Reduce Abandoned Carts And Increase Your Sales Revenue
In today's blog post I'm going to show you how to reduce the frustratingly high number of abandoned shopping carts on your website using a simple two-step approach. The first step is to apply basic user design principles and human psychology to your shopping cart checkout process whilst the second step focuses on trying to win back any business that slips through your well thought out sales net via a series of recovery emails.
Studies have shown that up to 70% per cent of shopping carts get abandoned. The reasons vary wildly and if you could claw back even a small percentage of these abandoned carts it would make a massive improvement to the bottom line. Once a customer has got as far as filling up a shopping basket all the marketing spend has been done, so reclaiming any of these lost sales will make a big difference to your profit and loss account.
This abandoned cart routine will take a bit of work to complete but you'll be glad you did it when you see the results!
Step One: Remove Obstacles To Purchase
Don't force customers to create an account
Many times I've been browsing a website, become interested in a product and tried to purchase it only to be faced with a lengthy sign-up and account creation process.
There is no need to try and capture a shopper's details before you've completed a transaction. If your eCommerce website builder software allows for guest account purchases, then you should enable this feature and make purchasing for new customers as simple as possible. Many people want to see what the final price will be or what the delivery options are before committing to a purchase. The closer you can take them to finalise a purchase the better.
Forcing account creation on your casual shopper is proven to be one of the most common reasons for shopping cart abandonment. It's tempting to do this because as a retailer you get so many obvious benefits and adding the user to your email list is one of the biggest. But providing a hassle-free shopping experience is much more likely to endear you to the customer and ensure a repeat showing.
Use Social Proof
Establishing trust is the name of the game and a significant proportion of your marketing time and budget should be spent on gaining reviews for your products and your website. Great reviews indicate trustworthiness, and it is for this reason that the best-converting sites use testimonials and social proof extensively on their websites.
If you have a sidebar in the checkout process use it to provide testimonials, reviews or social shares. Place your Trustpilot reviews prominently and strive to gain user reviews on your website. One great technique for obtaining more reviews is to offer voucher codes for future purchases for users who leave feedback and reviews.
In addition to reviews, you can also display "trust badges". If you have awards from your chamber of commerce or badges for site security, then place them up front where they can easily be seen, and they will add to the psychological feeling of trust for the consumer.
Use a progress bar to show the customer where they are in the checkout process
Progress bars that run horizontally along the top of your shopping basket show a shopper exactly where they are in the checkout process and enable them to quickly take a step back if they need to. Knowing how many steps there are to complete the checkout process also gives the customer a good idea of how long they can expect to complete the checkout process.
Don't hide delivery prices and then spring them at the last minute
Delivery charges are always cited as being up there as one of the most common reasons for an abandoned cart. For many small businesses offering free delivery is not an option however you should explore every avenue in trying to achieve this goal because providing free delivery is a real shopping cart converter. Have you noticed on eBay that many of the best selling products and sellers offer free delivery?
If your margins don't support this tactic, then you have no choice but to be upfront with your delivery charges. To keep delivery charges to a minimum try using a comparison service like parcel hero or parcel compared.
Do hide coupon code fields
Coupon code fields are a major turn off for shoppers. Why? Because if you don't have one, you'll be thinking you are missing out on the deal! That's basic human psychology. If you want to offer coupon codes then only show them to shoppers who have been offered them and hide the coupon field to everyone else.
Another way around this is to make a coupon code visible to every shopper and then offer superior discounts to those on your email list or for regular purchasers. That way everybody has a code to fill in. If you plan on using coupon codes extensively, then both Lemonstand and 3Dcart have great routines for coupon codes.
Show the number of products in stock
Winning the psychological battle with your shopper means using every sales trick you can to try and tip the scales in your favour. This isn't sneaky or underhand; psychological triggers are a genuine and meaningful way to engage with your unseen shopper. Showing the number of items in stock can provide a customer with the confidence they need to make the purchase.
Show product thumbnails in the shopper's basket
By showing product thumbnails in the basket, you keep the central focus of the shopper on what it is they want to buy rather than the checkout process itself.
Offer multiple payment options
The more payment options you can offer the better. Not everyone is in love with Paypal the way you are or pays only by debit card. Offering a range of checkout options will reduce the number of abandoned carts you get.
Offer to save the shopping basket
Which leads me on nicely to:
Step Two: Following Up Abandoned Carts By Email
This is an easy step to take as long as your eCommerce platform supports an abandoned cart saver function. In EKM it's as simple as checking the box to enable it like this:
Once you've enabled the feature it's time to customise your outgoing emails. EKM will automatically send the owner of the abandoned cart an email after 1 hour, 1 day and 2 days. This is pretty standard but some other platforms allow you to customise the sending time. You can add more times if you wish with a small bit of code tweaking.
Sending out an email to the abandoned cart owner is proven to be a hugely successful tactic in recovering lost sales. You are not going to triple your sales overnight but any recovered sale is better than none right?
In some cases, a shopper can be easily distracted away from their shopping session and completely forget about it until they are reminded of it. If you send the recovery email then there's a good chance that you will recover the sale rather than losing it to another Google search and a sale on a competitor website. Other reasons for abandoning carts can include broadband connection issues, the website crashed or timeout problems or loss of signal on a mobile device.
Here is the standard abandoned cart saver email that EKM provides by default:
Now, we can do much better than this!
Here is my revised version. If you like you can include an image in the email as well for added impact:
That's it! Remember to customise your subsequent emails as well so that they read "yesterday you visited our store" or "two days ago you visited our store" so that the message is consistent.
Now go and recover those abandoned shopping carts!
If you get results from implementing the above let me know in the comments.