Dropped carts – also known as abandoned shopping carts – are among the problems most ecommerce sites face and try to fix on a regular basis. There are several reasons why customers choose not to follow through with their purchases, from complicated checkout process to unsupported payment method or simple lack of trust.
Over 80% of dropped carts can be recovered by making fine adjustments to the checkout process. By improving the user experience and creating a smooth flow between adding products to the cart and completing the checkout process, you can boost your conversion substantially. These are the 7 ways you can stop shopping cart abandonment today.
The first thing you want to do when your ecommerce site suffers from a high rate of dropped carts is reviewing the site’s credibility. Customers will only make a purchase when they are certain about your site’s reputation, past history, and credibility in general. There are several things you can do to improve credibility too.
For starters, you need to protect the entire site – not just the checkout pages – using proper SSL security. Get a verified SSL certificate from trusted organizations such as VeriSign. You get a seal that you can display on your site with that SSL certificate; this alone can boost your site’s credibility by a substantial margin.
With the help of tools such as Exit-Intent from OptinMonster, it is now possible to track customers’ experience on your site, particularly as they begin the checkout process. Exit-Intent will even notify support offices when certain customers are taking more time than usual to complete the checkout process. There is a big advantage to be gained from using this type of tools, and that is the opportunity to provide assistance on the spot.
Instead of waiting for the customers to leave and then spending your marketing budget trying to win them back, you can engage customers directly through a simple popup or a small chat window on the corner of the page. Greet the customers and offer assistance with the products and services they want to buy.
Close to 90% of customers who respond to your support offer will make a purchase. That’s a rate worth pursuing nonetheless, especially in a market as competitive as today. Aside from assistance, you can also persuade customers with special discounts or offers tailored to them specifically.
Make It Simple
You want your checkout process to be as simple as possible. According to UX experts, 4 is the maximum number of steps a standard checkout process can have; anything more than 4 steps will result in higher abandoned cart volume and low conversion. You can also take active steps towards shortening the checkout process.
For repeat customers, the checkout process can be shortened all the way to a single step. You already have their delivery addresses and other details. You may even have their payment info stored. All you have to do is confirm the purchase and all the details, and proceed with payment processing in a matter of seconds.
For new customers, on the other hand, you want the task of entering these details to be as simple as it can be. Instead of long forms and multiple pages, try to ask for as little information as you can without sacrificing accuracy and service quality. You can ask for additional details (i.e. their preference of whether they want to sign up for a newsletter) after the checkout process is completed.
Keep It Visible
Pay attention to the best ecommerce sites and you will see a relatively similar checkout process, particularly in terms of the elements you find throughout the process. There is a detailed item list – complete with pictures – on the right (or left) side of the page, usually in the form of a sidebar. That sidebar also contains information about selected shipping method, the total for the order, and the selected payment method.
At the end of the sidebar, there is a big call to action: a clear Pay button. Under each element, on the other hand, you can find a small Edit URL or an icon to represent the same function. Making these elements visible at all times help customers remember what they buy – and why they are buying these items.
Instead of designing the checkout wizard in a linear way, the use of a checkout sidebar also helps make the entire process more fluid. Customers no longer need to go back several steps just to correct the delivery address. They can simply edit the address from the sidebar and continue with the rest of the checkout with ease.
In the previous part, we discussed how things like a request to subscribe to your site’s newsletter need to be placed after the checkout process is completed, not during. This is due to the fact that these things – even promotional offers and cross-selling popups – are distractions. Considering today’s customers have shorter attention spans and are more sensitive to annoyances, eliminating distractions is the way to go.
Set up a clear and smooth path from the beginning of the checkout process to the end. Make sure each step can be completed seamlessly and that there are no distractions ruining the flow of the process. This isn’t a one-time improvement either. Continue paying attention to your customers and make adjustments to the checkout process as needed.
Save the Customers’ Carts
It is also worth mentioning that not all customers will make a purchase on their first visit to your site. In fact, the majority of first-time visitors are only there to seek information. They’ll go away to read reviews and do more research about your business before deciding to return to the site to (finally) make a purchase.
Part of this customer behavior is adding items to the shopping cart to see how much it will actually cost to make the purchase. Customers love to see the total cost of ownership – including shipping and other fees – before making a purchase decision. Simply offer them the option to save that shopping cart and you can boost your conversion substantially.
The next time customers return to the site, they don’t have to go through the same process all over again. They only need to log into their account and continue from where they left off. This approach also improves your return on investment in remarketing and retargeting campaigns, especially when these campaigns are done correctly.
The last thing to add to the checkout process if you really want to boost conversion is an assurance. Even companies with a high level of credibility still need to offer proper money back guarantees and other assurances to further persuade their potential customers.
Don’t just make promises either. You have to make good on those promises when the time comes. This will earn you more credibility and will attract even more customers to the site. The rest is easy from there, since you have these 7 tips we just covered in this article. Stop shopping cart abandonment today and take your ecommerce site to a whole new level of success.