Matt already had a successful chain of brick-and-mortar stores, but he had seen a steady drop in the sales of certain items. When he looked into the matter, he realized that people preferred to buy certain products online only. “I knew that I had to get my store online too, before it was too late,” said Matt.
After a small period and teething troubles, Matt’s online store was up and running. Not only was he able to offer better services to his existing customers, but he was also able to rein in an entirely new bunch of shoppers. His sales picked up, and Matt realized that it was possible for him to expand his operations and serve customers over a larger geographical area.
“Things were looking up, but when I analyzed the website, I was shocked to see that more than 80% of the people left the store after filling up a cart. I hired a firm to simplify the checkout process, but even after all the tweaks and A-B tests, 65% of people still abandoned their full carts,” Matt said.
Shopping cart abandonment is perhaps the biggest problem and the greatest opportunity in ecommerce today. Believe it or not, almost 70% of people abandon shopping carts at the last step of the process. As you would think, this is the kind of consumer behavior that can drive an ecommerce store owner nuts!
Baynard’s detailed research, encompassing figures from 27 different studies on cart abandonment, found that on an average, 67.91% shopping carts are abandoned.
So, if you are wondering why YOUR online store sees such high abandonment rates, don’t worry. You are sailing in the same leaky boat as others. This brings to fore the question of why almost all online stores lose so many customers at the last point. Let’s take a quick look at the most common reasons:
As you can see, there are almost a dozen key reasons why a customer may leave the process midway. If someone is simply browsing and not really looking to purchase a product right away, there is not much you can do (except retarget them for future, of course). But, the least an ecommerce store must do is get the basics right – attractive product display, adequate product information, simple UI and UX, enough payment options and emphasis on security.
However, almost 2/3 of your customers will still slip through your fingers; this is because cart abandonment may be a part of the online purchasing process for today’s tech-savvy customers!Research by SeeWhy shows that 8% cart abandoners return after a few hours or days to buy their products – even if you do not do much. But, if you take steps, the average rises to 26%.
Even if you can get just a small chunk of cart abandoners to come back and buy your products, the profit can soar. Let’s hear from Matt on this:
When we took steps to combat cart abandonment through better UX and UI, we saw a decent rise in sales. But when we went after the cart abandoners, within the first 3 months, we were able to get close to 20% of them back to the store!
Our monthly online sales were in the range of $200,000. We were losing potential sales of close to $600,000 through cart abandonment. By focusing on converting the cart abandoners, we brought it down to 50% from 65%. It looks like we will get an annual sales boost of $90,000! Even after deducting the investment in the process, we will make a hefty profit straightaway.
What did Matt do to cut shopping cart abandonment losses? Let’s take a look.
People who are not sure whether to buy an item or not may simply forget about it, and they will automatically reach a decision to not buy it: out of sight can be out of mind. But, now it is easier than ever to retarget users. Retargeting allows you to target ads only to those users who have interacted with you before.
In general, this means that if someone has come to your site, you will make sure that they see your brand and products all over the Internet. But, as an ecommerce company with an abandoned cart, you have in your hands something awesome: information of the exact products that a specific buyer is interested in.
Using advanced software technology and tools, you can set up a system that automatically creates ads by taking images of the products in the cart. And, you serve them to specific ads to each targeted user. This kind of personalized advertising can follow the users all over the Internet. And, a single click can take them to your site and to the abandoned shopping carts.
To make the idea clearer, take a look at the images below. I logged onto Flipkart, filled up a shopping cart, and abandoned it (Sorry Flipkart, it was not really meant to be!). Within seconds, most of the websites that support personalized ads began enticing me with my own choices.
In a world where SEO, SMO, PPC, digital marketing, and inbound marketing are buzzwords, the age old email marketing continues to be extremely effective. While people don’t like being spammed with useless messages, most customers don’t mind when they receive emails that actually help.
You can fire attractive reminder emails asking people who have abandoned carts to come back to your store and complete their purchase. You can entice the users and push them towards a purchase decision by offering special discounts, promo codes, etc. You can also put a time limit on these offers and create a sense of urgency. A well-designed email template that gives all the important information to the users and enables them to reach the shopping cart in a single click, or let them start the checkout process, is advisable. See how the smart folks at Dell do it:
The best part about both these options is that after an initial investment in the customization, integration and implementation of software tools, there is almost zero investment needed. All the processes are automated – the personalized ads are created and posted without any major human intervention, and the emails fire on their own, at specified intervals. And, when you bring these two together, you can expect to convert a good chunk of the cart abandoners into sales and profit!
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