7 Tips to Decrease Shopping Cart Abandonment
Over the last several years, the U.S. market has seen a rapid increase in e-commerce sales and transactions. Although e-commerce sales revenue has grown and merchandise is moving across the country faster than ever before, there's still room for improvement.
A recent study by the Baymard Institute reveals a nearly 70 percent online shopping cart abandonment rate in the U.S. While the study suggests that a large portion of cart abandonment is due to the simple nature of online browsing — such as window shopping, price comparisons and saving items for later — e-commerce websites are capable of recovering approximately $260 billion in expected sales revenue and increasing their conversion rates by a minimum of 35.26 percent if they're able to optimize their online checkouts.
To remain competitive, companies need to reconsider how they develop and create their shopping carts in addition to making operational adjustments to their checkout procedures. Included below are tips to help e-commerce retailers optimize the shopping cart process and avoid cart abandonment by re-engaging potential customers in real time.
Implementing Shopping Cart Optimization Techniques
1. Color coding: Clearly labeling and color coding all call-to-action buttons on your website can help move potential customers down the sales funnel. For example, the “checkout” and “shopping cart” buttons should always be the first things that stand out on your website (e.g., use different colors, bold the font, create enlarged clickable buttons, etc.). When listing the price summary, clearly highlight the promotional deals and savings in different colors to visually emphasize the benefits of making a purchase with your company.
2. Effortless checkout: To ensure that customers finalize their purchases, e-commerce companies should minimize the number of clicks required throughout the checkout process. Unlike the beginning stage of the sales funnel, where a company works to intrigue and nurture customer relationships, the shopping cart stage should be more direct and work solely toward completing a sale. For instance, once a customer shows interest and places an item in the shopping cart, the website should direct the customer toward a seamless, one-step ordering process.
3. High order concerns first: In addition to minimizing the clicks needed to get through the checkout process, companies should optimize the layout of their checkout forms to ensure all existing and potential customer contact information is captured. When restructuring your checkout information process, place the most crucial lines of contact information at the top (e.g., name and email information). Keep in mind, a customer’s checkout form doesn't need to be submitted or saved on their end for the data to be captured on the back end.
4. Multiple payment options: To widen the consumer pool and attract as many customers as possible, offer multiple payment methods on your website, including PayPal, Amazon Pay and Apple Pay, as well as accepting all types of credit cards. With the increased demand in cell phone usage, it’s imperative your website is optimized to process mobile payments (e.g., Apple Pay and Android Pay).
5. Security concerns: For a customer to go through with a transaction, they have to feel their payment information is being kept safe and secure. To validate trust and security on your website, use a combination of padlock or trust symbols for visual reassurance. If your company is using a cyber security platform or firewall to protect its information, make sure that point is made visibly clear throughout your payment pages by posting the platform’s cyber security logo or written guarantee on the checkout page.
Deploying Strategic Marketing Approaches to Re-Engage Potential Customers
6. Utilize a rules-based approach. Like the name implies, a rules-based approach is when marketers set up automatic rules based on where a customer is in their buying journey. By understanding how a potential customer is engaging with your e-commerce site, you're able to accurately identify patterns of abandonment and deliver relevant messaging in real time. Additionally, as a way to keep a shopper’s potential online purchases top-of-mind, marketers should follow up within 24 hours via email, and then again after a couple of days.
7. Activate the behavior approach. Implementing a behavior approach involves monitoring a consumer’s product views as the basis for identifying an interested shopper and driving out communication. The information received from consumers who have viewed a company page (or product) can later be used in isolation to identify and market an already known and interested visitor. Oftentimes, consumers will visit a website to view offers and deals and then leave without purchasing an item. With the behavior approach, marketers can monitor and track consumers’ behaviors to later target those shoppers with different offers tailored to their interests and price points. In the future, this information can be used in conjunction with IoT services to recognize a person across multiple mediums and directly communicate with that consumer, already knowing their browsing and purchasing history.
As the demand for online shopping continues to increase, and the e-commerce market continues to get more and more competitive, it’s imperative for your company to invest in and implement a strategic marketing and sales approach to better attract, engage and re-engage with online customers. E-commerce companies need to continually update and optimize their websites and checkout processes to capitalize on the needs and preference of online consumers. With a personalized, targeted and integrated approach, companies will reduce shopping cart abandonment and generate more revenue.
Ritchie Hale is the chief technology innovation officer and developer of TouchCR, an e-commerce marketing platform.