E-Commerce: 6 tips to avoid shopping cart abandonment
Last modified: 2019/02/11 | Approximate reading time 5 mins
Shopping online affords many benefits that completing the same task in real life does not. Naturally, it’s more convenient, you can shop at your leisure from the comfort of your home. Online shopping can happen at any time, day or night, and can be done without help from anyone.
Of course, unlike real life shopping, just as easily as a customer can fill up their cart, they can abandon it. Yes, when shopping online, it’s common for the consumer to get distracted, decide to complete their purchase later and close your website. For the business owner, this can be frustrating. Are there steps you can take to avoid shopping cart abandonment? The simple answer, yes.
Are you hoping to reduce shopping cart abandonment on your website? There are strategic ways that you can ensure customers follow through with their purchases. It’s all about improving the e-commerce experience for your customers to reduce shopping cart abandonment, so keep reading for our tips and tricks.
6 tips to avoid shopping cart abandonment on your e-commerce site
1- Invest in a user-friendly experience
Let’s get right down to it. A user-friendly experience is essential for any business website but is crucial for those in charge of e-commerce. Moving into 2019, it’s evident that the majority of web traffic is coming from mobile devices.
As a result, consumers are getting more and more comfortable shopping on their phones. Although shopping cart abandonment happens from both desktop users as well as mobile users, the statistics for the latter are much higher.
Think about it, it’s already difficult to fill out a long form of personal information when working with a keyboard and mouse, let alone trying to type on a tiny phone screen. Therefore, it’s important to find ways to ensure your online store is mobile-friendly. First and foremost, make sure your website adapts to various devices. Then, take measures to make forms easily accessible, legible and responsive.
Looking for more information on creating a mobile-friendly website? Check out our article on the subject
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2- Transparency through engaging product pages
A large majority of customers will arrive at your website knowing exactly what they’re looking for. These customers have arrived with intention and it's likely they'll end up directly on product pages. However, that means this consumer will almost never see your homepage, missing crucial information including shipping specifics, return policy details and so forth.
Therefore, it’s important to establish trust with consumers by making all of this important information available on your product pages as well. This may seem like overkill but it is far more likely for a customer to get to the purchase page and abandon their shopping cart when faced with extra shipping fees or an unclear return policy.
Be as transparent as possible from the beginning, as this will entice customers to follow through with their purchases. In addition to including shipping and return policy information, have a link towards live help as well as related or relevant products. Product pages would also be the place to include shipping deals, incentives, customer web reviews and so forth. You’re looking to comfort your customer right before purchase, so do what you can to make this happen.
3- Create the ideal return policy
When it comes to returning an online purchase, most customers are looking for a no muss no fuss policy. Essentially this means the ability to return things free of charge. This is especially true when it comes to clothing items, shoes, and expensive purchases.
Complimentary shipping will reassure customers that if they do go through with a purchase that doesn’t work out, it won’t be a huge hassle to make the return. If offering free returns isn’t in your budget, it’s possible for you to find yourself at a competitive disadvantage. We’d advise that you find a way to include the cost of return shipping into your financial plan, and this should help up conversion rates in no time.
4- Simple site navigation
The easier a customer can navigate between your online store and the shopping cart, the more likely they’ll be willing to finalize a purchase. As we know with shopping in the real world, it’s rarely a streamlined experience. However, when it comes to making a purchase online, the more distractions in the way of your end goal, the more you’ll find customers abandoning their shopping cart altogether.
It can be hard to get the navigation between store and shopping cart right, and many e-commerce website owners experiment with different versions of the checkout experience. It’s important to think long and hard about navigation flow in relation to how purchases are made. Try your best to avoid making the consumer scroll back. Simplify your site so that customers can effortlessly move from your product pages directly to buying items.
If you're looking for further tips when it comes to designing your e-commerce site, this article is an excellent resource.
5- Multiple payment options
Again, when designing checkout pages themselves, you’ll want customers to have a rewarding experience. Since entering personal details is the part of online shopping considered the most anxiety-inducing, don’t put unnecessary obstacles between the customer and payment. Make sure to allow for a variety of payment options, and this doesn’t just include multiple types of credit cards but also an alternative such as PayPal or ApplePay, as these transaction modes are growing in popularity.
Another point of consideration is allowing the customer to check out as a guest rather than having to create an account on your website. Letting shoppers close the sale with just a few clicks rather than trudging through an array of forms will make closing the deal much more probable.
6- Saved carts and following up
As we mentioned in our introduction, it’s uncommon for a customer to wait in line in a store with a full shopping cart and then completely abandon it. However, shopping online affords this ease. If they’re so inclined, it allows the customer to return to their cart in a few days time. To improve your conversion rates, we’d suggest allowing consumers to return to their abandoned carts as simply as possible. Develop a feature that allows them to save their shopping cart and return to it later.
This could happen by way of users setting up an account, or using browser cookies so that the purchase information is saved without forcing the creation of an account. Try and find a balance between demanding customers to continually sign in and saving their personal information. Of course, do avoid turning your customers off by saving their personal data without their permission. It’s better to be upfront so that you can continue to build trust with all customers, current and prospective.
If you’re candid about saving information, you may use this towards retargeting emails to remind customers of their abandoned shopping carts. When it comes to follow-up messages and emails, do not go overboard, as this will only work to deter your customer.