Let’s all face it; we’ve all done it before – leaving items in your cart while online shopping without ultimately completing the purchase. This is what we call “Cart Abandonment” in the digital world. Unfortunately, it’s an inevitable part that you will face if operating an e-commerce business.
What may come as a surprise to many, though, is that studies show the average rate of documented online shopping cart abandonment is nearly a whopping 70%. That statistic can definitely be alarming to many online business owners, especially when hard-earned money has been invested in ads to drive traffic to the website to only lose out on the sale. This is why it’s important to keep in mind the following few things to help minimize cart abandonment for your online store. Though this struggle varies by industries, products and target audience, it’s safe to say that there are common reasons behind it.
Long & Tedious Checkout Process
As with almost all things digital, users opt for the most simple and straightforward ways to achieve what they want; be it finding answers, spreading a message or making a purchase. A complicated checkout process with multiple steps and unnecessary fields to fill out can ultimately harm the user experience and lead to shoppers giving up on the purchase entirely. As a remedy, start by ensuring the checkout forms are simple and well-designed to reduce the effort the user needs to take to fill them out. This would include having easy navigation, minimizing the number of fields to fill and having visible call-to-action buttons throughout the process.
The goal is to offer a frictionless online shopping experience. For example, rather than requiring customers to create an account prior to checkout, enable guest checkout as an option. Of course, we all know there are many marketing benefits to having the users create an account, but this additional and unnecessary barrier is not a risk that you would want to take if it can get in the way of a sale. Rest assured, at the end of the checkout process; you can still prompt the customer to create an account so that their information can be saved to facilitate an even quicker checkout process on their next purchase.
Unexpected Costs & Delivery Times
Avoid hidden costs! Have you ever been hit with surprising shipping costs, taxes or other fees during checkout? No one wants to go through an entire shopping journey after curating their cart to find out they’ve incurred additional charges that they didn’t originally anticipate. This is one of the top reasons behind abandoned carts because it can trigger customers to re-evaluate their pending purchase. Any doubt in seeing the value in the purchase can lead to cart abandonment. Therefore, to combat this, keep shipping costs as upfront and simple as possible. You can also explore offering a choice of delivery options or even promotional offers to cater to different preferences, no matter if they are more concerned about cost, speed or convenience.
This brings up the next concern of unexpected slow delivery times. We are in the era of instant gratification from being spoiled with getting what you want at much faster rates than the past. If the shopper finds out that it will take much longer than originally anticipated to get their hands on their delivery, then the value of the transaction is diminished. This is especially prominent around the holidays when there are many last-minute gift shoppers. As a result, this may lead them to browse other online stores that can deliver in a more reasonable timeline or walk into a physical store to make the purchase.
Were you confident about the security of your personal data the last time you purchased something online? Maybe, maybe not. Many people are in the boat of not feeling completely comfortable providing personal details and financial information over the web. That’s why it’s important to instill some reassurance by showing your customers that they can trust your website. A way to do this is to add SSL Certificates and display trust badges to prove your site offers secure payment options and/or money-back guarantee. Some of the most trusted badges across the web are from Norton, McAfee, TRUSTe and Verisign. These seals may take up a small part of your website, but the effectiveness of using them goes a long way in bridging the gap with hesitant buyers who are more cautious about sharing sensitive information. The simple act of displaying these trust markers will reassure the shoppers that their personal data will be kept confidential and safe. This can also provide additional benefits by aiding in improving customer confidence in your brand as well.
Though the prevalence of cart abandonment isn’t always something you can control, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can be proactive in improving to help lower the rate experienced by your online store. Just do your best to remove as many barriers as possible by creating the optimal checkout experience to convert shoppers into paying customers. And remember, the easier, more transparent and secure you make it for visitors to complete a purchase, the more sales you will likely make in the end, and that’s the ultimate goal for every online retailer.