Retain your customers; avoid ‘shopping cart’ abandonment!

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Jul 2018 12:33:51



By v rashmi rao

Its 2018, and we have a customer-centric shopping world where customers switch to different ecommerce sites time to time. Although, buying products doesn't entirely depend upon one factor, but surely depends on an overall experience a customer gets while shopping online. How beautiful you online site may be how wonderful your products are but if the customers have a small problem in checking out, or payment getaway or giving away their personal details, they can just abandon your product and leave the site. That's heartbreaking, isn't it! Nevertheless, why does this happen? Let us understand what shopping cart abandonment is and how can we avoid/minimise customers from cart abandonment?

The scary 'Shopping Cart' abandonmentShopping cart abandonment is an obstinate hindrance to online selling sites. Ecommerce sites struggle to cut the abandonment rate; still they lose many of the customers every year. Reports suggest that approx $4trillion worth products are abandoned in a year globally. However, this may not be an actual loss, as customers may buy the products from a physical store but surely can be indicator for Ecommerce industry market trends. Shopping cart abandonment occurs when a possible customer initiates a check out process for an online product order but checks out of the process prior to completion of the purchase. A product entering a customer's shopping cart but is not purchased is considered as “abandoned” by the shopper. This means the shopper just moved out of the purchase process without buying a product. Shopping cart abandonment is a significant aspect to understand the ecommerce business as higher cart abandonment rates define lower sales, which can be an alarm for the retailers.

A typical Shopping cart abandonment rate is calculated by dividing the total number of finished transactions by the sum of transactions that were just initiated and were not completed. This rate helps in identifying the exact percentage of customers using the site for placing a product order and never buying it.The shopping cart abandonment rate is considered an important metric for ecommerce sites as it helps to keep a track of moving out customers who abandon the products that can be either due to a payment getaway issue or due to a broken sales funnel. Reducing/Minimising shopping cart abandonment eventually leads to higher sales rate and higher revenue, hence optimising the checkout process is necessary along with other aspect that makes online shopping a better experience.

Reasons customers leaving your site and abandoning the products l Unfriendly mobile check out process
l Additional shipping costs
l A missing payment option
l Compulsory registration to the site
l Non-appealing site design
l Loads of other distractions/advertisements
l Searching/browsing products on site.
l Pricing too high
How to avoid/minimise customers from 'shopping cart' abandonment?

l Designing a beautiful, customer friendly, easy to use shopping site is necessary. This keeps customers attracted to the site and keeps them engaged.

l A customer feels happy once he selects a product and makes a decision to buy it. However, a long checking out process can disturb him. Avoid including last minute check out costs, or lengthy forms that may annoy the customers ultimately forcing them to abandon the product.

l Create a trustworthy shopping experience for you customers. Creating transparent policies, fair prices, and easy payment getaways will help retain customers and help build trust amongst them.

l Mention shipping costs and any other additional costs clearly, as it helps customers to make easy decisions. Adding hidden costs and displaying at the end of check out is a major reason for shopping card abandonment.

l Managing customer expectations and sharing information accordingly is necessary as the customer is aware of the details from the beginning itself. Example: If a customer purchases a product, the site should be able to display the expected delivery date & time.

l Happy customer means happy you as a retailer. Keep in touch with your customer post-services. Encouraging customers by sending them promotional emails, sms can be a savior for cart abandonment.

l Allow first time visitors to checkout as guests making it easier for them to move out of the site quickly and not forcing them to fill numerous forms and complete the registration process.

l Measuring is key to understand you customers, their behavior, their product choices etc. this will help in making improvements to the site as well checkout process.

l No one can guarantee a zero shopping cart abandonment rate as customers can be distracted by various reasons while online shopping and postpone their purchase for a later date and time. Companies can only retarget customers and create promotional campaigns that help them to retain the customers ultimately reducing the shopping cart abandonment.
(The author is a Freelance Writer & Blogger)