So you’ve increased your traffic through effective SEO and digital marketing strategy – that’s great! But what happens when you have all these potential customers abandoning their carts before checkout? It happens, all too often.

Studies suggest that on average, 70% of customers abandon their carts when shopping online. Even more startling, the completion rates for purchases on mobile phones is only estimated at approximately 8.5%.

The good news is, it is totally fixable!

First, let’s make sure we are on the same page.

What is cart abandonment?

Cart abandonment is when customers exit your site after adding a product to their shopping cart. It can be an important indicator of problems you need to fix, so understanding your cart abandonment rate is important.

To calculate the cart abandonment rate, you need to first know the exact number of carts created in your store. Then, divide the total number of completed purchases by the number of created carts. Take that number and subtract it from 1. Take that number and multiply by 100 and you’ve got your percentage.

What are the reasons for cart abandonment?

There are plenty of potential reasons for high cart abandonment. You will need to understand your customer journey first. Before we go through the reasons, I promise you there are plenty of solutions coming. Let’s review the potential causes:

  • High shopping costs, taxes, import fees – These unexpected costs can quickly add up and deter a customer from ordering and completing their purchase. Unexpected costs can quickly make the customer hesitate and re-think their purchase. What was once a justifiable purchase of $20, quickly doubled at check-out.
  • Registration process –  Customers love an easy, seamless checkout process. A site that requires a customer to register before making a purchase, will often see a high-cart abandonment rate. Of course, there are benefits to forcing registration and receiving customer information (email marketing for example) but the payoff is not necessarily worth the lost sale. There are more effective ways around this.
  • Payment –  Sometimes customers realize their credit card information isn’t saved and they don’t have it easily accessible. They may abandon the cart with the intention of returning later.
  • Poor return policy –  Shopping online is a gamble sometimes, and customers love knowing they can return the product if it doesn’t meet their expectations. If they realize upon checkout the return policy is limited, it may change their mind about purchasing from that store.
  • Lack of encryption –  For anyone who has had their credit card information stolen online – you know why this is important. Customers rely on secure checkout, and if it isn’t encrypted, customers simply won’t feel comfortable putting in their credit cards, resulting in another abandoned cart.
  • Slow or limited shipping options –  In the days of Amazon Prime, customers are used to fast and efficient shipping options. If they are not provided sufficient options to choose from, they may rethink their purchase.

What is the solution to overcome these obstacles?

Luckily, high cart abandonment is often an easy fix once you narrow down the root cause.

  • Offer free shipping –  A free shipping guarantee is a great way to reduce cart abandonment. You can minimize the surprise at the end, and customers will feel confident purchasing from you. A study conducted by UPS confirmed what we have always thought: customers hate high-shipping costs. You may have to modify your product pricing to absorb some of the cost, but in the end, you will likely see a higher return.
  • Give all costs upfront –  Notify your customers clearly in product descriptions of any fees they can expect upon check-out. It will prepare them in advance and remove any surprises at the end that may contribute to an abandoned cart.
  • Offer guest-checkout –This is an amazing way to reduce friction points at check-out. By offering a seamless guest check-out process, customers can check out quickly and are less likely to abandon cart. Approximately 14% of online shoppers indicated that forced registration was a reason for them to abandon cart. That’s a convincing argument for guest check-out! Increase the payment options available to customers and include convenient methods like PayPal and ApplePay.
  • Flexible Return Policy – if you have a high cart abandonment rate and you think the root cause might be your return policy, complete a 30- or 60-day trial with a revised policy. Testing is key! A money-back guarantee is a great way to increase trust and remove hesitation from potential customers.
  •  Email marketing plan – Create an effective email marketing plan that includes cart recovery emails. These can easily be automated using AiTrillion.
  • Build Trust – Use a high-quality fraud management system and display trust symbols clearly on your website.
  • Identify weak spots in the customer – conversion funnel –  You will need to analyze the data of your customer journey, to identify exactly which areas are points of friction. By doing so, you can implement changes quickly and effectively and therefore improve the customer experience. Closely examine conversion pathways and never make assumptions about customer behavior.
  • Push notifications and emails to reduce abandonment –  This is an incredibly important technique to strategically improve your purchase completion rate. Apart from sending personalized reminders about a customer’s abandoned cart, push notifications can also be used to deliver sales, promotions, and other techniques to encourage completion of the sale. Combined with the right promotion or messaging, push notifications and cart recovery emails can reduce abandonment and encourage your customers to hit the check-out button and complete the sale.
  • Analytics are your friend –  To effectively remedy the issue of a high cart abandonment rate, you need to first understand the customer journey and when and why they are leaving before purchasing. You can do this by implementing analytics through AiTrillion. AiTrillion will give you the needed insight to make adjustments to your site and recover shopping carts. With predictive modeling, data visualization and segmentation, AiTrillion allows ecommerce sites to track every detail of the customer experience, to improve marketing strategy and reduce the abandon cart percentage.

Summing up

Cart abandonment is a problem for ecommerce sites large and small. However, there are numerous ways to fix the issues and improve your conversion rate. By collecting the right data and information about your customer, you will be better equipped to make informed decisions. Accordingly, data-driven change is an effective way to improve your site and you must be willing to implement new strategies and changes to improve your sales completion rate.

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