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Best Practices: Guidance On Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment

March 4, 2015

Guidance recently created the satirical video below, about a phenomenon that strikes fear in the heart of every eCommerce professional: shopping cart abandonment.

 

While this video was produced with a wink, the tips below can help you reduce shopping cart abandonment numbers and keep conversion rates on the rise.

How to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

1. Make Checkout Short and Sweet
Does your checkout process have 17 lengthy steps? Do you require customers to register on your site before they can make a purchase? You may be losing business simply because you’re making shoppers work too hard. Streamline your checkout process as much as possible. You might also consider adding a progress meter that visually illustrates the reasonable number of steps needed for completion.

2. Optimize for Mobile
A quick look at your website analytics may reveal that many customers are shopping on mobile devices. Make sure your site is responsive and provides an easy, intuitive mobile experience.

3. Be Clear About Taxes and Shipping
Here’s another reason shoppers abandon their carts: they reach the end of the process and realize the cost of shipping is prohibitively expensive. Provide a mechanism that helps users easily calculate taxes and shipping rates based on their specific location. If possible, offer incentives like free or flat-rate shipping to sweeten the deal.

4. Offer Multiple Payment and Shipping Options
Some customers prefer to use PayPal. Others want to use a major credit card but pick up their order at your brick-and-mortar store. Cast a wide net by giving customers choices that are both convenient and comfortable for them.

5. Add Security Logos to Checkout Pages
Certain customers are still uneasy about shopping online – especially if they’re new to your website. Reassure them by displaying logos and badges that are trustworthy and recognizable.

6. Lend a Hand
Sometimes shoppers abandon their carts because they have unresolved questions about your merchandise or your order process. Display customer service information prominently so users can get help without losing the contents of their carts.

7. Post Reviews from Real Customers
Today’s online shoppers are used to a level of transparency and authenticity that comes from displaying user-generated reviews on product detail pages. Reading about how those jeans fit a real customer (as opposed to a catalogue model) sometimes helps shoppers take the plunge. Social merchandising techniques can be hugely helpful as well. (Click here to read a separate post on that topic.)

8. Meticulously Maintain Your Site
At Guidance, we have a saying that pertains both to development and website maintenance: milliseconds matter. Customers don’t want to wait around, so make sure your site is continually optimized to improve load time and boost performance.

9. Reach Out and Re-Target
Let’s face it: sometimes customers still abandon their carts even if you’ve done every single thing on this list. All is not lost. Sending a targeted email a few hours after abandonment can reassure customers that their items are still available on your site – and maybe even waiting in their shopping cart! You can also buy ads on other websites that display the same items users almost purchased from you.

 

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