The E-Commerce Column

Most Successful Ways to Reduce Abandoned Carts

Most Successful Ways to Reduce Abandoned Carts

We get it, abandoned carts are part of the process.  If you had a brick-and-mortar store, you’d see some people walk-in, browse, and then leave.  This is essentially, the same thing.  However, in both instances, there are some simple things that you can do to greatly reduce the number of abandoned carts your store sees.  We’ll walk through them together in this article.

Have a Clean Design

According to Adobe’s “The State of Content” report, 38% people won’t engage with your website if it’s layout isn’t attractive.  Can you afford to lose 38% of your sales?

Anyone with any kind of store will tell you the same thing…  The most difficult part of selling to customers is getting them to walk through the door – or in this case, visit your website.  Customers have all kinds of preferences and loyalties, but if you come up on their radar, the last thing you want to do is chase them away before they walk through the door. 

Imagine you’re in the market for new tennis shoes…  You look around and find a new store with great advertisements, but the moment you see it, you notice it’s filthy in a way that makes you afraid to touch the door handle.  If your website isn’t updated to the most current standards and design layouts, you’re essentially doing the same thing to prospective customers on your own website.

Hotcakes Commerce Analytics Settings

How can you tell if you’re doing this or not?  Simple.  If you haven’t already done so, make sure you are tracking the site statistics of your visitors.  There’s a lot of them out there, but the most popular seems to be Google Analytics.  Once you have a reasonable amount of data to look at, begin to keep an eye on the bounce rate and average session duration.  Every site is different, but most e-commerce sites want to see their bounce rates go down and session duration go up.  The longer they stay on your site, the more interested they are in your products.

Ask If They Want Help

Hotcakes Commerce: Onsite Chat Example

According to Forrester, 44% of people asked said that a live onsite chat was one of the most important features that a website could offer to help while they were in the middle of shopping online.  Is that enough of a compelling number for you to decide whether or not you want to at least investigate having an onsite chat option?

Onsite chat may be self-explanatory to some of you, but for many it really isn’t.  Onsite chat isn’t free.  You have to pay for a service to include it into your website (or build it yourself), and you need to have someone monitoring it during your business hours, or sometimes 24-hours daily.  However, we’ve all been in that critical moment where we were shopping in a department store and had a question.  We looked around, found no one, and so we moved on. 

Your website is no different.  Every single day, you’re potentially losing customers by not making it super-simple for them to be able to ask a quick question about your products.  When they can’t figure out the answer, they leave.

Make Checkout Super-Simple

Hotcakes Commerce Guest Checkout

We could talk about this all day long.  Your checkout in most cases is the most critical moment where you lose or win your customers – sometimes for life.  If your customer doesn’t want to complete your checkout process and you issue them a gauntlet of steps to complete, they’re leaving in a split second.

Long gone are the days of checkout wizards.  Quite simply, your customers often feel punished or tormented by even seeing a checkout wizard.  They’ve seen too many times on too many sites how quick and easy the checkout process can be.  You need to have a single-page checkout and it needs to contain the fewest fields necessary to complete the purchase.  Colin McQuistan does a great job of breaking down the reasons why you want to go with a single-page checkout, from a user experience perspective.  Speaking of fewest fields necessary…

Online shoppers like yourself have long become accustomed to checkout processes not working correctly or otherwise just getting in the way.  Customer rarely want to create a user account and even more seldom do they see value in having a user account on your site.  In many cases, they don’t even intend on coming back (only because they’re not thinking about it yet, maybe after they get their product).  Give them the chance to checkout as a guest, and you’ll save them time, and they’ll remember you for it.

Be Mobile-Friendly, Seriously

You might be sick and tired of reading this at this point, but you need to hear it.  People in all verticals of the website industry have been discussing the importance of having a mobile-friendly website.  This is for good reason – this topic isn’t going away, ever.  Internet Retailer reported on mobile customers making up 30% of all e-commerce back in August of 2015 (a year ago).  However, fall of 2014 was the first time that e-commerce saw mobile visitors overtake desktop visitors – that was nearly two years ago now.  Get your websites mobile-friendly, ASAP.  If you don’t, your competitors will.

Send Them a Reminder

Hotcakes Commerce Contacting Abandoned Carts

Abandoned carts are a fact of life as a store owner and this isn’t likely to ever change.  However, this doesn’t mean that you need to just sit there and accept it.  Many of those people that left your site may still intend to buy.  They just need a gentle reminder.  As sad as it is to say, they may have only forgotten the name of your site, or they were at the office and had to go home.  We’re all been there.  Days or weeks later, we think to ourselves, “Oh shoot! I meant to buy that wizzle wazzler.”  (Well, hopefully you were buying something more real than that.)

If you can accurately contact your customers and remind them to come back, many will.  According to an article by Tommy Walker on ConversionXL, cart abandoners tend to spend 55% more than those who don’t abandon at all.  However, only about 16% of retailers are contacting their abandoned carts today.  That’s not only a huge opportunity for you, but it’s also a lot more revenue overall, not to mention a nice ride on your average deal size.  Do yourself a favor, start doing this as soon as you can.

Show Customer-Based Recommendations

Hotcakes Commerce Customer Reviews

We’ve discussed this here before, but customers want to know that other customers have not only been to your site, but they want to know the truth about the transactions.  Just because you have a bad review here or there doesn’t mean that new customers will avoid your store.  In fact, in most cases, the opposite will occur.  Invesp’s research shows that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.  It get’s even more compelling, when you look at what Graham Carlton was able to uncover.  63% of customers were more likely to make a purchase from websites that had customer reviews right there.  However, they’re also 105% more likely to make a purchase while visiting and tend to spend 11% more.  How do you think that will affect YOUR bottom line?

Header image is copyrighted by R. Nial Bradshaw. Image used under creative commons license.

About the Author

Will StrohlWill Strohl

What Do You Think?

blog comments powered by Disqus

  • Sign-up for the Hotcakes Community Newsletter: