Cart abandonment is a huge issue for owners of online stores. Here’s our guide on how to combat it.
Let’s set the scene: A customer logs on to your Magento store. They browse and find products that they like. They like them so much, in fact, that they start to load up their shopping cart. The customer makes their way to to the checkout, they might even even go as far as to give you their e-mail address.
Then disaster strikes, they get to the final stretch and they get cold feet. They hit the X on the tab and they leave your store never to be seen again. All those products just sit lonely in their digital cart, totally abandoned.
It would be rare to see this in real life – so why is it so prevalent online? And what can store owners do to stop it?
Top Reasons for Cart Abandonment
According to the stats, 69.5% of online browsing sessions end in cart abandonment. There are a whole host of reasons why a customer might think twice about going through with a purchase. Here are just a few:
Unexpected Costs. The biggest reason of all for cart abandonment is fees that the customer wasn’t expecting. Whether this is shipping costs, tax, or any other kind of additional charge. No-one likes to be hit with cost they weren’t expecting. It’s an instant turn off for shoppers.
A Complicated Checkout. When shopping online, the last thing you want is to spend five hours navigating the checkout. When it feels like you have to give your life story to be able to make a purchase it’s no wonder that customers don’t follow through.
Lack of Trust. Making a purchase online is about trust. When you can’t see a product or speak to a store representative in person, all you have to go on is the website in front of you. After all, customers are handing over sensitive information like card details and addresses. So, if your site looks and feels like the digital equivalent of a dusty DVD store down a back alley, it isn’t going to inspire much trust.
Unsatisfactory Returns Policy. A good returns policy is vitally important to shoppers, especially when making a purchase from an unfamiliar brand online. It’s important to know that if the item isn’t what they expected they can return it with ease. An unclear or unsatisfactory returns policy can therefore be a big blockage in the path to a completed sale.
How to Keep Cart Abandonment Down
So, with all of this said, how can online stores go about combating the dreaded cart abandonment curse?
The bad news is, there’s no cure. You will always get shoppers who leave you at the last second, it’s one of the perils of owning an online store. The good news, however, is that for every issue listed here there’s a way that you can at least reduce the cart abandonment rate on your Magento site.
1. Use Secure Payment Systems
This taps in the issue of customers trusting you with their sensitive payment data. Using a payment method that shoppers will likely be familiar with – such as PayPal, Amazon Pay, or Braintree – will ensure that they feel safe and secure making a payment with you.
If applicable, consider using Geo-location identification to automatically choose the payment method that best suits the user, as some payment systems are limited to certain countries.
2. Be Upfront About Costs
Transparency is key to avoid cart abandonment due to unexpected fees. Firstly, make sure you have an FAQ page that clearly states any and all shipping fees or additional costs. And, if needs be, you can even add a shipping and tax calculator to your product pages so shoppers can clearly see the price as they browse.
3. Offer Free Shipping or Discount Codes
While this might not be a cost effective solution for every eCommerce store, offering free shipping can be a great way to reduce cart abandonment. Shipping fees can often stand in the way between you and a fully completed sale, so by eradicating it you help shoppers on their journey to becoming your regular customer.
Alternatively, you could offer an incentive in the form of a discount code. 10, 15, or 20 percent off can help minimise the price shock that may come from shipping costs or tax.
4. Keep Your Checkout Simple, Stupid
You’ve no doubt heard the phrase “keep it simple, stupid” and this strongly applies to your checkout process. Put yourself in your customers shoes and walk through your checkout. Does everything flow? Is it fully optimized? If the answers are no, it’s time to review things.
For example, one of the biggest turn offs for shoppers is having to create an account to make a purchase. So as part of your review, look into adding a guest checkout so customers don’t have to go through the kerfuffle of setting up an account with you if they don’t want to.
5. Follow Up with the Customer
Have you, yourself, ever been guilty of adding things to your online shopping cart and then abandoning it? If you have, you might have found an e-mail in your inbox enticing you back. Online stores are increasingly using this method to get customers to come back to them, and it’s highly effective.
With the CM Sales Recovery Extension for Magento, abandoned carts are automatically detected and an e-mail is sent directly to the customer. This can even include a unique discount code to encourage purchase completion. It’s a simple but effective way to make them think twice about thinking twice!
Combating Cart Abandonment
While there’s no denying that it is an issue for online stores, cart abandonment needn’t be a business breaking problem. We hope these five simple solutions help you to combat cart abandonment in your Magento store.