Shopping Cart Abandonment? Here’s How to Fix it Quickly

If you are an ecommerce business owner, shopping cart abandonment is an important issue you should address. It affects most online retailers and constitutes missed opportunities for the business.

Shopping cart abandonment happens when a customer adds an item to their cart or basket but does not complete the purchase process or leaves the site without buying it. In fact, according to Fits Small Business, the average shopping cart abandonment rate globally in 2022 is 71%. Translating these statistics would mean that 3 out of 4 potential customers are lost.

Why Carts Get Abandoned

Understanding why potential buyers abandon their carts can be a key to fixing the problem. In a study by Baymard Institute, customers identified the following reasons for cart abandonment:

  • 6% were not ready to buy and were only browsing through the products
  • 48% identified extra costs such as shipping and taxes as too high
  • 24% said they had to create an account
  • 22% did not like the slow delivery time
  • 18% did not trust the site when asked about credit card information
  • 17% were disappointed with the complicated checkout process

Other minor reasons given by respondents were as follows: unclear costs and additional fees of the order total, website error, disagreeable return policies, not enough payment methods, and declined credit cards.

The results of the study offer significant insights to online sellers as to why cart abandonment occurs:

  • Customers aren’t ready to buy

While this factor is beyond a merchant’s control, this is not a dead-end. You could further explore this reason. One can only retrospect why a customer would add a product to his cart when he is not yet ready to buy. Maybe he is saving up for the purchase and will come back later, or perhaps he is waiting for the product to go on sale.

Whatever the reason, the merchant should remember that adding the product to a cart expresses interest. Sellers can then find ways to follow through.

  • Business owners can address most of the other reasons for cart abandonment

For instance, convenience was a resounding issue included in the top reasons for cart abandonment: slow delivery, account creation requirement, and complicated checkout process.

Sellers should remember that the reason why most people do online shopping is for convenience. Therefore, it is within their bounds to ensure that customers enjoy a seamless shopping experience.

What You Can Do About Shopping Cart Abandonment

With the current volume of online sales globally, estimating losses due to cart abandonment may be tedious. However, one frequently referenced data is from Forrester Research, which estimates the losses to be $18 billion in annual revenues. The study also projected a staggering $4 million worth of products abandoned in carts in the following years.

What can businesses do to convert these idle products on shoppers’ carts into sales? Here is a list of doable ways to fix shopping cart abandonment problems:

1.     Reconsider your shipping charges

Since high shipping costs are a primary reason for abandoning carts, addressing this could be one way to improve conversion. Free shipping can be very inviting for customers to finalize a purchase, and there are ways to offer it without sacrificing your bottom line.

You can use conditional free shipping—tied to minimum purchase—or offer it only for specific items. You can also set a scheduled promotion date or event when you can offer free shipping. You can also include an economy shipping option at checkout for free.

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You can employ unconditional free shipping by incorporating the shipping charges into the item’s price. The merchant calculates an average markup based on the average order volume and shipping cost. While an item will be priced higher, consumers prioritize free shipping more than an item’s standard price.

Absorbing the cost of shipping in your profit margin is another type of unconditional free shipping. However, this approach works better with high-profit margin products that will not require high shipping fees.

2.     Send abandoned cart emails

One way to re-engage a customer who abandons their cart is by delivering emails that target these customers specifically. These emails are also called abandoned cart emails and are triggered automatically.

However, compared to your marketing emails, abandoned cart emails are transactional. These emails are also more personalized, often using the customer’s name in the subject line and the main message. On the other hand, businesses usually send marketing emails to groups as a brand’s promotional campaign.

The purpose of an abandoned cart email is to remind the customer about an item they left in the cart. You can send three emails—the first one as a friendly reminder, the second one can include tactics such as expiring deals, and the final one offering an incentive such as reduced shipping rates or a product discount code.

Your email should be catchy and include clear Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons that will lead customers back to their shopping carts. Make sure your email is mobile-friendly to make it easier for the reader to read messages or open images. Statistics from show that 48% of cart abandonment emails are opened by recipients, therefore improving your recovery percentage.

3.     Use exit-intent overlay

Exit-Intent technology can read through a site visitor’s exit behavior. The technology sends a strategically timed overlayed message before the visitor exits the site. The objective is not to irritate the customer with a redundant message but to encourage them to complete the purchase.

For instance, if a site visitor wants to leave after seeing the high shipping cost, you can overlay a timely message on free shipping for a minimum purchase amount. This will also help the business to add more sales volume.

4.     Apply SMS remarketing

SMS has the edge over emails. Mobile Marketing Watch notes that SMS marketing gives a 98% open rate. As people spend more time on their mobile phones, it makes sense to use this as a channel to make follow through for items on their abandoned carts.

An important thing to consider when using this approach is for your SMS remarketing message to optimize your strategy for mobile checkout. You can also look into your business statistics and determine whether most of your online sales come from mobile devices.

Doing this will help you develop a more immediate SMS remarketing strategy to prevent cart abandonment.

5.     Try retargeting ads

Another strategy you can use to lure your customer into finalizing a purchase is retargeting ads. This strategy is not about sending them to your standard short form content advertisement. Instead, you have to use targeted content.

Aside from writing a product description that will appeal to your customers, you can leverage other available information about the customers to reach out to them.

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For instance, you can showcase the specific product they are interested in. Another way is you can offer incentives such as invitations for membership and discount codes. It is effective as Wordstream reports that retargeted ads are 76% more likely to be opened than standard display ads.

6.     Add a guest checkout option

Since requiring account creation is a reason for cart abandonment, consider having a guest checkout option on your page.

Some of your site visitors may just be looking for a faster way to make an order, so they may not appreciate the extra step of filling out lengthy forms to create an account they didn’t want in the first place.

While using this strategy can make you miss out on other important details about your site visitor, it can still count as an additional sale for the business.

7.     Additional payment options

To reduce the times when customers don’t push through with their purchase, consider offering additional payment options that will allow customers to spread out or delay payments.

You can collaborate with third-party checkout partners offering installment payments as a business owner. Flexible payment options can facilitate a purchase, especially if the customers do not own a credit card. This strategy gives your customers a chance to purchase more items without the fear of a one-time staggering price total.

8.     Implement a transparent checkout system

A complicated checkout process could discourage any customer. Aside from simplifying the process, online resellers need to show a progress bar that guides customers through the order completion. The “Review” step is also crucial to relieve concerns about making mistakes in the ordering process.

9.     Add a live chat feature and chatbots

Customer support through AI chatbots and live chat functionalities can prevent shopping cart abandonment by being present 24/7 to address customers’ concerns.

During the checkout process, hesitations may result from specific questions the customer needs to ask. The customer will not complete the transaction without resources or representatives to address such inquiries.

10.     Providing social proof

Product reviews are essential in swaying a customer to make a purchase. These reviews come as social proof—a way to create trust in the product. Ratings, testimonials, and other reviews eliminate customer hesitations about purchasing.

Yieldify reports that approximately 61% of customers say they read reviews before purchasing; so online retailers must provide product reviews to their site visitors.

Act Now Or Lose The Sale

Your business’ shopping cart abandonment rate on your ecommerce platform tells you how much you lose in potential sales. Without acting on the problem of abandoned carts, these losses will continue. Understanding why your site visitors abandon their carts can provide insights into what needs fixing. You can put several strategies in place to convert those left shopping carts into more sales for your business.

Using the steps and tips above, you can curate the perfect online marketing strategy to ensure that your customers stay engaged and informed while giving them the best deals. Always look for ways how you can improve your customer service, and you can expect repeat customers with your excellent service.

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