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How to Overcome Cart Abandonment at Your eCommerce Store

Did you know that the average cart abandonment rate at the beginning of 2018 was 75.6 percent? Therefore, according to the data from SaleCycle, for every four shoppers to your site, three leave without buying anything. 

That’s a lot of untapped potential, and cart abandonment is a very real issue facing eCommerce retailers today. Thankfully, there are plenty of tactics you can use to try to reduce that 75.6 percent. Let’s look at a few ways that you can cut down the number of shoppers who abandon carts. 

A Poorly Designed Website 

Your eCommerce website is, naturally, the first thing shoppers see when they make it to your site. It better be a good first impression.  

The average bounce rate for eCommerce websites, based on data from Growcode, is nearly 33 percent. That means about 33 percent of those website’s visitors leave without making purchases. That percentage skyrockets for first-time visitors, as 99 percent don’t buy on their first visit.  

There are many reasons why a shopper can leave unsatisfied, including: 

Unclear Imagery

eCommerce sells with visuals, unlike brick-and-mortar retailers who have the benefit of a tactile experience. Your imagery must be up to par. Use high-resolution product pictures, multiple pictures from all angles of a product, and imagery that works on desktop and mobile. Consider video as well. 

Valueless Product Descriptions

Next to images are the product descriptions. These must be clear, concise, and valuable to your shoppers. Cover all important features of the products. Don’t use stock descriptions, either, especially if the product is sold across other retailers with that description. Make yours unique and worth reading. 

Long Load Times

Site performance is another contributor to cart abandonment. The average retail website load time is 6.11 seconds, according to Moz. A reduction in load time by 1.6 seconds would lead to an uptick in annual revenue by 10 percent. Your site must perform comparably to your competitors. 

Unsecure eCommerce site

DigiCert’s VP of Operations stated that 25 percent of users have canceled an online purchase due to website security concerns. HTTPS is the common method of securing a website, and shoppers who see the “https” in front of your domain name know they can share payment information with you. 

Your website isn’t the only factor behind cart abandonment, however. 

A 1.6-second reduction in website load time is a 10 percent increase in annual revenue.

Limited Shipping Options 

Another factor that could cause buyers to walk away is a lack of shipping options. This can be especially relevant for newer retailers who are trying to compete with the big eCommerce marketplaces. Amazon, for example, has its incredibly popular Prime shipping, but buyers can also choose more traditional—i.e. slower—delivery methods for a lower price. 

These options are now expected by online shoppers. They want standard shipping, expedited shipping, overnight shipping, and more. Retailers should use multiple carriers for order fulfillment to streamline operations.  

In addition to shipping times, “limited options” can mean costs. Retailers must be clear and up-front about all associated shipping costs and production times. Buyers will leave their carts if they get to the shipping details section and still don’t know how much their final order will cost.  

So, options mean: 

  • Multiple shipping methods 
  • Multiple carriers to avoid delays 
  • Clear, honest shipping pricing 

This should help prevent cart abandonment at point of sale. 

Cart Abandonment Poor Shipping Gif

Missing Customer Support 

Put yourself in your shoppers’ shoes for a second. What convinces you to buy a product online? For many, it’s product reviews and ratings. These are just one element of the broader customer support features that should be present on your eCommerce site—features that could contribute to cart abandonment. 

Starting with reviews and ratings, these elements support shoppers on their paths to purchase. People want to hear from other consumers about their own experiences with your products. A simple star-rating system is beneficial, but it also helps to have a section for customer reviews on each product page. Good reviews can drive sales and decrease abandonment.  

Other parts of strong customer support include a section to address customer questions. Like product reviews, this feature is where your business can weigh in on each product and clarify any buyer misconceptions or concerns. The right answered question can make or break a sale. 

In addition, your site must have: 

  • Contact information for your business 
  • Clearly identified sellers, if applicable 

All these elements make up strong customer support for an eCommerce site.  

73% of online shoppers browse with a specific product in mind.

Incorrect Prices 

Lastly, pricing is a major contributor to cart abandonment. Alongside shipping, prices are some of the most basic information customers expect on an eCommerce site. Unclear, hidden, or inaccurate prices are fast tracks to cart abandonment.  

In addition, online buyers are often browsing with a purpose. The National Retail Federation’s Consumer View quarterly study found that 73 percent of online shoppers browse with a specific product in mind. Therefore, they are looking for the best price, and you should ensure your prices are competitive or you risk losing them. 

In fact, technology has made it easier than ever to price shop. Consumers are browsing in-store and checking prices on their mobile devices, perhaps even completing the transaction online. They’ll know if your price isn’t good enough. 

What can you do?  

Don’t be afraid of change

Major retailers change prices all the time, but it can still be nerve-wracking to adjust your strategies. Even so, don’t be afraid of change. Tactics such as dynamic pricing allow you to alter prices if demand goes up. Or, increase prices as holidays approach or drop them afterward to offload slow-moving inventory. Psychological pricing ($19.99 instead of $20) is another benefit, so don’t wait to tweak your prices as needed. 

Automate your repricing

Doing all this manually can also be daunting. Thankfully, you have some help. Automate your pricing strategies by using rule-based repricing. A pricing engine can alter prices depending on market conditions, competitors, holidays, and more. Set price guards to protect your margins and reduce the likelihood of losing buyers over prices. 

Cut out hidden costs

Finally, be honest with your shoppers about your prices. The last thing they want is to come across a surprise fee or unexpected cost right before completing their purchases. This is a great way to get them to leave and never come back. Your prices should be the easiest thing to find on your site. Display them prominently and proudly. Never deceive a customer, even if it’s unintentional (such as from poor web design). 

Cart abandonment from online shopping

Abandon Cart Abandonment 

You’re never going to close the deal with 100 percent of your website visitors. However, there’s always room for improvement. 

The bottom line is that consumers are savvy and sensitive. It doesn’t take much to drive them to another website or store, from long load times to uncompetitive prices or unclear product descriptions. Do what you can to ensure that these hurdles are few and far between. 

How do you plan to reduce your cart abandonment rates? We’d love to know! Wiser offers solutions for brands and retailers to solve their omnichannel problems, including online repricing and more that help turn browsers into buyers. Contact us today. 

Matt Ellsworth

Matt is the Sr. Manager, Marketing & Demand at Wiser, the leading provider of actionable data for better decisions.

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