Shopping cart abandonment – when a customer adds items to their cart but leave before they complete checkout – is a problem that every ecommerce website deals with. It is an issue that has continuously plagued website owners and has a big impact on a businesses bottom line. There are a number of factors that contribute to shopping cart abandonment and some systems that site owners can put in place to minimize amount of abandonment and improve your revenue and profitability.
A recently published study by Business Insider reported that around 71% of shopping carts globally are abandoned before checkout. Forecasting for this year, BI estimates that nearly $4 Trillion worth of merchandise will be abandoned in shopping carts this year. The good news is that a good portion of that (~63%) is recoverable by savvy retailers. There are two parts to the conversation about abandoned shopping carts: preventing cart abandonment and recovering abandoned carts.
Preventing Cart Abandonment
As a store owner, being proactive can have a huge reward in preventing abandoned carts. There are a number of things that you should be constantly testing and improving to prevent abandoned carts, but here are a few places to start:
1. Site Speed – The speed of your website is a big factor in the online shopping experience for most shoppers, so this is an important place to start. A fast site will keep your customer moving through their shopping experience quickly and keep them focused on shopping. You can read our previous post with 5 Easy Steps to Increase Magento site Performance.
2. Bug-Free shopping and Checkout Experience – If your site is riddled with bugs and checkout issues, you’ll experience high bounce rates and shopping cart abandonment. Implementing a site monitoring system (ex: Pingdom, NewRelic) can help you stay on top of issues with your site. Systems like these will monitor your site for any downtime and notify you (by email and text message) when there is an issue. Some systems can even go as far as simulating a simple checkout process and warn you when there is a bug in that process. In addition, it can always help for you and your team to periodically test the site for any bugs or issues in the shopping experience and report any abnormalities to your development staff or partner.
3. Simplified Checkout Process – One of the most common places where a customer might abandon there cart is during the checkout process. There is a bit of debate as to whether One Page Checkout or One Step Checkout is more effective at converting. Each one has it’s benefits and the effectiveness can be dependent on the industry. The important thing is to simplify the checkout process as much as possible – this means eliminating unnecessary data fields, adding customer accounts for storing customer shipping/billing data, or even implementing credit card tokenization for secure credit card storage for future purchases.
There are plenty of other tricks you can use to prevent shopping cart abandonment, some of which you can find here in our post 7 Tips to Maximize Ecommerce Sales
Recovering Abandoned Carts
With all of that said, you could implement all of the suggestions above and have a flawless site and still see cart abandonment. In fact, you almost certainly will, and that’s okay. The nature of shopping is that sometimes people will do an initial search for a product in one place and then go elsewhere to try to find a better deal, or perhaps the customer isn’t yet ready to make a purchase and was just doing some initial research.
Once someone abandons their cart on your site, it is important to have a strategy in place to recover that customer and convert them into a sale. There are a number of systems out there that will track customer shopping cart abandonment and send an automated email to that customer (after a pre-set period of time has passed) reminding them of their items in their cart and prompting them to complete checkout. There are systems that do this will one email which can be sent a few times or multiple emails sent in sequence allowing for different offerings or promotions (free shipping, 10% off your entire order, etc.) for completing checkout. Some examples of software or services that can help with this are rejoiner and Bronto. There are also a ton of extensions in the Magento Commerce marketplace that you can install on your site to get your feet wet trying to recover abandoned carts.
In the end, shopping cart abandonment is an inevitability of running an ecommerce site. But don’t let this get you down. Implementing some of these site enhancements can help reduce abandoned carts and implementing an abandoned cart recovery system can help you capture some of the potentially lost sales. All of this can be the difference in making your site a leader in your market.
Have any questions on how to equip your site to prevent and recover abandoned carts? Contact us today!