Studies show that nearly 75% of all online shopping carts are abandoned. In order to understand the reasons why, a Customer Experience Management firm conducted a study - have a read of the results.
How can you stop this from happening? A few tips from us:
1. High shipping prices
Shipping is a tricky area - free shipping is obviously a great incentive for the shopper to buy from you. But if you do that, you might have to absorb the costs, which can become expensive depending on the size of the product and how far you have to deliver the product.
There a number of strategies to stop this from happening:
- Offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount. This is a 'win-win' for both you and your visitor.
- If you have a physical retail store, offer the option of picking up from store to avoid the extra cost.
- Offer a slower shipping option (which is hopefully free or at the very least cheaper) and also a faster shipping option.
2. Comparative shopping
This is where a visitor is considering a few websites that sell the exact same product. Even though you might be selling the same product or service as another website, there are things you can do to stand out:
Loyalty programs can also be very successful - you can use email marketing and social media to promote your programs and establish loyalty.
3. Changed mind
To persuade your website visitors to go through the sale before and stop them from changing their minds, you can use a few techniques:
- Use detailed testimonials from customers that are happy with your products and services - include all their details and even a picture if possible so your website visitor is persuaded of the benefits of your products.
- Create urgency by offering specials for a limited time. You could include free shipping for a limited period or you could offer discount on products - whatever works with for you at the time.
- Indicate how much stock you have left of the item - especially for ones that are low. Kiwi t-shirt company icon, Mr. Vintage customise their site with a scale to indicate stock amount, which almost always creates urgency.
4. Total cost of items is too high
There are things you can do to help your visitors if the cost of items is too high:
- Offer discounts on multiple product purchases.
- If you sell bigger price items like furniture offer loan options if possible or monthly payments if they are on-account customers.
5. Checkout process is too long
Optimising your checkout process is a very important part of making sure that you convert visitors into customers. A few tips from us:
- Make it easy for your visitor to access the shopping cart at all times. They should be able to stop browsing on any page and click through to the cart to complete purchase.
- Once they have started the checkout process make sure that you minimum number of steps to finish the purchase.
- Don't make it compulsory to create an account, offer the option of buying the products without signing up. Chances are that if they are happy with the products they will come back and sign up if you offer benefits like remembering details so shopping process is shortened.
6. Checkout process requires too much personal information
This is an easy mistake to make - many websites use the sale process to get as much information as possible where as it should be the opposite.
Make it as easy as possible for the visitor to purchase from you - only ask the absolutely vital information. You can always get the rest after the purchase or you can email them.
7. Site requires registration before purchase
We touched on this point above - don't make it compulsory to create an account. This can often deter - instead split the page into two and offer both options. Sign in/register and go through checkout without signing in.
8. Site is unstable or unreliable
It's extremely important to regularly check your site and all the pages to make sure that everything is functioning as expected. You don't want your visitor to feel like they are dealing with an unstable site. Part of having a reliable site is also going with a reliable web developer who makes sure that the site doesn't go down frequently, making your visitors nervous about placing orders with your site.
The other aspect is building trust in your site - if you want someone to put in their payment details on your site, they need to be sure that you can be trusted with their credit card details. We highly recommend using a payment gateway such as DPS or PayPal. These days most e-commerce sites display some form of secure payment gateway which put the visitor at ease especially when ordering from a new site.
9. Checkout process is confusing
If you're unsure whether your checkout process is smooth and easy to navigate through, try out some usability testing:
- Approach a few people - family or friends and ask them to participate in a quick test.
- Get them to go through the process of ordering something from a few of the most successful online stores like Amazon (they don't have to completely finish the process - just get as far as payment).
- Then get them to try doing the same on your site. Watch them work through it and get them to give you objective feedback.
This can be very valuable in seeing if your user finds it easy to navigate through or if they are feeling a bit stuck in certain areas.