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Essential ways to combat cart abandonment

Scarlett Reeves

Shopping cart abandonment is an ongoing frustration for online retailers, and it happens at an alarming rate. What can you do to reduce cart abandonment rates and increase your conversions?

High rates of cart abandonment

Shopping cart abandonment rates are high across many different industries, in some sectors over 90%. The average documented online abandonment rate is around 69%.

Realistically, online retailers have to treat cart abandonment as an unfortunate fact of life, but there are ways to reduce your abandonment rate.

The first step is to understand why online shoppers abandon their carts.

Cart abandonment and customer behaviour

There are obviously very human reasons why people decide not to go through with a purchase. These may be impulsive, emotional, or rational.

However, the online shopping experience itself influences how people feel. How they interact with an ecommerce site isn’t that different to a physical retail experience – if the shop assistant is rude or fails to answer your questions, for example, then you might decide to walk out without making your purchase.

The same can be applied to online stores. If a potential buyer has any doubts regarding their purchase, then a failure to address these may make it more likely for the shopper to reverse their buying decision.

There are certain aspects of customer indecision you are unlikely to influence, such as:

  • A change of mind – after initial interest and putting something in the cart, the customer has second thoughts about it and doesn't go through with the purchase
  • Not feeling ready to buy – the customer sees something they like, but after putting it in the cart, they realise they aren’t actually in a position to complete the purchase
  • Saving it for later – much online shopping is impulse-driven, and many shoppers will simply add things to their cart with no intention of buying them immediately if your store has a facility that allows them to do this.

But other reasons for cart abandonment are more often related to how users experience a site and the common mistakes that online stores make.

Cart abandonment specialists, Monevert, explains “Every online store is affected by cart abandonment. In the competitive online environment, cart abandonment is inevitable for most ecommerce retailers. However, this does not have to be the end of your customers’ journey with you.

Putting things in place on your site and remarketing to those who have expressed interest in your products but not purchased can not only help reduce cart abandonment but boost your revenue at the same time.”

What the customer experiences

If you’ve not optimised your online store for conversions, then you could be setting up various barriers to customers completing their purchases.

Common mistakes online stores make in their website design and functionality include:

  • Asking customers to register before buying – you might want customer data, but this can affect your sales if it disrupts the buying mood of your customers
  • Returning sign-in requests – if returning customers can’t easily remember a password or username to access your site to complete their purchase, this may result in them leaving without making that all-important purchase
  • Up-selling – using pages as part of the check-out process to entice customers to spend more, or sign up for deals, could distract or irritate them, and ultimately cause them to abandon their shopping cart
  • Steps to complete a purchase – the number of pages from cart to order confirmation can cause cart abandonment if the customer loses patience
  • Information overload – in contrast with the point above, if you try to cram all your information onto one page it may become too dense for the shopper to digest.

There may also be technical concerns that lead to cart abandonment, such as:

  • Security – if customers feel that a site is not safe, they'll be reluctant to enter card details and personal details. Users need constant reassurance, with clear, simple messaging and demonstrable signs, such as a padlock in the address bar
  • Delivery charges – be as clear as you can about these early on in the shopping process, or risk losing customers if they encounter unexpected delivery charges at checkout
  • Complicated checkout processes – adding too many fields on a form can put shoppers off, and stores have to balance the need to collect customer data against card abandonment.

Focus on function first

Online shopping should combine enticement with efficiency, and the best way to do this is to first look at your site’s functionality.

There are core aspects involved here, including:

  • Site speed
  • Responsive design
  • Navigation and site search
  • Checkout and payment processes.

Yes, there are plenty of other factors such as price, positioning in the online marketplace, and the look and feel of your store’s brand.

But behind the scenes exists the fundamental mechanics your ecommerce site needs to support an optimised customer experience. Using a platform such as Aero’s, where lean functionality is a leading facet, can give you a head start in driving customer conversions.

When you look at the overall customer experience and how to reduce cart abandonment, consider these things:

  • Speedy routes to checkout – if shoppers want to buy, don’t distract them
  • Guest checkout options – so shoppers don’t have to sign-up first to buy
  • Clear shipping costs upfront, or even free delivery on some items
  • Trustworthy security at checkout.

The Aero approach

Aero is built for speed and high performance, providing the fundamentals retailers need to drive online conversions.

Make it easy for customers to buy from you, and you can bring down those cart abandonment rates.

For further insights into the world of ecommerce, follow Aero on LinkedIn.

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