Shopping Cart Abandonment in 2021

Shopping cart abandonment is every ecommerce website’s worst nightmare. You’ve done your part to get potential customers to your site, browsing your products. They start adding products into your cart, and you’re inches away from a sale.

But then, they leave your site. What happened?

There are a number of reasons why someone might abandon their cart before completing their purchase. Not all of them can be fixed, but luckily we’ve got eight high-impact tactics for reducing shopping cart abandonment in 2021.

Let’s dive in.

What Is Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment is when a customer has clicked “Add to Cart” on one or more items in an online shop, then left the site without checking out. Sometimes they may have simply forgotten, but the most likely reason for this is they changed their mind or the process took too long to complete.

As you can imagine, shopping cart abandonment is something you want to avoid. As an online retailer, it’s important that your customers complete the entire checkout process from start to finish, rather than giving up halfway through.

Common Reasons For Ecommerce Cart Abandonment

There are a number of reasons that potential customers might abandon their cart without completing their purchase. Understanding the common reasons for cart abandonment can help you figure out how to combat it.

1. Cost

Whether it’s the cost of the item(s) they were considering buying or the cost of shipping, sometimes prices can drive potential customers away.

For shipping, sometimes the best way to get around this is:

  • Offer free shipping promos
  • Include the cost of shipping in the product so it appears free
  • Require that your customers meet a certain threshold to earn free shipping

As we see here in the top left corner of clothing retailer Express’s website, they offer free shipping on orders of $50 or more.

Free shipping is a powerful incentive for potential buyers.
You can include an announcement like this on your own website by using a top bar plugin like Hello Bar

2. Technical Issues

Maybe your website went down, crashed, or couldn’t process payment information. If something like this happens, customers can get frustrated and simply leave the site rather than trying to go through checkout all over again.

Be sure to have your development team regularly run through the checkout process and keep an eye on analytics to make sure there are no bugs causing customers to drop off without buying.

3. Conducting Research

Some buyers are browsing your website and adding products they want into their cart, then leaving them with full intention to come back and complete the sale after they’ve done a bit more research into the products or what they want.

There isn’t much you can do to combat this, but at least a lot of these buyers will make a purchase at a later date.

4. Complex Checkout

For some buyers, there are simply too many steps to making a purchase. If they have to create an account before checking out, input unnecessary information, etc., they might simply change their mind and stop mid-checkout.   Make sure your checkout process is as smooth as possible and doesn’t require too much of your customers to make a purchase. You can work with a software like Fast to implement one-click checkout processes that allow your customers to buy from you in seconds.

5. Window Shopping

Finally, one reason that people abandon their carts – and unfortunately, it’s a reason that you can’t do anything about – is because they were simply browsing around your site, building a wishlist, and window shopping virtually.

Shopping cart abandonment can never be eliminated completely, but we do have some high-impact strategies on how you can reduce this issue.

High Impact Strategies For Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

Tired of the “almost purchases?” The “so close but no cigars?”

We get the frustration. Read through these eight tactics to see which you can implement for your ecommerce business in order to reduce shopping cart abandonment and help your customers see their purchases through to the end.

1. Use Trust Signals

Potential buyers want to make sure they’re purchasing from a reputable company and that their payment information is going to be secure.

In order to show customers that they can trust you, there are a few key pieces of information you should make easy to find.

First, your shipping, return, and refund policies should all be easy for customers to find. Plant retailer The Sill has a link in their footer to this shipping FAQ page with all the information a concerned first time buyer might need.

Having clear shipping and reuturn information is an important trust signal for your online store.

Make sure your own policy pages are easy to find. Place them in your footer and all throughout the checkout process so customers are fully aware of if they can return products and how to do so.

Add any trust marks or badges you’ve earned on the header or footer of your site, like “Fair Trade Certified.” During checkout, include icons for all of the different payment methods you accept, like Visa/Mastercard, Google Trusted Store, PayPal, and more.

2. Showcase Customer Reviews

Help customers feel more at ease about buying from your business by including customer reviews on your website.

In this example from Edloe Finch, they’ve included customer reviews and product photos at the bottom of each product page to prove that their products are reputable.

Or think to how Amazon’s product pages are laid out. Each product includes a star rating, written reviews, and customer photos to prove legitimacy.

3. Utilize Ecommerce Merchandising

Ecommerce merchandising is all about creating a cohesive online shopping experience for your customers. While brick-and-mortar shops have the luxury of creating table setups and grouping like items together, the ecommerce experience tends to be a bit different.

To help improve the customer experience in your online shop, test tactics like the following:

  • Show product recommendations based on what your customers have already clicked on
  • Let your customers see every angle of the product through high-quality photos, videos, specifications, and more
  • Highly detailed product pages that provide customers with all the information they need to make a purchase
  • Common-sense categorization based on how your customers shop

Take advantage of website analytics so that you have a clear understanding of how your customers use your website. Use that information to improve the overall flow of your website from one product to another.

4. Provide Excellent Customer Support

One thing that could potentially stop a customer from making a purchase is the lack of customer support they need to feel secure in your business.

Don’t let that be a factor for your customers. Investing in excellent customer service is key.

Provide a phone number, email address, or contact form on your website that’s easily accessible from any page. Better yet, add a live chat option onto your website.
There are tools like Drift and Olark that make it easy to implement something like this. Simply add the plugin to your site and make sure you have someone manning the web or mobile app to respond to questions.

Depending on the size of your business, people won’t always expect an immediate answer. If you’re only available for customer support during certain hours of the day, make sure to include that on your contact page so people reaching out know when they can expect to get a response.

To see online customer service in action, ake a look at this support dropdown from Contigo. They’ve placed this right at the top of their website so that anyone looking for help is immediately provided options.

5. Offer Free Shipping

We already mentioned that hefty shipping fees can be a big deterrent for many consumers. And in the age of Amazon Prime’s free two-day shipping, it can be hard to compete. This is why it’s a good idea to consider offering free shipping to your customers. To get technical for a minute, studies have shown that nearly half of all shopping cart abandonments happen due to extra costs, like shipping and other fees. So how can you go about offering free shipping? Especially for smaller businesses when that could mean taking a hit in your profits. Obviously we’re not suggesting losing money on your business. However, there are ways that you can try to make this work for you. We showcased an example from Express earlier, a clothing retailer that offers free shipping after a customer buys $50 or more worth of product. This is a great way to ensure you’re only offering free shipping for larger orders, saving your business money. Another option is to simply raise your prices so that the cost of shipping is covered when your customer makes a purchase. Just hearing “free shipping,” can entice someone to buy, even if the product has been marked up slightly. BetterWorldBooks has an entire page linked right from the top of their website to showcase their shipping prices. Standard is always free, but expedited shipping comes with a cost. Having a page like this allows them to be upfront about their shipping policy.

If you’re looking around and noticing that your competitors are offering free shipping, you need to figure out how to do the same or you’ll lose business to them every time.

6. Set Up a Remarketing Campaign

Social media ad retargeting is a powerful way to bring customers back to your site. Statistics show that the CTR for retargeting campaigns is 10 times more than regular display ads. You’re targeting people who were already mid-purchase, making them much more likely to return to your website and complete their order.

However, it never hurt to entice them even further.

Set up a remarketing campaign that puts the products they almost bought right in front of their eyes again – but this time, include a small discount alongside it if they complete their purchase. 10% off or $10 off is plenty (depending on the cost).

Another option is to send an email reminder with a discount, or simply a friendly nudge.

Here’s a great example from 7 For All Mankind. Not only does it include images of every product the recipient almost purchased, they’ve also provided a 15% discount the next time they take a look at their cart.

7. Use High-Quality Product Images

If you really want to stand out to your customers and ensure they go through with their purchase, include high-quality product images, renderings, and videos so they know they’re getting exactly what they’re buying. Online shopping can be difficult when consumers can’t actually look at or touch the item they’re buying before spending money on it. But including high-quality product images is a great way to help customers feel better about their purchases. Let’s compare two Amazon listings so you have a better idea of what we mean. First, let’s look at this gold watering can. The initial photo is a classic product photo against a white background so the watering can is the focal point. Then, if you look directly underneath the main photo, you can see that there are a variety of photos showing the product in action. All are high-quality and crisp.
Then, we have this tin watering can. The only available photo is blurry and was taken in poor lighting.

If you compare the two, we see that the gold watering can has 4.5 stars with over 400 ratings. The tin watering can has none, leading us to believe that it has been purchased much less often (if at all).

High-quality product photos matter.

Your images should be visually appealing and clearly display what each product is in detail. They should target your audience. Showcase your product in action using your customer’s aesthetic so they’re drawn in.

It’s also a good idea to showcase your product in context. Include photos of someone trekking up a mountain trail in the hiking boots you’re selling. Take photos of your water bottles being used by someone at the gym. Style furniture with trending decor.

Get creative and be unique so your products stand out the most and give the best insight into your product.

8. Provide a Seamless Shopping Experience

Our last strategy recommendation for reducing cart abandonment is to provide a completely seamless online shopping experience.

The entire store should be easy to navigate and the overall checkout process linear and clear.

First, make sure the cart icon is right at the top of your website and as easy as possible for shoppers to locate when they’re ready to check out.

Next, don’t add too many steps to the checkout process. Make it quick and streamlined to go from reviewing the cart to providing shipping information then payment information.

Additionally, take a page out of AYBL’s book and offer a variety of ways for your customers to pay. Some people have specific preferences on how they like to pay for things, so do your best to accommodate for those.

Finally, test and review your checkout process often to make sure no bugs are popping up that are causing issues and frustration for your customers.

Providing a seamless shopping experience should be your number one priority, both for generating and retaining customers.

Final THoughts

You should be just about ready to start improving your checkout processes and ensuring your customers have no reason to drop off before completing their purchase. To learn more about improving your overall ecommerce CRO, get in touch.
Author Bio

Author Bio

Chloe West is a digital marketer and freelance writer, focusing on topics surrounding social media, content, and digital marketing. She's based in Charleston, SC, and when she's not working, you'll find her at brunch or hanging out with her son. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share
Tweet
Pin
Share
Share
Tweet
Pin
Share