With ecommerce websites generating over 1.46 billion dollars in 2015 alone, most will be shocked to learn that, as of the second quarter of 2016, the average shopping cart abandonment rate was 74.52%. That’s three out of four visitors!

For those not familiar, cart abandonment is when a user leaves a website with items in their shopping cart. Marketers and online retailers have been working relentlessly to come up with ways to combat it and, while you can’t prevent shopping cart abandonment 100% of the time, we’re here to give you five powerful tactics to minimize it.

5 Ways To Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

Sometimes modifications to the shopping cart itself can reduce your abandonment rate. Other times, tweaks to your ecommerce strategy can make the difference. Most often, it’s a combination of the two.

Here are 5 ways we’ve seen clients reduce shopping cart abandonment:

1. Multiple Ways To Pay

Accepting multiple payment methods is one of the easiest shopping cart modifications you can make. Often, adding additional payment methods is as simple as installing a plugin or app.

Credit card payments are standard on ecommerce sites. But what about Apple Pay, Amazon, Google Wallet, PayPal, MasterPass and other emerging ways to pay?

As more payment methods gain popularity, businesses must adjust to serve their customers. This is especially true for mobile purchases.

Don’t worry about the behind-the-scenes accounting work to manage revenue through multiple sources. It’s a good problem to have! It demonstrates that your business is interested in putting users first.

2. Compelling Calls-To-Action Throughout

Businesses know that website landing and sales pages need clear and engaging calls-to-action (CTA). The same is true for the checkout process.

Unfortunately, many web developers will keep the out-of-the-box checkout language and UI that comes default with CMS platforms like WordPress, Magento and Shopify.  This is a missed opportunity to carry brand personality and tone of voice throughout the customer journey.

Keep the momentum to buy strong throughout the checkout process by weaving in fun or motivational language. Steer away from generic words like “continue” and “next”, and experiment with language that ties into your messaging strategy.

Bonus: Consider adding suggested products to your cart page for some upsell value. This is particularly relevant if you have products that are commonly purchased together or complement one another.

3. Clear Shipping Costs and Return Policies

No one likes reaching the checkout — in a physical store or online — and discovering hidden costs. It can make a person resentful of the purchase. In a store, people might be reluctant to walk away. But online, it’s as easy as one click.

To reduce shopping cart abandonment and build consumer trust, be clear about all applicable taxes and shipping costs. Use “more info” icons with brief yet complete explanations for any unexpected or added costs.

Make it easy to find and understand shipping terms and conditions. Include locations served and who is responsible for international shipping tariffs and fees. Also, make sure your return policy is easy to find and understand, and clearly explain who pays for return shipping and when customers can expect to receive their money back.

4. Test and Review Purchase Pathways

How can you know which elements of your website may be contributing to shopping cart abandonment? Pathways data.

Tools such as Google Analytics can show you at what point people abandon the purchase. They can also show you the paths users take to get to the shopping cart, how long they stay there, and where they go after.

This kind of data gives you insight into the behavior of visitors to your site. It helps you see and prioritize areas for improvement. The data might even prompt you to make adjustments to your online marketing strategy.

But you also need to test your shopping cart using a variety of pathways. Don’t assume a customer will use the site and shopping cart the way you want them to. Ecommerce is rarely a linear or even a sequential process.

Invite non-programmers to use the shopping cart. Don’t tell them what to buy or how to navigate. This will help you know how easy it is to use your shopping cart.

After, ask them if there was any point at which they would have said “forget it” and abandoned the purchase. You can gain this kind of user experience feedback in a testing environment; however, using the live site yields more realistic and useful insights.

After performing several rounds of live user testing, a recent client of ours implemented a checkout progress bar, a mobile-responsive size chart and a wish list. These features were all noted by users as something that could help improve user experience and increase conversions.

5. Remarketing

It’s understandable — especially for big ticket items — for people to shop around or hesitate before making a decision to buy. But once a user leaves your site, the chances of them returning decrease by the minute.

Remarketing –better known as “those little ads that follow you around the internet”– is a form of digital advertising, and is a highly effective way to remind past visitors of what they left behind. Remarketing has powerful consumer psychology value as it leverages FOMO (fear of missing out) by showing users the exact product(s) they left in their shopping cart.

Combine FOMO with urgency or scarcity and you’ll start to win back abandoners and convert them to paying customers.

Optimizing Your Shopping Cart

If you have an ecommerce site, you know that shopping carts are abandoned every day. But what’s an acceptable abandonment rate?

A good target is 10% less than your current rate. So, if you’re currently at the global average of 75%, your goal would be 65%.

Now the question is: where to start?

Our ecommerce development team can help.

If you own or manage an online store, we can assess its performance and offer guidance for driving  positive ROI. If you’re new to ecommerce, let’s talk about your goals and build something great together.

Either way, contact us today!

by Fuze June 1, 2017