In today’s tech-heavy society, online sales are crucial for many businesses to compete. However, clumsy and unclear digital purchasing processes often result in cart abandonment as users exit sites before grabbing a credit card. These last-minute rejections across industries represent approximately $18 billion in yearly revenue, and eCommerce brands must learn how to improve cart abandonment rates to recoup these lost opportunities.
What Is Shopping Cart Abandonment?
Cart abandonment is when a potential customer adds items to a digital shopping cart of a merchant’s e-commerce site but elects to cancel the order before checkout.
On average, consumers abandon nearly 70% of all shopping carts. This staggering percentage means that over two out of three shoppers who add items to their shopping carts move on before making a single purchase.
Cart abandonment can happen for a multitude of reasons. Some shoppers tend to overlook the rising purchase amount and associated shipping costs as they continue clicking on items, only to realize that the total cost is unaffordable at checkout. Others might recognize – after further inspection – that the item does not match their needs.
Still, another group of consumers may go into a search knowing full well they will not be purchasing anything that day, but rather are creating an item "wish list" as they window shop to compare prices.
How to Improve Cart Abandonment Rates
Potential customers might leave an eCommerce site before checkout for many reasons, which means that there might be several ways to improve cart abandonment rates.
However, some methods are often more effective than others, and six such ways are as follows:
1. Simplify the Process and Use Clear Prompts
Process clarity is often vital to customers completing the purchasing process. Shoppers are more inclined to cancel their orders pre-checkout if the instructions are unclear and unnecessarily time-consuming.
- Make it clear that the shopper has successfully added the desired items to the cart.
- Include the purchase prices when listing items in the cart.
- When a shopper selects the checkout option, verify that they have indeed concluded shopping.
- Include a clear call to action (CTA) on the shopping cart page that provides the checkout and payment options as the most prominent and visible links on that page.
2. Display an Ongoing Reminder of Cart Contents
While providing shoppers with confirmation that they have successfully added items to their cart is a vital step, merchants might also provide an ongoing reminder of that cart’s contents.
As a shopper navigates the site from product search to checkout, they may not remember the specifics of their cart. As that customer searches for additional items, they may need a reminder of those details, which can include the following:
- Product cost
- Product size
- Product model number/specifications
- Product quantity
Keeping these details fresh in the shopper’s mind might help avoid over-spending, ordering incorrect sizes, and duplicating purchases.
The merchant could also provide a cart summary throughout the purchasing process, enabling customers to review their current order before finishing the checkout.
3. Provide Multiple Delivery Options
Delivery times and shipping costs can influence shopper decisions.
When websites do not display those costs until checkout, would-be customers do not know whether they will complete their order until the tail-end of the purchasing process.
This uncertainty means specific customers may add items to their cart to make a purchase, but those previously unknown shipping charges ultimately deter customers from completing the transaction. This delay in cost disclosure can lead to an unnecessary spike in the cart abandonment rate.
Unexpected shipping costs are likely the most common reason for cart abandonment, with 25% of consumers listing these additional expenses as the primary deterrent to finalizing purchases.
To minimize that statistic, merchants might consider displaying the shipping costs in real-time as customers contemplate purchases. Providing shoppers with a sense of expenses early in the process could prompt earlier decisions to exit the site, resulting in fewer cart abandonments.
Either way, shipping choices also matter. Some shoppers prefer a cost-friendly and slower delivery process, while others prioritize speed and convenience over expenses.
The shipping considerations might include the following:
- Total shipping costs
- Delivery method
- Arrival time
- Product security (i.e., whether to require a signature or leave the package unattended)
Merchants can better attract both customer types if their websites offer multiple delivery options.
4. Offer Incentives Based on Cart Total
When shoppers add a specific dollar amount to their cart, a merchant might offer an added incentive to finalize the purchase. These incentives are often in the form of:
- Discounts on shipping costs
- Coupons for future purchases
- “Buy one, get one” (BOGO) promotions
- Other offers based on integrated pre-approval technology
Introducing these promotions at the crucial moment (immediately at checkout) can provide just enough push to convince the shopper to complete the transaction
5. Offer Guest Checkout
Some shoppers want to make a one-time purchase without registering as a site member or making a similar commitment, and, as such, forcing them to do so can be a significant barrier to purchase.
This extra step often feels unnecessary to shoppers, and at this point, users decide the hassle is not worth a product they can buy elsewhere.
While registration might be appropriate for certain businesses – such as grocery or wholesale stores – it makes sense to avoid this tripwire by offering a quick and straightforward guest checkout option.
6. Offer Multiple Payment Options
While providing a smooth buying and checkout experience is often crucial to driving business, it can be a moot endeavor if merchants do not offer would-be customers the necessary payment options.
Limited alternative payment methods can create an unnecessary but strong barrier between merchants and their prospects. Financial hardships are an unfortunate but common occurrence, and many consumers require financing to purchase even the bare necessities.
Implementing point-of-sale (POS) financing options such as buy now, pay later (BNPL) solutions can expand a brand’s target customer base by attracting consumers who cannot afford total upfront costs.
Let Skeps Help You Complete More Checkouts
While every customer is different and maintains their peculiarities, most shoppers share similar buying habits and an affinity for simple and transparent processes.
The checkout experience is no exception. Running a website that is time-consuming to navigate, includes last-minute ancillary fees, and does not offer multiple payment options will likely result in lost revenue at the tail-end of the customer experience.
To succeed in today’s digital shopping world, eCommerce brands must prioritize top-notch purchase experiences by understanding how to improve cart abandonment rates - and these strategies often begin and end with the right point-of-sale platform.