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8 Strategies to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates

Did you know that less than a third of the people who add items to their shopping cart actually complete their purchase? If you consider your own online shopping behaviors, that might not be so surprising. You may have added items to your shopping basket simply to keep track of what they would cost if you completed your purchase. You may have also added items with your cart, only to be distracted or frustrated. Your customers would probably describe similar circumstances.

You cannot get back every customer who abandons their shopping cart. Some of them never really intended to make a purchase in the first place. However, you can get enough back to make a big difference. To make this happen, just apply some of the following 8 strategies to shopping cart abandonment.

8 Strategies to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates

#1. Include a Progress Indicator: Then Let Customers Skip Steps

‘Are we there yet?’ This isn’t just a phrase uttered by impatient children on family road trips. People shopping online often find themselves wondering just how much more they have to do until they can complete their purchase. If you don’t provide that answer to them, they just might bail.

Try including a progress indicator on your checkout page. This will tell them where they are, and how many steps they need to complete before their purchase is finalized. Then, if there are steps that they can skip give them the option to do that. For example, you might want to use the checkout process to introduce people to your rewards program. On the other hand, forcing them to sign up might annoy them enough that they bounce. If it isn’t a necessary part of checking out, give them the option to click a ‘Not Today’ button.

#2. Make Sure Your Pages Load as Quickly as Possible

Page optimization is important everywhere. However, with your checkout pages, it is more important than ever. Take whatever steps you can to ensure that your page performance won’t be an issue. There is nothing quite as frustrating as waiting for a page to load in any case. If it happens when a customer is in the midst of checking out, you’ve basically given them a reason to abandon the entire process.

#3. Let Customers Checkout Using a Guest Profile

Have you ever thought about how nice it would be if you could surf into a website and buy something without making any future commitments? This means no signing up for anything or registering. You just surf in, pick out your merchandise, and make a payment. Of course you have thought of this!

So, why not offer this option to your own customers? After all, not every sale will result in a customer relationship. Some people really do just want to get in, spend, and get out. Promote confidence in your basket page by doing just that.

#4. Add Proof of Trust to Your Checkout Pages

Anybody with a modicum of common sense and internet shopping experience gets a little bit nervous when it comes time to share their credit card and personal information. Respect this fear and reassure your customers by providing them with proof that they can safely make a purchase from your website. Building trust is one the key aspects of boosting conversion rates.

You can do this by displaying widely recognized trust badges on your checkout pages. This might include proof that your checkout process is safe, that you are a registered member of the BBB, and that you have the endorsement of your local commerce association. Other indicators of proof can be customer testimonials, statistics from case studies, and endorsements from influencers.

#5. Reduce Form Size

This is common advice when it comes to landing pages. Unfortunately, it isn’t always applied to the checkout process. The less information you require people to enter the better. Remember that at this point, collecting information is desireable, but closing the deal is even more important. Give customers the easiest pathway to closing the deal as possible, and get rid of long forms.

#6. Offer Live Chat Support During The Checkout Process

Customer support is undoubtedly important no matter where a customer is in the sales funnel. It is for that reason that smart sales professionals offer their audience a way to chat live with them as they are in the midst of  making a purchase. After all, having someone on hand can make people as confident as possible when they are making a purchase sets up the ideal sales environment.

#7. Inform Customers of All Costs Up Front

When handled incorrectly, there may be no bigger factor than undisclosed costs when it comes to shopping  abandonment. Most specifically, shipping and handling costs are often the reason customers choose not to finalize their purchases.

Think about it. You’ve found what you think is a great deal. You are ready to make a purchase. Then, just before you check out, you realize that your shipping costs will nearly double your payment. It’s only natural that you are going to feel ripped off.  Avoid this by disclosing these costs from the get go.

#8. Make it Easy For Customers to Recover Their Carts

There are so many reasons that customers abandon their carts. Distraction, and attempting to switch from one device to the next are just two of these reasons. When customers return to shop, remind them of what they have left behind, and provide them with a single click option to continue where they had left off. You can even employ email marketing strategies to reach out to these folks. For example, if they have abandoned their carts, you can renew their interest by reminding them that they have unpurchased merchandise the next time they visit your sight. You can also remind them that buying , can benefit them.

You will never be able to bring every person who abandons their shopping cart back to complete their purchase. However, if you follow these strategies, you can get people to trust you enough to complete their purchases. You can also design your checkout process to ensure that everything is as straightforward and easy to navigate as possible.

Image: Shopping Background


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Elena has been working in the digital marketing industry for the past 5 years, first as a cubicle dweller and now as an independent marketing consultant and copywriter. She has a knack for elegant traffic growth hacks, requiring little (if any) investment and creative content marketing.

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