What if I told you that you could increase sales by 35% just by making a few small tweaks ?

Can you imagine if people were to walk into a store and start filling their cart with a bunch of items they like and might want to buy, but then got a phone call they “just had to take” so they just parked their cart in the middle of the isle and walked out?

But, online shopping is really a beast all its own and shopping cart abandonment is a huge problem for ecommerce sites. When consumers walk away without making the purchase it feels like you are leaving money on the table. But how can you make them want to go ahead and push that buy button?

First it’s important to understand why they are walking away in the first place. Online shopping is largely anonymous, but try to remember that these buyers are actually people, and treating them like people who are standing in front of your salesman buying from you will go a long way to helping you mitigate shopping cart abandonment, increase your sales, and gain happy return customers.

The truth of the matter is that people shop differently online than they do in store. First and foremost, they are not in the store. They are on their mobile devices killing time on the subway, they are at work and the boss just walked in, they are at home and their two boys are wrestling in the back room. There really is no end to the reasons a person could be distracted from their online shopping. Many times consumers are just browsing online sites doing “research”-  they are looking for something and window shopping, they are comparing prices with other stores or local establishments to see if they can get a better deal online. And oftentimes they are just saving things for later. All of these are some of the common reasons people walk away and there really isn’t a lot you can do about it. However, the main reasons buyers end up walking away are things that you absolutely can to do something about.

What are the most common reasons people abandon their carts?

In a study conducted by Baymard Institute they found that 60% of abandoned carts are due to a feeling that the shipping fees were too high. The next three most stated reasons for leaving the site without purchasing the items they wanted were being required to create an account, the checkout process was too complicated, and no transparent calculation of total costs upfront before hitting the buy button.

Now, lets think about this for a minute. The majority of people who are deciding NOT to purchase those items that you know they want are leaving your site and their cart for reasons that are totally solvable. Small mistakes that are just overlooked or don’t really seem that important when setting up your site that could end up costing you 35% of your sales!

Let’s address 5 easy ways you can reduce your shopping cart abandonment.

Below we will address each of the main reasons most online shoppers end up walking away from the sale and also touch on a few more important things you will want to make sure you do not overlook when considering ways to increase your sales along with customer retention.

Create an easy and convenient check out process. Think about what a 35% increase in conversion can do for your business, solely by creating a better design and checkout flow on your site. Make sure that the forms that need to be filled in are easy, only ask for what is necessary and are optimized for both computer and mobile use. Something that most definitely should be almost automatic is the ability to save their shopping cart for later. Again with the multitude of distractions that can occur when people are shopping it is almost a given that they may need to come back and you don’t want them to have to search all over again for that item they found. One way you can accomplish this is using browser “cookies” to remember a customer’s cart when they return. By allowing your customers to come back to an ongoing purchase could not only save a sale but may even end up with them adding another item before checking out.

Required customer account creation-one of the biggest reasons for customers leaving a site without purchasing according to the survey above was being required to create an account. Apparently it really annoys some consumers. Let them choose when they are ready to be a loyal customer. Make sure you give them the option use guest checkout or no account at all during the buying process.  Don’t think of it as sacrificing the valuable customer data but just maybe having to wait for it a little bit longer. Generally speaking, a returning customer will eventually create an account when they come back often, which is much better than them leaving annoyed and never coming back.

Easily calculating the total cost of the item BEFORE purchase. One crucially important thing to keep in mind is while customers love the convenience of shopping online they absolutely hate paying the extra cost for the item that shipping represents. As we pointed out from the survey above, it is literally the single most prevalent reason for shopping cart abandonment. While you can’t necessarily control shipping costs you can remember to be fair and most of all transparent. Introduce estimated shipping costs early in the checkout process and be sure to give estimated delivery times so that customers can know in advance roughly how long they will have to wait for the price they are paying to have their goods delivered.

Return policies- don’t just offer a return policy- include a bulletproof customer satisfaction guarantee and display it prominently. Your main goal here is to create a sense of comfort and preempt any objections. Objections like “what if I get it and don’t like it, it’s just not right?” When you have an iron clad money back guarantee you have greatly eliminated the perception of buyer’s remorse and given your customers a sense of confidence to go ahead and try the product. Bonus? This also has been a proven way to reduce your chargeback ratios.

And lastly make sure you are providing your customers with ways to make their purchase. We’re talking about multiple payment methods here. Obviously you are going to accept credit cards, but you need also offer the use of gift cards, PayPal, mobile wallets, even bitcoin. Don’t put unnecessary obstacles in the way of your customer’s making their purchases. People these days are becoming more and more comfortable with alternative methods of payment. Having multiple options shows your consumer you are making every effort to keep up with the latest technology for their convenience.

The main goal we are striving for is making sure our customers have a satisfying and rewarding buying experience. You want your customers to come back time and again. Details matter to consumers- you need to make sure you are keeping up with or even exceeding the customer service that your competitors are offering.

A few more tidbits that can make customers want to buy…

Other small things you can do to help to mitigate buyer frustration can include making sure your site proudly and prominently displays trust signals and security logos such as Norton Secured, McAfee Secured, even BBB. All of this helps your customers to feel more comfortable entering their personal and financial information.

Continue to remind the customer of that amazing thing they are sure they need throughout the process by continually including a thumbnail picture of the product. Remember, when they are in a store they have that item in their hand, they want it, maybe they tried it on and it looked awesome they’re not about to put it down and walk out because the line is long.  But online it’s just a picture so it goes a long way to keep their interest peaked and remind them just what they have and why they want it throughout the process of filling out forms and typing in credit card numbers.

Offer to save their items for later and then make sure you are “remarketing” to your customers. You may even be able to recover the sale after the customer has left your site–if you do have returning customers with accounts you can employ an email program that reaches out to your customer within an hour or two of leaving your site without completing the purchase they began.

Even if a person is not quite ready to buy right now they will usually jump at the chance to save the item for later. It saves them time so they don’t have to search for that particular item again and your “cart reminder” email puts it back in the forefront of their thoughts to come back when they are ready. You may not have the sale immediately but you just might get it eventually.

Customers like to have a clear indication of where they are in their checkout process, so having a progress bar letting them know how close they are to completing the process can be very important. This progress should be as simple as possible, showing people for instance that their next two steps are 1. payment info and 2. review and place order. Done and Done.

All these steps are very doable actions you can take to help increase your sales and create happy customers that come back time and again.

At Bankcard Brokers we are committed to your success and take pride in helping our business partners reach their goals whether through providing you with the best service and most competitive merchant services or advice on how to be more successful and take your business to the next level. We would like to wish you all a very happy and prosperous holiday season!