Shopping cart abandonment is something all e-commerce site owners need to worry about. Each season and holiday always brings in a rush of new customers, but many just abandon their shopping cart and never buy! Why is that and what can we do to reduce shopping cart abandonment? Find out here.
Reducing shopping cart abandonment is NOT something you should be looking at really if you are just starting. This is only for people who already have to functioning e-commerce website and what to improve their (sales) numbers. If you are just starting out, this might be worth a read to know what to design for and look for to give you the best fighting change now, but this particular article isn't geared towards you, sorry. I'll have a beginners version out later.
Some things may seem obvious once you read them, that is ok. That's how I've learned a lot of thinks in my consulting career. Once you know it seems so obvious and easy. All of these have to do with the “user experience” a potential customer has on your website. The worse the experience, the higher the abandonment rate (bad) and the lower your conversion rates (also bad).
What you want to do, at a high level, is provide an extremely easy shopping experience. Do you know why Amazon is so big? Well, other than being an overall awesome company and having very competitive prices their shopping experience is extremely easy. You've got rating up front, one click shopping and purchasing and even the ability to quickly setup recurring orders!
5 easy things you can do to reduce shopping cart abandonment
1) Simple (no flashy stuff) single page checkout OR ultra simple step-by-step multi-page checkout
Make things simple for your customers. Don't bog down your checkout page with a gazzilion upsells, cross-sells or “limited time offers”. Leave such things for niche sales pages, though a little bit of upsells or cross-selling is OK IF it's off to the site and not-in-your-face.
Ask the questions you ABSOLUTELY need answered and no more. If all you need is the name, mailing address and CC number then ask for just that. The more questions you ask people, the longer it will take them to fill out and the more likely they are to just close the window and go somewhere else where it's easier to buy.
Make it simple for them to buy form you!
2) Don't offer a gazzilion payment options. K.I.S.S.
Just like in step 1 for keeping the checkout process simple, keep the billing part simple as well. For the most part, offer only the ability to pay via Credit Card and that's it. There really is no need to offer more payment options. If you really must offer more than one option, offer three total at most. For example: regular credit card, PayPal and BitCoin. That's it. Don't go messing around with things and confusing people.
99% of people shopping online are already used to using their credit card already, so along as your site is secure and trustworthy they'll buy from you if you don't confuse them.
3) Don't ask the same things over and over: remove redundancy.
Most people will have the same billing and shipping address (of course, that will vary depending on your industry), so offer the choice (enabled by default) to set the billing address to be the shipping address.
Don't make we repeat myself. If you've already asked it once, no need to ask it twice.
This goes double if you have social login integrated into your e-commerce store. This means if, for example, someone can “login with LinkedIn” into your website, pull all the relevant information you can for that customer and pre-populate the checkout fields (name, address, e-mail, ect…).
4) Fully secure the checkout form.
This may seem simple, or maybe confusing. But a secure site conversions a lot better than an unsecured site. Why? Well, people are finally starting to realize that secure is good, and it keeps their info safe. Also, it means you won't get in trouble with the government for breaking privacy and security laws. Thus: secure your website with an SSL certificate and good security measures to prevent hacking and theft.
You know that a checkout is secure if there is that little padlock on the top of the browser in the URL. Sometimes the secure SSL certificate will turn the url bar area green, sometimes just yellow/orange or even purple. The color is decided by the type of certificate you have (a topic which is out of the scope of this article). A SSL certificate can cost as little as $50 a year all the way to something like $50,000 or more … depending on how much ‘protection' and security you can afford for you and your customers.
5) Have a professionally designed store website which promotes trust and authority.
Nothing screams scam and no-trust like a crappy website. Do yourself and your eyes a favor and get a brand facelift. This is the 21st century! You should have a modern designed website that goes with the times!
This isn't to say you have to have the best looking website around, but you do at least have to have something that's acceptable in modern times as something that's worth our trust. If your website looks like it was designed back in 1997, then that's not so good. If you're using WordPress you can get an instant professional facelift for as little as $50 if you buy a pre-made premium eCommerce store theme. There are lots of places for that. See a site like ThemeForest for stuff like that.