10 Easy Steps to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

While an online store might be driving solid revenue, there’s still a huge potential sales loss due to shopping cart abandonment. A major challenge for ecommerce stores, shopping cart abandonment is when a consumer adds to their cart but never makes it past the checkout line, occurring at a shocking average of more than 68 percent of all shopping sessions.

Luckily, there are many preventative measures to shopping cart abandonment that are easy to implement, and can dramatically improve both sales and the customers’ shopping experience.

Below are top 10 tips for converting shopping cart bails into sales.

Be Transparent about Cost

About 28 percent of would-be customers abandon their cart when surprised with a higher total on the checkout page due to shipping charges and other fees. Include an estimated shipping fee or shipping and handling calculator within the shopping cart or before the checkout page for full transparency.

While it may require an initial investment, free shipping is an even better tactic to attract more customers. Motivating the customer to earn free shipping by spending a certain amount (e.g. “spend $50, get free shipping”) often yields positive results by providing incentive to complete purchases and translates into a higher ROI.

Bypass Account Creation

Forcing the customer to sign-in or create an account is cumbersome and a major contributor to shopping cart abandonment. An express guest checkout option makes it easier for the customer to complete the purchase without complexities or navigational issues. To still ensure your account base grows, try allowing users to easily set up an account in one click via their social media login.

Include a “Save for Later” and/or “Add to Wish List” Option

Despite being very interested in the sites’ products, a customer may not be ready to virtually swipe their credit card. Adding a “save for later” or “add to wish list” functionality is a no brainer that gives customers the freedom to shop around and think about the items before purchase.

Retarget Shoppers with Friendly Reminder Emails

Levis_emailmarketingSome purchases are lost because shoppers are on the fence. Other times, they’ve simply forgotten about the cart. Coordinating email marketing efforts to send reminders featuring incentives, such as free shipping or a coupon, can push a customer into making the purchase. In fact, 54 percent of shoppers will purchase products left in their shopping cart if a discount is offered.

Instill Trust with a Security Badge

Shoppers today are savvy about protecting themselves from scams and data leaks – and for good reason. Adding authentic security badges to the checkout page can instill the trust a customer needs when doubting the security of a site. It’s also equally as important to display the site’s implemented security measures on the checkout page, so customers know exactly how secure their information will be. Mentioning that the company does not store credit info, the website is SSL certified, and/or that there’s a “100% money-back guarantee” is critical to ensuring consumer confidence and ultimately, closing sales.

Offer Multiple Payment Options

Even a secure site won’t always prevent shoppers from avoiding a final sale, simply because they feel uncomfortable with electronically inputting credit card credentials. To alleviate credit card security concerns, offering an array of payment options like Visa, MasterCard and American Express, or alternative options like PayPal, Amazon Payments, Google Wallet or Stripe, allows the shopper to feel safe about their online transactions and can even simplify the checkout process by automatically providing buyer information.

Ensure Mobile Friendliness

The fact that mobile now accounts for roughly 50 percent of all ecommerce traffic is likely not shocking. What is surprising is that mobile tends to have the lowest conversion rates of all devices due to browsing versus actual completed purchases. That’s why it’s critical to invest in mobile-friendly design with a smart UX and again, to implement a “wish list” functionality on every product page.

Offer Immediate Customer Support

Customer convenience is a top priority, so make sure the company’s contact and support information is easy to find. Not having a clear way to get support from the retailer creates frustration in shoppers and can discourage purchasing decisions. Additionally, having immediate chat support helps ensure customers that their questions will be answered before they make final purchasing decisions.

Auto-apply Coupons to Cart

Well-implemented marketing efforts may have succeeded in driving traffic to your ecommerce store, but don’t let new customers leave the site to hunt down the coupon code that first lured them in! If your store is having a sale or offering a particular discount, enable an auto-apply of the code at checkout to lock in the sale.

Ensure That Your Ecommerce Store is Scalable and Fast

There is nothing more dangerous to ecommerce businesses than a slow website. Around 65 percent of consumers are not willing to wait more than three seconds for a page to load. A sudden surge of traffic slows load time and can make the site crash completely – resulting in lost ROI and potential customers.

Not only does this damage the customer experience and the confidence they had in your business, but website timeouts during checkout can lead to shopping cart abandonment. Does your website have the scalability and speed to support high-demand traffic for the overall growth of your business? Address these questions with your current hosting provider, or work with a managed hosting service for expert support before incidents happen.

Final Thoughts

These tips can’t improve much if the digital experience is poor. A whopping 93 percent of consumers consider visual appearance to be the key deciding factor in whether or not they make the purchase, and 53 percent of shoppers won’t return to the store if aesthetics weren’t up to snuff. Investing in good web design draws the consumer in, but the combination of aesthetics and effective design mixed with a smooth and well-thought out check-out process will complete the purchase, make customers happy and boost ROI.

Jason Jaynes is Vice President of Product at WP Engine.

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