Conversion is a constant area of focus for eCommerce executives. If an ad is clicked 1,000 times and those clicks result in 50 sales then the conversion rate is 5%, but in many cases a customer will click an ad, add a product to their basket, and yet abandon the process before payment. Why are so many baskets or carts abandoned and how can conversion rates be improved from the single digit percent rates that are common now?
Cart abandonment is a major problem. Some analysts suggest that this is costing some retailers 75% of their revenue – the amount they would get if customers filling carts would actually complete the purchase rather than walking away from the cart. But what makes customers select products and then abandon the cart?
Statista published research on this (with a focus on US-based customers) and found these were the top reasons why customers did not complete their purchase:
- Unexpected shipping cost: 25%
- Having to create a new user account: 22%
- Was researching a product I intend to buy later: 17%
- Payment security concerns: 15%
- Long and confusing checkout: 9%
With this knowledge, it is possible to mitigate against these problems. For instance, several specific measures can be taken to ensure all the major concerns are addressed:
- Be transparent about shipping costs. Don’t spring surprises on the customer and make them feel they just wasted their time.
- Offer a guest checkout service. Don’t force a first-time customer to spend a long time creating a user account.
- You cannot prevent customers conducting research into products and prices, but you can think about how to proactively turn a researcher into a shopper: perhaps set triggers that can identify research behaviour and then use proactive chat to ask the customer if you can help them.
- Prove your system is robust. Use industry standard security methods and even customer testimonials to prove that security is not a concern.
- There is no excuse for a confusing checkout process. Look at how Amazon manages this with a single click—now do your best to emulate that.
These steps can help to eliminate most of the major reasons why carts are abandoned, but how can you take more positive steps to increase conversion? There are a few important steps, but it also requires you to think and act like the customer:
Customer attention span: attention span today is around 7-8 seconds. If your customer visits your site thanks to an ad but can’t see anything of interest immediately then forget about a conversion, they aren’t going to buy a thing unless you grab their attention in the first few seconds.
First impressions: the customer comes to your site from a shopping or price comparison site, but doesn’t see anything relevant or interesting and leaves immediately. Check your bounce rate to see if this is happening.
Focus on product page: most attention goes on checkout improvement, but the product page is also critical. Most visitors to a product page will never buy it. Why? Can you engage the customer as they are browsing?
By actively combining the cart abandonment changes with this approach to conversion you can build a strategy that aims to convert many more visitors to your site, and also avoid the problem of shoppers selecting products and then not paying.
Let me know what you think about these strategies. Please leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.