Reducing cart abandonment has always been a critical component of running an efficient, profitable online store. However, changes aren’t always quick and simple. As 2014 calendars close and 2015 draws near, now is the perfect time to dedicate yourself to making changes. Here are 4 resolutions you can use to reduce cart abandonment on your online store in the new year.
1. Understand Cart Abandonment with Analytics.
In the ongoing battle with cart abandonment, data is the most effective tool in your belt. There’s no better time than just after the holiday season to start digging in and analyzing patterns in your traffic. Try the following:
- Look for abandonment outliers. Determine which products have the highest abandonment rate and which are purchased successfully most often. Are there competitors offering better deals on the often abandoned goods? Are your shipping costs too high on particular products?
- Follow the breadcrumbs. Take a look at the typical shopping process for visitors. Do shoppers abandon from one particular point most often? Do you allow for guest checkout? If so, are shoppers abandoning due to difficulties finding button to begin checkout? Developing a user experience that hinges on very simple wayfinding is key–make sure everything is self-explanatory from start to finish.
- Pay Attention to Return Visitors. How often do first-time visitors purchase? How likely are return visitors to convert? For repeat visitors, be sure to save cart progress. If repeat visitors are particularly lucrative, create an even more personable experience by greeting those who come back with a special message.
All of the numbers and percentages tell customer stories. It’s up to you to decipher these stories and find the moral–in the end, it’ll help you reduce cart abandonment.
2. Use Free Shipping to Reduce Cart Abandonment
Offering a deal on free shipping is, unquestionably, one of the best ways to reduce cart abandonment. According to the 2014 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper report, 58% of shoppers abandon their carts because shipping costs were too great, whereas “93% of online shoppers have taken action to qualify for free shipping.” It seems almost too good to be true; the majority of cart abandoners are upset with shipping prices, while almost everyone has done a little extra to achieve free shipping.
What action should you take to reduce cart abandonment? First off, offering free shipping is a no-brainer. You can’t get a better price than ‘free’ and savvy shoppers are looking for a deal. However, this isn’t always financially feasible. It seems like almost all shoppers are willing to meet merchants in the the middle. By offering free shipping in exchange for a reasonable task (order value threshold, newsletter sign-up), you can reduce cart abandonment without breaking the bank.
3. Adopt Alternative Payments to Reduce Cart Abandonment
As alternative payment methods gain popularity, reducing cart abandonment becomes a matter of staying current. This year, credit and debit cards still maintain a strong grasp on American ecommerce payments with 45% of the market, but the trends shift annually. According to a Cross-Border Ecommerce Report on the USA, alternative payments were up 22% between 2012 and 2013. The data from their report leads them to predict that “alternative payments will account for 59% of all online transactions in 2017.”
If you’re an international business, then we don’t need to tell you that China is the emerging ecommerce hotbed. Alternative payment methods are even more essential for reducing cart abandonment among Chinese shoppers. Although credit and debit cards still hold the most sway (with 28.84%), Alipay, a popular online wallet solution, isn’t far behind (26.9%). A failure to adopt these payment methods may mean exorbitant cart abandonment rates.
Make it your New Year’s Resolution to keep up with payment technologies and adopt the most popular methods.
4. Pay Due Attention to Mobile Carts.
We’ve said it before, but it’s important enough to repeat: Reducing cart abandonment in the coming years is a matter of preparing for the surge of mobile shoppers. Currently, 34% of US shoppers own a tablet and 68.8% own a smartphone. More importantly, these device-owners are using them: Thanksgiving 2014 was the first holiday in which mobile traffic surpassed desktop browsing.
The popular argument against preparing for mobile cart abandonment is that mobile shoppers simply don’t convert–and to some degree, this is true. Conversion rates on mobile devices were less than half as high as desktop counterparts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (45.7% and 46.6% of desktop rates, respectively). However, this is more likely a symptom of poor mobile readiness than a device-wide failure to convert.
A study from jumio tells us that more than half of mobile abandoners surveyed agreed that they “didn’t feel comfortable entering credit card information” on their devices. 47% of respondents claimed that the checkout took too long, while 41% expressed difficulties filling out forms. The current state of web design puts mobile secondary behind desktop, leaving a growing segment of users outcast. Heading into the New Year with a mind for mobile will likely pay big dividends in the coming years.
There’s no better time to reduce cart abandonment than at the beginning of the year. Following these tips can help make 2015 full of profit and progress. For more information on reducing cart abandonment and all the latest in conversion recovery, contact UpSellit.
Written by Bryan Gudmundson