In this episode:
01:11 – When sales don’t push through
01:24 – A loss of US$3 trillion
02:01 – Top 5 reasons why customers leave
03:17 – How to prevent abandoned carts
03:40 – Are you using these strategies?
08:03 – How to recover almost-completed sales
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James Schramko here, welcome to SuperFastBusiness.com. In today’s podcast, I’m talking about how to reduce the occurrence of abandoned shopping carts and lost sales. With the help of some research that’s been taken place by Smashing Magazine, Shopify, IBTimes and sitepoint.com, we’re going to have a look at some of the stats behind this and see why it’s such an important topic.
So they we’re going to purchase and then they didn’t. And this is a typical occurrence for a lot of online businesses. They almost made a sale and earned money, but the customer abandoned the transaction they had gotten started on for some reason.
In March 2014, a Web research company in the U.K. reported that 67.91% of online shopping carts were abandoned. That’s a pretty big stat. That’s two-thirds. And US$3 trillion. In April 2014, a study revealed that global retailers lose as much as US$3 trillion a year purely from abandoned carts. These are alarming numbers for potential sales that were not completed. But what could be the reasons behind shopping cart abandonment? Here are the top 5 reasons.
Top 5 reasons for shopping cart abandonment
Reason number 1, 56% said they were surprised by unexpected costs. So make sure you declare all of your costs in your cart as you go.
Number 2, 37% said they were merely browsing. So you need more compelling copy to make people go from a browser to a buyer.
Number 3, 36% said they found a better deal somewhere else. Uh-oh. Looks like they’ve got multiple browser windows open and they’re comparing you. So you might want a comparison chart. If you’re not the cheapest in the market, you might want to explain why your service is better than someone else’s.
Number 4, 32% said they found the overall price too steep. Again, you’re probably not really creating enough value for the customer.
Number 5, 26% said they really just opted not to buy. So no real reason.
There were other reasons provided. Complicated website navigation, the site crashed, the site was too slow, customers had concerns about website security.
How to prevent it
So how could you prevent this? Well let’s have a look. It’s apparent that product presentation and design are crucial components in securing conversions, and online businesses that did not directly thoughtfully attend these are going to be experiencing a higher shopping cart abandonment. The question is how can we stop shopping cart abandonment. And there are several strategies.
Make sure that the shopping site has a clear and easy-to-navigate display of products. People want something that will allow them to be efficient in their transaction. Use the best pictures. Lay them out nicely and provide product information. Heck, you could even put videos if you want, if you could demonstrate the product.
Use security logos and compliance information to earn the confidence and trust of consumers. You might also want to put a secure https in your browser, it turns green. Show testimonials, ratings and feedback from customers. Statistics show that 50% of buying decisions are driven by testimonials. It’s no coincidence that they’re all over Amazon.com. And purchases increase by 55% when products have high ratings.
Display the different payment methods and credit card logos so customers will automatically know if they can use their preferred means of payment on the site. Cash on delivery is making a comeback, and this is a payment method definitely worth considering. When you make a purchase at SuperFastBusiness.com, you’ll see the little icon for the appropriate credit card or PayPal feature that we accept for that product.
Display contact details such as a phone number, mailing address and email address on the site, because all of these bits of information increase the credibility of the website. And again, you’ll see all of these thing on SuperFastBusiness.com. In fact, we even put a little country flag next to the phone number to show which markets we’re strong in. And I choose the U.S., the U.K. and Australia, and they’re three major markets for us.
Provide reliable support. Perhaps a live chat box with a CSR, Skype contact details or active Twitter account to assist shoppers with any of the concerns they may have. If the business demonstrates willingness to provide a solution, customers will stay and complete their purchase.
Make editing the cart a breeze. People change their minds all the time when they’re shopping. It’s always better to have the customers decrease items in their cart than for them to not buy at all.
Offer price guarantees and refunds. Getting your customers to fully engage by getting a provision assuring them that they’ll get the best value for their money or have their money back if they’re not satisfied, is a deal seller. It’s the perfect demonstration of looking out for your customers. I would make a sidenote there that if you’re offering coaching or services where there’s a high actual cost to you, you may not offer a refund. However, you may offer a satisfaction guarantee or you might have a conditional refund.
Do away with lengthy registration process for customers to complete before purchasing anything. There are many customers that would automatically close a website once they see that they need to complete long registration forms. You’ll notice on some sites if you pay with PayPal, you only need your PayPal address and nothing else. So that’s a great way to get the minimum possible details. Because for people to have a PayPal address generally they’ve got some verification, a backup credit card, and all their address details have been entered.
Offer free shipping. This can be a permanent arrangement or a special offer for shoppers who purchased a lot of products. It can be both a marketing tactic and a perk for customers.
Make the website responsive, meaning it can easily display on a wide range of Internet connecting gadgets, which a lot of people nowadays prefer to use. Twenty-two percent of men in the U.S. use their smartphones while shopping, while 18.2 % of women do. Twenty point four percent of men shop using their iPad or tablets, while 16.9% of women use these devices to purchase online.
Studies also show that lower income shoppers and certain minorities such as African Americans and Latin Americans use their smartphones more frequently because it’s their primary connection to the worldwide Web. So what does that mean? It means that your checkout has to work on a mobile device.
Be more proactive
An even more proactive approach to preventing shopping cart abandonment is to send an abandoned cart email. And I can tell you this is one of the most important features that we use at SuperFastBusiness.com, and we currently use Ontraport to do that. Basically, this is a personalized message and a link to a pre-populated shopping cart. This serves as the business’s final attempt to convince the buyer to check out. This is only possible though if the customer actually provided an email address at some point prior to shopping or in the registration form at the shopping point.
Using the automatic ACR or Abandoned Cart Recovery system, which Shopify has built in, the ACR system has proven its efficiency by recovering $12.9 million of business that opted to use it. Now that will pretty much translate across any other system or platform. The ACR managed to yield a 3.6% recovery rate from the 4,085,592 sent during a specific period.
Now I can tell you my own business, it’s more like 20%. With the help of the automatic ACR, business owners can make time work for them and recover 4.1% of the almost-completed transactions after sending an email within 6 hours of the cart abandonment. It’s worth noting that the 3.6% recovery rate is just from Shopify’s results.
Now I know that Amazon does this; I do it in my own business. Anyone who’s at an intermediate or advanced stage will have or needs to have email cart abandonment sequencing. In fact, it’s so important I did a whole podcast post on that exact topic so if you want to check it out in more detail, then please check the link to it underneath this episode.
So avoid losing sales through your shopping cart abandonment. Let us set up your WordPress website and create a positive shopping experience for your customers. We can help you develop a WordPress platform. We can also help you setup your Ontraport system if you need some Web development work.
I also want to acknowledge Smashing Magazine, Shopify, IBTimes and SitePoint for some of the information in this particular podcast. I hope you’ve enjoyed this show, I’m always accepting ratings at iTunes. Look forward to some more topics of a specific focus in the future. I’m James Schramko, thank you for tuning in.
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