As an e-commerce website owner do you ever feel frustrated when a customer adds items to the shopping cart and abandons the checkout process without completing the purchase?
Well, it is really nerve-racking when a consumer stops at the payment gateway and is something that should be considered seriously.
According to a study conducted by Barilliance, in 2016 the cart abandonment rate was 77.24% which rose to 78.65% in 2017. It is a staggering figure for any online business owners and should be taken care of as soon as possible.
So, what can you do to ensure that your customers end up checking out? Here are a few ways to reduce cart abandonment rate that are good to start with.
Top Solutions to Decrease Abandonment Rate
1 – Provide shipping free of cost
According to a survey conducted by Forrester, 44% of online customers abandon their shopping cart due to high shipping costs. Of course, no customer likes to pay extra charges for the delivery.
Various surveys conducted by different websites concluded that customers are inspired to buy more products online when online shopping websites provide customers with FREE shipping.
So it’s always a good idea for online businesses to sell products by covering up shipping charges or offering other fulfillment choices that give customers an impression that delivery will not cost them extra.
Also, if you cannot afford to provide free shipping, then you can offer some kind of an incentive like free samples, a discount on the future purchase or a loyalty program. This will help you to convert abandoned carts into final sales.
2 – Add a progress indicator in your website
Some online shopping websites bore their customers with a seemingly long process to check out. This leads customers to go through several pages of the website which becomes time-consuming and annoying at the same time.
Customers imagine it to be a long race with no visible finish line. It is kind of torture. Hence, if a customer knows where the finish line is and is left with only a few steps/miles to go, they will be filled with a burst of enthusiasm to complete the purchase.
However, if you go for a multi-step procedure then it is crucial to remind your customers of the number of steps left by showing a progress indicator. The check-out process should not be more than three steps.
3 – Discard hidden charges
For some customers, the reason they abandon carts is hidden charges. Various e-commerce business adds additional charges like sales tax and super fast delivery charges during the check-out, this is a major cause of irritation for the customers and is a reason that drives them away before even finalizing the purchase.
If it’s not possible for you to discard the option of sales tax, super fast delivery costs and other charges, then the best way is to display them in a separate dialog box rather than adding them up in the end.
4 – Add cash on delivery option
Visitors are usually afraid of making an online payment, especially when they are purchasing something for the first time. Various customers are in favor of making the payment only after the product is delivered to them.
Hence, e-commerce companies should offer the users an option to pay cash on delivery. This will help you to build consumer trust.
5 – Try to avoid the pre-registration process
According to a study, conducted by Webcredible, 29% of online shoppers do not like the idea of having to fill registration forms during the checkout process.
Asking users to register themselves before proceeding to finalize the purchase can create a barrier to ordering. Therefore, eliminating the registration process can enable e-merchants to boost the conversion rate.
In case of any need for communication, you should ask for an email address instead of asking for registration or creating an account. Creating an account option becomes an obligation at the very beginning and slows down the checkout process.
6 – Offer express shipping
There are some online shoppers who need immediate delivery of a product, especially for a special occasion. If the product is not delivered on time, then it is of no use to them. And on top of that, if the customer doesn’t find any quick delivery option during the checkout process, it will result in cart abandonment.
This cart abandonment problem can be avoided by providing express delivery. Within the U.S there are four shipping services available and each service has its own price and the expected days of delivery. These available options will help a shopper to make an informative decision.
7 – Include multiple payment options
While creating e-commerce checkout pages, you don’t want anything that comes in between customers and a seamless, rewarding, and satisfying shopping experience. But if you are only providing one payment option, then it may drive your customers away.
Credit card payment option is a must have but customers these days need more payment choices to pay for products online. Other options like PayPal, cash on delivery, mobile payment methods such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay are becoming increasingly popular.
Including more payment options eliminates one of the main cause a customer abandons his/her cart. So, having more payment options simply means giving your customers what they desire, and this is what it’s all about.
8 – Send reminders to customers about the abandoned cart
There could be various reasons for customers to abandon their carts without finalizing the checkout. But it doesn’t always mean that the transaction process is over.
The reasons for cart abandonment could be a poor internet connection, power failure or unavailability of payment options to complete the checkout. In this case, you can send your customer an email or a message reminding them of the items they left behind in the shopping cart.
9 – Incorporate ‘save for later’ or ‘wishlist’ feature
Besides sending customers reminder via email or a message, you can add ‘save for later’ or ‘add to wishlist’ option for customers to come back and complete the purchase.
Including these options is a no-brainer as it gives customers the freedom to come back and shop around at any time and think about the items before making the purchase.
10 – Attract customers with special deals, discounts or offers
In this competitive world, everyone is craving for a profitable business that is profitable. But looking at the competition around it gets difficult to invite customers to your website to make a purchase.
It is important to note that users check different sites before finalizing a product and what they look for are discounts and special offers. Therefore, you can offer special deals or discounts on price elastic items to attract more customers. This will surely result in reduced cart abandonment.
11 – Make your website responsive — mobile friendly
Smartphones are gaining popularity everywhere. Be it a teenager, young or old aged everyone has a smartphone in his/her pocket. People use smartphones to surf the internet for all purposes, but the problem begins when a user finds it difficult to finalize the deal just because the website is not opening properly on a tab or a smartphone—resulting in shopping cart abandonment.
Mobile phones have the lowest conversion rates out of all the other devices because of the high browsing and less completed online purchases. This is the reason why it’s essential to ensure mobile-friendliness with a smart User experience (UX) and yes, you should also include ‘add to wishlist’ option on every product page.
12 – Ensure that your e-commerce website is scalable and fast
There is nothing more frustrating to customers than a slow website. About 65 percent of the online buyers are not willing to wait for more than three seconds for a page to load. An immediate increase in website traffic may slow the load time which results in losing potential customers and reduced return on investment.
This will not only ruin the customer experience but can also lead to cart abandonment. So, it’s crucial to ensure that your website has higher scalability and speed to support the traffic for the growth of your business. You can take help from your hosting service provider before such incidents occur.
13 – Make your website secure
When users are concerned about security issues especially when it comes to making payments, they hesitate to put credit/debit card information on the website. This usually happens when they are suspecting any fraudulent activity.
The main reasons for such suspicions to arise are the outdated website design, the long or hectic method to reach out to the payment gateway, and unnecessary advertisements leading customers to different websites. A missing SSL certificate can also be one of the major reasons for customers to not feel secure.
In order to gain users trust, online shopping websites should keep their websites up to date and use a trusted and secure payment gateway system.
The other thing online shopping websites can do is install SSL certificates, keep websites free from malware, spyware, and other viruses. This will ensure consumer confidence and ultimately lead to more sales.
14 – Provide instant customer support
Shopping time is a very crucial time for customers. Online shopping is different from brick and mortar shopping. In physical store shopping, there is always one attendant available who helps to answer customer queries, but it’s not the same with online shopping.
Most of the times online shoppers have questions to ask before finalizing the purchase which is unavoidable. For instance, they need to know about the product specifications, guarantee, delivery or more.
Hence, it becomes important for an e-commerce business to answer these questions and provide instant support to customers before they abandon their shopping carts.
There is no doubt that companies provide email or voice inquiries to give solutions but they usually tend revert back within 12- 24 hours window. There is a possibility by that time a customer may forget about the query they raised.
Hence, providing an instant call or message support for customers who are trying to make a purchase can lead to reduced abandoned carts.
Concluding the post
By applying a few of these strategies in your e-commerce business, you will not just generate more revenue from those who would have otherwise abandoned their shopping cart but will also be able to provide a better customer experience.
Remember, an effective design with a well-thought-out and a smooth check-out process along with a FREE delivery will result in a complete purchase, make customers happy and boost your return on investment.