How to Use Automated Tools to Prevent Abandoned E-Commerce Carts

shopping cart abandonment

Any e-commerce merchant can vouch for just how much time and resources go into building the perfect platform for their website.  E-commerce professionals aim to develop the ideal spot for their consumers to browse, shop, create endless wish lists, and hopefully make purchases. The site owners provide their sales teams with items for purchase, details, and as much data as possible to make it welcoming and accessible.

The basic demands of today's busy online customers include a comfortable, clear shopping experience. Online navigation must be simple, presenting prices as well as comprehensive product details including any additional fees. Unfortunately, even on the most successful sites, the lack of hands-on interaction with the customer often leaves a heavy toll on the completion of purchasing transactions that would have likely been solved in a real life situation. Just as a dedicated sales person is trained to never let an interested customer leave a store empty handed, e-commerce professionals can tackle the phenomenon of abandoned carts with the proper tools to keep their online shoppers engaged and decisive.

A consumer's purchase decision often boils down to a persuasive interactive sales pitch. This sales pitch, or lack thereof, is the Achilles heel of the online shopping world. The decrease in human interaction can turn the customer's favorite modern pass time – spending money – into the mundane task of researching information. Without catering to the exact needs of online customers, even the best looking e-commerce sites can leave their clients feeling more irritated than satisfied.

Consider the detrimental results of this frustrating process for both merchants and customers: What if customers use a search engine to find an item offered by a particular site, only to find the same item, better presented, on a competitor’s site? The effects of not investing in tools that improve the online experience, leads customers to check out of the site rather than checking-out their shopping carts.

Up until recently, it was thought that the only way to interact with online shoppers is by live customer support, over email, via telephone, or chat. Live customer support has its place in online sales but it comes at a significant monetary cost. Furthermore, live help might keep our customers waiting too long, raising the risk and likelihood that they may back out of the sale.

Luckily, technology companies offer new software products that closely mimic the natural cause and effect cycle of: buyer discusses a need, seller offers a solution. With these products, e-commerce owners and operators don’t have to invest in multi-time-zone, multi-language call centers. They can let the customers ask questions and receive the information they require, imbuing the purchase with a touch of personalization that helps maintain their engagement.

Abandoned Carts: A Modern Day Phenomenon

Consumers like buying. If an individual takes the time to locate a shopping site, browse through the items, and even click on some products, making the purchase should be the natural course of events.

Research compiling 22 other studies exposes that the mean figure for shopping cart closure is about 33%. The other two thirds of the carts get abandoned. Some of the top explanations given by the visitors include Met unexpected costs and Decided against buying.

In the age of data surplus, consumers know exactly what they want, where to look for it, and how to research the product market for comparisons. Consumers have become accustomed to the fact that this data is made readily available to them. If the information flow is inadequate or incompatible with the customer's way of shopping, it comes off as neglectful to the shopper's needs. Whether intentionally or not, omitting additional charges that get applied at the end of the shopping process is a rookie merchant mistake and a definite customer turn off.

Decided against buying is another “oh, snap” moment because a decision process was involved. If the ultimate deliberation was against buying, then deciding for buying was also on the table.

Cart Abandonment Reasons

In the first case, the costs associated with the product were unclear to the consumer, in the second – the lack of interaction with the customers instilled doubt about the value of the product. In both cases, the customer may have had additional questions in order to make a decision and may have not understood how to seek out answers from the site.Additionally, the consumer may feel disinclined to turn to customer support because it feels inaccessible and unwelcoming.

The good news is that e-commerce merchants have the necessary information to understand what irks their consumers and can prevent this abandonment with the proper tools.

In traditional brick and mortar shops, a salesperson would keep track of customers and their shopping carts, taking notice of whether the customers look as if they know what they want or if they examine a certain product for a while. After hovering above the clients for a while, they would approach them directly and execute the necessary action to make them head for the cash registers.

Therefore, it is paramount to employ – in addition to a well-rounded initial presentation and an expert support team – a software that bridges between the two. This satisfies the customer’s need to interact with a source of information about his purchase decision at any time and from any place.

In addition to having an intermediate layer before customer support is engaged, this also further improves the shopping funnel through the data analysis provided by the software. The best solutions in the field provide tools to easily collate frequently asked questions, build and host a knowledge base from which consumers can query, ultimately increasing efficiency and cutting down valuable company costs.

Try-Shopify

Before giving in to your nightmares of abandoned carts, consider investing in an automated system that can become your best ally in your journey into the future of e-commerce success.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Customer Questions

Post created in partnership with nanorep.

Catalin Zorzini

I'm a web design blogger and started this project after spending a few weeks struggling to find out which is the best ecommerce platform for myself. Check out my current top 10 ecommerce site builders.