16 tips to help minimise cart abandonment

Cart-Abandoment-Avasam

eCommerce is a field full of opportunity, but with those opportunities there a lot of potential challenges to overcome – and cart abandonment is just one example of where businesses can lose out on sales. Our partners at BigCommerce estimate that average cart abandonment rates are as high as 69.57% – and in many cases, are much higher. Luckily, if you’re facing high cart abandonment rates, there are plenty of ways to take steps to combat it, and in this post, we’ll be sharing some of the ways that you can reduce the number of abandoned carts that your business encounters.

What is cart abandonment?

Cart abandonment is where customers add items to an order, but don’t complete the purchase. There are many reasons that customers might decide to abandon their cart, and some of those reasons may be related to the way the website works – which means that there are steps you can take to help reduce cart abandonment.

What to do to reduce cart abandonment

Optimising the user experience of your website is key when it comes to successfully reducing cart abandonment – so here are some top tips to ensure that your customers are more likely to complete their purchase.

1. Make your calls to action clear

When customers add an item to their basket, you need to ensure that it is easy for them to know the next steps to finalising their purchase. It should be really clear that customers have added an item to their basket, how to view the contents of their basket, and how to proceed to purchase.

When the customer clicks through to their basket, there should be a clear call to action (CTA), offering the payment options – so, if you have a checkout option such as Amazon Pay in addition to regular checkout, then make those clear. This will help to prevent any customers being confused and abandoning their purchase.

2. Use conversion messaging

Have you been on a website where a popup appears when you go to leave? That’s conversion messaging, and many sites are using it because it is a great way to encourage customers to complete their purchase – and it is really effective in helping to reduce cart abandonment.

Including a sense of urgency with the message increases the likelihood that customers will complete their purchase. Messages such as telling the customer how many people are viewing the item, or how many people have ordered the item already today are great ways to evoke fear of missing out (FOMO). You can make this even more powerful by adding a discount if they sign up, or a similar special offer.

3. Provide a range of delivery options

Because of the speedy experience that Amazon Prime provides, many customers have come to expect that from other retailers too. But if they’re shopping for a time sensitive purchase such as a birthday gift, they need to know that their order is going to arrive in good time, and so they need to know exactly how quickly they will receive their order. For other customers, free shipping is the most important thing, and they’re happy to wait for their order if they don’t have to pay extra to have it delivered on time. For retailers, that means offering a range of shipping options, to ensure that customers are more likely to have access to the best type of delivery for them.

4. Allow customers to use guest checkout

Do you find it annoying when you have to sign up for an account every single time you want to shop somewhere new? So do your customers! Convenience is one of the things that keep customers shopping on marketplaces like Amazon – because their details are already stored, and they can complete their order in just a few clicks.

Allowing customers to finalise their order using guest checkout means that they can complete their order faster, and if they are averse to giving their personal information to companies that they haven’t yet ordered from, guest checkout will help to prevent them from abandoning their purchase.

5. Use easy to view forms

Nobody wants to have to spend ages completing a form that takes up a whole page, or to find there is more to complete once they have already clicked through. Establish the most relevant information that you need to gather from your customers, and make sure the forms you’re using are easy to see, and to complete.

6. Don’t hide costs

If you’re charging for shipping on top of the cost of the item, make that absolutely clear on each and every listing. This is possibly one of the biggest mistakes we’ve seen, particularly on marketplaces where sellers are shipping from overseas. When customers think they’ve found a product that is a bargain, and then when they go to check out, there is an additional cost that they hadn’t anticipated – well, that is likely to result in a lot of cart abandonment.

7. Remind customers about their cart

Adding a reminder for customers that their basket has items in is pretty easy to do on websites – particularly on website builders like BigCommerce and Shopify where there are a number of apps in the store to help achieve this. Prompting them to check out means that they’re less likely to leave the page without completing their purchase.

8. Provide easy access to help

From using heatmaps and other types of software, you can establish where the most common place is that customers encounter issues with their purchase, and trigger a chatbot, or live chat to kick in at strategic points. Having the right information in the right places – such as a link to your returns policy on your checkout page – can also help to minimise cart abandonment, while placing information buttons that pop out further explanations can help too.

9. Increase trust

Showing your customers that you are a company to be trusted can help reduce cart abandonment too. Be sure to clearly show:

  • That all transactions are secure, showing SSL/TLS Certificate status and other security information – such as if you’re using a security plugin on your website
  • Reviews from websites such as Trustpilot
  • The ways that customers can get in touch with you, including your address (proving your business isn’t a scam)
  • Make it easy to send enquiries
  • Link to your FAQ page so that it is easy for customers to find answers
  • Have an excellent returns policy that makes it easy for customers to change their mind

10. Allow multiple payment options

While credit or debit card payments are generally the preferred method of paying for online shopping in the UK, there are other methods that are popular in other countries, as well as newer methods that are gaining popularity with customers. Users of PayPal, as well as digital wallets such as Google Pay and Apple Pay are increasing, yet relatively few retailers have those available as options – effectively forcing customers to use other payment methods, or to go elsewhere.

11. Increase the number of products that you have available

Where customers are shopping for a product and they can’t find the exact solution they want, they may be inclined to add to cart for the next best thing. In this situation, if they find the perfect item, they’re going to order from whichever retailer has it. That means if you’re specialising in a certain type of product, having more items available means they are more likely to find what they’re looking for with you – reducing the number of next best things being added to carts. We’ve spoken at length about diversifying your inventory, and of course, you don’t have to invest in inventory in order to do so. By sourcing items from Avasam suppliers, you can offer your customers more, without needing to invest cash in stock, and without needing additional resources to fulfil those orders.

Sign up for your Avasam account now – it is free until you’re making more than 10 sales per month.

After abandonment

Even with the best designed website and user experience, customers will abandon their carts and it seems like there’s nothing you can do about it. Sometimes they’re just browsing without any intent of buying, sometimes they decide their available funds can be better spent elsewhere, or maybe they found alternatives from competitors that suited their needs better. But just because they abandoned their purchase right then doesn’t necessarily mean that the abandonment is permanent – they may decide to return and complete their purchase – either when they have searched some more, or their bank account looks a bit more healthy.

12. Save cart contents for later

Saving cart contents means that if customers have abandoned their carts temporarily, when they return, they don’t have to search for their items again. That means they’re more likely to check out with their whole basket – which means potentially a bigger order. Let’s say they’ve searched for a toy for a child – and when they chose a battery operated item, they added a pack of rechargeable batteries and a battery charger to their order. If the toy is a gift item, and the basket isn’t saved, there is a greater chance of them just buying the toy from you – which is OK, but those batteries and the charger would mean additional profits.

13. Allow customers to create a wishlist

If customers are shopping without intending to buy right then – perhaps they’re browsing in anticipation of Christmas shopping, or ahead of a birthday – then offering them the chance to create a wishlist may help to reduce cart abandonment. When customers add items to a wishlist, they’re more likely to come back and move those items into a basket, and you gain valuable information about what sort of things customers are looking for.

14. Pop them an email to remind them about their cart

Where customers have registered with you and signed in before abandoning their cart, then encouraging them to return and to complete their purchase is easy – simply pop them an email. If the order is over a suitable amount of money, you might decide to include an incentive with the email, such as a free gift, or free shipping.

15. Send a discount code

There aren’t many of us that don’t love a discount on our orders, and in many cases, we go hunting for a discount code before we place an order! That means that you can encourage customers to return and complete their purchase with you by sending them a voucher code. Personalising the email, and making the offer time-bound are likely to ensure they make their purchase sooner than later too.

16. Audit your checkout process

You know how your website works, and how it is supposed to work – but there may be glitches that cause customers to lose trust that your store is secure, which will result in them abandoning their purchase from you and going elsewhere. Doing a complete, impartial website audit that analyses the steps from searching and browsing to completing the purchase will help you to identify where there may be issues. It is best if you can have someone who has never bought from you before to complete this, so that they are less likely to ignore those glitches that you’re used to seeing, and they’re less emotionally invested too.

There are so many ways that retailers can establish where cart abandonments are most likely to happen, and they don’t have to cost you extra – there are many free tools to help with this. Google Analytics can help you to establish the point at which customers abandon their purchase, and heatmap tools like Hotjar can show you visuals of what happens as customers leave the page. This can give you really valuable insight, especially if there are issues on your website.

The Takeaway

Cart abandonment is likely to always be an issue for eCommerce retailers, since it is easy for customers find items at a lower price, or from a more convenient source. But that doesn’t mean it is impossible to reduce the number of abandonments, and the tips we’ve shared here are some of the best, tried and tested methods to help reduce cart abandonment. Our favourite tip? Diversifying your inventory. It won’t just help to reduce cart abandonment, it’ll also increase trust, helping you to sell more, and to scale your business further.

To get started with your free Avasam account, click here, or if you’d like to book a discussion with a member of our team, click here.


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Dawn Matthews
Dawn has worked in technical and customer supporting roles for over 20 years. Most of her career was spent in technical services at top rated UK universities, which has given her a keen eye for detail. A lucky escape led her to the field of eCommerce in 2017, and she’s never looked back.Dawn studied in the field of social sciences with the Open University, achieving an MSc in Forensic Psychology at the same time as working two jobs. She regularly applies principles of psychology from her studies to her work, and outside of her role at Avasam she is busy writing her second book.Follow Dawn on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/dawn-matthews

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