Updated: Sep 7
A visitor is browsing through your dog food store, she adds a 20kg pack of Adult Dog food to the shopping cart, but leaves without making a purchase. This is a classic case of cart abandonment. Cart abandonment is one of the most significant contributors to lost sales. Did you know that in the first half of 2019 alone, the global cart abandonment rate stood at a whopping 84.24%, making it one of the biggest challenges for the online business store owner to beat?
To overcome the problem, let’s step back and understand why it happens. In a proliferating eCommerce landscape, buyers’ online shopping journeys can be very nonlinear. This makes it difficult to pinpoint one ‘moment of truth’ to nudge the buyer into completing their purchase. There are some broad reasons why cart abandonment happens that are worth reflecting upon.
Low Purchase Intent:
Often, people browse online stores with no agenda and end up adding some items they like to the shopping cart. Obviously, they later abandon it because they never intended to buy it in the first place.
Online shoppers are looking for the best deals and invariably do not settle for the first store they browse. Most tend to search for a certain item, add it to their shopping cart, and then abandon it as they go hunting for the best price for the same on competitor stores.
Your dog parent demands a quick hassle-free browsing experience. A poorly-loaded website or a bugged app can leave her miffed. An on-the-go shopper like our dog parent, is not going to wait for checkout pages to load to complete her purchase.
Confusing Checkout Experiences:
After spending time browsing and selecting items, an online shopper will not fill out long, unclear and confusing forms. Long, convoluted processes irritate shoppers who will most likely walk away without buying.
Account Creation for Checkout:
Mandatory account creation can be one of the biggest bottlenecks in completing an online purchase as it is time consuming.
High (or Hidden) Shipping and Taxes:
When information like high taxes, big shipping charges, unexpected express delivery charges, an unreasonable minimum order value for free delivery, and more come up at checkout, expect consumers to abandon carts. A study showed this was the reason cited by 49% of shoppers.
Customers may even assume it is a strategy from your end to keep critical info hidden. This may drop your credibility.
If important security tick-boxes like trust badges, SSL seals, and other stamps are missing, your online shopper will be in doubt about whether it is safe to share her personal details on your site.
Fewer available payment options or if their preferred or trusted payment options are not available can push people to abandon their carts, even when they don’t want to.
Other Potential Issues
Unsuitable delivery timeline:
Delivery timelines are mainly calculated based on the shopper’s location. If the address is inputted only at the final stage, the timeline may not be acceptable for the buyer who may then abandon the shopping cart.
Lack of readily available offers or coupons:
Customers invariably find out only at checkout whether their items are eligible for any discount or coupons. If the offers are unsuitable, they will look elsewhere. This looking for coupons from other websites may distract your shopper from the original product purchase intent.
Some websites don’t let customers know about the quantity cap for products at the start. Only when they add to cart do they see the quantity restriction. They may abandon shopping carts if the numbers don’t suit them.
Tips to Reduce Cart Abandonment
Track and analyze user behavior:
Graas guides eCommerce clients on using qualitative methods to identify where shoppers tend to drop off the purchase funnel. Once you know why shoppers may be abandoning the process, you can apply optimization opportunities to reduce the problem. These tracking methods include features like shopper online session recordings, heat maps to visualize click and scroll behavior of your customer, form analytics that show which are the pain points in form filing, on-page surveys, exit intent pop-ups and live chat.
Once you have qualitative research data you can use it to map your eCommerce marketing strategy and optimizing plan. Graas AI Predictive Engine recommends its clients optimization ideas that include but are not limited to these listed below:
Eliminate all non-essential fields like questions about where they heard of you from or whether they’d recommend you.
Have a tab that confirms if shipping and billing addresses are the same.
Include a progress bar that shows how far along in the checkout process the shopper is.
Create thumbnails of the products at checkout so that the shopper doesn’t need to back track to re-confirm the order.
Avoid all distractions at checkout stage. Let the customer focus on the purchase and do not distract with pop-ups.
Let the ‘Back’ button be optimized so that the shopper can go back at any time to review rather than receive an error message.
Be upfront about all costs from the start so that the shopper doesn’t get any unwanted surprises at checkout. For example, if you offer free delivery or cash on delivery on all 15kg+ dog food orders, mention it at the start. If you offer an EMI option, state the requirements and eligibility criteria on the product page itself. To help gain the shopper’s trust and avoid price shock at checkout, declare all additional costs on the category or product page. Do this by adding a shipping or tax calculator for easy rate reference.
A new shopper to your dog food store, can easily be converted into a returning customer if you offer an efficient buying experience. A simple way to get shoppers to convert is to allow a guest check-out option. This means that the shopper will not have to spend time creating an account.
Your cart button should be omnipresent. By being visible and just a click away, your shopper can easily navigate between the pages and cart. With the cart button clearly displayed, even window shoppers, distracted shoppers or those with low intent to buy will see the shopping cart and be reminded of the products.
Live chat support:
Your customer might want to confirm that a 20kg of Adult Dog food means that she will receive one big bag rather than two packs of 10kgs each. If you add a live chat support tab, this client can get instant information and proceed to checkout. The information might be in the FAQ section but many shoppers find it difficult to access the answers they require by themselves. A little hand holding by optimization goes a long way.
Shoppers want to be reassured that your eCommerce website is a safe place to share their sensitive information like credit card details. To allay their fears, showcase valid SSL certificates and recognizable security badges like Norton, McAfee and others. App or website performance:
The load time for pages on your platforms should match those of the industry. If they are slow for any reason you risk losing clients. Optimize every aspect of check out flow like image sizes, server response time, and social plugins without compromising on usability.
The shopper at your dog food store has the ability to pay by credit card and cash on delivery but prefers using her e-wallet as she gets exciting offers from the service provider. If your site doesn’t offer e-wallet payments, she may abandon the shopping cart and look for a store that does offer it. Preferences vary and so you should cover all payment options (credit card, debit card, bank transfer, prepaid cards, direct deposit, e-wallets) or as many as you can. Graas AI Predictive Engine can shortlist the most suitable payment options for your target audience.
So what happens to the shoppers who abandoned carts? You might ask if these abandoners can be recovered and convinced to make that purchase.
While it may be impossible to bring cart abandonment down to 0%, Graas AI Predictive Engine recommends that online stores aim at retargeting and re-engaging customers who abandoned shopping carts. You want to remind them with off-site and online communications like targeted email campaigns, push notifications, dynamic retargeting ads, Messenger chatbot, live chat, and exit intent pop-ups of what they’re missing out on and get them to re-visit.
Shoppers today are spoilt for choice and you as a seller have access to amazing optimization opportunities that can help ensure that your cart abandonment rate stays low. Be consistent when it comes to streamlining the shopping experience that you offer and you can breathe easy knowing you are moving in the right direction when it comes to mitigating cart abandonment.