Many online retail software providers offer a variety of statistics for business owners to access and learn from, and one such dataset is shopping cart abandonment stats. This is something which most retailers likely had no concept of before it was so clearly demonstrated on online software dashboards as it is today. Before such statistics could be calculated and displayed, the sheer amount of money being lost by online retailers through shopping cart abandonment wasn’t fully understood – and now we know it amounts to trillions of pounds every year across the internet.
What is shopping cart abandonment?
Shopping cart abandonment is the practice of adding items to the shopping basket online, then getting to check-out and leaving; either by not completing the purchase process or leaving the webpage or the site entirely at this crucial step.
Whether intended or not by consumers, shopping cart abandonment is a very common practice, with recent market research of UK online shoppers showing that 79% of customers are aware of and admit to having clicked away and left the purchase process at this point.
Why do customers abandon their shopping cart?
There will inevitably be some customers that abandon their cart at the last minute before check-out, but that’s not to say the practice needs to continue as often as it happens now. Of course, it’s impossible to determine every reason for every individual that exits the purchase process before completing check-out and actually finishing their purchase, but there are some recurring themes across customer complaints. These include, but are by no means limited to:
- Using the checkout process to identify shipping or delivery costs
- The perception of expensive product and/or postage fees
- A lack of trust in inputting credit/debit card details
- A lack of relevant payment options (including PayPal, Klarna, Bitcoin etc.)
- A lack of buying intent while browsing
- Complex and convoluted purchase processes
- Technical issues
While these may touch on pain-points experienced by brands, they are, for the most part, easily tackled and resolved - and, here at Feefo, we can help solve these issues and improve purchase rates.
How? There are 7 great tips to try.
1. Exit intent popups
An exit intent popup is a smart popup technique used by online retailers that is able to track when a cursor moves outside of the main page boundary - that is, usually, to leave the webpage or website. An exit intent popup can be programmed to be seamlessly branded within the business’ site and could feature a discount code, incentive or other call-to-action to encourage a purchase.
On the whole, consumers don’t always love popups, and they won’t always work on every device, but certainly when introducing a discount or solid call to action, they can work as a valuable tool to help give that final nudge over the finish line of the purchase process.
2. InactivitySensor™ popups
InactivitySensor™ popups are a method of monitoring user behaviour on an eCommerce site in real-time. The in-built sensor detects how long a user has been on a webpage, how far they’ve navigated away from your content and when they’ve become idle (that is, stopped all activity on the site). Dependent on the business’ required parameters, the InactivitySensor™ popup can trigger a popup campaign designed to reactivate the user, reinvigorate their interest, and retain them on the site.
The InactivitySensor™ popup technology is used in different ways by different companies depending on their objectives, but is used most often to offer a special, time-limited discount or coupon code to encourage an immediate purchase, or to encourage a mailing list sign-up to receive a discount or further special offers. Some sites also use the InactivitySensor™ popup after a longer period of time to offer chatbot help in case of user error with the purchase process preventing it from being completed. Use of an InactivitySensor™ popup can regain distracted shoppers back to your page and, in turn, reduce shopping cart abandonment rates.
3. Be transparent with shipping costs
A common cause of shopping cart abandonment is that communication on pricing isn’t clear enough on dedicated product pages and/or the rest of the site - this is usually related to postage or shipping costs. Even when there are variable rates of postage for different products or locations, making exact costs as transparent as possible before the checkout process can help alleviate shopping cart abandonment, and avoid customers being surprised when they see the costs.
If it’s affordable and doesn’t dent profits too much, free shipping as a blanket standard can work wonders to not just keep comms and costs clear, but also to encourage further purchases. Many successful online retailers have permanent banners across the header of their site's advertising ‘Free delivery on orders over £X’. This offers not just immediate pricing communication but also encourages customers to increase the value of their shopping cart to a higher amount in order to gain the benefit of free postage.
4. Add customer reviews to the checkout
Consumer trust is critical to the purchase process and, unfortunately, smaller businesses are less likely to enjoy widespread loyalty and trust amongst online shoppers – often simply because they don’t know enough about them. As a result, anything that can be done to boost the profile of the brand and increase levels of trust is beneficial.
Putting genuine positive customer reviews at the shopping cart area of a site reinforces a reliable and valued brand image right when it could spur on a purchase. This doesn’t necessarily require reams of business review listings to make a point, but instead, you can make them appear seamlessly on the page, such as with Feefo's slide-out review widget.
5. Offer incentives based on basket value
As mentioned above, basing shipping costs on shopping basket value can encourage further purchases, but other incentives reliant on the shopping cart total can also stimulate acquisition.
The most commonly used incentives that help reduce shopping cart abandonment rates are ones that appeal to consumers to encourage them to spend more. These work without too heavily impacting the profit margins on products or services. Dependent on the target audience, this might be spending a certain amount to receive a free gift (or at least, an item that is perceived to be free), or receiving a percentage discount on orders over a certain amount.
6. Use trust badges and create social proof
As seen above with the inclusion of Feefo customer reviews at the shopping cart stage, the reinforcement of social proof with the addition of a Feefo Trusted Service Award badge can help to further boost trust and increase confidence in your brand. Feefo product and service widgets can be as discreet as a star-rating that remains static on the page as the user scrolls up or down.
For the ultimate review of genuine exemplary service, as dictated by real, verified customers, nothing beats the Feefo Trusted Service Award Badge. Awarded only to those brands whose customers really 'wax lyrical' about their experiences, the Badge is recognised by brands and consumers alike as a reliable indicator of outstanding service.
The Feefo Trusted Service Award is not available to everyone. Only those with the highest-ranked reviews and continued improvement will qualify, at which point Feefo will notify them. Winners of the Feefo Trusted Service Award are sent a whole range of digital assets, a certificate and a media pack so that the accolade can be properly promoted and used as a positive PR tool.
Seeing the Feefo Trusted Service Award throughout the online shopping process reiterates the fantastic level of service the brand offers as well as providing an element of social proof to prospective shoppers – because customers are more likely to go through the full process and purchase with a business they know they can truly trust.
7. Remarketing to target abandoners
Remarketing and retargeting may not be a popular marketing technique with consumers in banner ad format, but it has been proven to be very effective. Whilst it won’t necessarily lower a company’s rates of shopping cart abandonment, it can help complete the purchase even after the initial abandonment has taken place.
Remarketing to users who have abandoned their cart is often completed via email by reminding them of the items they placed in the cart and encouraging the purchase. This may even be through offering an additional discount or incentive based on their specific product choices. Remarketing is an ideal tool for those who have inadvertently lost interest or been distracted by something else and were unable to complete the process, to encourage them to return.
Managing your cart abandonment rates
Cart abandonment is a difficult issue faced by online retailers, but there is huge potential in managing the gap between the number of customers who reach that stage and the number who complete the sale. Looking at the opportunities in this ever-growing chasm as and working to improve it is an area that allows for innovation and plenty of trials and tests. Increasing consumer trust will overall increase sales and profits – and what more could you ask for than that? If you're ready to take the plunge, get started with Feefo today.