4 Surefire Ways to Curb Shopping Cart Abandonment
In my presentation for eM+C's All About eCommerce Virtual Conference & Expo on June 4, I discussed ways to curb shopping cart abandonment. Here are four of the most important surefire tips and tricks I discussed:
(For more, check out the on-demand replay of the All About eCommerce Virtual Conference & Expo.)
1. Know your real abandonment rate. People tell me all the time they only have an 11 percent — or some such percentage — abandonment rate and as a result don’t have an abandonment problem. This is one of the biggest fallacies in Internet marketing. If you have an obscenely low number — basically anything less than 50 percent — it’s very likely that you have an adoption to cart problem instead. In other words, not enough people are adding items to their carts, which in turn means not enough folks are checking out. Remember, too few abandoned carts is just as much of a problem — perhaps an even bigger problem — than too many abandoned carts.
2. Determine exactly which steps folks abandon on and why. This is key, and unfortunately very few companies really pay attention to it. The further a user gets in the process, the less propensity he/she should have to leave it. Therefore, you really need to figure out where people leave and why.
- Are they leaving on the "review your order" page because it looks like a confirmation page, thus they feel their orders already have been placed? For some companies, this accounts for a whopping 10 percent of abandonments. That's a huge — and very ugly — number.
- Are they exiting on the payment page because there are too many or too few payment options?
- Is it because you didn’t address privacy and security options on that page?
- Do they leave on the shipping page because it’s too confusing or there wasn’t room for special instructions?
You need to find out exactly which pages and steps frustrate your users so much that they don’t continue. You can do this with time trials, server calls or restates, to name a few.
3. One-page checkouts aren't for everyone. A lot of companies are ditching their multistep checkouts in favor of one-page checkouts these days.
Granted, one-page checkouts, which are different from one-click carts, are all the rage, but the truth is they’re not right for everyone. In a perfect world, you’d have both types of carts. A multistep (bill to, ship to, payment page, review your order and confirmation) checkout for new users and others who may need a little extra help, and a one-page checkout for returning or registered users who are already familiar with your processes.
It’s important to offer each user the cart he or she has the best chance of completing. Some users — especially offline and older users who don’t scroll well — are overwhelmed by a one-page checkout. Others prefer it. You need to know what’s right for your customers, not necessarily what’s hot and sexy.
4. Offer a guest checkout. This is critical. If you feature a guest checkout, up to a quarter of your users will choose it. This happens for many reasons, but mostly because of password or speed issues.
I’ll offer more shopping cart abandonment tips here next week.