7 out of 10 people who begin a purchase on your website will abandon their shopping carts before completing it.
It's a tough statistic to swallow; all of those visitors you worked so hard to attract and nurture into the sales funnel could be pouring out at an incredibly scary rate.
If you believe these cart 'abandoners' are simply wasting your time you’re not alone - 81% of ecommerce companies believe it, too.
What is cart abandonment?
Shopping cart abandonment refers to when a potential customer has carted an item, started the checkout process, and left before completing the transaction.
Do you know what your cart abandonment rate is? The average sits at around 66% which varies from industry to industry. It’s important to know what your average is so you can monitor it and act on insights into when and why your customers are abandoning their carts.
To reduce cart abandonment we need to first identify what issues there are leading potential buyers to abandon their carts, whilst encouraging them through to complete their purchase. Below we've listed 6 ways you can reduce your cart abandonment rate right now.
6 ways you can reduce cart abandonment right now
1. Capture Email Addresses as early as possible
The best thing you can do is at least get an email address before the cart is abandoned, this will enable you to target the user with an email remarketing campaign later - so make sure it is the first thing you ask for. By offering a guest checkout option, visitors aren't put off by a forced sign-up, and you can always ask them to do so after they've made the purchase. Gap.com does this really well:
2. Clear calls to actions
The primary button - such as 'next', 'continue' or 'complete purchase' - should be the most visually dominant button on each page of the checkout process. Apple.com does this well by making the primary "Check Out" button green, and the others grey:
Finding the perfect call to action button for your checkout is a process of testing colour, placement, size etc. They should not be drowned out by other elements on the page, or placed below-the-fold out of sight. Customers should have no doubt as to how to proceed to the next step in the process.
3. Progress indicator
At every stage of the checkout process the customer should know where they are in that process, and what remains to be done before it's complete. A great way to achieve this is to have a progress bar that the top of each page, highlighting the users current location and the stages ahead of or behind them. Crate&barrel do this really well with a simple but effective progress bar:
4. De-clutter the Checkout
This is about minimizing the amount of visuals surrounding the checkout steps to remove distractions that might cause users to abandon their cart. This allows the user the focus solely on completing their purchase. Doing this also makes other information, such as delivery details, customer service details, or even security logos more prominent. AllStarHealth remove all distraction when you proceed to theircheckout, leaving you to focus solely on entering your details.
5. Use one-column form fields
Avoid multi-column form layouts as users are likely to interpret the field inconsistently. Instead, give a linear appearance so they're less likely to accidentally miss a text box. The diagram below from Baymard Institute shows the various ways a user could interpret a 2-column form. Do they fill out one column? Is there a specific sequence to the fields?
6. Obvious error indications
Take care to provide clear indications of where errors are, for example a credit card field missing some numbers, or a password mismatch. Prevent confusion and repeated errors by clearly highlighting what has gone wrong and how many errors there are on a page.
Optimising the checkout process has often been the main focus of reducing cart abandonment, but this is only part of the answer. Cart abandonment also has a lot to do with behavioral issues, and that people will often use shopping carts for more than one purpose other than buying. For example, some use it as a wish list, or as a calculator to estimate what the total cost of their items might come to.
This suggests that cart abandonment is simply a stage in the buyer's decision making process, and it's actually a normal part of the customer buying cycle. Data gathered by The Conversion Academy from more than 60,000 people and 250,000 online transactions showed that 3 out of 4 people who abandon their carts will actually return to the website. Companies who have actively targeted those shoppers increased their sales by 70%.
Focusing on reducing cart abandonment is only half of the equation, we also need to nurture and support buyers while they're still in the decision making process with email remarketing strategies. Next month we will explain how email remarketing works and give you actionable insights into how cart abandonment emails can help you re-engage with would be customers to create real long-term relationships.
Abandoners spend 55% more than first time visitors to your site, when remarketed to, so it makes sense to invest in marketing to them. If you have any questions about shopping cart abandonment, or if you’d like to find out what your abandonment rate is, please don’t hesitate to give one of our team a call.