There is nothing worse for an online retailer than a high shopping cart abandonment rate. According to Monetate, 8.01% of visitors added items to their cart in Q4 2012, but only 1.42% actually checked out—suggesting that global cart abandonment rate is around 82%. Here are five strategies that you can use to reduce your cart abandonment and increase conversion rates.
You spend a fortune bringing visitors in; you see them engaging with your carefully curated products… But then, just as you are waiting for them to open their wallet, they leave. There is nothing more frustrating and annoying than a high shopping cart abandonment rate, seeing those engaged potential customers going away. Cart abandonment is here to stay, but there are some things that you can do to save some of those dollars:
1. Do the analysis
Shopping cart abandonment may not only be the fault of price comparison or indecisive shoppers. Some of it may be due to problems with user experience or even due to undetected website errors. Segmenting users who abandoned their shopping cart and looking at their visitor recordings and heatmaps can uncover many of these problems and potentially save users from going to the competition. For example, visitor recording can reveal that international users cannot check-out since they don’t have an US phone number.
2. Create a multi-step checkout process
In a multi-step checkout process, you capture a potential customer’s email address, which allows you to contact him or her by email if they choose to abandon their shopping cart. Only then, you ask for other details including shipping address and credit card information.
This has two main benefits for lowering shopping cart abandonment rate. This way if they do not complete the checkout process, you have an email you can reach-out to. Second, it is much less intimidating: instead of one long form, you have a short one at each stage.
3. Offer free shipping
In many cases, the additional cost of shipping comes as a surprise to many visitors during the check-out process. In an era when many online retailers offer free shipping, charging a few dollars extra for shipping may be a point of friction and drive customers to abandon their shopping cart. Therefore, try to experiment with free shipping and see whether the added revenue from lower abandonment rate overweighs pocketing shipping costs.
4. Have a great return policy—and make it explicit
When you can’t touch the merchandise, customers want to know that they’re not going to get stuck with a pair of shoes that don’t fit. You may not need to go as far as Zappos.com and offer 365 day free return on everything. However, even if you have a return policy already, making sure that it is explicit during the checkout process may make it easier for customers to spend the money.
5. Give lowest price guarantee
One of the things that can increase your shopping cart abandonment rate is if customers feel that they need to check out another website or two to make sure that got the best deal. A price match guarantee can give shoppers the assurance that they can check-out now and get the difference if they find lower prices anywhere online.
No silver bullet
There is no silver bullet to lower your shopping cart abandonment rate. Yet rigorous analysis that includes watching visitor recordings, analyzing heatmaps and incorporating other best practices can lower abandonment rate, earning your precious extra revenue. And in the competitive world of online retail, every fraction of a percent counts.