Published on December 1st, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi


Prevent Shoppers From Abandoning Carts

A few years ago, we posted an infographic about winning cart abandonment strategies. The strategies are still as valid today as they were when we published them. Unfortunately, the abandoned cart rate crept up from 68% in 2016 to 69.57% in 2019.

Email is an effective way of recovering around 10% of those purchases. That still, however, leaves more than half the carts in a state of limbo where they won’t do your business any good. So, while our original post dealt with recovering abandoned carts, this one takes a different tack. Today we’re looking at how to maximize the chances of a client completing their purchases.

How to Prevent the Abandoned Cart in the First Place

Shoppers have any number of reasons for pulling out of a sale. Understanding this means that you address them and sidestep them more effectively.

Lack of Trust

Online businesses must work harder to gain their client’s trust. With customers becoming increasingly web-savvy, this becomes more challenging each year. Clients today are better informed about the security protocols that webmasters use to keep their information safe.

They understand more about site security certificates and encryption today. If they don’t feel that your website protects their information correctly, they won’t want to input their details. You don’t need Pentagon-level encryption, but ensure that you use good security products and display the site seals and trust badges.

Add customer reviews, comments, and other forms of social proof to improve trust further.

No Trust in the Payment Method

This kills sales immediately. People may be willing to take chances with their email address, but not their credit card details. Trusted payment methods like PayPal helps to build the client’s confidence.

Consider adding a few different options so that your client can pick the ones that they’re most familiar with. At the very least, have the ones most popular with your target market. What methods do they use on other sites? If your website doesn’t provide similar options, it risks looking outdated.

Having to Create an Account to Buy

Making clients create an account before they buy is all about improving your email database. It seldom offers them much value. Allowing clients to purchase as a guest instead may be enough to smooth over that first sale.

The irony is that they’ll provide most of the same details when ordering for themselves. The difference is that it won’t feel as much like an imposition.

No Clear Return Policy

Dealing with client refunds is the cost of doing business online. Have a generous policy in place to reassure your clients. If the industry standard is a one-month guarantee, consider offering two months instead.

More importantly, however, make your returns policy and procedure clear on the website. Have an easily clickable link to take clients to the relevant contact page or highlight the number to call clearly. The company should pick up the costs of returning the product when the fault lies with the firm.

Hidden Shipping Costs

Be upfront about your shipping costs. Where possible, provide an estimate on the description page. This prevents sticker shock when someone checks out. While it’s not unreasonable to charge for shipping, clients may feel unprepared for the increase in price as a result of it.

You’ll benefit more by explaining the additional costs as applicable at the start. You may even turn this to your advantage by offering free shipping for orders over a certain amount. Display such offers on the description page too.

Delivery Takes Too Long

Another thing to be clear about upfront is how long delivery will take. If it’ll take two to three weeks, make a note on the description page. Where possible, offer clients expedited shipping, even if it is at an extra cost to them.

This creates a reasonable expectation in their minds before they add the item to the cart.

Checkout Takes Too Long

What do you need from the client? You need the name and address you’re sending the product to, and perhaps a phone number. Put everything you require on one page as far as possible. Every time your client has to wait for another page to load gives them a chance to rethink their purchases.

Make it as quick and painless as possible.

A Poorly Optimized Website

If you can’t provide a seamless experience online, it reflects poorly on your ability to deliver service on the ground. Conduct regular site audits to ensure that your pages load correctly, all links work, and there are no bugs.

Optimize every element of the website so that it loads as quickly and effortlessly as possible. Ensure that it displays and performs well on multiple devices.

Consumers don’t have time to deal with glitches, and they won’t give your site a second chance if it doesn’t work well. Keep the website simple and compress image sizes to ensure the best blend of performance and style.

Additional Techniques to Consider On-Site

Price Comparison

It’s human nature to want to ensure that you’re getting the best possible deal. One strategy that may be effective if you have a limited number of products is to provide live price comparisons to competitor brands.

It’s a bit of a gamble if you don’t keep an eye on your competitor’s pricing, but it’s one that might well pay off. You don’t need to compete on price alone. What makes you deal so special? Perhaps you can create a table that shows the competitor prices for the item alone and append a section where you highlight your unique value-adds.

It seems a little counterintuitive because you seem to be promoting your competitors. From the client’s perspective, it shows that you have nothing to hide. If they like, they can check the other sites and confirm the information.

Knowledge Base

Have you ever been interested in a product but unable to find more than a few paragraphs about it on a website? There’s nothing more frustrating when making a buying decision than not having all the facts you need.

If you’re selling online, give your clients as much information as possible. Have a section that describes the item entirely. Let them see it in action and post tutorials. Create an extensive list of frequently asked questions and also articles about the core concepts behind the product.

Make your knowledge base easy to search to ensure that clients can easily find the answers that they require. It’s a fair amount of work, but the rewards are high. You’re not only likely to improve conversions, but your page will show as a valuable resource for search engines.

The Forgot Something Pop-Up

Love them or hate them, pop-ups can have value at times. Consider using one as a last-ditch effort to prevent the client from clicking away from their cart. Make it different from those cheesy marketing pages that never seem to want to let you go.

Make it funny, and consider offering them a freebie for completing the sale. If they still click away, let them go.

Final Notes

If only there were one magic tip or trick that allowed us to sell to every visitor to our websites. Fortunately for us, several alternatives improve our chances of converting leads into paying customers.

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.

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