If you’re like most online store owners – you work really hard to get visitors to your store – don’t let an abandoned cart problem ruin this for you.
77.3% of all online retail orders (as of August 2017), in terms of shopping carts, were abandoned instead of purchased. This is according to cumulative data captured by independent research firm Statista (see footer reference).
It’s worth repeating — that’s an average of 77.3% of people who start the checkout process and fail to buy. Ouch.
No wonder CRO (conversion rate optimisation) has become so popular… the numbers are too compelling to ignore. Particularly, when you scale them.
So let’s say your online store brings in 10,000 visitors per month, your average order value is $30, and your visitor-to-sale conversion rate is 1%. That’s current total sales of $3000.
If you increase your conversion rate by a mere 0.5%, you will add an extra $1,500 of revenue every month. That’s total sales of $4500. Cumulatively, that’s an extra $18,000 every year.
Abandoned cart – where do you start?
There is so much advice and so many opportunities when it comes to conversion rate optimisation.
If you’re overwhelmed — we’d recommend following the advice of Peep Laja (the leading voice in CRO) of CXL Institute:
Optimize Closest To The Money…
So let’s start with the cart and checkout.
Here are five questions you can ask yourself to start reducing abandoned carts, increasing checkout conversions, and ultimately boost your profits.
Question 1. Do you seem a bit, well… untrustworthy?
We know, it’s a tough question to answer, but when a prospective customer visits your website, do they have confidence that you’re a reputable business or do you seem a little less than legitimate?
Sometimes the red flags are obvious:
- product descriptions that seem like they’ve been run through a bad online translation service 2 or 3 times
- Incomplete information about your business on the ‘About’ page
- Questionable design or layout choices.
Other red flags are more subtle, but I’m sure if you think about it you can remember a website you visited recently that felt a little off and you probably didn’t feel very confident sharing your credit card number.
Web forms are a transaction. You need to look at them as an exchange of information for something of value you promise in your offer. When you don’t look at it as an exchange, you fail.
TIP: Take a fresh look at your entire site, especially the journey from placing an item in the cart through to checkout.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Would you shop in your store, especially if you didn’t know you?
- Is the user experience seamless?
- Does the design look professional?
Check out this article from Shopify on how to build trust with online customers.
Question 2. Are customers just angling for an extra discount?
Sometimes an abandoned cart is really just a ploy to see what you’ll offer a customer who didn’t follow through. Yeah, it’s not great. But many sites offer discounts to people with abandoned carts to try to close that sale.
What’s your response to an abandoned cart?
It doesn’t HAVE to be a discount, but if your customer was just checking in to see what they’d get, they probably won’t remember to come back without a nudge of some kind from you.
Question 3. Are “hidden” fees stacking up too high?
If a buyer is on the fence, because of price, seeing fees like taxes, shipping, and handling in the cart can take the price past their breaking point.
Sometimes it’s just the perception of added costs that change a buyer’s mind.
Big retailers with lots of resources like Amazon and Zappos can afford to subsidise shipping and handling because they purchase, pack, pull, and ship at scale.
It’s harder for smaller organizations to compete with free 1 or 2-day shipping.
One option is to offer free shipping for purchases over a certain amount.
Alternatively, offer a flat rate for a certain location.
You can also combat the negative feelings associated with cost-creep by clearly communicating shipping and taxes throughout your store.
Question 4. Is it just too hard?
Consumers are getting more and more used to signing in to websites with their social media credentials and paying with PayPal or Apple Pay.
That takes a LOT of time out of the checkout process for first-time buyers.
I’ve had a good day when I don’t fall out of the cart.
So, if your checkout process feels like a never-ending data entry task, the customer might just decide it’s not worth the work or effort to set up an account, enter and validate billing and shipping information, and more.
Wherever possible, make the process of checking out smooth, simple, and let the customer know where they are in the process.
Question 5. Are you offering the right payment types?
Online shopping means customers can literally purchase from ANYWHERE.
We’ll use a common (not often spoken of) example: say a customer is in a big work meeting and are shopping on their laptop, pretending to pay attention… they can’t very well get their wallet out mid-meeting, but if you allow checkout with PayPal or another similar service… BOOM… order complete.
Now, that doesn’t mean you should go out and just change your payment options, but if you’re seeing a lot of abandoned carts, it’s worthwhile asking yourself if this might be a factor.
Question 6. Are you failing to reinforce the benefits of buying?
It pays to remind your visitors of the value they will receive in exchange for the information they are providing in your checkout form.
Some common ways to communicate benefits include:
- Use product images as well as descriptions in the checkout
- Allow visitors to save their details for another transaction
- Make sure that your checkout works well on mobile devices.
By continually reminding visitors of the benefits they will receive in exchange for their time and information — you keep them motivated to complete their purchase.
The bottom line
Here at The Hope Factory, we believe that Shopify offers a great cart and checkout flow right out of the box.
As you can see from the example below — it’s smooth, simple and logical.
When looking to reduce cart abandonment remember that small improvements can make a big difference — taking the time to enhance the way visitors experience your store will reward you for years to come.
Also published on Medium.