Improve Online Sales Today With These Quick Fixes to Slash Cart Abandonment
27 January 2016 by Aaron Brooks
If you run an e-commerce store, there aren’t many things worse than shopping cart abandonment. Not only do you lose out on a sale every time users leave before completing the purchase, high abandonment rates are a warning sign your website is in need of some serious improvement.
Most of these improvements will need careful consideration and testing to make sure they genuinely increase sales, but there are some quick fixes you can make today for an instant impact.
#1: Ditch the shipping fees
Study after study has shown shipping costs and other added fees are the biggest killer to e-commerce conversions. Online shoppers are often looking out for the best deal and the last thing they want to see is postage added to their bill. So ditch the shipping fees where you can and wave goodbye to the single biggest cause of cart abandonment today.
#2: Don’t ask people to create accounts
Next on the list of pet hates for online shoppers is being forced to create an account to buy a product. And let’s face it, why should they? These guys are visiting your site for the first time and they don’t know if they’ll ever come back again. Not to mention asking them to sign up only adds unnecessary obstacles to the buying process.
More importantly, people are pretty protective when it comes to personal data and they’re not too keen about handing it over. So give users the option to shop as a guest, rather than forcing them to create an account. You can always chase up customers after they pay and tempt them into creating an account later.
#3: Improve your trust signals
If you expect people to cough up their hard-earned cash, the first thing you need to do is earn their trust. Sadly, real trust takes time to build, but that won’t help you win over those first-time users – the ones who are most likely to abandon their cart.
Luckily, there are a number of trust signals you can use to convince new visitors you’re trustworthy in an instant, including:
- Add trust badges (eg: Norton or McAfee) to the most common pages users land on first, on product pages and throughout the checkout process.
- Go for SSL/HTTPS encryption – this is now a ranking factor with Google and a sign that users can trust you with their sensitive information.
- Place customer testimonials strategically throughout the buying process; you’re not limited to using these on your homepage.
- Include social proof and customer reviews.
- Have visible policies (eg: privacy, returns, etc.) that tell users they are safe.
- Swap the stock images for high-quality visuals.
- Show users they can contact you for queries or customer service and give them plenty of options (phone, email, social media, etc.)
Fix up those forms
One of the biggest sinners of websites in every industry is web forms, but e-commerce stores in particular need to get these right. Much like reducing cart abandonment, improving web forms can be a lengthily process, but there are also quick fixes you can make today:
- Keep it short: Don’t ask for info like phone numbers or location unless you really need them.
- Make it responsive: If your forms aren’t already optimised for mobile, then you’re losing sales.
- Use HTML5 input attributes: So your forms not only display, but also perform better on mobile devices.
- Use validation: To help users get your forms right the first time.
- But don’t be too strict: Set your validation rules to be as flexible as possible to reduce corrections.
- Drop the CAPTCHAS: It’s your responsibility to deal with spam and bot traffic, so don’t punish potential customers.
#5: Chase up those lost leads
Not every abandoned cart is because there’s a problem with your website. Sometimes users simply aren’t ready to buy yet, no matter what you do. This doesn’t mean you simply let them walk out the door forever, though. You can chase up these lost leads with email marketing, AdWords remarketing and other followup techniques.
It’s not only lost leads you want to chase up either, because the only thing better than a customer is a repeat customer. And this starts the minute someone buys your product. Your customer service, followup emails, post-sale content strategy and special offers all play a part in keeping customers coming back for more.
If cart abandonment rates are causing your online business problems, you’ll need to pinpoint why users are leaving before they pay up. For concrete answers you’ll have to set up analytics and collect data, but these quick fixes will help you improve results today, while you plan for the long-term.