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How to Reduce Your eCommerce Site's Abandoned Shopping Cart Rate

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How to Reduce Your eCommerce Site's Abandoned Shopping Cart RateEarlier this year, we posted "9 Things Your eCommerce Website Needs to Sell More Products Online." From search engine optimization to shipping, our list highlights features eCommerce merchants need to optimize the online shopping experience and increase customer satisfaction. This week we’re going to take a closer look at the persistent problem of cart abandonment and what you can do to prevent it.

U.K.-based web research company Baymard Institute found that the average cart abandonment rate is 68.63%. Take a minute to think about that: Almost three-fourths of items placed in a shopping cart won’t make it to checkout. So what contributes to this abandonment? According to Statistia, the top reason shoppers leave without paying is unexpected cost. Other common reasons include:

  • Never having had the intention to buy in the first place
  • Finding a better price elsewhere
  • Complicated website navigation
  • Long checkout times
  • Simply deciding against buying the product

Window shoppers aside, what is good about cart abandonment is that the customer is already interested in your product, so all you have to do is persuade him or her to complete the purchase. Take a look at the three main ways you can increase conversion rates and keep shopping carts rolling all the way to the register:

The Abandoned Cart Email
The open rate for recovery emails is 50%, and one-third of these emails convert to a sale. Despite how effective and simple this tactic is, most businesses – even prominent retailers like Nordstrom and Macy’s – fail to send an email after cart abandonment, meaning they are ignoring easy money. An eye-catching, playful subject line such as “You forgot how much you want to buy this” will pique the recipient’s interest and likely lead to an open. The body of the email should include graphics if your team has the time and manpower. Above all, though, write good copy – it can be simple or funny, but be sure to state which items were left in the shopping cart and link directly to it. You may also want to create a sense of urgency by either indicating the product will sell out soon or offering a time-sensitive coupon code. Lastly, send the email within 24 hours of abandonment to catalyze the purchase before the customer forgets about the item.

The Purchase Form
A checkout process with a long list of required field entries is tedious and will lead to high abandonment rates. Though a business may have valid reasons for requesting this information, a Baymard Institute study found that consumers find much of it to be “seemingly unnecessary.” Fortunately, altering this consumer perception is easy: Just state the purpose of the request. One participant of the study was suspicious why Apple requested his phone number. That said, he willingly provided this information when filling out another form that explicitly stated the number would be used for shipping-related purposes.

There is some debate over whether single-page or multi-page checkouts are more effective. If you choose to use a multi-page model, be sure to include a progress bar that indicates how many pages have been completed out of the total.

The Web Design
The Statistia study also found that one-fourth of online shoppers abandon carts because of complicated website navigation. Ways to optimize your site’s shopping experience include:

  • Showing images for every product
  • Allowing customers to edit their cart easily if they need to delete an item or adjust a quantity
  • Displaying a trust seal to indicate the site is secure
  • Offering technical support for problems or questions

It’s pretty much impossible to eliminate abandonment altogether, as there will always be window shoppers visiting your site with no real intention of making a purchase. Nonetheless, making a few adjustments could double or even triple your sales. San Diego Media’s cart abandonment feature recovers more than 15% of lost revenue and helps merchants increase sales by up to 50% on average. Talk to us today to learn more by calling 1.800.808.8696 or by filling out this brief e-form.  


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