How to reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts and increase sales
According to BI Intelligence, a popular research service of Business Insider, the average global shopping cart abandonment rate is around 71%, meaning that approximately 3 out of 4 shopping carts are abandoned prior to the completion of the purchase.
To reduce the rate of abandoned shopping carts on a store means to address customers’ concerns on the path to the final purchase. Customers often have reasons to abandon the purchase process and it is the responsibility of the given company to encourage them to go one step further and make that final checkout click.
PrestaShop, a provider of one of the cutting-edge e-commerce applications available for free on our platform, has compiled a list of several time-proven ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment, and most them are actually preventive measures, which are within the power of each business.
The following is a list of the recommended techniques and how we apply them to our web hosting platform:
1. All incurred fees should be displayed early in the order process
All taxes need to be displayed clearly on the landing page. This way, there will be no ‘bad surprises’ for the potential customer on the checkout page, which might drive them away from your store for good.
The prices on our hosting templates’ landing pages are displayed as they are, with $0.00 USD setup fees and with no hidden charges. If the customers are individuals or businesses from the UK or individuals from any other country within the EU, then a 20% VAT will be added to the product’s price. This is all clearly stated on our site.
2. The store needs to create trust with first-time customers
Your customers need to make sure they can trust the store they have arrived at. First, they will need to know how to contact the company behind the site and second, they will search for a third-party proof that your site is trusted.
On our hosting templates, you will find a special contact page, which lists all the important contact information like phone numbers and email addresses, and which features a contact form. If you want to communicate with your prospects directly, you can list your contact details there. To enhance your credibility, you can place social buttons on your store to acquaint your customers with your company’s social media presence where every like or share is a third-party upvote for your company.
Also, our templates include the logos of all the reputable companies that we are partnering with, among them PayPal and Intel.
3. All available payment methods need to be displayed
Since customers are sensitive about the method of payment, it is important for a store to display all the available billing options in a prominent place.
On our hosting templates, we have displayed a payment block in the footer area to clearly show your customers which payment methods are supported on your store. Also, we have added alternative payment channels like bank wire for customers who do not use credit cards or PayPal.
4. Instant field validation and regular testing of the order form are a must
The key to a successful order completion is the real-time responsiveness of the order form. The user needs to be notified immediately when they make typos like excluding “@” from their email address, for example. This way, they will be able to correct the errors immediately, instead of having to wait until after they’ve filled out the page, which may discourage them to continue to the checkout form.
On our checkout page, we use instant field validation, which means that each field is being validated the moment the given customer enters their information on the page. Also, we regularly test the checkout wizard to make sure that it works perfectly well for potential buyers.
5. Customers need to be reminded about their non-completed orders
Even when all of the above-stated techniques have been applied, there will inevitably be abandoned carts on your store either because the customer is not yet ready to make the purchase or because they just gеt distracted on the path to order completion. The best recommendation on following up with customers who abandoned their carts is to use automated reminder emails.
Our Sales department goes even further than that and manually sends emails to each customer who has abandoned a purchase. Each email includes the products left in the cart and features your store name, so the customer can easily recognize where it comes from.
We have been using all of the aforelisted techniques for preventing and combating abandoned carts for years now and they have worked perfectly well for breathing life back into a great percentage of the abandoned orders.
However, reducing the number of abandoned carts is also part of your responsibilities as a provider. By targeting the right customer audience with the right marketing technique, you will increase your chances of attracting prospects who are ready to become your customers right from the start.
Originally published Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 at 4:54 pm, updated November 19, 2015 and is filed under Web Hosting Platform.