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When you buy groceries, how often do you walk around the store filling your basket and then change your mind, abandoning the basket in the store and leaving without buying anything? My guess is not very often. This happens much more regularly in online shopping. An abandonment rate of 68.63% has been recorded, taken from an average of 33 different studies.

Why do people abandon online shopping carts?

A customer could leave your site without buying what’s in their cart for a number of reasons. The shopper might:

  • Decide they don’t want the product anymore
  • Decide it is too expensive
  • Think that the shipping costs are too high
  • Find the same product for a lower price elsewhere
  • Get distracted or lose Internet connection
  • Not want to fill in all the required information

Not only do you lose out on a sale from these customers, but you may also miss out on the chance to capture their information, such as name and email address, which can be used for future marketing communications.

What can you do about it?

With some of these reasons, there’s unfortunately not much you can do. But, others can be acted upon to increase conversion rate.

Improve your checkout process

Go through your checkout process with the mindset of a customer and see if you can identify any potential barriers. Do you tack on high shipping costs or other additional fees when customers get to the checkout? If you do, consider offering free shipping to customers who spend a certain amount with you.

Do you require customers to register and fill out a long form to checkout? You need to decide if registration is really necessary and if you can cut down on the information you collect. You can also examine the checkout process of your competitors to see how they do it.

Follow up

If you manage to collect a customer’s email address before they abandon, then sending a follow-up email can be very effective at bringing them back. This could be a reminder that they didn’t complete the process, with images of what they had in their cart, and maybe some other recommended products they might be interested in.

You could also send a special offer to entice them. This could be a discount off their order if they complete it, or a code for free shipping. You shouldn’t make a habit of offering this to all cart abandoners, because your customers might catch on and try to take advantage. However, it can be an effective strategy every now and again.

Remarketing is another effective strategy — displaying online ads to cart abandoners, showing them the items they intended to buy. For any customers who didn’t change their minds but actually meant to buy at a later date, this will refresh their memory and prompt them to come back.

It’s scary to think that you could be losing 7 out of 10 customers online, so try these methods to recover abandoned online shopping carts.