Shop Talk: How to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates
Q: “I’m looking for some best practices around how B-to-B and B-to-C websites can either eliminate or reduce shopping cart abandonment rates. Any advice? Thanks!”
— Lorna Henri, senior director, e-commerce/online marketing, U.S. Communities Purchasing Cooperative
A: The first thing to recognize is that for many consumers, shopping cart abandonment is a natural part of the buying process. Buyers often need more time to do research and compare products and prices before committing to a purchase. This holds true for both B-to-C and B-to-B sites. Eliminating shopping cart abandonment just isn’t viable; increasing your conversion rate and revenues is. There are three main complementary
strategies you can follow in this situation:
1. Make your offer more attractive. The single biggest reason why consumers abandon their shopping carts is because of shipping and handling charges. While you may not be able to offer permanent sitewide free shipping, it is well worth digging into your shipping costs. Simply put: reduce them and you’ll sell more.
Also consider implementing a permanent, minimum order free shipping offer. This will have two effects: one, you’ll convert more and, two, your average order value should increase (sometimes dramatically).
The threshold to receive free shipping should be as low as possible. In order to do this, you’ll need to calculate your break-even point. If the minimum order value falls close to a psychologically important price point, set your free shipping threshold below that point. For example, $99 free shipping works better than $100 free shipping.
2. Tune your conversion path. Removing obstacles and friction points in your conversion path can have a dramatic impact on your conversion rate. Focus on key elements that ensure consumers are comfortable with your brand before starting down the conversion path. Free/easy returns, testimonials and social proof are important here, as are simple factors like putting your company’s phone number prominently on your site.