Abandonment is a serious issue that must be dealt with. No, we are not talking about our personal lives but what happens when a customer stops a purchase on your e-commerce site. Lonely products are left abandoned in electronic shopping carts, with most customers never returning to complete the transaction. Not understanding your shopping cart abandonment rate or what is causing it is losing you money. Thankfully, there are easy ways to minimize your abandonment issues and capture more revenue. Let’s look at what they are.
BUT FIRST WE MUST FIGURE IT OUT
To monitor one’s abandonment rate, one must figure out what it is. Thankfully, it is pretty simple, even for the mathematically challenged. Your abandonment rate is simply the percentage of transactions initiated vs. transactions completed over time. Calculating it will show how many people add products to their checkout carts but never complete the purchase. Refer to the handy graphic on calculating it if you didn’t pay attention in math class. Most popular e-commerce platforms will have this metric built into their analytics, so you don’t even have to bust out a calculator. Check out this article on how to see your cart abandonment rate in Shopify. So what’s the average rate? Multiple articles put it around a staggering 70%, meaning any reduction can recapture significant amounts of lost sales.
According to an excellent article on Shopify’s blog, the biggest driver of shopping cart abandonment by far is surprise costs. Hidden fees, taxes and high shipping costs can all add significantly to the price of a purchase. There is nothing you can do about taxes, and we don’t suggest you wind up like Wesley Snipes. But offering free shipping is a great way to entice customers to click that buy button. For those with bulkier items, consider charging a lower flat shipping fee and eating some of the shipping costs to minimize sticker shock at checkout. And never try to slide hidden fees or surcharges in during the checkout process, as it will only increase your abandonment rate. It is always better to add those costs to the price of your products instead of during checkout or eliminate them entirely.
REQUIRING AN ACCOUNT TO MAKE A PURCHASE
Account creation is a great way to capture valuable first-party data. If you are unfamiliar with the value of first-party data, check out our informative blog post here. But trying to gather too much information or making an account mandatory is also a great way to kill a purchase. Most consumers won’t want to create an account if they only plan to purchase from you once. Yes, capturing first-party data and e-mail addresses for newsletters and future promotional messaging are essential. But it shouldn’t come at the cost of sales. Always have the option for guest checkout for those that don’t want to create an account or depart with too much personal information.
IT TAKES TOO LONG
People don’t have the attention span or patience to fill out multiple forms or scroll through countless pages on your website when making a purchase. According to an in-depth Baymard study, the average U.S. checkout process has 23 form fields that consumers must fill out before purchasing. That is already long enough, and the more a customer has to fill out or complicated the process is, the higher the abandonment rate. Audit your checkout process and minimize any extra steps possible. Make saving credit card and shipping information possible (but optional) to help speed the purchase process. There are also apps and plug-ins that can be incorporated into your site, like Shopify’s Shop Pay, to streamline and simplify checkout. Amazon’s checkout process only takes a few steps and should be used as a model.
THE TOTAL PRICE ISN’T CLEAR
This one might seem basic but is sometimes overlooked by even large e-commerce operations. Just as customers will abandon a purchase if extra costs like shipping are too high, they will move on if they can’t see the total price before adding their credit card information. One of the most common reasons for this snafu is sites that figure out shipping costs at the very end of the purchase process. Even if you are not charging a customer’s credit card until they hit the buy button, make sure they can see the total price of their purchase, including all taxes, shipping costs, etc., before they add their payment information.
LACK OF TRUST
Identity theft, internet scams and credit card fraud are all on the rise. People are understandably wary of giving out their personal and credit card information to a website unknown to them. According to the same previously-cited Baymard study, lack of trust in a site is the fifth most common reason people abandon a purchase. Installing an SSL certificate and adding trust badges that let people know your business is authentic and transactions on it are safe and secure are a must. According to an article from hosting company Cloudways, a firm that added the Verisign Trust badge on its website saw a 43% increase in sales. Other options, like the Google Trusted Store badge, can make a difference in abandonment rates. This article from Oberlo goes in-depth about the different types of trust badges, but the short version is that they are worth using.
MAKE THAT MONEY
Many businesses neglect cart abandonment rates while pursuing other ways to increase sales. But ignoring them is a surefire way to leave revenue on the table. There is usually no single magic bullet for instantly eliminating cart issues, and reducing the rate takes constant monitoring and effort. But employing the tactics and tips mentioned here can significantly improve the amount of completed purchases and bring more money back to your bottom line.
A comprehensive site audit is a great way to ensure that your checkout process is functioning properly along with the rest of your website. At Kahn Media, we are a full-service agency, and site audits are one of the many services we offer. We can also assist with public relations, content creation, video production, photography, social media management, influencer relations and strategy development. Contact us to see how we can help your brand achieve its goals and take it to the next level.