The average documented cart abandonment rate of 68.63% is no joke.
Heck, companies as large as IBM experience consistently high abandonment rates, and it's interesting to see exactly what they do to counteract this.
As an ecommerce business owner, you must know what your average abandonment rate is. If you don't, that's your first bit of homework before moving onto this article.
Once you've established what your abandonment rate is, it's not a bad idea to look up some of the trends in your own market. After all, some industries have drastically different abandonment rates than others, so its important to stay in your own market.
Even if you're leading the way in your industry, there's always room for improvement. Your next step is to think of a benchmark you would like to reach in the next year. This gives you enough time to make modifications in your strategy and to look back at the stats to see if you were successful.
For example, if you have a cart abandonment rate of 60% right now, you may want to improve that to 50% by the end of the year. Every year you can lower your benchmark and sprinkle some of the tips below into your plan.
Since cart abandonment has been studied quite a bit in the past, we're going to try and provide some actionable tips on how you can solve cart abandonment, mainly without constantly resorting to discounts.
1. Have a Sense of Urgency With Your Emails
Abandoned cart emails are all about how quick you send them out. After 24 hours, your chances of bringing a customer back diminish significantly. A study suggests that when an email is sent out before that 24 hours mark, you boost ROI by over 2800%. For example, the MoonMail app (and many other abandoned cart tools) has a setting for changing around how long it takes to send out an email.
2. Cut Out the Risk That People Fear
People fear quite a few things when purchasing items online. First, they may fear that the site isn't secure. Second, they may not know if they are ordering the right item, size, amount, etc. Therefore, you need to minimize risk by understanding why customers leave. Use a tool like Peek to record actions, and use exit surveys to see if people are leaving because of one of these fears.
3. Be Super Specific About Products That Were Abandoned
If a customer leaves your site with a certain item in their shopping cart, they're less likely to come back and buy if you don't remind them of what they were looking at. Have a picture, description and price in the email, along with all of the other items that were listed in the shopping cart.
4. Complete Checkout Testing on a Consistent Basis
Some stores do best with a few steps in the checkout, while others are better off with the two-step process. For example, QuickSprout found that a three step checkout was best for them, so you need to use an A/B testing tool to understand what's best for you.
5. Drop the Bait and Switch Tactics
When customers go through your checkout process, there shouldn't be hidden costs that reveal themselves as they move along. For example, I've been on a few sites where they try to tag on some extras or include some sort of processing fee at the end. The point is, the first price the customer sees should be what they pay at the end (besides shipping and handling.)
6. Cut Out the Cuteness and Focus on Clarity
Including humor and fun content in your abandoned cart email may work with some audiences, but in general, your best bet is to get right to the point. That means have a blunt one-liner as the email subject, a quick mention of the products still in the cart and a button so they can complete the purchase.
Even a plain text email works fine for this.
7. Use the Best Tools for Bringing Back Users
Many online businesses think that using a newsletter tool like MailChimp is enough for abandoned cart emails. However, nothing could be further from the truth. You need an automated email software with support for storing data, sending out on time, linking to the right products and maybe even storing payment information. Rejoiner isn't a bad choice, but many options are out there.
8. Offer Live Chat on Your Ecommerce Site
People have questions when buying on your website, and if they go unanswered, they may just leave without buying anything. Install one of the best live chat apps to ensure that customers don't have to rely on product descriptions and specs.
9. Let Customers Edit Their Shopping Carts When They Return
Nothing is more annoying for a customer than when they are locked into what they were looking at before. Give your customers the opportunity to edit their shopping cart upon return. Tools like Shopify and Bigcommerce allow for this.
10. Reveal How Far They Are Along in the Process
One study shows that when customer know where they are in the process, they are more likely to finish checking out. Sometimes it feels like you're stuck in the checkout line for quite some time. When will it end? Therefore, take a hint from Amazon and reveal progress.
11. Only Ask for Payment Information After Shipping Has Been Discussed
Imagine how frustrating it must be if you had to punch in your credit card information before learning about shipping costs. Some websites have this setup, so it's wise to evaluate the order in which people type in their information. They should have the total price given to them prior to filling in credit card numbers.
12. Be Smart With Your Coupons
A significant amount of people suggest that they left an online store because they were searching for a coupon online but never found it. This means that if you have a coupon for new or returning customers, it must be readily available and visible right from your website. Even explaining how to use a coupon in an email is smart.
13. Keep the Cart Visible at All Times
Is it possible that customers forget that they already put items in the shopping cart? You bet! In fact, it's more common than you think. Therefore, it's important to have a little shopping cart icon towards the top of the website with a ticker of how many items are in there. Some stores even show the list of items.
14. Remove Items on Your Site and Checkout That Are Distracting
Some websites are so darn packed with bells and whistles that it's intimidating for the customers. Other times, they may get so distracted that they forget to checkout. From the homepage to the checkout module, don't be a company with tons of banners, suggestions, widgets and products constantly popping up when the customer just wants to make a purchase.
15. Include Testimonials to Add Credibility
A testimonial tool, like the Testimonial Rotator plugin, is a sure fire way to build your credibility. We've talked about how customers take risks with buying from your site, so if they see that others have done so without any problems, you're on the right track to decreasing abandonment rates.
16. Forget About Making People Register for Your Site
If someone doesn't want to register for an account on your website, don't make them. Not everyone is ready to give away their information that easily.
17. Instead, Offer a Guest Account Option
The solution for those who are not willing to register with your website is the guest checkout option. It goes along with some of the many improved checkout principles. They don't have to give up their information, but at the same time you can make a sale.
18. Provide Multiple Registration Options
On the other hand, some people would rather register an account without having to go through the whole process of typing in their information. That's where social networks come into play. Since so many internet users already have their information punched into places like Facebook and Twitter, you can have a one-click registration right at the start of your website.
19. Implement a User Review System
Similar to how testimonials work, you can have a user rating and review system on all of your product pages. Since people can see when other folks are satisfied with a product, they remove doubt when walking through the checkout module. Yotpo is a solid option for including reviews and ratings on your site, but many other solutions exist. In addition, you can find WordPress themes with review tools built-in.
20. Include Comparison Tools on Your Website
A customer who feels uneducated about a product is less likely to buy. So, you should incorporate a comparison tool on your website so that people can place similar products next to each other.
21. Spice Up Your Return Policy
Since more than 60% of shoppers look at return policies before buying, it's clear that many of the people on your website are willing to leave if the return policy is not up to their standards. That's why you must clearly state exactly what your return policy is. In addition, you need a quality policy, preferably with free returns and a simple process that gives them printable labels so they can drop it off at the post office the next day.
22. Use Mobile Everything
Several apps are available for you to improve the way you do business on the mobile front. In short, mobile is the new way of doing business, so your company requires a mobile website, mobile checkout, mobile media items, mobile newsletters and mobile abandoned cart emails. If they can't open your communications on a phone, you're basically telling them to abandon their cart.
23. Personalize the Heck Out of Your Cart Abandonment Emails
Email personalization has a few different levels. First of all, you need to address people by their names in both the email and email subject line. It's also essential to have a list of all the products they were looking at, as we talked a little bit about above.
24. Reveal Areas for Customers to Ask Questions and Talk to Each Other
The best example for this is where Amazon has a whole list of questions that past users have asked. The sellers can answer the questions, or other customers can chime in. Whether you're implementing an FAQ module or including a forum for people to chat with each other, consumers want answers, and they are less likely to abandon if those answers are clear.
25. Pack Your Product Pages With Images and Videos
Shopping online has one big disadvantage: You can't touch and play around with the item. That's why imagery is so crucial to keeping people around. Aim for ten or twenty photos for each item, and consider making short video clips that you can upload onto the website.
26. Use Conversion Tools for Displaying Local Languages and Currencies
Unfortunately this mainly depends on your theme, ecommerce platform or sometimes your payment processor. But the logic is simple. If someone comes to your site and puts items in their shopping cart, they are not going to checkout if they can't convert to their local currency.
27. Follow Steps to Boost Your Site Speeds
If your site takes more than three seconds to load, 40% of the people are going to leave because of it. Optimizing your site requires quite a few techniques, but your number one focus should be speed.
28. Send People to the Right Landing Pages After an Ad
If a customer clicks on a Google Ad that markets men's basketball shoes, and they end up on a homepage, you can bet they leave your site quickly.
29. Reveal How Much Money Has Been Saved
Whether listing money savings on the homepage or in an email, it's never a bad idea to keep reminding people of how much they can save with you.
30. Make Sure You Have Free Shipping
This one is simple, but having some sort of benchmark free shipping program is a sure way to calm the nerves of people who don't want to be spending more money on your site than they would be by walking into a retail store.
31. Utilize Micro Copy
What's micro copy? It's basically a little bit of text that sits in a field that your users have to fill out. The micro copy suggests what people might type in, and it guides the process along a little better. For example, your checkout fields may include suggestions for what to type in or even little question boxes to explain why it's important to get their address and other personal information.
32. Start Remarketing and Retargeting
The idea behind retargeting and remarketing is fairly simple: You engage users after they have left your site or bought something in the past. However, quite a few forms of retargeting and remarketing are available. From seasonal marketing to post conversion retargeting, the options are rather helpful in turning more of your visitors into customers.
Are You Ready to Fix Your Cart Abandonment Issues?
Now that you've had a chance to see some of the best ways to fix your cart abandonment issues, bookmark this page to reach your own benchmarks in the future. Also, let us know if you have any other suggestions in the comments below.