How to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

March 3, 2015 Emma Cullen

Another abandoned shopping cart?! Why was your next valuable customer so close to clicking the buy button, but they didn’t go through with it? What made them change their mind so suddenly? Shopping cart abandonment is a huge problem for eCommerce marketers and online retailers. Shockingly, the shopping cart abandonment rate currently sits around 68%, with some studies claiming higher! These abandonments will cost online retailers $4 trillion (USD) this year alone. It is time to take action on one of the biggest headaches in eCommerce.

In order to reduce shopping cart abandonment in your business, this guide will show you how to:

  • Effectively use display advertising to reduce shopping cart abandonment;
  • Implement a variety of different strategies to help reduce shopping cart abandonment;
  • To optimize your display advertising campaigns in order to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

Shopping Carts Abandonment Statistics

The reasons consumers give for shopping cart abandonment bring to light some areas that need attention and improvement from eCommerce and online retail companies. A 2015 report from Business Insider reveals a number of insights into shopping cart abandonment:

  • Whilst shopping cart abandonment is high at around 68%, it is predicted that retailers would recover 63% of abandoned shopping cart sales.
  • Shopping cart abandonment is set to rise thanks to mobile, even more reason to make sure that your check out system is optimised for mobile.
  • The online buying process is getting more complicated, and shopping cart abandonment should be seen as part of this process, making it worthwhile to invest resources in trying to reduce it.

With such information in hand it gives good reason to tackle shopping cart abandonment head-on and improve sales using the steps outlined below.

1. HTML5 Retargeting Campaigns

Retargeting display advertising campaigns are a great way to bring shopping cart abandoners back to complete a purchase. By uploading HTML5 display ad creatives to a retargeting platform you can show display ads that are relevant to those who didn’t complete their purchase. You can even take personalisation to the next level by adding dynamic content to your display ads and show the content of the abandoned shopping cart in question. This will remind users that they still have a purchase to complete and give them an easy option to get back to your site!

This is a retargeting display advertisement from shoe retailer Zappos. The ad contains shoes that were previously viewed and abandoned in a shopping cart. The orange call-to-actions make it easy for the viewer to return directly to the products that they were previously interested in.

To give your retargeting display advertising campaigns an extra boost, make sure that your creatives are built with HTML5. This means that you can connect with your potential customers optimally on all channels: desktop and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, solving one of the biggest problems faced by eCommerce and retailers: cross-channel communications. Using HTML5 mobile advertisements can also redirect shopping cart abandoners to your brand’s shopping app on their mobile phone.

In order to compliment your display advertising campaigns there are also a number of other ways to help reduce shopping cart abandonment:

4. Save for Later and Wishlists

If someone is not ready to buy, or is waiting until payday before they make a purchase, give them the option to save their basket for later. You can even implement a wishlist feature that is shareable via social media and email allowing users to share what they would like so friends and family can buy the items on their list. One good example of this is from ASOS who clearly give you the option to either add the object to your basket or save an object for later, encouraging users to start the buying process without feeling any commitment to but at this point. It is then possible for eCommerce marketers to take this information to personalise your marketing efforts further through sending reminder emails or using the information for retargeting campaigns.

5. Offer Alternative payments

Don’t let someone abandon their shopping cart just because you do not offer their preferred payment method, offer a variety of payment options to help boost sales. At the very least you should be offering call major credit and debit cards as payment options. But also consider adding other popular options such as Paypal. Paypal makes it incredibly easy for users to complete a purchase. They no longer need to go and find their credit card and fill out a long form. They can just enter their Paypal log in and confirm their details and purchase. This is a lot more attractive purchase option for many shoppers from a security point of view too.

6. Send Email Reminders

If you have the contact details of the person who has abandoned their shopping cart, take action and remind them that they have done so! You should keep the design and copy in your reminder email similar or the same as in your display ad retargeting campaign in order to affirm the message that you’re trying to get across. Add a sense of urgency too if appropriate, especially if an item in their shopping cart is low in stock! For maximum impact send your initial reminder email out not more than 3 hours after the shopping cart abandonment where you can expect to see a 40% open rate and 20% click-through rate

Here’s a great example we found of an effective abandoned cart reminder email. This email from Groove is not only beautifully eye-catching, but gets the message across with minimal text and with some urgency, encouraging the email receiver the buy now!

Bonus tip:Should you send a discount voucher with this type of email? Many eCommerce marketers have experienced that by sending shopping cart abandoners discount vouchers will condition customers to always expect a discount on a product. If you want to use discount vouchers, use them cautiously and measure results.

7. Don’t add last minute costs

One top reasons for why shopping carts are abandoned is that shoppers are suddenly faced with unexpected charges. Make it easy for shoppers to find shipping costs, and if you’re offering free shipping, make a campaign out of it! Run a display advertising campaign promoting it, and let you social media followers know. This could be a great incentive to bring shopping cart abandoners back to complete a purchase!

8. Product Information and Reviews

Include plenty of information on your website about the products you’re selling – especially is you’re selling products that come in different sizes such as clothing or shoes. Give customers the chance to leave product reviews or testimonials about your business in order to help those who are unsure about purchasing to make a decisions rather than leaving them to abandon their shopping cart.

9. Test, Test, Test

Test all of the campaigns that you run including display advertising campaigns. Spend time A/B testing everything from your display advertising campaigns to the payment page. Record your results and see what changes improve your shopping cart abandonment rate.

10. Make Conversion Easy

Finally, stop shopping cart abandonment it its tracks by making conversions easy. Display ads make it easy for visitors to visit or come back to your website, adding an express check out and alternative payments allow customers to purchase quickly and easily. By making the whole process easy; from entering your website to the purchase (and making sure that everything is optimized for mobile too), you can reduce the abandonment at any stage of the buying process for whatever reason.

Final Thoughts

High shopping cart abandonment rates don’t have to be a reality. You can make sure that your abandonment aren’t high by keeping your checkout process simple, transparent and informative. By combining an effective checkout process with HTML5 display advertising campaigns you can guarantee to see your abandonment rate drop and see a greater number of abandoners return to your website to complete their purchase.

What steps are you taking to reduce your shopping cart abandonment? Have you seen an improvement? Let us know in the comments or join the conversation with @BannerFlow on Twitter

Photo Credit: Original Header image ‘Multi-car Pile up‘ by Gayle Nicholson

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