How to Recover Abandoned Cart Purchases
More than 68% of visitors leave their carts before finalizing a purchase. That is a huge figure that demands real attention.They visit your website, place an item in the cart, and then leave your site without completing the ordering process. How do you convert these visitors into buyers? This post focuses on the best practices for converting abandoned carts into sales.
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There are various obstacles to finalizing an online purchase. These include though not limited to some hidden costs, a long and exhausting payment process, the requirement to create an account, and so on. To get over thie, you need to optimize your visitors’ experience. However, even if your site is perfect, cart abandonment will always be a part of your everyday e-commerce experience! At best, you will have to apply some tricks and tweaks to recover some of these abandoned cart purchases. We examinne some tricks that can help you do that in this post.
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Why Do People Abandon Carts
Studies have provided some insights into why people abandon carts. Data from Baymard and Statista provide some useful clue. These data reveal the following as reasons for shopping cart abandonment.
1. Shipping costs and delivery times
Shipping is a major issue for many shoppers. Walker Sands’ Future of Retail says 80 percent of shoppers cite free shipping as the primary incentive for shopping online. When shipping isn’t free, they’re definitely less interested. In fact, Statista says 63 percent of American shoppers will abandon their carts if they discover that shipping costs are too high.
Related to that, shipping time is also a major factor in eCommerce cart abandonment. Walker Sands indicates that fast shipping motivates 54 percent of shoppers to buy. So, if an item’s going to take too long to arrive, many shoppers will leave it in the cart, and look for a quicker option.
2. Complicated or high pricing
Price, in general, is a factor in shopping. Visitors to your site don’t want to do complicated sums in their heads in order to work out what something is going to cost. If they can’t quickly and easily see what they owe, Baymard says 23 percent of them will abandon the whole experience.
Plus, if prices seem too high, shoppers will change their minds.
3. Shoppers are simply not ready to buy
A lot of people add items to their shopping carts just to keep track of them. Since you can access your cart from any page of most eCommerce sites, it’s a handy place to stash items you might want to buy. That doesn’t mean they’re actually ready to checkout, though.
Statista’s data backs this up. They found that 40 percent of people are simply browsing, while 38 percent of people are still researching. The good news is that some of those people might be back to make a purchase. But that’s only if there are no other bottlenecks.
4. Poor website experience
The stats show that eCommerce cart abandonment isn’t just about what happens at the checkout. The overall experience of using your site has a big impact on whether people buy or abandon their carts. Here are a couple of issues that come up.
Statista says poor site navigation is an issue for 16 percent of online shoppers. It’s a definite turnoff when you land on a site and can’t easily find the items you want to buy. Sure, on a fashion site, most people can probably locate men’s or women’s fashion, but how easy is it to dig down and find a particular brand of sportswear or a certain type of shoe?
Baymard adds that 20 percent of people will abandon their carts if the site crashes or has major errors.
5. Website Not mobile optimized
More and more people are shopping via their mobile devices, so mobile user experience is a vital consideration when it comes to lowering your eCommerce cart abandonment rate. According to Walker Sands, 85 percent of consumers have mobile shopping apps and 66 percent have used those apps to buy something. The rate of shoppers starting purchases on desktops and completing them on mobile has increased by 259 percent.
Meanwhile, statistics is showing that mobile device users will quickly abandon sites that aren’t mobile optimized, don’t work well, and don’t load quickly—and that’s even before they get to the shopping cart. That problem will only get worse as consumers come to expect a seamless cross-platform experience.
6. Checkout annoyances
At checkout, there are a bunch of annoyances that make people abandon their shopping carts. For example, Baymard says the need to create an account before buying is an issue for 37 percent of people. Statista agrees it’s an issue, but cites a lower (but still significant) 22 percent.
But account creation isn’t the only turnoff. Complicated checkout processes are likely to drive them away, too, especially if parts of the process don’t work.
7. Payment problems
When customers progress from the cart to the checkout page, there’s still potential for possible abandonment. According to Baymard, some people abandon checkouts because they don’t see the payment method they want (8 percent) or because their credit card is declined (four percent).
And let’s not forget the mobile issue we mentioned earlier. With global mobile payments slated to surpass US$1 billion by 2019, and mobile payment methods widely accepted among younger shoppers, this is another payment issue waiting to affect online retailers.
Finally, there’s the issue of trust. According to Baymard, 19 percent of shoppers abandon carts because they don’t trust sites with their payment information. Shopify also cites concerns with security as a major reason for cart abandonment.
How to Fix Cart Abandonment Problems
Use multi-channel Communication
Interracting with your customers via email has been a traditional, very useful and rewarding channel for re-engagement. This is no longer enought today. Relying on one single channel to optimize the conversion rate of your lost carts can deny you the opportunities to increase your conversion rate thereby still leaving you with high abandoned cartpurchases..
To convince your potential buyers, use multi-channel retargeting! You can easily recover abandoned carts through several channels (e-mails, Telephone calls, SMS, Facebook Messenger, Facebook Ads and Instagram).
To maximize efficiency, combine several channels to reach your visitors and use personalized messages for each channel. This way, you create multiple points of contact with your visitors and keep them engaged.
There are solutions that allow you to set up automatic, customized, and segmented recovery strategies with ease. Carts Guru is one of these solutions!
Timing and customization
Timing is a critical action to take in abandoned cart recovery. As the popular saying goes, "everything is a question of timing" Timely re-engagement can help recover abandoned carts. Take for instance, do you think that sending an email 2 weeks after the abandonment of a cart is a relevant action? What about sending a text message with a discount code at 3 am?
Timing is absolutely crucial when it comes to successfully recovering your lost sales.
Here are some interesting data on Timing for Email marketing:
Emails sent within 20 minutes after the abandonment of the cart obtain an average conversion rate of 5.2%.
Emails sent after 1-hour reach a conversion rate of 4.5% on average.
Emails sent more than 24 hours after the abandonment of a cart reach a conversion rate of 2.6% on average.
It’s clear that you should contact your visitors as soon as possible. After 20 minutes of visitor inactivity on your website, you should send them your first message.
Concerning messages personalization, take into account:
1. The email subject,
2. Placing the first name of your prospect at the beginning of the message,
3. Integrating the content of the abandoned cart inside the message (direct link to the abandoned cart in your SMS, Emails and Facebook Messenger),
4. Visuals of the articles contained in the abandoned basket,
5. Segmenting your audience for better customization.
First of all, a visitor who abandons the cart is one who who has placed an order in the first place. So why was the purchase notbeen completed? There’s a variety of reasons why this happens. In most cases, it is related to the final price. Most often, the visitor did not pay attention to any additional charges, such as shipping costs and finds the final price too high or non-competitive.
In this case, there are several techniques for recovering these initially lost leads:
I. You can either offer free shipping or offer them a discount to reduce the cost and align it with the original price.
These discount codes will obviously have to be integrated into your messaging, whether it’s by email, SMS or Facebook Messenger. Create clear messages that highlight the unmissable offer and use redirect links to the abandoned cart. Also, don’t forget to apply the discount code to the cart!
II. Do not distribute your discount codes but target the recipients directly, for example, according to the average value of their carts!
III. Always keep in mind that you need to optimize your user experience to simplify the purchase.
IV. Segmentation is the key to the success of your strategy.
Widgets are great if you want to reach those people who have not left their contact information on your site! It aims to collect your visitors’ details, such as: phone number, email or Facebook Messenger opt-in of your unidentified visitors.
Widgets appear on your site at a strategic time and you can optimize that by yourself! For example, the widget may be triggered when the visitor is about to leave the site or when adding items to the cart.
Widgets are not necessarily intrusive and always offer value to visitors, as they get the chance to win a discount code, have free shipping, download a free eBook, etc.
Widgets come in many shapes and forms, but the most effective ones are the following 3:
A “Pop Up” that is triggered when the user is about to leave the website.
The built-in “add to cart” widget.
The wheel: a fortune wheel that the visitor can spin to try and win a discount.
Offer free (or discounted) shipping
Given the stats we shared earlier, it’s a no-brainer to offer free shipping on your eCommerce website. Since it’s an issue for so many shoppers, this one fix alone could make a huge difference to revenue. If shoppers have to choose between sites that offer free shipping, and those that don’t, you know which one they’ll pick.
But here’s the thing. If you do offer free shipping, tell the world. Don’t bury the info in the footer of your site where shoppers need a microscope to find it. Put a big, bold banner on your home page and at the top of every page.
But be careful when offering free or discounted shipping. For most businesses, you shouldn’t be taking a loss on free shipping. You need to make sure you have enough margin on your products to cover those shipping costs. One way to do that is to offer a threshold. That is, only offer free shipping when cart size reaches a specific dollar amount. That way, even if the margin on one product doesn’t cover the shipping costs, a cart with two or three items to reach the threshold might, in aggregate, have enough margin to make it work. Do the math and make sure you’re not losing money by offering free shipping—more sales aren’t worth it if you’re in the red!
If you do use a free shipping threshold, let shoppers know when they qualify, or how much more they need to spend to do so. Free shipping makes it five times as likely that visitors will buy, so don’t be shy about sharing this benefit.
Bonus: a threshold can also increase your average order value.
Use psychology for pricing (and more)
When it comes to getting visitors to accept your pricing, psychology is half the battle. Here are a few strategies that can help your visitors avoid sticker shock:
► Offer choices
Putting an item you sell side by side with a more expensive one can make visitors more willing to buy the original item. Bailey Brand Consulting believes this is because visitors like to have the chance to compare so they can assess the relative merits of each product. As the firm points out, when Williams-Sonoma used this strategy with two breadmakers, the lower priced one started selling faster.
► Avoid analysis paralysis
At the same time, you don’t want to have so many options that visitors have trouble making up their minds. That’s called analysis paralysis, and visitors who experience it may just give up and leave items in the cart.
ConversionXL highlights a well-known case study, where conversions increased 10x when reducing the number of jams on offer from 24 to 6. One way to avoid the analysis paralysis syndrome is with a comparison table, something that many eCommerce sites use.
► Get the numbers right
There’s a whole science around pricing items to make them more appealing. And one of the big takeaways is the the number 9 works. For some reason, an item that’s $4.99 is more appealing than one that’s $5.00. But, you always have to test. As Neilpatel points out, a price that doesn’t end in 9 but is a sale price can beat the price that’s usually more appealing.
► Avoid surprises
As we’ve seen, people don’t like surprises at checkout. So, if there’s a cost attached to shipping the item, make this clear the minute they get to the cart page (or if possible, even earlier on the product page). It helps to build trust. That’s also a great place to offer shipping choices, in case customers want to pay a premium to get items faster.
Persuade customers to purchase
If customers aren’t ready to buy, they just aren’t ready. But you can make it more likely they’ll buy by being persuasive. This starts before the cart with your product page copy.
Robert Cialdini believes there are six principles that guide people’s behavior:
- Reciprocity – if you get something, you want to give something back
- Scarcity – if there’s less of something to go around, people want it more
- Authority – if you’re a credible expert, people trust you more
- Consistency – when people make a commitment, they like to follow through
- Liking – if people like you, or think you’re similar to them, they’re more likely to say yes
- Consensus – being guided by the behavior and actions of others
You can integrate these into the website experience to increase conversions and reduce abandonment. Shopify explains some ways eCommerce retailers can do this:
- Free shipping is a prime example of reciprocity
- Time limited sales, discounts and coupons use the principle of scarcity
- Build authority by being a credible source of information, and using content marketing and SEO
- Achieve consistency by asking questions people can say yes to. For example if you ask: “Do you want to save time on household chores”, and people say yes, they’re primed to follow through with positive action
- You can be likable by injecting personality into your copy and email messages
- Customer reviews help use the principle of consensus
By using these principles throughout your website, you make cart abandonment less likely.
► Improve the CTA
The call to action (CTA) is also essential. We’re not just talking about the “add to cart” and “checkout now” buttons. It’s also important to have other CTAs that get visitors to product pages, and even encourage them to buy more.
CTAs have to inspire action. Even though they’re often short, they’ll:
- Include action words/verbs such as “buy,” “shop,” or “get”
- Use urgency words such as “now” or “today”
- Highlight the value or benefit: “free PDF,” “expert training,” and so on
- Stand out from the site so they’re always visible
And you can get pretty creative, too. For example, AYR includes a CTA on one outfit of “Let’s Do This!”
Next, let’s look at the website experience, which can wipe out 20 percent of your customers, if you don’t get it right.
Optimize your website experience…
Another factor that helps reduce eCommerce cart abandonment is optimizing how your visitors experience your website. And it starts long before they actually get to the checkout page.
Think about this scenario. A shopper adds something to the cart, then tries to find another related item. If he can’t figure out where that item is on the site, he leaves, and buys nothing.
All the eCommerce stats point to a stark fact: people want their shopping personal, relevant, and fast—and they want it to work seamlessly no matter what device they use to make a purchase.
You can make your website more relevant by:
- Dividing people into categories when they land on your site; for example, have them select which area of your site they’re most interested in when they first arrive
- Personalizing navigation and search based on the products they look at
- Hiding items that don’t interest them
Amazon does exactly this. When you go to your named Amazon page, it’s all about the things you like, making you more likely to buy.
You also need to look after site usability. Jakob Nielsen coined this term, which covers people’s ability to navigate your site and know what do. Each time visitors return to your site, they should feel more confident that they know how everything works. Optimizing navigation and search to help people easily find products is a huge part of this.
It’s also a good idea to check for technical errors, especially in the checkout. Remember, anything that gets in the way of visitors’ shopping experience will send them away. But you can also help visitors out by including on-site text that simply explains any data entry errors (like a user forgetting to choose a size for the shirt they’re trying to add to their cart), and helps them to fix those errors quickly.
Optimize Especially for mobile
As we saw earlier, mobile drives sales. That’s why mobile optimization is essential. But what exactly does that mean in terms of eCommerce cart abandonment?
Source: Neil Patel
Having a mobile optimized site is a given these days, but the whole shopping experience has to work on mobile if you’re to minimize cart abandonment. That means:
- Looking after site speed; a load time over 3 seconds will drive visitors away
- Using mobile-friendly navigation, which means navigation that lets people tap, pinch, and zoom rather than having to click
- Making it easy to add items to the cart and pay for them with a mobile payment solution
Try checking out your site on your own mobile phone and see if you hit any bottlenecks.
Simplify the checkout
The fewer barriers there are to checkout, the less likely it is that visitors will abandon. As Nicole Leinbach Reyhle of Retail Minded points out, “To help overcome [cart abandonment], merchants need to be diligently aware of this risk and aim to please when it comes to making the checkout process more efficient. Speed, accuracy, convenience and trust that consumer information will be secure and safe are all key aspects in helping to avoid cart abandonment.”
One of the best ways to keep checkout simple is to remove the annoyance of account creation. Or to put it another way: include a guest checkout option. This lets people buy your products and services without creating an account. Once the purchase is complete, you can offer the option to create an account. If the purchase has gone smoothly, it’s likely that customers will want to do this. You can also incentivize account creation by offering a something in return (like a coupon off a future purchase or a free bonus download).
According to Branden Moskva of Nadimo, “The easiest win is to remove redundancies and unnecessary form fields” from your checkout process.
Other ways to simplify the checkout include:
- Removing on-page distractions
- Only collecting the information you need
- Using address lookup technology to limit the amount of info people have to enter
- Populating the billing address automatically from the shipping address
- Keeping the checkout on a single page where possible
- Showing progress as people complete the steps of checkout
You can also reduce cart abandonment and increase sales by using the right language on product, cart, and checkout pages. According to Smart Insights, the three magic phrases are:
- Visitors who viewed this product also viewed (responsible for 68.4 percent of revenue)
- Visitors who viewed this product ultimately bought (25.1 percent)
- You might also like (16.1 percent)
Finally, for repeat customers, you can make checkout even easier. All you have to do is store their billing and shipping info, then you can offer a one-click checkout. (This is where account creation can be a major benefit for users, so be sure to emphasize why they’d want to make an account when you encourage them do it.)
Offer multiple payment options
When you’re in a store, and a particular credit card doesn’t work, what do you do? Most people just whip out another one.
Your online customers need to be able to do that too. That’s why it’s essential to offer multiple payment options. If you only accept credit cards or, worse, only one type of credit card, it’s a slap in the face for people who don’t have your preferred option.
In contrast, if people can choose the option they want, they’re much less likely to abandon their carts if a particular option doesn’t work (and they’ll be less likely not to see their favorite option). Digital and mobile payment options are now essential. Even people who don’t like to share their credit card information will happily pay with PayPal instead. And 44 percent of shoppers are happy to add their credit card to a mobile payment solution, then pay with that instead.
Our tip: Integrate Google Pay (formerly Android Pay), Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and PayPal as payment options. If people can pay with a tap or click, it makes it easy for them to complete purchases. In fact, between 2015 and 2018, the use of NFC mobile payment is expected to triple to reach 166 million users worldwide.
And make sure your payment trust seals are easy to see—people need to know their payment info is safe. According to Baymard, Norton is a clear winner in making shoppers feel your site is trustworthy.
But adding additional payment methods in general can increase trust. One of the reasons many people prefer to use options like PayPal over credit card is that it takes payment off-site to a place they know is secure. They don’t have to worry that their credit card information might be stolen, and are more likely to check out.
Wondering what search engine optimization (SEO) has to do with cart abandonment? Have you ever searched for a product, clicked a link, then headed back to the search engine because it wasn’t what you wanted? We have too. That’s called “pogosticking,” and it’s bad for your search results ranking.
The thing is, how well you’ve optimized your page for search informs Google and searchers what they’ll find on your site. If they find what you promise, then they’ll likely buy it. If not, it’s back to the drawing board.
So make sure you provide accurate descriptions of pages and images—that means more happy visitors, and more sales. For more on SEO, check out this comprehensive guide.
And if you want to future proof the shopping experience, optimize your site so visitors can shop by voice.
Support the sale
If people do have a problem completing a purchase, offering a little bit of support at the right time can help save the sale. For example, you can:
- Guide them through the purchase with on-screen help and informative error messages
- Provide FAQs, so they can troubleshoot errors themselves
- Offer live chat, so shoppers can talk to a real person about their concerns
This last one is increasingly important. The live chat stats roundup from SuperOffice shows that 30 percent of customers now expect you to have live chat on your website. And that number is more than double if the customer is using a mobile device. Live chat also brings back repeat visitors and boosts average order value.
You can also use popups to encourage visitors to get in touch if they have questions. With the right incentive, you’ll provide a service for them and get contact details—those’ll come in handy later.
Always be testing
Finally, test, test, and test again. Split testing can help you optimize every aspect of your website from the headlines, product images, and descriptions to the actual checkout page itself. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out these split testing ideas from Optimizely.
How to recover lost sales after cart abandonment
We have some good news and some bad news.
The good: you’re practically guaranteed to reduce your eCommerce cart abandonment rate with the tips we’ve shared above.
The bad: some people are still going to abandon their carts. It’s unavoidable. But don’t worry; we’ve got a couple more strategies to help you bring them back to your site to complete the sale.
Harness the power of retargeting ads
When it comes to cart recovery, cookies are your friend. These are small data files that carry anonymous (mostly) information about where your visitors have been on your site and what they’ve looked at. You can feed this information into ad networks, like Google Ads, Facebook, or Taboola, so when people visit a completely different site, they see ads for the products they’ve left behind.
You often see this in action on Facebook. As Acquisio explains, you install the Facebook pixel (another code snippet) on your site. This drops a cookie which gives information to Facebook. Then you can create a custom audience and display retargeting ads.
You can also use email retargeting.
Send abandoned cart recovery emails
One of the most powerful techniques for recovering abandoned carts is sending emails to remind people about what they left behind. According to Salesforce, it’s totally worth it: if you send a cart abandonment email within a day, you can recover 60 percent of sales.
- Send one within a few hours checking if there were technical errors, or other issues, that stopped them from completing the sale and reminding them of what they left behind
- Send a second within 24 hours, with a reminder of the cart contents and potentially including a discount
- Send a third within 48 hours, offering (or reiterating) a discount or other incentive for completing the sale and employing the persuasion technique of scarcity (such as by telling customers their cart will expire soon)
The good news here is that tools exist that will automatically create and send abandonment emails, track their success, and allow you to easily tweak your strategy as you go. One of the leading tools is Jilt, which publishes this site. Jilt is an automated lifecycle email marketing app that has the most advanced abandoned cart recovery technology available for Shopify, WooCommerce, and Easy Digital Downloads.
Mistakes That Make You Lose Money With Cart Abandonmen
Cart abandonment costs online merchants trillions of dollars worldwide. There’s no such thing as a 0% shopping cart abandonment rate. But by applying the best practices in cart recovery, you can convert one out of four lost shoppers into sales. How? Learn from some of the most common mistakes online merchants make when trying to recover their lost shoppers.
It’s a hard truth: Three out of four online shoppers abandon their shopping carts before completing their purchase. And yes, they’re abandoning your shopping carts. You dedicate your time and money to acquiring visitors, convincing them to shop in your store, and then poof! They leave your website.
While there’s no such thing as a 0% shopping cart abandonment rate, it is possible to recover 20% or more of them. At Carts Guru, we’re experts in turning those “lost shoppers” into sales. That’s why PrestaShop has made Carts Guru a native retargeting solution for cart abandonment.
These are some of the most common mistakes eCommerce merchants make when dealing with abandoned shopping carts. Are you making any of them?
You’re only using email retargeting.
Email is one of the most important marketing channels available online. But while it’s important for you to include it in your cart recovery strategy, you shouldn’t stop there.
You’ll convert much more by deploying a multichannel retargeting approach when dealing with abandoned shopping carts.
Your emails aren’t segmented or personalized. Be relevant.
Personalization and segmentation are two basic principles of online marketing:
Personalization: Use all the information you have from your visitor in order to create an email that is closely related to their unique shopping experience.
Segmentation: Classify your visitors by relevant attributes that will help you create the perfect message according to their context.
These are two concepts a good solution can’t be without. To correctly segment your campaigns, target categories such as language, cart value and differentiation between new and old visitors. You can also create custom attributes based on your own needs.
The best way to personalize a retargeting email is by making sure it reinforces your brand (so your visitors remember where they shopped) and includes the products your shopper added to their basket.
You’re giving discounts too early.
Cart abandonment is a multifaceted issue. Shoppers can leave your online store for a number of reasons including when they get discount offers at the wrong time. Imagine running a Christmas offer in October.