The E-commerce business is hard. Surprises crop up from every nook and corner, making it hard to forecast what might impact your online sales.
In 2016, one of the biggest problems that E-commerce entrepreneurs have come across is the excessive cart abandonment rate.
There are various reasons as to why a customer might abandon their online shopping cart. This post will put you in your customer’s shoes and help you understand what Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) techniques you need to do to stop customers from abandoning their carts.
Remember, by being tech savvy, you can retrieve more than 70 percent of your sales from the abandoned carts. After all, there was a reason as to why customers put the item in their shopping cart. They want to buy.
Related Article: 5 Effective Marketing Tips to Increase E-Commerce Sales
1. Configure a Persistent Shopping Cart
A smart shopping cart is a key in reminding customers about the items they have forgotten. These kinds of plug-in help customers to have a consistent shopping experience. They can easily start back from where they left off.
According to eMarketer, over 56 percent of shoppers save products in the cart for future purchases. So, don't let your shoppers forget the products they want. To use this awesome feature, you just need to make use of the 'persistent' cookies in the customer's browser. This keeps the cart intact until your customers return to your site.
For a Magento E-commerce Store, the following settings can be enforced for easy results.
2. Let Guests Checkout Without Signing Up
Most E-commerce websites let customers shop without prompting them to sign up until they try to checkout, where they are either prompted to log in or, well, sign up. This is one of the primary reasons why customers abandon their cart, as it’s an additional step which they were not prepared for.
It restricts them from performing the action they want: To buy the product. A study showed that 14 percent of online shoppers feel that forcing them to sign up makes them abandon their cart, midway. The best part about the guest checkout option is that you get the buyer’s details and you can target them later with a personalized email.
3. Make Your Checkout Process Easy and Predictable
The checkout process is the last and most important phase in an online shopper’s buying cycle. If your checkout process is tedious and confusing, expect shoppers to get frustrated and leave. It helps to create a clean and predictable checkout form that is easy for customers to understand and transact.
This layout helps customers identify where to enter what details and, thereby, make it easy for them to complete the transaction. Also, avoid any sort of cross/up promotional activity that might deviate customers from the payment process. Once they enter the checkout page, the focus should only be on getting the customers to complete the transaction and nothing else.
4. Avoid Hidden Costs - Rework on Your Pricing Strategy
Hidden costs are the shipping and/or service charges that are added during the checkout process. It’s one of the biggest reasons for cart abandonment, as 22 percent of shoppers say they will not go ahead with the transaction if they are unclear about the final product price.
This issue arises when proper information is not displayed on the product page. By including tools that help shoppers calculate the shipping charges or displaying the shipping price on the product page, you greatly help customers to make an informed buying decision. If you need to include other handling charges, then you need to rework your product pricing strategy and include it along with your product pricing as shown below.
By displaying the final cost on the product page, you help customers make a better decision and they will thank you for that.
Related Article: Learn By Example: 7 Great Mobile-Friendly E-commerce Websites
5. Enable Exit-Intent Pop-ups
Pop-ups are one of the most annoying marketing techniques, but they help. There are plenty of cases where customers add products to their cart and forget about them. These exit-intent pop-ups remind them about these forgotten products.
Surprisingly, the success level of such pop-ups is extremely high. Also, even when customers are not up to making the transaction, at least provide the option to opt in to get an email about it, so they can pick up where they left off.
Pro Tip: offering a discount on exit intent pop-up helps improve conversion rate.
6. Configure to Send Instant Cart Abandonment Emails
Not too keen about pop-ups? Cart abandonment emails help in bringing customers back to your website to complete a particular transaction. These emails are effective because you can personalize your offering and also provide the additional push needed to get customers excited. A simple mailer like the one shown below will help you relate better with your customers, encouraging them to buy the product.
The key is to find the right message that resonates well with your customers and get them excited about the products again.
7. Enable One-Click Shopping
It’s a simple feature that takes customers right from the product page to the checkout page. This greatly reduces the distractions that make customers deviate from completing the transaction.
The downside with E-commerce is that customers have the liberty to compare the price of the products from different websites. When and if they find a better deal, they simply leave. One-Click shopping greatly reduces such deviations and helps in completing the sale.
8. Provide Instant Chat Support
Instant Chat is an important CRO feature, as it lets your customers reach out to you immediately when they are in need. Stats show that live chat engages 10 to 50 percent of customers who visit your website.
Most E-commerce clients abandon their cart because they do not have clear information about the products. Live chat can easily rectify this issue. Also, queries related to product discovery or customer grievances are instantly taken care of by the customer support executives, helping to easily convert customers.
9. Showcase SSL Certificates and Security Badges
These badges are crucial, as customers look for these before making any transaction to ensure the safety of your website. Also, not all web badges have the same importance. Understand which security certificate your customers will be most interested in and display them prominently.
Showcase your security certificates and help put your customer’s mind at ease.
10. Prominent Display of Return Policies
The E-commerce shopping experience may excel by tapping into a customer’s impulse purchase instinct, but it’s also a victim to finicky customers who are quite particular about the products they spend their money on.
A transparent and generous return policy is one of the most important deciding factors for customers before they go ahead with their transaction. It’s not necessary that you have to offer free returns, but customers need the assurance that you take back products that are either damaged or they are not interested in anymore. Most E-commerce websites have this option, but the information is hard to find. This frustrates customers and makes them abandon their carts.
A prominent banner like this helps them either to choose "cash on delivery" or at least go ahead with the transaction because they have 15 days to return the products.
E-commerce is a hard business to survive in. There are hundreds of online stores cropping up every week and only the tech savvy ones succeed. You should not only have a strong SEO strategy for your E-commerce store to get them onto your website but make proper use of analytics tools and find where customers are abandoning their carts or leaving your website. This helps in understanding your customers better and in implementing cart abandonment CRO techniques to improve your online sales.