Top 10 ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment


According to a study performed by Baymard’s Institute, the year 2016 observed an average shopping cart abandonment rate of 69.23%. The global cart abandonment rate for the first quarter of 2017 has been 75.6% and this year’s average cart abandonment rate is forecasted to surpass last year’s numbers.

These statistics have been a cause of concern for well-established eCommerce giants, whereas for startups these figures are acting as their worst nightmare.

But these figures don’t mean E-commerce industry is in a dire state. Analysts believe that an abandoned cart is not always a lost customer but an opportunity to engage a prospect and generate a potential sale.

According to data from SeeWhy, An abandoned shopping cart does not automatically translate to a “lost sale,” since three-fourths of customers who have abandoned carts say they plan to return to the store and make a purchase.

Hence, it is crucial for Online store owners to understand that Shopping cart abandonment is inevitable due to various reasons and if we realize the reasons behind Shopping cart abandonment then it can definitely be contained.

Imagine, you go to a physical supermarket and use a cart to collect all the groceries you need. On your way to the cash counter — How likely is it that you will leave your cart and go home or to a nearby grocery store and perform the same steps again in order to compare the prices.

This highly improbable event is one of the most common occurrences in an online store.

Reasons being:

  1. You will not find the contents lying in your cart, even if you return back after few hours. On the other hand, you can save your online shopping cart and can come back even after a few weeks to complete the checkout.
  2. More often than not, you plan a trip to a physical store with a pre-planned mindset and you might even have a list of what to purchase, whereas you can visit an eCommerce store virtually anytime you want, browse products, see what’s new, catch up on new deals and can compare prices on different web stores before making a decision.

It is evident that the shopping experience in an online store is very different from a physical store.  Consequently, there is a need for different marketing strategies and action plans for customer engagement in an online store.

A report from Kissmetrics highlights:

  1. 44% customers abandon their cart due to Shipping and Handling costs.
  2. 41% abandoned because they were not ready to purchase the product.
  3. 27% customers wanted to compare prices on other sites.
  4. 25%  reckoned that the price of the Item is too high.

And there are plenty more reasons why customers might abandon their cart.

With that in mind, let’s have a rundown of the Top 10 things you can do to minimize cart abandonment.

1. Use Cart recovery add-ons

The Cart abandonment rate figures speak for itself and it is something that can only be contained not ceased. One of the most reliable ways to contain it is by using online tools and plugins.

Virtually every eCommerce CMS solution including Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce etc. offers plugins/extensions that come in very handy to track an abandoned cart and give you the ability to perform re-marketing by sending custom emails, SMS, and social media advertisements  

The Brihaspati Infotech has joined forces with Call Enger to develop a minimalistic solution that gives an instant notification to the store manager as soon as a shopper abandons his cart. 

Such solutions can be fully automated and can provide tangible results if implemented and monitored effectively.

2. Flaunt your website’s security standards.

Online transactions, if not carried out in a secure way can lead to data hacking and theft. It is the responsibility of an E-commerce store to provide a platform for its users that is secure and carries out transactions in the most encrypted way.

This is something that cannot be compromised with. The first step towards being successful is being reliable and letting the customer know that their data is secure on your website.

Consider the following things to showcase your website’s security:

  • Use SSL encryption for your website.
  • Display the logos of different transaction security services used on your website so the website visitors know that your website will keep their data secure

3. Display customer support information.

Another vital addition in the process of establishing a trustworthy online store is to setup a reliable customer support.

There are various ways to provide the same, including :

  • Live Chat.
  • Mentioning a dedicated Phone number.
  • Displaying an Email id for customer support.

Whichever way you adopt, make sure contact information is easily visible to the customer through out the website.

An effective and reliable support channel can do wonders in increasing conversions and decrease the shopping cart abandonment rate.  

4. Setup a Flexible Cart model that is always visible.

Online shopping has a certain edge over the physical stores when it comes to saving a cart and checking out later. More than half of the customer claims that they are willing to save the cart and come back later to check out.

From a store manager’s point of view – This creates an opportunity for you to reach out to customers and remind them about the items in the cart. You can also offer discounts on these products to lure the customers and generate a sale. This can surely attract a lot of customers to come back and complete their checkouts.

Additionally, always display the cart of the customer on all pages to keep them aware of the cart status. This also acts as a shortcut to the checkout page which saves shoppers time.

Make sure to the customer are easily able to edit their cart items. Whether it is the quantity of a product or any item he may want to remove.

5. Be transparent with Shipping and handling costs.

Customers aren’t pleased when they notice the shipping and handling costs being added into the Cart total in the end of the checkout. This isn’t a pleasing surprise and the customers actually feel harassed when they see the price of a product jump up from what they initially saw.

The best solution is to show a transparent cost of the product inclusive of shipping and handling charges on the product detail page itself.

If that is not feasible, then show the cost in the beginning of the checkout process rather than at the very end.

This change can yield a noticeable drop in Shopping cart abandonment rates as the customers know what to pay right from the beginning.

6. Offer free or discounted shipping.

You can go an extra mile by completely waiving off the shipping costs. This can be used as a marketing strategy especially during off season or when you are experiencing fewer visitors.

This can be a real deal breaker in attracting more customers as shipping costs have been repeatedly proven as the major reason for shopping cart abandonment. Promoting this as an offer for the customers can result in a steady decline in cart abandonment rate.

7. Ensure a quick and easy checkout page

The checkout page is one of the most significant pages of an online store and this is where most of the potential customers leave your website for various reasons, some of them being:

  • The total price of the cart changed due to shipping costs but there was no clarification about it.
  • The customer doesn’t feel confident if the transactions are secure.
  • There are multiple forms on checkout and the user got tired filling those up.

It is highly advised to keep the checkout page minimal.

  • It should show the cart details clearly
  • Must have a brief explanation of shipping charges and how shipping rate was calculated.
  • It should not ask for irrelevant information & have the user enter shipping information that is absolutely needed.
  • Security features of the website should be mentioned to assure the user that their payment details will be secure.

The best way to go about is to use a One-page checkout. There are various extensions available for top CMS’s  that combines all the required data in a single page, hence ensuring a sublime check out experience.

8. Support multiple payment methods and options.

The payment page is the last destination where the deal is locked and you need to make sure that the customer is not lost at this stage. A customer that leaves your store due to lack of desired payment option is highly unlikely to return back. Hence giving as many options as possible is a sure shot way to reduce cart abandonment.

As a norm, an E-commerce store should support Credit cards, Debit cards, Net banking and if possible Cash on delivery payments.

Top CMS’s support virtually all the major payment methods and those 3rd party payment processors that are not supported can be integrated using their extensions or performing a custom integration using the API’s of the payment providers.

Hence, perform research of your target audience and make sure to provide multiple payment options.  

9. Stay consistent in gathering product Ratings and Reviews

Reducing cart abandonment is all about establishing a sense of authenticity – both for your website and the products on offer.

We have discussed a lot of points to facilitate the former so far, but the latter is equally important.

Unless the users aren’t confident that what they see is what is being sold, there is no way they are going to purchase it.

One of the best ways to go about it is by setting up an interactive Product reviews section that urges buyers to submit a quick review after the product has been delivered. You can automate this process by setting up feedback forms that are emailed to buyers or Instore notifications that come up when a buyer logs back in the website.

Additionally, you can show a counter that displays how many times the product was purchased. This in many instances can make the product viral.

10. Why assume when you have Google Analytics!

Last but not at all least, use Google analytics to track your store’s performance.

Set up Goals and funnels to track your store’s cart abandonment rate. This will allow you to track where the customer left your store and what section needs improvement.

Google analytics offers rich insights about how your customers interacted with your store which can help you test the pros and cons of the customer experience being offered by your store.

I learned a lot reading the Steps for creating conversion funnels in Google Analytics and would recommend this to anyone who is looking for directions to setup Shopping cart funnels.

Which of these strategies are you going to try?

Do you have any queries about any of these steps? Feel free to write to us and we would love having a discussion. 

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