When shoppers make purchases online, they are faced with what is known in eCommerce circles as the “checkout page.” The checkout page can be daunting for customers as they reflect on the items they’ve put in their cart, and a large majority of would-be customers actually abandon their cart for fear of making the wrong purchase.
Why do customers abandon their cart?
There are a number of reasons customers may reconsider their purchase when faced with the checkout page. They may feel that they can find the items at a lower price elsewhere, or they may be concerned about the added shipping cost.
Cart abandonment can be a real problem for eCommerce sales, however entrepreneurs can ease customer anxiety in a number of ways that will encourage them to follow through with their purchase, rather than abandon the cart entirely.
It’s important to incorporate ideas that will encourage the user to complete their purchase. For example, some companies have implemented a donation feature, where a portion of the customer’s purchase will be given to charitable causes in order to benefit the needy.
This encourages customers to follow through with their purchase, as it shows that their sale is going towards more than someone’s bottom line.
If the customer feels that the money they are spending is going towards a good cause, they will be more likely complete their purchase.
Another tried and true tactic for reducing cart abandonment is to create a sense of urgency with the purchase. Give carts a time limit before they self-destruct, especially if the products offered are in limited quantities. When customers feel as if there are only a few left of a product in stock, they will be more likely to successfully purchase the item, as they cannot convince themselves that they will “buy it later.”
Asking customers for feedback is another excellent way to reduce overall cart abandonment, as it allows customers to directly comment about what could be done better. By implementing the changes suggested by customers, customer satisfaction will rise, overall increasing rates of successful purchases.
In addition to the tactics above, companies can implement gift card availability into their cart abandonment reduction strategy. In the past two decades, gift cards have grown wildly popular as a way to recognize a special occasion without going through the trouble of finding the right gift. When customers like a store, they will want to give gift cards to their friends or family who may also enjoy the products available. While they may be shopping for themselves, the sight of gift cards at the checkout window may encourage them to not only make an additional purchase but follow through with their original purchase as well. They can feel good about getting themselves something fun, while feeling as if the purchase is justified because they also purchased a gift for a loved one.
Convincing returning customers to make another purchase is far easier than encouraging new buyers to follow through, and one key way that prevents many new customers from proceeding with their purchase is the implementation of account creations.
Typically, one-time customers will have no interest in creating an account for a site they’ve never purchased from before. They don’t care about their payment information being stored, because they don’t know if they’ll ever be back. Postpone account creation for the end of the purchase to encourage more customers to follow through. Many will leave the page when they are required to make an account, so allow them to check out as a guest, and they prompt them to create an account with the information they entered.
Many new customers abandon their carts because they may feel that their purchase is incomplete, or that their purchase does not justify the cost of shipping.
What does this mean? Purchasing a $15 shirt with a $5 shipping cost may seem disproportionate, but purchasing three shirts totaling $45 will make the shipping cost far less intimidating.
Offer the customer related products to what they have put in their cart to encourage them to make a a larger purchase. They may decide to purchase several related items to justify the purchase as a whole, which in turn relieves checkout anxiety.
Finally, the most effective method of reducing cart abandonment is to share coupons with the customer. If they try to leave their cart, offer them 15 percent off if they make the purchase right then and there. Another excellent method is to offer free shipping after a customer crosses a certain threshold (such as free shipping with a $50 order), or free shipping if they order before a certain time. Offering the customer a deal they cannot refuse remains the single most effective way to reduce cart abandonment, and it allows customers to feel confident that they received a good deal on their purchase.