So you’re starting to notice a rise in your website’s cart abandonment numbers, regardless of your e-commerce marketing efforts. It’s inevitable; these days people are using their cart more as a bookmark for saving items they want to browse later and less as a serious tool for checking out. But many of your potential customers really do want to make a purchase on your site, however they are getting tripped up in your checkout process or might not understand your product well enough to feel confident in making an online purchase. Your job as the online retailer is to make the process as painless as possible (dare I say even fun!). As a potential customer on your site, I may find myself running into these issues:
I Don’t Understand Your Product
A discrepancy in price point vs. perceived value won’t bode well with people who are unfamiliar with your product. Why should they choose yours over a competitor’s? Many times cart abandonment occurs simply because a customer finds a better price on a similar product elsewhere. If you are willing to price match with a competitor, make that clear, but if not, be sure to represent why your product is worth the higher price. If a potential customer doesn’t understand the benefit of your product, then they will have no desire to complete the purchase, leading to increased cart abandonment issues.
Another reason for cart abandonment could be that your target audience is too broad. If the copy on your site is talking to a generic audience, you’re targeting no one in particular and therefore missing out on the opportunities gained by targeting a specific (well researched) group that your product is most likely to appeal to. Not only is the tone of your copy important, but also the aesthetic of your site should support the price point you are going after. Your imagery, colours, layout, and typography among other things, all work together to create the feel of your brand, thus your perceived value. Thorough product photography, videos, and details go a long way in instilling confidence in your potential customers who have no way to physically interact with what you’re selling and need extra reassurance. Try to anticipate questions and provide your potential customers with a full understanding of why they need your product to avoid future cart abandonment.
Your Checkout Process Is As Anticipated As A Trip To The Dentist
The initial step in the checkout process of your online store is where the most drop-offs occur. Who wants to jump through flaming hoops on a tight rope to order a couple of throw pillows? If your potential customer feels that it’s not worth their time, they will not make the effort, and you will see an increase in cart abandonment. Don’t require that new customers create an account. It is more important to solidify the sale and potentially groom a loyal customer with great customer service than to ask for too much too soon and risk being overwhelming. Breadcrumb navigation is useful in the checkout process, giving the customer a sense of their progress throughout the experience and letting them still feel like they are in control.
Another factor in cart abandonment to consider is that optimising your form with the user in mind is just something that should be done nowadays. Ask as little as possible. For instance, by simply placing the zip code input field first, the city, state and country can be deduced from this information and auto filled for the user to correct only if necessary. Credit card type can be similarly discovered once the number and CVV are entered. Auto selecting the cheapest shipping option (what most users select anyway) will make it feel like once less step. Simplifying this process will do wonders for your cart abandonment.
An example of an exceptional checkout experience I’ve had was with the app Hotel Tonight. I’ve used it many times because they’ve made the checkout process such a breeze. I entered my name, created a password, and took a picture of my credit card. A few “Book Now” taps later, and I’m a loyal fan girl and veteran with 10 hotel bookings under my belt in the past few months. There may be better prices on other sites, but knowing that I can book a hotel with one tap has sold me. Their user experience architects nailed the checkout process and are proof that it can be fun.
I Don’t Know How To Find What I Want
If you leave them scratching their heads, they won’t hesitate to leave your site, increasing your cart abandonment rate. User testing provides unmatched valuable information. See where the pain points are for different types of potential customers. Breadcrumb navigation is a standard best practice for any type of store selling multiple products, displaying the exact location and path the user took to get to that spot. If you have promotions going on, make sure you display them in exactly the location someone will be looking for them. Promotions are always a great idea, especially for new customers who may need that extra push when considering doing business with you, but you want them to see these promotions where they will be looking. Plastering all of your deals on the homepage will create too much visual noise and your potential customer may gloss over them entirely. The same can be said for popups, which users immediately attempt to click out of. However, a well planned site architecture and a simplified but thoughtful interface will keep all potential customers content.
An overarching theme here is to keep things simple. The least amount of work asked of a visitor, the more likely they are to make a purchase from your online store. To get a better sense of how your site is doing, check out how your e-commerce competitors are handling cart abandonment issues, it’s the best way to evaluate your own performance. Analyse how they’ve organised their site, presented their products, and what their checkout process experience is like. I have an article written here about how to create a competitor analysis for e-commerce sites and additionally have developed a competitor analysis chart you can download below.