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The Top 5 Ways To Combat Shopping Cart Abandonment

With the warmer weather back in the UK, you’d be forgiven for thinking shoppers will be heading out to the highstreet to sort out their summer wardrobes or prepare for their holidays.

This might have been the case a few years ago, but the majority of customers these days don’t want to battle hundreds of others and queue up to get what they want. Why would you make your way all the way down to a store, fight your way through the crowds just to find out they’ve run out of the product you wanted?

The shopper of 2018 is a lot savvier. Hitting the sales on the highstreet must now seem like a distant memory for many of them as they place their orders online through an eCommerce store from the comfort of their homes. Chances are these individuals will feel confident they can get the products they want at a great price without even getting out of bed.

Highstreet sales figures continue to fall year-on-year as we choose to order what we need from home using laptops, tablets and smartphones. It’s fair to say the UK loves online shopping, but there are still those that consider it flawed in several key areas. You could even argue the world of online shopping is in the middle of a crisis.

The issue with abandoned carts has been persistent throughout the growth of online shopping. 76% of eCommerce store visitors abandon their shopping carts without completing a purchase which, according to a study by Barclays, translates to approximately £3.4bn in lost sales for online retailers.

So why is this such a huge number? The bottom line is simple – just like heading out into the sales on the highstreet, the path to purchase is littered with challenges and obstacles that snare the majority of customers. Unexpected costs, awkward payment processes and complicated delivery methods can all force a customer into abandoning the contents of their shopping cart without checking out.

Unexpected costs, awkward payment processes and complicated delivery methods can all force a customer into abandoning the contents of their shopping cart without checking out.

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With all that in mind, it’s little surprise that the majority of customers give up and abandon their shopping cart. When the experience requires little effort, customers will be much more likely to add things to their cart without much desire to actually check out and buy it. A study from Statista claims 38-40% of shoppers have no intention of purchasing the items in the cart.

Their research also highlighted some other interesting areas regarding the general outlook on online shopping experiences. 56% of customers abandoned their cart due to unexpected costs, 25% because of excessively complicated navigation, 21% because the overall process was too time-consuming and 17% because they didn’t feel confident in the site’s security. Ironically, these are all issues that can be resolved fairly simply with the right approach.

So, with all this in mind, how can you optimise your eCommerce store to push more customers through to making a purchase?

Omnichannel Experiences

In this busy world, everyone shops in different ways but ultimately we all want the same thing – a smooth, enjoyable user experience. It shouldn’t make a difference if your customers are using an iPhone, an Android, a PC or a Mac, the online shopping experience should be perfect on every device.

Remember that 25% of all shopping cart abandonment are caused by overly complex navigation, so make sure your customers have a clear pathway from shopping cart to checkout on every type of device. The best way to do this is through test purchases on as many devices as possible, just to cover all the bases.

25% of all shopping cart abandonment are caused by overly-complicated navigation, so make sure your customers have a clear pathway from shopping cart to checkout on every type of device.

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Reduce The Admin

Taking your customers information is a particularly sensitive topic at the moment, and the data confirms that 46% of all shopping cart abandonment is within the payment stage – usually when customers are asked to fill out all their details.

With that in mind, your eCommerce store needs to be simple and straightforward to buy from. Remember that the payments stage is the last step of the customer’s purchase journey, so now is definitely not the time to distract them. Keep things easy, allow them to check out and buy before chasing them for the less-important marketing information.

More Checkout Options

Filling out your personal details every time you make a purchase is both time-consuming and frustrating. In a similar vein, forcing customers to sign up or create a profile before checking out is yet another barrier on the pathway to a sale, so give them options to reduce the friction.

We always suggest you provide your customers with the ability to check out as a guest – doing this means you won’t miss out on key details like an email address, but your customers won’t feel like they’re being squeezed for information. You can also offer customers that successfully check out the option to create a profile using the information they’ve just entered to make buying again faster – this is always a bonus from a consumer perspective.

Ensure Trust

Whenever a customer buys from an online store, they are putting their faith in the retailer. They are handing over their personal details and financial information to an unknown party, so building that trust early in the relationship is crucial.

Breaches of security are not uncommon, unfortunately, so customers need to feel confident your store is doing everything it can to keep private data like address and card details secure. More data was lost or stolen in the first half of 2017 than in the whole of 2016, so the trend is growing.

The easiest way to build that trust early is showing your customers that their information is secured on your site – display the logos of the security firms your store uses and that your audience will recognise, such as PayPal Verified for example. All this increases the trust factor on your site and builds a better customer relationship from day one.

No Hidden Surprises

Last but not least, there shouldn’t be any hidden surprises on your site. Nothing is worse than going through the entire checkout process, reaching the payment page and then being hit with a nasty surprise – there’s a delivery charge for example.

Customers love transparency, especially when it directly impacts their wallet. Your delivery costs need to be obvious and clear from the start, preferably before your customer adds a product to their cart. One of best ways to encourage more sales (if you can afford it) is to offer free delivery – who doesn’t love getting what they want with no extra charges?

You could even go one step further and offer in-store pickup. Another growing trend, a survey by Internet Retailer in August 2016 showed that 57% of respondents chose to buy online and then collect in store, saving them money on delivery charges and eliminating the need to wait at home for the package to arrive.

So there you have it, 5 easy ways you can take the annoyance out of shopping cart abandonment and encourage your customers to check out. Keep the journey smooth, the path free of obstacles and you’re almost guaranteed to see your checkout numbers go up!