Industries like e-commerce have grown exponentially with the rise of digital technology. Now more than ever it’s easier, faster and more convenient to purchase products from a smartphone and even receive them on the same day.
We’re already in 2020, and trends are suggesting that in just 20 short years, 95% of all purchases will be made via e-commerce. Already up to 80% of internet users around the United States have purchased a product online.
And with Millennials, Generation Z, and future generations growing up immersed in technology, it won’t be long until everyone with internet access becomes an online shopper.
E-commerce is a lucrative industry and that’s without mentioning the spikes in sales and profit during seasonal holidays like Black Friday.
Getting into e-commerce isn’t guaranteed to turn over profit. One of the many obstacles every e-commerce site has to deal with is abandoned carts. Interestingly, the average abandoned cart rate is at around 69%. One way to improve your sales numbers is finding ways to lower your abandoned cart rate and get customers to complete checkout.
Let’s take a look at some actionable tips you can start implementing to lower your abandoned cart rates.
7 Sure-fire strategies to improve abandoned cart rates
Improve your website speed
The first thing you ought to optimize is your website speed. According to Google, 53% of mobile users are more likely to abandon a website if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load.
The same is especially true for your e-commerce site. The average attention span now sits at 8 seconds. If a visitor is browsing and is forced to wait even a minute for a page to load – be it a product page or, worse, leading to checkout – you can bet they won’t be completing checkout.
Make sure you keep your website blazing as fast as possible to provide the best user experience for visitors. This way, you have better chances of completing a sale.
Practice omnichannel marketing
One way to really retain customer attention is by using omnichannel marketing. Treat every touch-point your customers have with your brand as a potential way to convert them and complete sales.
Omnichannel marketing (Image source: Directive Consulting)
One of the first things you can do is create an effective lead generation strategy to get customers on to your email list. From there, it becomes easier to get in contact with them, send them promotions, and even track their purchase behavior.
Consider doing strategic pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns or work with reputable PPC agencies to help you create and manage a campaign. This is also something you can integrate with a retargeting ad campaign on social media, so visitors can get ad reminders of items they were checking out on your e-commerce website.
Even if a user didn’t add anything to their cart on their first visit, being able to meet them at different touch-points, not just on the website, can be a great way to get them to remember your brand.
This is why omnichannel marketing works well to lower cart abandonment rate: by having each channel supporting each other, you strengthen your brand image, improve user experience, and meet customers at whatever stage they’re in in the sales process.
Use exit-intent popups
Exit-intent popups are a powerful way to lower cart abandonment rates.
They work by detecting if a user is about to exit your site, either to close or move to a new tab, then entice visitors to stay on board.
For an e-commerce business, one good way to use exit-intent popups to lower your own cart abandonment is by offering an exclusive promo, such as a discount or free shipping.
Example of exit-intent popups in action (Image source: Use Proof)
Include a guest checkout option
Have you ever tried to check out items on a website but are suddenly prompted to sign up for an account?
While this tactic seems harmless, this can increase your cart abandonnements because it lengthens the process time. Having both options improves your chances for repeat and one time only customers.
Someone might be in a hurry to check out an item and won’t want to go through the process of verifying their account before they’re able to confirm that their order is successful.
Because of this, be sure to enable guest checkout options to increase a user’s chances of completing the entire checkout process. Most leading e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce allow for guest checkout options as a default feature.
If you really want to encourage sign-ups, focus on providing great user experience first – and inputting shipping and billing information just before the checkout. Only then should you offer the option to create an account on your site.
Launch a retargeting email campaign
Creating a cart abandonment email strategy is a great way to win back cold shoppers.
Sometimes people abandon their cart because of added fees like shipping or handling. Sometimes they change their minds. Or other times, they simply had other things suddenly come up before they could complete the checkout.
To win back these shoppers, send them targeted emails enticing and reminding them to finish what they started.
There are a number of email topics you can send users who abandoned their carts, but one of the most common is sending a special, time-sensitive, discount code if they complete purchase in say, 1-3 days.
Example of email retargeting with a discount offer. (Image source: Salecycle)
Tap into the power of FOMO
Scarcity has always been a great way to encourage people to take quick action and make a purchase. For your e-commerce business, this principle is no different.
Because people are wired to be afraid of missed opportunities or have “fear of missing out” (FOMO), this can play a big role in making sure you aren’t full of users who abandon their carts.
Some scarcity tactics are tied in with a special sales promotion, such as getting free shipping only until a certain date. Others go the extra mile and tell you how many people are eyeing the same product or service, giving a heightened sense of urgency to buy before the item runs out.
Other scarcity tactics combine urgency with social proof, such as signaling when someone else made a recent purchase of the same product.
Example of combined scarcity tactics (Image source: CGD London)
Offer multiple payment options
Last but not least, make the shopping experience as seamless as possible by offering multiple payment options.
This does a great job of lowering cart abandonment rates as many shoppers may abandon their carts because they don’t see a payment option they like. In fact, comScore conducted a study that found 56% of online shoppers prefer when an e-commerce site has multiple payment options.
If it's feasible for your business, consider adding Cash on Delivery or supporting payments, which are offered by PayPal and the most popular alternatives.
The holidays are always the best time to start reeling in shoppers and end the year profitably. If you want to lower your cart abandonment rates for your e-commerce business, be sure to implement these strategies. Review the performance of each, keep tweaking, and soon you can expect fewer cart abandonnements over time – all year round.
Kevin Payne is a content marketing consultant that helps software companies build marketing funnels and implement content marketing campaigns to increase their inbound leads.