Branding

The Fix & Fetch Method: A Definitive Guide to Fixing Cart Abandonment

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Are your conversion rates as high as you’d like them to be?

 

Are you getting a lot of store visitors, but not a lot of sales?

 

Chances are, cart abandonment is playing a leading role in your less-than-ideal conversion rates. Your customers like your products, but you aren’t convincing them to finalize their purchase. They go through the steps to make a purchase, only to leave your store without confirming their order.

 

You were so close to earning a sale, but it fell through at the last step.

 

But why?

 

Cart abandonment impacts each and every eCommerce store. Even the most highly profitable stores face cart abandonment as an impediment to their bottom line. Some stores have more trouble with it than others.

 

Fortunately, there are numerous proven ways to combat cart abandonment. By using certain practices, you can earn your shopper’s trust and reduce your cart abandonment rate. Today, we’re going to focus on the Fix and Fetch method of increasing your conversion rates.

 

Let’s dive in.

 

Why do Shoppers Abandon Their Carts?

 

Before you can fix the problem, you have to understand what causes it.

 

Why don’t your shoppers want to buy from you?

 

As it turns out, there are a lot of reasons why shoppers abandon their carts. Shoppers have more time to consider a purchase online than in-store, so they tend to notice more issues with your products or service before they buy it.

 

From the time your shopper chooses a product and finishes the checkout process, there are dozens of factors that could convince them not to complete the sale. Shoppers don’t want to give you their money unless they know they’ll like what they get. If they have any doubts about that, they won’t place an order with you.

 

So why don’t your customers trust you? What’s driving them away? Let’s take a look at a few reasons, and how you can fix them. After you’ve fixed the following issues with your store, you can move on to the second stage of the Fix and Fetch method.

 

1. Mandatory Registration

 

Shopping online is supposed to be convenient. It’s supposed to take less time than driving to the store, navigating the aisles, and checking out. Ideally, shopping online shouldn’t take more than a few clicks.

 

And customers don’t like anything that makes their online shopping experience take longer than necessary – including mandatory registration.

 

You know the feeling. You’re shopping online. You’ve chosen your products, and you’re ready to check out. As you head to your cart, you’re prompted to enter your personal information and make an account with the store before you can complete your purchase. What should have taken 30 seconds may now take you well over 2 minutes to complete.

 

Your customers experience this exact frustration when you make them register before completing their purchase.

 

So how can you fix it?

 

Simple: Don’t force your customers to register with your store. Offer a guest checkout option for shoppers who don’t want to make an account. The sales you’ll earn are worth the loss of registered accounts you’d normally have from forced registration.

 

2. High Shipping Costs

 

You’ve done it before.

 

You’ve gone to complete a purchase, only to find out the order’s shipping costs are over half the price of the original product!

 

Chances are, you’ll head to another store with cheaper shipping when you’re faced with unexpected shipping costs. And customers will do the same if they aren’t happy with your shipping options.

 

Why should someone spend $10 on shipping when they can drive to the store and save some of that money?

 

Shipping costs are the greatest downfall of online shopping. Thousands of online shoppers abandon their carts because they’re unhappy with the shipping costs.

 

There are a couple of ways you can reduce the impact of shipping costs on your conversion rate:

 

Offer Free Shipping – Shoppers love free shipping. In fact, many shoppers will choose your store over another simply because you offer free shipping. You can offer free shipping on all orders, on someone’s first order, or on orders over a certain total. Whatever guidelines you decide to choose, free shipping is always a great way to earn points with your customers. 

 

Be Up-Front About Shipping Costs – Your customers shouldn’t have to wait until they’re checking out to know what you’re charging them for shipping. Be up-front about your shipping costs and feature them on your product pages. This way, your customers can anticipate the cost of shipping, and prepare for it as they put together their order. 

 

3. Poor Payment Options

 

Customers will abandon their cart if you don’t offer their preferred payment option. Personally, I like to use PayPal for my online purchases, and I tend to shop from stores that offer PayPal as a payment option. This is only a matter of preference, but it can make a big difference if a store doesn’t offer your only method of payment.

 

The best solution? Offer all major payment gateways. Don’t leave out any major types of payment. If your store is hosted with Shopify, you can offer almost every common payment gateway to your shoppers. There’s no need to offer the most obscure payment gateways, but you should at least accept all major credit cards and PayPal.

 

4. Comparison Shopping

 

Are you offering the best prices on your products? Unless you’re offering above-and-beyond service or free shipping, you can’t expect your customer to pay more for something they can find elsewhere for less. And don’t think you’re customers won’t know you’re overcharging them – thanks to comparison shopping tools, they’ll know if someone else is offering your product for less.

 

This doesn’t mean you have to offer the cheapest price right on your product page. Yes – your products should be reasonably priced. But you can offer your customer the lowest price without actually lowering the price.

 

How?

 

With pop-up discounts.

 

When your shopper goes to leave their cart without making a purchase, offer them a discount to encourage them to stay. By offering them free shipping or a 10% discount, it might just be enough for them to choose you over another brand.

 

5. Website Security Issues

 

Even in 2016, thousands of online shoppers don’t feel comfortable sharing their personal information with online retailers. Thanks to cyber-emergencies like the Sony hack of 2011, many shoppers are nervous about their information falling into the wrong hands. Without the right security features, shoppers might not feel comfortable giving you their payment information.

 

There are three major ways you can improve your site’s trust factor:

 

Make Security Badges Visible – There are numerous security badges you can put on your site. Shopify offers a security badge, as do most major payment gateways. You might also consider placing an SSL badge somewhere on your store to help improve your site’s trust. 

 

Include a Great About Us Page – Would you feel comfortable giving your money to a complete stranger, without knowing anything about who they are or the business they run? Probably not. Most customers feel the same way, and a great About Us page can help you establish trust with your customer. They’ll know who you are, what you believe in, and what kind of products, service, and lifestyle you’re offering. Without an About Us page, you won’t be anonymous to your customer, and they’ll be more likely to shop with you. 

 

Feature Your Contact Info – Mistakes happen, and your customer should be able to reach you in the event of one. If your customers know they can get a hold of you, they’ll feel more comfortable making a purchase from your store. 

 

6. Complicated Checkout Process

 

Online shopping is all about convenience. The more convenient your store, the more sales you’ll make. Customers don’t want to spend more time than necessary finding their cart and going through the checkout process. Complicated checkouts are a leading cause of cart abandonment.

 

The best solution is to simplify your checkout process. Get rid of any necessary steps, and only use a few different pages for the entire process. Try to combine checkout elements on one page. Don’t make your customer give more information than they have to. The faster your checkout process is, the more shoppers you will convert.

 

Fetching Cart Jumpers and Finishing Your Sales

 

Now that you know what’s wrong with your store, you can make the necessary changes. After you’ve fixed your store, it’s time to bring those would-be shoppers back to their cart.

 

Bringing customers back isn’t as easy as fixing your store. Fixing your store is the first step, now you need to convince them your brand is up to their standards. To do this, you need to know what to say, how to say it, and when. Crafting the right message is key to bringing would-be customers back to their cart.

 

How can you figure out the best formula for your store? Let’s take a look at the Fetching part of the Fix and Fetch method to get a better understanding.

 

 

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Step 1: Draw Inspiration from Other Stores

 

Make a list of successful online stores. These can include independent stores or massive, multi-national retailers – as long as your list is made up of successful brands, you’ll learn some fetching techniques.

 

Once you’ve made the list, go through each store and abandon a cart. Put a few items in your shopping cart, then leave the page. Take note of any pop-ups you see as you go through the checkout process – maybe they offer you free shipping or a discount on your order.

 

After you’ve abandoned your cart, pay attention to your email. Has the brand emailed you at all with regard to your order? If so, what does their email say? How often have they emailed you after you abandoned your cart? Did they offer you any discounts or incentives to come back? How often do they email you after you abandoned their cart?

 

Take the answers to each of these questions and create a table of data. From this data, you can learn what strategies other brands use to attract would-be customers back to their store.

 

There are a few trends you’ll probably see in your data:

 

– Over 68% of the internet’s largest retailers are sending abandoned cart emails to their shoppers.

 

– A sequence of three emails is the most common frequency among online retailers. 

 

– The first email should be sent within 6 hours of the cart being abandoned.

 

– The second email should be sent within 24 hours of the cart being abandoned.

 

– The third email should be sent within 48 and 72 hours of the cart being abandoned.

 

Step 2: Craft the Perfect Followup Email

 

Now that you have your email follow-up strategy planned out, it’s time to put it into action.

 

Your next major hurdle is getting email recipients to open your email. If your email goes right in the trash (or just goes unread), it won’t do you much good.

 

How do you convince your reader to open your email?

 

By using the perfect subject line.

 

There are a few rules you should follow when you craft your email subject lines:

 

Keep your subject lines short. 

 

Use SubjectLine.com to rate your subject line’s effectiveness. 

 

Get your point across. 

 

Don’t use any words that might send your email straight to the Spam folder. These words include discount, free, help, OK, RE, FW, and any subject lines written in all caps. 

 

Split test your subject lines to see which are the most effective. 

 

There are three main types of follow-up emails you should consider:

 

The Helpful Email – Your first email should give off a helpful vibe. You’re just reminding your customer they left their cart, under the assumption they left with the intention of coming back. Something friendly like, “Did we do something wrong?” or “We’ve saved your cart” is an excellent way to get your first followup email read. If your customer really did forget about their cart, this is a great way to bring them back to your store.

 

The Incentive Email – Your customer didn’t come back after the first email. Now it’s time to give them another reason to re-consider. Your second email should offer them an incentive to come back, such as a coupon code or free shipping. If your incentive is good enough, you’ll convince a number of shoppers to return to your store. Consider using subject lines like, “Are you looking for a better deal?” or “We’ve got a special offer, just for you!”

 

The Sense of Urgency Email – Now it’s time to create a sense of urgency for your customer. They should feel that if they don’t check out now, they’ll miss out on a great opportunity. Create this sense of urgency with subject lines like, “Your item is almost sold out!” and “Act fast, your shopping cart is going to expire!” If your customer really wants the item in their cart, they’ll feel more inclined to go to your store and complete their purchase. 

 

Step 3: Craft the Perfect Email

 

Now that you’ve got your subject line, it’s time to craft the perfect email.

 

Your email should follow the same tone as your subject line. Are you offering a coupon code? Include it in your email. Are you reminding your shopper about the products in their cart? Feature them in the email.

 

No matter what, your email should be helpful and informative. Your customer should want to visit your store and finish their purchase after reading your email. Make it as straightforward and friendly as possible, doing everything you can to establish trust with your customer. The more helpful you are, the more likely they will be to reconsider their purchase.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Cart abandonment doesn’t have to be a problem for you. By following the right strategies, you can reduce cart abandonment and improve your bottom line. The Fix and Fetch method is one of the most effective ways to reduce cart abandonment, and by isolating the biggest issues with your store and fixing them one-by-one, you can remove any hurdles between your shopper and their order. After you’ve fixed any potential issues with your store, you can earn would-be customers back with helpful emails and friendly reminders.

 

What are your strategies for reducing cart abandonment and improving your conversion rates? Are you using the Fix and Fetch method? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Special thanks to Cory Eckert for the inspiration to this post.

 

 

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. In the early days of online commerce, he achieved Power Seller status at eBay, which then propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens, and eyewear retailer. After a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is part of the Merchant Success Team at Shopify Plus, where he is a Strategic Advisor helping brands continue to grow and scale with the Shopify Commerce Platform.

To maintain a competitive edge and life of learning mantra, Steve also hosts and produces a top-rated weekly podcast show, eCommerce Fastlane, where he interviews Shopify partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands build and scale lifetime customer loyalty.