Cart abandonment is arguably the single largest obstacle facing eCommerce retailers today, with brands losing a staggering $18 billion in yearly sales revenue, according to Forrester research. The current worldwide online shopping cart abandonment rate is reportedly sitting at just over 69% and said to be growing.
It’s almost impossible to mitigate against this phenomenon entirely, but it is definitely possible to improve your eCommerce experience to reduce and combat shopping cart abandonment. Abandoned carts are often an indication of a website or customer experience problem. Customers could be abandoning carts because of super slow website loading times, trust issues, technical glitches, or confusing checkout processes.
There are two ways you can approach this. A, you could lament: “Look at all these time wasters who didn’t buy from us.” Or, B, you could turn it to your advantage: “Look at all this opportunity for growth. We could boost our revenue if we get this fixed.”
Yes, these are issues eCommerce retailers can fix, and, in the process recover a huge slice of revenue. How much revenue? Well, when the Baymard Institute looked at solvable checkout problems, they found “the average large-sized eCommerce site can gain a 35.26% increase in conversion rate” when they actively sought to address these problems.
This post will outline practical and actionable solutions that will help you optimize your checkout procedures, reduce your cart abandonment rate, and consequently, improve conversion rates.
Using Analytics to Analyze Abandonment Rate
To address this so-called revenue killer, you need to understand the most common reasons why your potential customers abandon their shopping carts just before checking out. Focusing on the behind-the-scenes analytics is a necessary first step to unpack why customers are not completing their purchases.
There are many different KPIs to monitor and measure to determine whether your website is performing optimally, including website traffic and conversion and click-through rates. However, with so many metrics to look at and logging in and out of several different apps or plugins to access all the data you need, it can be tricky to stay on top of it all. That’s why it’s so crucial to deploy one tool, such as the Smart Merchandiser, that ties everything together and makes monitoring your analytics a lot simpler.
The analytics overlay feature in the Smart Merchandiser platform is designed to take the hassle out of monitoring different KPIs and analytics and provides crucial insights as you begin to address your cart abandonment problem. With each product having an unobtrusive analytics overlay directly on top of the product images, you’ll have all the information to keep track of, including:
- Numbers of sales
- Items abandoned
- Revenue in a specific period
- Abandonment rate
- Conversion rate
- Product views
- Inventory change
- Size and color inventory
This means you will be able to see which products are drawing high click-through or conversion rates. This will enable you to make key business decisions or changes. For example, products with low click-through rates may need a new photograph or description to catch customers’ attention and hold their interest.
Use Emails to Solve Abandoned Shopping Carts
Keeping track of all shoppers who decide to leave the website without making a purchase may help your business improve revenue by nudging unsure buyers into action. Remember, eight out of ten buyers are unlikely to check out regardless of the item in question. That said, you can’t be too pushy.
One way to recover revenue from abandoned shopping carts is by collecting email addresses and sending out cart recovery emails. Your follow-up email should communicate to the customer that you value their business and that you’d still ready to solve their need.
Your first cart recovery email should serve as a subtle reminder of what they’ve left behind and what they’re missing. The second email in your sequence should be more assertive and create a sense of urgency. For example, you could indicate to the customer that the product they showed interest in is selling out fast. Your third email is all about sweetening your offer. Offering an incentive like free shipping or a discount on the abandoned order can help seal the deal.
Great! But how soon should you fire off these follow-up emails? Best practice indicates deploying three triggered emails within 1 hour, 24 hours, and 72 hours of cart abandonment to obtain maximal conversion rates. The conversion rate of website visitors re-targeted with a 1st mail sent out within 1 hour of cart abandonment is 20.3% compared to a 12.2% conversion rate if the email is sent 24 hours after abandonment.
Use Exit Offers to Your Advantage
Have you ever been in the process of completing a purchase from an eCommerce store, only to realize there is no way that your wallet can handle the purchase? This often happens when customers are faced with high shipping prices, long checkouts, or expensive products.
In this case, a well-timed offer could be the difference between a missed opportunity and a sale. A shopper is 45.4% more likely to open a cart recovery email if there’s a discount in the subject line. Research from Fresh Relevance shows that items that hit the $100, $250, $400, and $500 mark trigger higher abandonment rates, most likely because shoppers need more time to consider pricier purchases. As with any expensive purchase, there is a longer nurturing process required to close the deal. Offering your shoppers a discount in cases like these is a powerful way to complete the buyer’s journey.
You could also consider helping your customers with shipping fees either partially or fully. It makes no sense to lose out on a $600 or $700 purchase over a $30 shipping charge which you can easily absorb as a business expense. Leveraging data to understand your customer segments will enable you to hone in on when incentives will deliver the best results.
Use Visualization to Reduce Abandoned Shopping Carts
Zobrist’s Smart Merchandiser allows you to see the abandonment rate on each product and to be able to sort your products based on conversion rates is a game-changer. For example, a merchandiser can schedule a business rule to sort products by conversion rate on one day and by items sold the next day.
The Smart Merchandiser offers improved data analytics at your fingertips. Subtle data overlays–right on the product images–provide you with page views, abandonment rates, conversion rates, and sales revenue, eliminating the need to switch between layout and the analytics dashboards to access information.
Smart Merchandiser’s feature-rich Interface means you can optimize your category pages automatically with custom sequencing rules. Merchandising your pages is simple and effortless. You can combine multiple rules around conversion rate, sales, inventory, and more to ensure precise online merchandising.
Above all else, test, test, and test. Do tons of A/B testing on each aspect of your checkout process to determine the optimal layout for your store, and watch the conversions roll in.
Reverse Abandoned Shopping Carts Today
The abandoned shopping cart phenomenon is a common but solvable digital marketing problem. Despite the basket of reasons that may cause low conversion rates, there are several practical steps you can take to improve your online sales by maximizing the number of successful check-outs.
Customers who make it to the cart stage have already engaged with you and indicated a strong desire to buy, meaning cart abandonment represents a tremendous opportunity for brands who want to convert lost sales into profitable customer relationships.
If you’re not sure of the best way to do that, Zobrist can help. The solutions offered by our Smart Merchandiser will help you help your customer to complete their buying journey. Schedule a demo today and learn more about how our data-backed processes are designed to uncover exactly where and why your customers are abandoning their carts and then identify actionable solutions that recover more sales.