Checkout remains one of the largest points of frustration in e-commerce. In 2021, roughly 70 percent of shopping carts are still abandoned at checkout. This massive loss in potential sales at the last moment has driven countless merchants to distraction trying to recapture this revenue, while others, unfortunately, ignore this potentially lucrative revenue stream.
Merchants looking to minimize their cart abandonment rate can make some simple changes that will improve their customer’s buying experience, and subsequently, drive revenue. These changes all involve focusing on the following root causes of high cart abandonment:
Personalize the Shopping Experience
Online shoppers who discover a product of interest are less likely to abandon their carts. This means addressing cart abandonment well before the customer ever reaches a checkout screen. By employing artificial intelligence (AI)-driven product recommendations, each action the shopper takes on site helps to “teach” the AI algorithm about the shopper’s individual preferences and thus make smart recommendations while they shop. There are many examples of AI that can do this, but my recommendation is to look for AI that's both adaptive and serves up custom recommendations at each point in the shopping experience, not just at checkout. By ensuring customers are seeing the products they're most likely to care about, merchants can set their checkout screens up for success from the start.
Make Payment Effortless
At checkout, customers have time to rethink their purchases. The monotonous entry of payment information, shipping address, and other details needed to complete a purchase is a critical 45-second to 90-second period when shoppers reconsider their potential purchases. Until recently, this was simply part of the risk of online retail.
Instead of laboring to reinvent or distract from the checkout experience, merchants should introduce "one-click" payment widgets that automatically link to customers' financial and shipping data. Originally introduced and patented by Amazon.com, one-click shopping made the payment process effortless for the customer and reduced the risk of losing customers due to the time it takes to click one button. With the patent expired, "wallet payment" options have become omnipresent through a broad range of payment platforms like Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, PayPal Express, Google Pay, and Shopify’s Dynamic Checkout.
By utilizing one-click payment options, the traditional checkout process is bypassed, resulting in a massive reduction in cart abandonment.
The restaurant industry offers an invaluable philosophy that applies to the issue of cart abandonment: every unhappy table is a chance to make a customer for life. E-commerce is no different, and merchants need to treat every abandoned cart as an opportunity to re-engage and win back potential customers. After all, the shopper came to your website and put your product in their cart for a reason. A little engagement can go a long way.
Cart abandonment needs to be recognized as another step in the customer buying journey rather than the end. Even employing traditional reminder messages as consumers leave the site about their abandoned cart offers the potential to reduce cart abandonment.
For the merchants that recognize cart abandonment as a potential untapped revenue growth stream, there are more advanced ways to expand communications and provide personalized product recommendations. Modern marketing platforms like Constant Contact or Salesforce can deliver personalized re-engagement messages to known customers, and AI platforms can keep track of new customers to tailor their product recommendations based on their previous interests.
As e-commerce continues to expand, so too does the technology and strategies used to engage with customers and develop the best buying experience possible. By following these tips, merchants can directly combat cart abandonment while simultaneously creating a better overall experience for their customers.
Zee Aganovic is the CEO and co-founder of HiConversion, an e-commerce optimization company focused on collaboration.
Dr. Aganovic is a retail technology expert, serial entrepreneur and CEO, founder of HiConversion. Prior to HiConversion, he has served as CEO and founder of technology companies Apptimum, Eisenworld and Cylex Systems. He earned a PhD – EE Optimization Theories from Rutgers University.