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Are Your Potential Customers Abandoning Their Online Shopping Carts?

Chances are good that your eCommerce order management system sees plenty of shopping cart abandonments, at least that’s what the latest Remarketing Report from SaleCycle.com would indicate.

This report shows that an average of 76.6 percent of customers leave their shopping carts behind instead of making a purchase. Although it’s frustrating, the good news is that shopping cart abandonment doesn’t have to be a loss for your business.

In fact, cart abandonment can be a huge opportunity for growth and streamlining if you can reach out and touch those potential customers. When customers abandon shopping carts, it means something’s not right in the process, but your company can improve customer experience and decrease shopping cart abandonment with a few simple changes.

Retaining More Potential Customers

According to research completed in October 2014 by VWO, 28 percent of all customers surveyed admitted that they abandon shopping carts due to “unexpected shipping costs.” The second-most common reason for abandonment is that the site forces them to create an account. Considering that these two simple problems make up over 51 percent of all shopping cart abandonment, you can easily reclaim a large percentage of abandoned shopping carts with a few small changes.

Dealing with Shipping Costs

Many eCommerce businesses are terrified to scare off customers with additional costs and mandatory fees like local sales tax. Instead, these businesses bury this important information deep in their system, believing that if a customer reaches that point in the sales process they’re already committed and won’t back out.

Unfortunately, this common belief simply isn’t true. Instead of hiding the full cost of the transaction, it’s best to put that information out front so customers can decide if they want to continue before wasting valuable time. According to UPS’s report Pulse of the Online Shopper, providing shipping costs early in the buying process is important to 59 percent of online shoppers.

If you’re very afraid that shipping costs are going to be a major barrier, instead of hiding the pricing, add a free shipping option. It may sound like a move that will cost more than it will save, but by providing free shipping as either a premium with a certain price point purchase or as a storewide policy, you may ultimately be buried in order fulfillment. In fact, 24 percent of those surveyed by VMO said they were likely to spend more in order to qualify for a free shipping premium.

Account Creation

In VMO’s survey, 23 percent of customers say they abandon shopping carts when they discover they have to create a user account. Although there are various reasons you’d like to track your customers, some simply don’t want to be tracked. You should respect this attitude and offer a guest checkout if you want to win back this 17.62 percent of your abandoned shopping carts.

Even with a guest checkout option for those customers who want to keep their purchases private, you’re still free to offer some incentive for them to register. Whether you’re tracking loyalty points, offering special coupons for account holders or allowing them to review purchases, giving something to your customers in return for their data may help persuade a few guests to become account holders.

By dealing with the two most common reasons for shopping cart abandonment: surprise shipping costs and account creation, you can recapture lost revenue in a significant way. Abandoned shopping carts represent an opportunity for online retailers, not a hurdle. Get to know your customers and give them what they need to complete their transactions more smoothly and business will be booming.

December 24, 2015
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