Solutions for Abandoned Ecommerce Carts

By: Dave Kramer Friday June 5, 2015 comments Tags: abandoned carts, ecommerce

Few things are as frustrating in ecommerce as abandoned carts. But stop seeing them as lost sales! Instead think of them as opportunities to close highly qualified leads, who you know are at least casually shopping for products like yours!

Based on my experience working with hundreds of ecommerce shopkeepers, I’ll share:

  • Main reasons carts get abandoned
  • How to optimize your website to convert the first time around
  • How you can reengage abandoners

Many Customers Abandon Carts Out of Frustration

The design of the ecommerce part of your website is probably the most important factor in preventing abandoned carts. But first you need to understand why people might get frustrated and abandon your site.

Here’s some recent research compiled by Nextopia on why carts get abandoned. Check out their infographic if you want some really detailed abandoned cart statistics.

Design-related reasons for cart abandonment

  • 56% Presented w unexpected costs
  • 25% Website navigation is too complicated
  • 21% Checkout process taking too long
  • 18% Excessive payment security checks
  • 17% Concerns about payment security

Usually in these cases, the customer was interested, but they made a conscious decision to abandon ship. Many of these problems can be fixed by redesigning the ecommerce section of your website.

Preventing Abandoned Carts

Shoppers who abandoned a cart due to frustration with your site are the least likely to respond if you try to reengage them. The best way to deal with these kinds of abandoned carts is to prevent them before they occur.

Basics of good ecommerce website design:

  • Optimize for mobile
  • Include clear images of products
  • Display security logos and compliance
  • Show customer reviews and testimonials
  • 47% of shoppers expect webpage to load in 2 secs or less
  • Make your shopping cart and checkout options easy to find
  • Streamline checkout process to as few fields and pages as possible

Make sure to offer alternative payment methods, especially PayPal. This is the easiest way to shorten checkout times, as customers can simply log in.

That’s just the basics of ecommerce design to reduce abandoned carts. If you’ve covered all those basics, it’s time to hone your follow-up strategy and start reengaging abandoners.

Key Benefits of Following Up

About 67% of online carts are abandoned, according to the Baymard Institute. But many of these abandoners have some interest or degree of intent to purchase, and might return.

Of those who do come back for a second visit, as many as half will convert.

Your job is to get them to come back, as quickly as possible, with new knowledge about your brand and product, and preferably with a value-adding discount.

Benefits of reengaging cart abandoners

  • Leads are already warm
  • Often they simply needed help
  • Opportunity to offer a coupon to add value
  • Chance to interest someone who was just browsing

Think about it – how often do you add something to a cart on impulse, then change your mind and quit. But then it nags at you the next day, so you go for another look.

And how often do you use a shopping cart as a place to temporarily keep track of items you’re interested in, for comparison shopping? If your memory was jogged about those items you abandoned, or if you were suddenly offered a much better deal, wouldn’t you be likely to at least give the products a second look?

If you’re only catering to customers that are impulse-buying, you’re potentially missing out on a huge opportunity to attract these slower, more considered shoppers.

Get the Opportunity to Follow Up

Following up with these browsing shoppers can drive your conversion rates way up. But there is one major caveat: you have to get their contact information!

One way to do this is with incentivized lead boxes. You can try offering a discount, or free shipping, or a free downloadable in exchange for creating an account and entering in their email. But even if they miss the lead box, there’s another time to get contact info.

Many cart abandoners actually make it part of the way through the checkout process before abandoning. In fact, it’s often the last few steps (entering in credit card information and shipping costs) that scares someone off. So in the checkout process, it’s put the fields that collect the email address and other contact info early on.

Strategies for Successful Follow-Up Reengagement

Once you have their email address, you can start the reengagement campaign. In AllProWebTools, you get an alert whenever there’s an abandoned cart, so you can get on the ball immediately.

Many of our users have a lot of success with picking up the phone and actually calling cart abandoners. For repeat customers, this is especially effective. Repeat and new customers alike will be impressed with your initiative!

You can also set up an automated email to go out as soon as a cart is abandoned. This makes sure you’re “available” 24/7, and ensures near-immediate follow-up time.

Here are some ideas of what to include in the email:

  • Personalized message
  • Offer a discount code
  • Give them free shipping
  • Remind of easy alternate checkouts (such as PayPal)
  • Ask if there was a problem and offer help and ways to get in touch

You can also take a look at what items they had in their cart and create a more personal email.

  • Upsell them with a list of complementary products
  • Notify them if cart items go on sale
  • Send them useful content related to those items

Always make sure your follow-up emails have a clear call to action!

You’re likely to find that many of those abandoned carts that are so frustrating are actually warm leads in disguise. If you take some initiative to pursue those leads, you can make your ecommerce business more profitable.

Dave Kramer

About the Author: Dave Kramer

My goal is to provide small business owners with the marketing, productivity, and commerce tools they need to make their business a success!

I am passionate about small business and helping small business owners to succeed in business through the use of technology and tracking systems to identify those areas in their business that can be improved. I enjoy the rush of being a part of a business that is growing.  It is so exciting to have helped so many business owners and their staff to improve efficiency.




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