Your shopping cart (or trolley, or basket) is one of the most important areas of your website. It is your key gateway to profit, but no matter how swanky and slick you think you’ve made the experience, some of your visitors will abandon their carts.
Website testing tool company, VWO, moots cart abandonment anywhere between 60% and 80%, while the Danish usability and website testing firm, Baymard Institute, has published a very precise 68.63% worked out as an average from 33 different studies.
However, there can be numerous other reasons why you may be standing in the middle of a field of abandoned carts.
For example, functional bugs that actually prevent your potential customers from adding things to their cart and finalising checkout even if they are committed; this is a particularly prevalent issue in older browsers.
And, how do your cart and checkout behave on different tablets and mobiles? Does it provide a good and consistent user experience; does it actually work?
Also, if you have an omnichannel business model, is it functioning properly? Does it work from researching a product in a physical store to utilising online chat functionality with your customer service representatives, to actually making a purchase?
What if they add something to their cart on your mobile site and then decide to revisit using a desktop browser—is that item still in their cart no matter where they added it from?
Clearly indicate to your customers when an extra cost has been added or updated, and if possible give them control over the additional cost (for example, shipping costs).
Likewise, always display the total cost as soon as possible, preferably before the user has invested a significant amount of time going through your checkout or handing over their email address.
Forcing a visitor to create an account ranks as number 2 on our list of cart killers.
You are saying to them, “Unless you sign up you’re not getting what you want”.
So, always offer a guest checkout option for your users and make use of third party payment options such as PayPal and Amazon Payments. Also, consider facilities like “log in with [insert social media site here]”.
Building trust is imperative. Our CEO has written a great blog article on building creditability and trust that provides some top tips.
The key insight here is that trust can be built in a number of ways:
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF THIS SITE? HTTP://KZ.BENWEST.WEBFACTIONAL.COM/
Your customers shouldn’t feel like they’ve gone 10 rounds in a boxing ring to make it through a checkout funnel. So:
If you are in a shop and your credit card doesn’t work, you’ve still got plenty of options to try out and so you can probably still walk away with your purchase. Can you do something similar with your e-commerce site, and is the process easy to follow?
The final point in the list of cart killers is getting a bit too personal about the information that you expect your customers to give you. Age, gender, national insurance numbers, middle names, mother’s maiden name, place of birth, phone numbers, for example.
Implementing the above solutions will reduce your cart abandonment rate, but what can you do to convince those that have walked away? Here are a few ideas you can try.
More than half of those potential customers who have left a product in their basket may be persuaded to rethink if they receive an email or see an advert relating to that product that offers a discount or indicates that there are only a few of that particular item remaining (source VWO).
So make sure that the email or advert takes them back to their cart on your website as seamlessly as possible.
Smart carts remember what’s been added to them, whether the customer was logged in or not, and from what device they used to add the item.
This saves them a lot of time finding products again and it reduces the number of steps they have to take to continue with their purchase.
Use personal messaging on your website to target those who have not continued with their purchase. For example, use messages that show them what they already have in their carts, show them what other people who were interested in the product also viewed and/or what they bought.
In the final analysis, cart abandonment is not an insurmountable problem. Don’t think it’s just one of those things you have to live with. There are plenty of things you can do to alleviate its impact on your business and increase revenue if you follow my advice.