As an e-commerce merchant, you're probably all-too familiar with cart abandonment: When customers add merchandise to their carts but leave your e-commerce store without completing their purchases.
You're not alone in your frustration.
A survey by Ve Interactive, an e-commerce solutions vendor, says that the average cart abandonment rate is 83.73%. Merchants in the home goods and interior design industries top the list with a whopping 92% cart abandonment rate; electronics and technology retailers are a close second with a rate of 86%.
Customers abandon their carts for several reasons, including:
- - The high cost of shipping
- - Complex and lengthy registration processes
- - Long delivery times
- - Limited payment options
But merchants can make cart abandonment a thing of the past by adopting these 10 strategies and practices that encourage shoppers to complete their purchases.
1. Interact With Customers
Make the checkout process friendlier and more interactive. Using phrases like "You're almost there" or "We need just a bit more information" will soothe customers and reduce any anxiety they have about completing their purchase and wondering how long the process is going to take.
2. Add Contact Options
A merchant's contact and customer service information should be on all checkout pages, giving customers a way to have their questions answered and problems solved before they get frustrated and abandon their carts.
3. Include Calls to Action on Every Checkout Page
You know that good calls to action (CTAs) have a positive impact on sales, but did you know they also affect the checkout process? Letting customers know what the next step will be helps keep customers focused and reduce cart abandonment.
4. Use Remarketing
If you haven't been using remarketing to minimize cart abandonment, you should. Remarketing involves capturing your customers' attention by placing ads on the websites they visit soon after leaving your virtual store, enticing them to return to complete a purchase. Common remarketing tactics involve offering a discount on the item the customer was interested in.
5. Contact Your Customer
Another way to entice customers back to your online stores is to send a follow-up email reminding them their purchases weren't finalized. Kissmetrics, a company specializing in client information and web optimization, reports that 65% of customers who receive an e-mail three to 12 hours after they've left items in their cart will return to the website and complete their purchase.
6. Notify Customers of Any Extra Costs
One of the biggest reasons shoppers abandon their carts is because they don't find out about extra costs until the last stages of the checkout process. The lesson to merchants: Notify customers early on as to what the total cost of their transaction will be, including shipping costs and any extra fees. Let customers calculate shipping as soon as they add something to the cart; better yet, make shipping costs clear on every page of your website. Simply being upfront about costs can go a long way toward reducing cart abandonment.
7. Make It Easy to Make Changes to the Cart
Customers can change their mind at any time, so make it simple for them to add or remove items, change quantities, or update the delivery address. Merchants who don't do this risk increased rates of cart abandonment.
8. Offer an Exchange Policy
Some consumers abandon their cart out of a fear of regretting their purchase and being unable to return or exchange it. Make your return and exchange policy easy to understand and find on all checkout pages.
9. Add Helpful Error Messages
Nothing is more frustrating than receiving an error message on a checkout page but not knowing how to fix the error. Make sure your error messages are clear and give specific instructions for resolution.
10. Display Security Seals
If a customer adds products to their cart, they're interested in what you have to sell. But if there's any question about the reliability, safety or credibility of an e-commerce store, customers aren't hesitant to simply walk away, leaving you with another abandoned cart. A simple way to avoid this is by displaying seals that demonstrate your e-commerce site is safe.
These are just 10 of many ways to help optimize your checkout process and minimize the risk of cart abandonment. Interested in learning more about how the ClearSale solution can help you grow your e-commerce sales and take your e-commerce business to the next level? Contact our team of specialists today.