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Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment and Increase Online Sales

Shopping cart abandonment is a major issue every ecommerce business faces. In Q4 of 2017, 77% of online retail orders were abandoned.

But don’t let this statistic get you down. This staggering number represents potential revenue. Capturing even a small portion of these abandoned orders can help you increase online sales.

To reduce shopping cart abandonment, first you need to understand why shoppers left your ecommerce store without completing their purchase. Then you can take proactive steps to increase the percentage of customers who complete the checkout process. In this post, we address both issues.

Why buyers abandon their online shopping cart

There are various reasons customers leave your ecommerce store without purchasing the items in their online shopping cart. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • Higher-than-expected shipping costs
  • Slower-than-expected shipping/delivery time
  • Technical issues with the checkout process
  • Lack of payment options
  • Concerns about transaction and payment security
  • Lengthy or confusing checkout process
  • Desire to price shop on other sites
  • Window shopping (no real intent to buy right now)

While it may be tough to convert shoppers who are really just browsing into actual sales, many of the other reasons can be addressed.

How you can combat shopping cart abandonment

Here are seven tips to help you improve the shopping cart experience and reduce the incidence of shopping cart abandonment.

1.    Be more transparent about shipping information

Do not make customers wait until right before checkout to see how much shipping will cost. This will only irritate them if costs are too high. Display the full shipping costs as early as possible in the checkout process to reduce surprises.

2.    Offer a variety of shipping options and costs

Some customers are willing to pay extra for express shipping when they need an item quickly, so be sure to offer this option. But for customers who are budget-conscious, it is important you offer economy shipping options.

It is worth exploring your options to make sure you are offering the lowest possible shipping costs to your customers since many large online retailers such as Amazon now offer free two-day shipping. Research volume shipping discounts with companies such as UPS and consider offering shipping discounts to customers when they purchase multiple items.

3.    Deliver faster

This goes beyond shipping and deals with order fulfillment. Faster order fulfillment is possible if you integrate your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system with your ecommerce platform.

Integration eliminates manual data entry of each order, automating the fulfillment process. Shopping cart integration allows you to leverage real-time inventory updates so you do not risk accepting orders you are not prepared to fill.

Rapid and affordable ecommerce integration is now possible, making this a viable option for medium-sized businesses.

4.    Keep checkout simple and efficient

Enabling customers to store their account and payment information for easy access each time they shop is important. But it is also wise to offer a guest checkout option for those who do not want to deal with the hassle of creating an account.

Providing chat support during the checkout process is another way to encourage customers to complete their purchase as any questions they may have can be answered quickly and in real-time.

You can also offer a “Save Cart” feature so customers can revisit your store later and pick up right where they left off.

5.    Offer multiple (and the latest) payment methods

Customers want options when it comes to how they pay. Credit and debit cards are still popular, but to stay current and competitive you should also consider accepting other payment options, such as Google Pay.

6.    Maximize checkout security

You need to let your customers know that your checkout process is secure and that it is safe for them to enter their payment details.

Do not redirect buyers to a third-party website to make payments. The one exception to this rule is PayPal, given its popularity and widely accepted use as an online payment system.

Keep the design of the checkout process consistent with the rest of your site. Acquire a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate for your site to provide a secure connection and encrypt credit card information. Google penalizes websites that do not have SSL in place, making this even more important for success.

Comply with the standards set forth by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council.

7.    Offer price guarantees

Reduce the chances that shoppers will start comparison shopping on other ecommerce sites by assuring them they are getting the best price possible from you. You can even offer a price match guarantee if they can provide proof of finding the same product at a cheaper price from another provider.

Shopping cart abandonment will never go away, but a more proactive approach to creating a positive shopping cart experience can increase online sales and motivate your customers to complete the purchase process. With a little work, you can convert those with abandonment issues into revenue generators.

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