Bullet-Proof Your Shopping Cart Abandonment Strategy This Christmas

November 28, 2016

While e-commerce is certainly a beautiful thing (what’s more convenient than shopping from the comforts of your own bed, clad in a dressing gown and sipping a cup of tea?), it also has its hurdles – namely, the ease at which consumers can abandon their virtual shopping carts.

If we’re going to stick a number on it, the latest stats show that online shoppers abandon carts at an average rate of 81%. With the season of gift-giving fast approaching, these numbers sound pretty bleak, right?

Fortunately, there are ways to combat your abandonment rate and instead, improve your conversion. But before we dive into the solution, it’s paramount to take a look at the problem itself and the specific triggers contributing to shopping cart abandonment.

The top five reasons shoppers abandon their virtual carts:

  1. Unexpected shippings costs and taxes
  2. Forcing customers to create an account to make a purchase
  3. Preferred payment option not available
  4. Merchant’s payment option not mobile-friendly
  5. Concerns over website data and transaction security

If your e-commerce tactics include any of the above, you’ll need to work on finding ways to rectify those triggers and improve your cart abandonment strategy. Here are a few handy tips to build into your e-commerce business this Christmas…

Build trust into your transaction forms

As 2016 reports have outlined, trust is now the most important factor to online consumers. Naturally, handing over credit card details online can cause customers to harbour some hesitation. As such, it is integral to your e-commerce strategy that you find ways to establish a relationship with your customers built on trust – starting with your transaction forms. Include trust signals such as security logos (for instance, the “Norton Secured” logo), and avoid bombarding potential customers with overbearing questions.

Feature a checkout progress indicator

Including something as simple as a three-step progress bar on your checkout pages is likely to encourage consumers to make a purchase. Studies show that many online shoppers prefer to have a clear indication of their status when completing a task as it provides the assurance that the process is quick and simple.

Provide multiple payment options

Credit card payment options alone aren’t enough – the variety of ways consumers can make online payments today means retailers need to get diverse. In addition to PayPal, which is still going strong, mobile payment systems are becoming increasingly popular. Avoid unnecessary obstacle by including systems like Apple Pay and Google Wallet to your payment options (especially if you’re catering to a younger demographic). It might be slightly more of a hassle for you as a business-owner, but at least you’ll be giving your customers what they want.

Offer guest check-out options

Forcing browsers to set up an account purely to make a purchase is a sure-fire way to deter customers. Sure, it’s ideal for collecting important data about your users, but it’s also one of the leading causes for shopping cart abandonment. Make life comfortable for your consumers with easy guest check-out options, and provide some incentive for them to sign up and create that all-important account (e.g. to receive membership discounts).

Be transparent and kind when it comes to shipping

There’s no denying it: shipping costs are universally detested. In fact, statistics show that 62% of shoppers will always opt for the cheapest shipping option. Not only do people hate paying for shipping, they equally loathe it when shipping costs are unexpectedly hurled at them. It’s vital that you remain totally upfront in this department – refrain from throwing sneaky costs in at the tail-end of a transaction, and be sure to give an accurate indication of when your customer can expect his/her parcel to arrive.

Reassure your customers with a money-back guarantee

Online consumers don’t have the same benefits of browsing in a brick-and-mortar store. They don’t have the chance to touch, smell, or test the product they are about to buy, therefore they want the assurance that they can return it for a full reimbursement if it doesn’t happen to meet their expectations on arrival. Ensure to make this part of your e-commerce strategy, and proudly display it on your site to offset customers umming-and-ahhing over making that purchase.

By keeping your customers’ wellbeing in mind, you can effectively leave cart abandonment problems in the past and really leverage your sales funnel this Christmas season.