What to Do When Your Online Customers Abandon Their Cart

So you have your inventory figured out, you’ve got a nice dose of incoming traffic, and your website looks neat and professional. But did you know, according to Shopify’s roundup of studies, 67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes a sale? Holy guacamole! That number is really high!  That means your sales numbers might only be one-third of what they actually could be! Mind blown. So let’s take a look at some ways we can reduce shopping cart abandonment and increase sales:

  1. Send an Email

Did you know that many customers often abandon their carts without even meaning to? Crazy, isn’t it? Usually, it’s because the website crashed, or because the process was complicated, or maybe the site timed out. Whatever the reason you can solve this problem by crafting an automatic email reminder that will let the customer know they didn’t finish checking out.  It’s actually a very effective sales recovery tactic. As reported by SaleCycle, almost half of all abandoned cart emails are opened and more than a third of clicks lead to purchases back on the website. That’s an increase of more than 30 percent in sales! Amazing!

Pro Tip: Always make sure your abandonment emails include a persuasive reminder of the value they were attracted to in the first place. You can do this through a catchy subject line, great copy, and, of course, images!

  1. Use Pop-Ups

Ok, we all hate pop-ups especially when we’re happily surfing away and BANG pop-up in our face blocking the view of that gorgeous peacoat we were eyeing but many sites still use exit-intent popups, (and you should too) because it’s a great way to maximize your conversions.

An Exit-intent popup works by detecting when a user is about to leave the page and then triggers a pop-up message that persuades them to stay. Picture your client about to abandon their cart when BOOM pop-up message with an invitation to chat with a support agent, a special discount offer, or an invitation to join your email list tempts them to stay. This method is a proven way to reduce shopping cart abandonment and increase your revenue. Plus, exit-intent popups can be installed on any page, like your shopping cart and checkout pages. Easy-peasy!

Pro Tip: Using an exit-intent popup followed by a reminder email will really help you maximize those conversions.

  1. Be Transparent

Did you know that the number one reason for shopping cart abandonment is due to hidden costs like shipping fees or taxes? Yep. Studies by Baymard Institute and Statista found that 25% of customers specifically cited shipping costs as the primary reason that drives them away. The solution? Fully disclose the costs. Transparency is essential to your stores success, so it’s best to state all costs from the get-go.

Pro Tip: Bundle your shipping costs into the product price and offer “free” shipping for your customers. A study conducted by CPCstrategy found that free shipping is seen as “critical” for 73% of customers and will coax 93% of shoppers to buy more online. Sweet!

  1. Keep the Checkout Process Simple

Another great finding from the study mentioned above is that 22% of customers abandon their cart when they’re required to create a new user account and 28% of all shoppers list having to create a new user account as a reason why they’ve abandoned their carts. This means customers hate extra steps! Don’t make your dear clients jump through hoops by demanding that they input information, confirm an email address, and then return to the shopping cart. No one wants a slow checkout process!

To ensure people don’t leave simply enable guest checkout and then give the customer an optional invitation to create an account at the end of the process once the sale is final. Super simple, right?

Pro Tip: Ensure the whole purchasing process is smooth and simple. One of the best ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment is to get rid of unnecessary pages and streamline the process.

  1. Make Users Feel Secure

As an e-commerce professional or online business owner it’s safe to say we trust the internet. However, many people are still hesitant to buy online, especially after reading about information data breaches, the rise of credit card fraud, and online scams. Scary!

So how can you reassure your customers so they trust you and feel safe completing an online purchase with your store? The best way to do this is to clearly communicate the safety of your site. Add a VeriSign logo to your site, or even replace the VeriSign logo with a simple padlock icon and a short statement explaining that your site is secure. Add credibility to your site by linking to popular publications that have written about you. If you don’t have reviews, you can always link to general advice about buying online from credible sources like the BBC. You know your website is secure so make sure your customers feel that way too!

Pro Tip: Adding a padlock icon to the address bar actually makes customers feel more secure than only seeing that icon on your webpage and it’s proven to reduce cart abandonment.

Of course, you can never stop every single user from abandoning their online cart but with these tips, you’re sure to stop making fundamental mistakes and see a rise in sales. Let us know what your favourite shopping cart tools are, or share your favourite tactic to reduce shopping cart abandonment in the comments below!

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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