Tons of traffic to your site won’t do much for your conversion rates if users abandon the shopping cart before making a purchase. Abandoned cart syndrome happens at any point during the buyer’s journey. Some people add an item they like but get distracted. Others might dislike the shipping costs or how long it takes an item to arrive.
Your site’s user experience (UX) can improve conversion rates by 400% and reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts. Knowing what to fix takes a bit of focus and understanding of why people bounce away in the first place.
You have the burden of figuring out what makes people place an item in the shopping cart and not complete the sale. If you’re lucky, you may have an email to market to them and remind them of things they left behind, but you won’t always have that luxury.
Here are the most common issues with shopping carts and how you can fix them.
1. Reduce the Number of Clicks
The more steps users take to get to the checkout, the more chances they bounce. Go through the process of adding items to the cart and complete the purchase. How many different steps must you go through? Can any be eliminated?
Look for clicks to eliminate. For example, can you add autofill for the contact information to save several steps? Do you really need a summary page and a checkout page? If one can serve two purposes, go for the single rather than double.
2. Initiate Cross-Platform Capability
Business intelligence allows you to utilize information across different platforms. For example, if your customer orders something from your website, you should collect data and pull it from the database for an in-store order. You’ll also reduce the risk of errors in shipping addresses and payment information.
Think about the many different ways consumers interact with your brand. Perhaps you offer shopping via your Facebook page. Is the process similar to what it is on your site? Make everything as quick and simple as possible.
3. Use Third-Party Platforms
Have you ever visited an e-commerce store and used your Google or Facebook information to quickly fill in shipping details? Integrating third-party platforms saves users time and is especially helpful to those who use mobile devices to shop.
Imagine you’re the shopper and using a small screen to try and order a new product. Typing in all your details is time-consuming, and users are likely to bounce away before completing the process. People want instant access when using mobile devices.
However, if you let them click a single button to use Facebook information and complete the form, you’ve just saved them numerous steps. They are much more likely to complete the sale rather than abandoning the shopping cart.
4. Cross-Sell Related Items
The power of cross-sells can increase revenue by as much as 30%. Creating these opportunities is simple. If someone adds a pink blouse to their shopping cart, you might suggest a matching scarf or jacket. Base your recommendations on what others buy with the item or on the user’s purchase history.
You can even offer complete looks for clothing, home decor and more. Show a photo highlighting how items look together. Make adding related products as easy as a single click to add the entire list.
Amazon is a stellar example to study for figuring out how to cross-sell. When you land on a product page, just under the photos and basic description, you’ll often see a box titled “Buy It With.” Inside the box, the site lists things matching the original item.
You can add everything to the cart or use the checkboxes to select only one or two items. The design is intuitive and easy.
5. Offer Transparency
Users have no reason to trust you. You must allow them to see you are authentic. Include reviews, testimonials and clear contact information. List any professional organizations or consumer groups you belong to, such as the Better Business Bureau.
You should also offer detailed descriptions and upfront pricing. Don’t make the user guess how much the item might cost. One significant reason for shopping cart abandonment is when people see high shipping costs, taxes and other fees. They may bounce away and decide to buy from their local store rather than paying those costs.
You may be legally obligated to collect taxes, but you can reduce other expenses for the user.
6. Speed up Your Site
Google shared some research on site speed, indicating a mere one-second delay in page load time increases bounce rates by 32%. A five-second delay shoots the number to a 90% bounce rate.
Numerous things speed up your website. Start by paying for the fastest hosting you can afford. Optimize images, reduce the number of scripts and eliminate clutter. Watch out for cookies that might slow the process down.
Run a speed analysis on your site through services such as Pingdom and pay attention to the areas where you don’t get a passing grade. Fix any issues you can and work on speeding up image loading through the use of a content delivery network and caching.
7. Improve Customer Service
Online buying is different from in-person shopping. When a customer enters a brick-and-mortar store, they can ask the sales clerk questions about a product. If you don’t offer excellent customer service before the sale, the shopper can’t trust you’ll fix any issues they might have.
Make sure you have a frequently-asked-questions page covering topics such as shipping, returns and damaged products. How do you handle these situations?
Consider adding live chat to your site. People can ask their questions rather than bouncing away. Ideally, you’ll feature the button on every page of your website. You should offer easy access on your checkout pages. It’s far better to invest in a live agent to answer a few questions than losing the sale.
Curing Abandoned Cart Syndrome
Some of the reasons for abandoned shopping carts are obvious. Others may be much more subtle and take detective work to figure out. Hire mystery shoppers to go through your process and report back about issues they experienced. Survey your regular customers and ask how you can improve their shopping experience.
You should also pay attention to where consumers abandon the cart. If they leave on the shipping page, your costs may be too high. Is there anything you can do to reduce them and speed up delivery? You’ll never completely eliminate shopping cart abandonment, but you can improve your numbers and revenue.
Eleanor is the editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the director at a marketing agency prior to becoming a freelance web designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and dog, Bear.
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What is Cart Abandonment?
Abandonment is an ecommerce term that refers to a visitor who leaves a web page without taking the desired action. Shopping cart abandonment, for example, refers to customers who add products to their online shopping cart but leave before completing the transaction.
What is a checkout page?
On an ecommerce shop, a checkout page is one or more pages that deal with payment and shipping/billing details. Customers can input payment information and complete their orders on the checkout page.
What is a summary page on an e-commerce store?
A summary page or order summary is a wep page where a customer gets redirected to view order details and place the order.