7 Ways to Combat Shopping Cart Abandonment

Apr 03, 2012 6:01 AM  By

A customer stumbled across your website, browsed your merchandise and eagerly added their items to your site’s shopping cart. Another satisfied customer, right? Not quite. Until a customer has entered their credit card information and confirmed their purchase, there are still several ways the sale, and possibly the customer, can slip away.

In a 2010 report by Forrester Research that surveyed online customers, the top reasons for not completing an online purchase were: high shipping costs; total amount was more than expected; shopping cart was used for research; and the checkout process was too complicated. Given these reasons, it comes as no surprise that Forrester found that 88% of online consumers have abandoned their online shopping carts without completing a transaction.

To some merchants, shopping cart abandonment may be perceived as simply one of the risks when operating an online business. However, as competition continues to grow and customers become savvier, businesses should take proactive measures to attract and retain customers, and provide a unique online experience to decrease shopping cart abandonment rates. In order to do so, here are a few tips and strategies any merchant can use:

Obtain a verified seal of approval
Incorporate a third-party service, such as buySAFE, to validate your online store. The buySAFE seal of approval shows consumers that the online business is reputable and all personal information shared on the site is protected and secured. According to buySAFE, retailers with this seal increased their conversation rate by 6%.

Provide online coupons
Make online coupon codes available on third-party websites that provide consumers with a discount on their whole purchase.

Offer free shipping
Offering free shipping is one way to enhance the benefit of online shopping. If you can’t offer free shipping, make sure to link your order management and fulfillment system directly to your carrier. This will allow you to provide your customers with the lowest shipping price when they checkout.

Make your site less noisy
Implement design changes that make your site less cluttered. Change the color and size of the “Proceed to Checkout” button to make it bolder or remove the side navigation menu on the website. This way, consumers will focus on the products they want to buy, rather than giving them other options to move throughout the site.

Capture relevant data
Capture and study shopping abandonment data regularly and test your site to increase conversion percentages from basket to paid order. In addition, utilize a strategic email tool, such as eWayDirect, to run target campaigns and drive consumers back to the site to complete orders.

Switch your shopping cart model
Implement a persistent shopping cart to allow returning consumers to view the items left in their cart and have the ability to complete the transaction.

Take advantage of retargeting
Use retargeting services, such as FetchBack, to put products and offers in front of customers.

Fred Lizza is chief executive officer at Dydacomp.