
- Respect their privacy by offering guest checkout. Many online shoppers aren't comfortable providing their personal information, so don't force them to create an account with you
- Be open and honest from the beginning. There's nothing more repellent at checkout than seeing extra fees (hidden fees) when you are about to purchase.
- Make sure the transition from browsing to payment is flawless and fast. Audit this process regularly to ensure you’re keeping up with changing eCommerce trends.
Follow Up With Your Shoppers
Some people need time to explore alternatives or think before making a purchase. There is nothing wrong with following up with them. They may entirely forget that they found something they needed on your website. Send them a gentle reminder and maybe offer an incentive to tip the scale towards buying from you. (Note: This only works if customers have entered an email address at some point during their journey with you.)
You likely host your website on an eCommerce platform, like X-Cart, so you probably have every tool you need to set up automated abandoned cart notifications. Consider something like Mailchimp to automate this process.
Know When to Stop
Don't get hung up on achieving 100% conversion rates from abandoned carts.
There are cases when even the best customer service or any amount of reminders isn't enough to convert a client. That's natural. Not everyone browses your website looking to make a purchase. Sometimes they browse.
Sometimes they get distracted while shopping. The best thing you can do for your customers is to set up web push notifications when a visitor is about to leave the site or follow up once or twice afterward. Just be cautious as too many emails can turn them against purchasing from you.
Remember: These are YOUR customers.
Abandoned shopping carts translate into lost sales. Right? Only if you accept this as fact and admit defeat.
If you exclusively think of abandoned carts as lost sales, you’ll get into the weeds of what you might be doing wrong. However, if you consider abandoned carts as an opportunity to do something right for your potential buyers, it changes your perspective and how you address the strategy. Set a goal to “win” a percentage of these customers back and work toward that.
Building a relationship with your customers takes a lot of effort and even more time. Still, loyal customers are your long-term investment that will pay off throughout your journey to success.