How to Fight Shopping Cart Abandonment

According to a Business Insider report, about $4.6 million in products never left online carts in 2016. If you’re struggling to understand why many customers fail to finalize their sales, here are a few theories and fixes.

Problem: Advanced buyer’s remorse. If a shopper likes your product enough to add it to his or her cart but not enough to follow through, price is very often the culprit.

Solution: Reevaluate prices. There’s no combination like a great product at a great price. The product appeals to impulse and emotion, while a high price invites reason back into the equation. Make your prices as exciting as your merchandise – while remaining profitable for you.

Problem: Complicated checkout. Unwieldy checkouts can extinguish the emotional excitement that comes from making a purchase. Shoppers may bolt at checkouts that include a requirement to register or provide lots of personal or financial information upfront.

Solution: Streamline your checkout process. First, you should always offer guest checkout as an option; after the purchase is completed is the time to bring up registering for faster checkout next time. Take a look at your site design and be sure the steps are intuitive and efficient.

Problem: Payment options aren’t handy. You’re online upstairs but your wallet is downstairs. Sometimes it’s easier to close the window on your browser than to find your credit card.

Solution: Expand your payment options. Apple Pay, PayPal, and other secure online payment services can save your shoppers steps in more ways than one. Offering these types of services can help increase your order rate from shoppers reluctant to enter credit card information onto mobile devices or shared computers as well.

Problem: Unexpected fees bump up the purchase price. If a shopper is hit with shipping, handling, and other high or unexpected fees during the checkout process, your original price point may no longer hold its attraction.

Solution: Rethink your fees. If the fees you charge are necessary business expenses, you need to do a better job of explaining them upfront. Consider a banner proclaiming, for example, “$4.99 flat shipping fee!” on every page of your site, or a direct link to your shipping rates under every product. If your sales keep stalling, think about offering “free” shipping but slightly bumping up your prices to cover your costs.

Problem: Shoppers leave your site and forget about their cart. It’s understandable that purchases get put by the wayside when life interferes, and easy for shoppers become distracted enough to forget about your product once they’re offline.

Solution: Email. After a day or two, follow up with a friendly reminder and a link back to your site, such as, “There’s some great stuff in your cart. Click here to snap your items up before they’re out of stock!” Certain services use behavioral analytics to do this automatically for registered guests, or you can address the issue personally if your business is small or just starting up.

Problem: Shoppers start waffling while still on your site. Hmm, what if there were a way to get ahead of abandoned carts?

Solution: Chatbots. If a browsing session is inactive for a certain period, a chatbot program can deliver a friendly reminder in real time. This technology allows shoppers the opportunity to ask questions about products or store policies that could be holding up the completion of the sale.