Ecommerce, Fighting the Abandoned Cart
By Agile SCS
September 10, 2020 | Ecommerce Fulfillment

The bane of the ecommerce site owner is the abandoned shopping cart. Some people have lived their lives working to stop this heinous crime. But how to avoid it, how to follow up and turn an abandoned cart into a conversion it’s what ecommerce sites are struggling with. According to a study done by Baymard, 69% of online shoppers abandon their shopping cart before even reaching the check out page.

That breaks down like this; In a brick and mortar shop, if you have ten people come in three will make it to the checkout and pay but seven will leave. 

Four of them were just browsing, killing time. One of them got a call from friends who are meeting right now and they figure they can shop later. One got to the checkout but the lines were too long and they didn’t want to wait. And one got to the checkout but the cashier looked surly and so they bailed.

Don’t worry about the browser types, they are not lost and chances are very good they’ll return when they have the time and can focus. The ones you need to focus on are the ones who were ready to buy and changed their minds.


In general

Business Insider Intelligence estimates that $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be abandoned this year. In general, here are some things to think about in your effort to fight abandoned carts.

• Streamline your check out process.

• Retarget shoppers with emails after they have left the site. Emails sent three hours after a consumer abandons a cart have a 40% open rate and a 20% click-through rate.

• Don’t panic. An abandoned cart is not the end of the world. We are seeing more people transition from brick and mortar shops to online and they are still carrying some of their brick and mortar habits with them. You can use this to your advantage. 

• Abandoned carts should not be seen as a loss but rather as part of an increasingly complex series of steps consumers might take before making a purchase.

• They can also be seen as interest in your products or brand.



Getting specific

From the general to the specific. Here are some things you can do to ease up on the cart abandonment.


Include Images of the Products Throughout the Check Out Process

woman online shopping

Think about this in terms of buying goods from a brick and mortar store. During that process the shopper reassures themselves that they have exactly what they want because they’re physically looking at the items in their cart while shopping.

Even if the item is buried, they are still carrying each item with them while shopping, it’s a subconscious reminder that they have committed to buying. 

I have a friend and when they shop they like to carry an item with them for a bit, they call it making friends with the item. Give your online shoppers ways to make friends with their purchases.

When they get to check out, they once again physically come in contact with their purchases when they are loading them on the conveyor belt and waiting for them to be rung up. They are seeing the items again.

Give this experience to your online shoppers.

The moment a customer clicks “Add to cart” let them know that the item was successfully added and include the image. You could also;
• Display images of the total number of items in the cart.

• Take them to a “successfully added” page with images, as Amazon does.

• Or employ a small pop up that confirms the item and shows all items in the cart.

Once they hit the check out page, display thumbnails of all their cart items. And, if you’re using multiple check out pages, have the images on all the pages. 



Use Trust Badges on Your Check Out Page

About 18% of online shoppers don’t trust web security when it comes time to put in their credit card information.

People believe, arbitrarily, that some pages are more secure than others. If your entire site is secure with HTTPS - most people don’t have the technical knowledge to understand exactly how your site is secure.

When it comes time to check out, enter the digits, they are going to look for badges. Even if you’re site is HTTPS and SSL certificate, people are still looking for assurance. Think about adding other security software like Symantec, Comodo, Absolute, or Centrify.

And it’s not security, however, displaying that you have a 100% money-back guarantee actually eases the fears of most online shoppers. Knowing that, if they don’t like the item for any reason they can return it at no or little cost gets them over the purchasing hump. Make that a “badge” on your check out page.



Reduce check out form elements

typing on laptop

People will abandon their carts and leave your site never to return because the check out form is too long or too complicated.

The Baymard study showed that the ideal checkout flow should be 12-14 elements. However, the average number of elements used on U.S. ecommerce sites is 23. You need to cut that in half.

Also, reduce the number of check out pages. If at all possible, stop using multi-page check out altogether.

If you have to use multi-pages employ a progress bar so that customers know where they are in the process of checking out.

Keep in mind that, especially online, people have very short attention spans, less than a goldfish or a pre-nap two-year-old in some cases. Every task you add to the check out process is one more chance to lose their attention and have them walk away.



Ask them to create an account after not before the purchase

This is kind of like a server expecting a tip before the end of the meal. You asking your customers to spend their time before they have even made a purchase is an imposition. It's rude, it takes their time and remember, time is money.

Allow them to check out as a guest and make that as easy as possible. And on the “thanks for shopping” a place where you give them the option to sign up and create an account.

Follow up with an email thanking them for creating an account. Or, if they haven’t created an account, follow up with an email thanking them for the purchase and give them information about how simple check out can be if they had an account and the deals they could receive.



Rescue your shipping costs and be transparent

Yes, this is the least popular suggestion for any retailer, reduce costs. But, it can keep those carts moving right through check out.

According to Baymard, 61% of potential buyers will abandon a cart if they see additional costs or fees at check out.

Be upfront. The moment they click “Add to cart” calculate the tax and display the price. Also, have the preliminary shipping cost there. Display this with the image of the item. Add figures as they add to the cart.

If at all possible try to offer free shipping. 

If you can’t offer bundles - free shipping for orders over $X dollars. Make it enough to cover the shipping of all the items and still give yourself a profit. 

And, try to offer free shipping for special holidays.



In Conclusion

Now is the time to fortify your ecommerce business. More people are being introduced to online shopping during the pandemic, people that were die-hard brick and mortar shoppers.

A great supply chain strategy company will be able to easily help you with this.

Don’t fight the brick and mortar habits. Use them to help those who are making the move to feel more comfortable. Assuage their security fears and do all you can to help them feel like ecommerce is a familiar way of shopping.

And for those who maybe haven’t paid enough attention to the ecommerce side of your business, now is the time to reconfigure, spruce things up, streamline and give your ecommerce a boost and put it more front and center.