Shopping cart abandonment accounts for $4.6 trillion lost eCommerce revenue each year. We look at nine cart abandonment solutions that will help you reclaim those lost sales and increase return on marketing investment.
Shopping cart abandonment (or basket abandonment) is when an online shopper adds items to their cart but leaves the site before they can complete the purchase. The average shopping cart abandonment rate across all industries is 75% – that means 3 out of 4 visitors on your eCommerce site never turn into customers.
For eCommerce retailers, this represents a huge lost opportunity, especially when you consider the costs and the effort it takes to get people interested in your product or service in the first place.
Pouring money into branding, content creation, social advertising, referral marketing, SEO and SEM just to get those potential customers on your site… Then optimizing their journey with smart UX and CRO strategies… All of this has a huge toll on your bottom line if you let 75% of visitors leave without making a purchase.
Shopping cart abandonment solutions to bring back online shoppers
You might think there’s nothing that can be done to prevent someone from leaving their basket – that once a customer has left, they’ve left. But luckily there are a number of shopping cart abandonment solutions and strategies available to turn a significant number of abandoned carts into purchases.
In fact, Business Insider has reported that approximately $2.75 trillion of the lost $4.6 trillion may be recovered through checkout optimization. Here we look at the nine best cart abandonment solutions to help you reduce abandonment rates and reclaim some of those lost sales.
1. Exit-intent overlays
One of the most reliable ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment is exit intent technology. This sophisticated technology identifies when a visitor is showcasing exit behavior and serves a strategically timed overlay with a message that encourages them to stay.
For example, if a customer who has already reached the checkout page exhibits exit intent because the shipping cost is too high, a timely message offering free shipping for purchases over a certain amount might not only save the purchase, but also increase the average order value.
Similarly, certain onsite behavior might indicate that the customer wants to compare prices with a competitor. If that happens, the exit-intent overlay might suggest a discount on the particular items they added.
It’s essential however that this technology is deployed subtly and based on a data-driven understanding of customer behavior, otherwise, it can backfire, irritating the customer and causing them to leave for good.
2. Email remarketing
Online shoppers often add items to their basket, or start the checkout process but don’t complete it for various reasons. It could be a technical issue, they may just be researching, or they may just not need to make the purchase yet.
Whatever the reasons for abandoned shopping carts one of the most effective ways of reminding them come back is to email them.
Email remains one of the most effective marketing tools, but customers expect more than just a mass marketing mailout. It needs to be deployed in a personalized, relevant way that makes the customer feel like they’re not being spammed, but looked after. Once they’re back onsite, you can welcome them and guide them seamlessly back to where they left off.
For example, capturing their email through an exit-intent overlay before they leave in order to save their basket means that you can use it for email remarketing once they’ve left the site. Your purpose is to remind them that something they want is awaiting them in the abandoned cart, and create a sense of FOMO – creating the perfect follow-up email is an essential way to tailor the message to the customer.
With these abandonment emails, you can get very clever with the messaging you display if you have the data available. For example, did they abandon at the shipping stage? If so you could test sending a free shipping code to them.
Or if they have multiple items in their basket that looked like an outfit, if the margin makes sense you could send a hyper-personalised email suggesting they “complete the look” and get a specific discount of buying all the items.
3. SMS remarketing
SMS communications have an immediacy that emails may not – one study found that 95% of texts will be read within just 3 minutes of being sent. nd with more and more online shoppers using their mobile, it makes sense to target people’s attention while they’re potentially still holding the device they were shopping on, to refocus their attention to completing the sale.
If mobile browsing and sales account for a large proportion of your traffic, it might be time to consider implementing SMS remarketing (a soon-to-be feature of Yieldify!) to remind customers that their abandoned shopping carts are still waiting for them.
To do this, you’ll need to introduce phone number capture in your overlays and guest checkout, but also ensure that your customer journey is optimized for mobile checkout, as this could be a factor in mobile cart abandonments.
4. Retargeting ads
Did you know an advert retargeting someone is 76% more likely to be clicked on than a standard display ad? That’s because customers are being reminded of something they already want, not something they might possibly want in the future (or not want at all).
They’re also 10 times more likely to click on a retargeting ad than a standard one, with brand recognition and targeted content or offers also playing an important role in this.
There are many providers of ad retargeting software, which will simply require you to install a burn pixel on your site. From there, you can segment abandoners to personalize the kind of advert they see. These retargeting ads can be run on the web but also on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
Some examples include first-time vs return shopper, the value of the cart or product in the basket, locations, and the search terms that led them to the site in the first place. Whilst free shipping is a great offer to most users a free complementary product like the above can also do the trick.
5. Live chat or chatbot service
Online shopping isn’t always smooth sailing. If shoppers have questions or doubts, they might hesitate and ultimately leave the checkout process if they aren’t able to find answers to those problems. One way to get around this if you don’t have a 24/7 customer service facility is to offer customers a live AI chat service to help them.
They can also be extremely useful for FAQs: since many customers in the checkout process will have similar questions about returns, shipping times, sizing or delivery options, installing a live chat app will help customers feel taken care of, giving them the clarity they need to complete the purchase with confidence. The best part is that a good chatbot builder can help you create chatbots like these in a matter of minutes!
Chatbots can cross-sell and upsell, or serve offers and discounts, creating even more incentive for your customers to stay and complete the purchase. Chatbots can also cut operational costs by 30%. So as far as fighting shopping cart abandonment goes, this is definitely a solution worth considering.
6. Social proof and trust badges
If a customer is hesitating about a purchase – for example, if it’s a big purchase or from an unknown brand — creating trust is a significant way to remove the uncertainty and fight shopping cart abandonment.
In the world of online shopping, 61% of customers read reviews before making a purchase, and 66% said they were more likely to make a purchase when it’s accompanied by social proof. By choosing a well-known trust symbol, you will help customers feel more confident in making a purchase.
Social proof is one of the biggest factors in making any purchase – so providing verified reviews from other customers, for example through a star rating or testimonials – is a great way to create the security that social proof provides for shoppers.
To help create this trust, ensure that the trust badges and certificates are prominently displayed close to the payment details and in the header or footer of the website – using these symbols throughout the customer journey creates trust from the start.
Ratings and reviews can also be served at key points of the customer journey – for example, if people are comparison shopping, an exit overlay might help them return to complete the purchase.
7. Transparent checkout process
Having a multi-step checkout process – the length of which is unknown – can create uncertainty and confusion, which is kryptonite for customers. To help them feel secure in the knowledge of what step is happening when, show them a progress bar indicating where they are in the process.
According to Tidio, 21% of basket abandoners felt that the checkout should be simpler. For example, they might be concerned there’s no chance to review the purchase or make changes, so having a step marked ‘Review’ may help to ease concerns.
On top of this, the length of checkout is a significant factor in basket abandonment. A lengthy process might cause the customer to give up or get irritated, so letting them know how fast they are moving through the checkout process is important.
Patch Plants, a plant delivery company, clearly outlines a 4-step process with its prominent progress bar at the top of the checkout. On this site, the order summary is visible throughout, so customers can be sure they haven’t made any errors in their order.
You can also see at the top of that list extra costs are the main reason, which most of the time means shipping costs. To combat this reason for shopping cart abandonment you need to be transparent about your shipping costs as well. Display them as early as you can, even on product pages, have a dedicated page that’s easy to access detailing shopping costs etc.
8. Payment options
Sometimes, upfront payment can be daunting or prevent some customers from being able to make a purchase at the point in their customer journey when they most want to.
Recently, a number of third-party checkout partners have entered the market to allow customers to delay, split or spread payments out. Options include Klarna, Clearpay, Laybuy, Payl8r and several others.
Fashion retailer Boohoo makes these options clear at the point of browsing to allow the customer to shop with peace of mind. A prompt to use payment options could also be used for any customers who appear to be hesitating at the payment point of the checkout to ease concerns over affordability.
These options are largely aimed at millennials who want flexibility in how they pay, many of whom (up to 63% in the US, according to one study) do not own a credit card. Therefore, making big purchases can be tricky, with many millennial shoppers preferring debit over credit.
So offering these shoppers access to shorter-term credit could be a highly effective way of attracting these customers. Doing so could also be highly beneficial for eCommerce brands. 56% of shoppers surveyed in the Klarna Confidential Report reported that they were more likely to buy more if more varied payment options were available.
These payment options have grown quickly in popularity, they also easily integrate with all major eCommerce platforms, so if the costs make sense this is another great option to reduce cart abandonment and increase average order value.
9. Guest checkout
If your customers are dropping out of the payment process at the point of having to create a new account, consider adding the ability to check out as a guest. According to the Baymard Institute, 28% of cart abandonment is because the site required shoppers to create an account.
This happens for a number of reasons: they’re only buying from the retailer once, they don’t want to share personal details, or – the biggest factor – they don’t want to be signed up for emails.
Another reason is time – they just want to buy what they came for and go – so the ability to check out swiftly, with just the bare minimum of information, is ideal.
This means that you can still collect an email address, name and phone number (essential for email remarketing as well as staying in contact with the customer for delivery persons) in a GDPR compliant way, and then clear the way for them to make a rapid purchase with the option to sign up for an account later.
So as you can see there are many reasons why shoppers will abandon their carts. While you might never recapture all the customers who abandon carts, the numbers prove that it’s worth the relatively small investment it takes to reclaim those potential sales.
As always, at the heart of improving conversions is improving customer journey. By successfully anticipating the customer’s thoughts, customizing your communications, offering transparency and help when required, and giving people options to complete a purchase in the way they’d like to, you’ll see a corresponding decrease in abandonment and an uplift in recovered carts.
Cart Abandonment FAQs
You can help reduce the number of people who abandon their shopping cart on your site by using exit intent overlays, email remarketing, SMS remarketing, retargeting ads, live chat, and analyzing your current checkout funnel.
The percentage of abandoned carts is different across industry, but it ranges from 60% to 81%. The average basket abandonment rate is 75.6%.
Cart abandonment can happen for many reasons. The most common being hidden delivery costs, having to create an account or a complicated checkout process.