Silver bullet for eCommerce
One of the biggest challenges facing the eCommerce for years now has been the cart abandonment by customers without completing a transaction. Mostly the stores have been guilty of shoddy practices, usual suspects being- tedious checkout processes, late introduction of shipping charges in the process etc. Also what contributes to the abandonment is the unpreparedness of the buyer to commit to the purchase and a tendency to comparison shop for the best bargains. Therefore the most pertinent question facing the eCommerce personnel is how to avoid these high abandonment rates and make the process conducive to a smooth checkout leading to the recovery of the lost sales, let us have a look at this specifically.
Biggest Culprits for Abandonment!
1) Late introduction of shipping charges in the process: High shipping costs come as a surprise if they are introduced later in the process. From our experience we have also seen that the shoppers ditch the carts if they believe the shipping cost is too high.
2) Tedious checkout process: Laborious flows asking the customer to fill in the information repeatedly makes for a very bad experience. Shoppers tend to abandon if they are asked to fill up too much information or if asked to share very detailed private information.
3) Unpreparedness of the buyer to commit to the purchase: Sometimes the buyers are just not inclined to buy and are just window shopping. Shoppers also tend to add the items in the 'Wishlist' for future consideration, abandoning their carts due to unpreparedness to buy.
4) Tendency to comparison shop for the best bargains: Customer loyalty has been long dead with the arrival of unlimited options at the disposal of the shoppers with just a click! Shoppers tend to hunt for best bargains and choose the most lucrative deal after thorough research leading to high cart abandonment.
Save the Day with these Remedies:
1) Introduce shipping estimates as early as possible in the process: Innovate with features like shipping cost calculators and arrival date estimators based on ZIP codes early in the buying process (product pages, cart etc.) which will help shoppers get attuned to the charges without any surprises.
2) Make checkout fun: Enable features such as guest checkout and let users sign in with social logins. This removes one of the biggest grouses that shoppers tend to report as registration puts off the shoppers most of the times leading to abandonments. Registration is quite an important source of user information but can also backfire with millions of dollars lost in sales due to it! Another sure shot improvement would be to provide multiple payment options to the shoppers enabling them to check out without sharing their sensitive financial information.
3) Appeal to the price sensitive shopper: Offer customized offers, discounts and coupons to retain the shoppers prone to abandonment based on intelligent rules and shopper's behavior pattern on the site. This could be one of the incentive for the deal hunters.
4) Rigorous Iterations: Keep iterating your flows based on user personas and test various scenarios to ensure seamless flows for the shoppers. Use A/B testing extensively to come up with the best suited flows and improvements for the stores. A better experience always nudges the shopper towards the purchase!
5) Keep a close eye on the metrics: Always lay down the key metrics before a new initiative so that you may demonstrate the benefits derived from it as the delta and assign experts to track your progress with the key metrics which will keep you attuned with the reality. Try to benchmark against your peers and across industries to keep up the best and look out for these metrics- Cart abandonment, Site conversion, Bounce Rate, Path analysis, Overall satisfaction etc.
With the shoppers spoiled for choices and deals, the abandonment will be an inevitable roadblock, play with a mix of innovations listed above to reduce it and while you are at it have some fun as well!