10 Ways to Reduce Cart Abandonments and Maximize Conversions

18 Apr 2019 | Sukhesh Vadavil

Imagine being a store owner. Relief is seeing your customers standing at the checkout queue with their shopping carts full of commodities. Now imagine one of them simply leaving. Then one-by-one most of them leave, their shopping carts full but abandoned.

Depressing right? Be it physical or digital, cart abandonment is a nightmare for shop owners.

The difference is that in a physical store, you can’t run behind them and suggest they rethink their decision. You can’t wave items from their shopping carts in front of their faces trying to entice them into buying it. You can’t, after two days, creep up behind them when they are on their phone and say “Surprise! You can get your items at a discount now”.

That would amount to an assault. You simply can’t do that.

But if you are running an online store, you are able to do that, at least digitally. You actually can make the abandoners come back to the cart and buy those stuff. You can wave their choice of commodities in front of their face. You can digitally creep up right in front of them and offer a reduced price. You can.

How?

Cart abandonment can be dealt with in a variety of ways. Here, we will discuss 10 effective steps to reduce cart abandonment. 10 proven methods to maximize conversion. It works only in digital stores though because cart abandonment is a relatively rare phenomenon in a physical store.

It is important to determine the problem before trying to come up with solutions. So, let us take a quick peek at the major causes of shopping cart abandonment.

It is also important to accept the fact that not all abandonments are caused due to the above-listed factors. One can never know what’s going on in the mind of an online shopper. Maybe it is none of the above. Maybe they just went to have food and forgot about it. Maybe they just got a call from work telling they are fired. Maybe they heard an ice cream truck outside.

We can’t solve all those problems.

But some, we can. Now that we have listed down some logical causes of cart abandonment, we will try to find a few solutions.

Cart abandoned due to unexpected costs.

Unexpected costs and its ugly cousin, hidden costs.

Shipping or delivery charges are the most prominent form of hidden costs that the customers worry about. Take a very small scale instance. While ordering food, customers are more likely to go with the option of a ₹100 meal with ₹0 delivery charge than a ₹70 meal (of relatively equal quantity) with a ₹30 delivery charge. It’s just cod cognition at play.

But its not just about shipping/delivery costs when it comes to big scale e-commerce sites is it? Take a look at the picture below.

This is sure to mess up the purchase intent of any visitor. This doesn’t happen at physical stores. Maybe we are asked ₹5 for carry-bags or are given change in the form of chocolates.

So how can we combat this?

Simple,

1) Offer free shipping.

This might not be a viable option for all stores. If it is not for you, make it conditional. Apply plausibilities. Maybe, you could ship free to certain locations. Or on certain days. Or to certain accounts with additional privileges or promo codes. If free shipping is an unthinkable case for your business do the following preemptive strike.

2) List all the costs on your product page.

This is a virtuous practice. People will revere you for this. Either give all-inclusive pricing or list out all the charges that the customer may have to face during checkout on the product page itself. This way you reduce the chances of guiding them all the way to the checkout page and then having them quit.

This saves the customer’s time. This gives more accurate data on your analytics. Moreover, this increases the chances of your customer browsing further and comparing all the costs and actually making a purchase.

The cart-wishlist conundrum

Another reason for abandonment could be that the customers are still browsing. They may be using their cart as a wishlist. Just piling up stuff there. Maybe to see the final cost, or maybe to come back later and buy. They may even leave your site to find similar products elsewhere and see if they could get a reduced cost.

One way to address this is

3) Retargeting

Combining browsing history and browser behavior is not difficult these days. By indulging in user id tracking or garnering the relevant data through analytics, you can retarget your customers on various platforms.

4) Email marketing actually works

If a user is kind enough to create an account or provide his/her email in any manner, you are in luck. Send them emails about their chosen items. Include a discount if possible. Email marketing is a granular approach that succeeds most of the time.

Found a better deal

If a cheaper offer on a similar or the same product offered by another merchant is the issue for abandoning, it must be attacked from the roots.

5) Offering guarantees.

To convince the customer that they cannot get a better deal anywhere else, add a small icon of ‘lowest price guarantee’. And really mean it. Be ethical.

6) Offer extended services

Offer loyalty programs to the customers who have an account or who are regular. This can increase the chances of them returning to your store whenever they need something. Everyone loves the fruit stall owner who throws in 2 more apples, free of cost. It is not much, but it means so much.  

Now, let us take a look at some other common practices that could effectively reduce cart abandonment.

7) The last-minute registration

DO NOT ask anyone to subscribe, or make an account on the last part of the purchasing process. It is a downer. They are under the illusion that it’s all going smooth and then BHAM! You are asking for their email address and name? Ridiculous!

It may just take 3 minutes but most people just give up and go search elsewhere. The solution? A guest checkout option. If conversions can happen without any tracking possibility, so be it.

8) Reduce distractions

Remove extra navigational features, popups et cetera. Make your customer focus just on one thing: the purchase. Endorse the product, throw in its advantages, provide lots of photos and present reviews.

9) Progress bar

A progress bar is a thing of beauty. It gives a sense of hope. A sense of reliability. When customers understand where they stand in the purchase process, they tend to go on until the end. Otherwise, situations may arise where the customer abandon the procedure at the second last step.

It is also important to reduce the number of steps, and the details required to complete the purchase. The faster the checkout, the better. In short, don’t give them time to reconsider. Eliminate hesitations wherever, whenever, and however, you can.  

10) CTA and chat

A visually contrasting Call To Action button works wonders. It must blend in with the design but stand out on the page. And CTAs must be able to convey what the next step is and what the customer should expect after clicking on it.

A chat widget on each step of the checkout process can make it easier for them to resolve queries. A smoother checkout means a surer checkout.

Employing these techniques, you can be sure that abandoning your cart is not the last thing your customer did on your store. These steps are probably the last resort you can do to make your users convert. Understanding the main reasons for cart abandonment on your store and combining various methods intelligently is the most feasible way to increase sales.

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