It’s one of the most unfortunate outcomes of a retail experience: a customer is on the brink of completing the checkout process, until they decide – for any number of reasons – to abandon ship and cancel the purchase.
With the help of numerous studies, we were able to identify the most common culprits for abandoned purchases, which boil down to the following:
- The product was found cheaper elsewhere
- Unexpected shipping costs
- Long and cumbersome purchasing process
- Customer account required to complete the purchase
- Preferred payment methods not offered in the checkout process
- Shop does not seem trustworthy
- Technical problems
While each of these points deserve an essay in their own right, today we want to run through some areas of improvement so that you can reduce shopping cart abandonment and increase your conversion rate.
1 - Convert window shoppers
Regardless of whether they’re looking to get inspiration from trends or merely pass the time, digital window shoppers are interested customers and should be treated as such. With some minor adjustments to your shop, prospects casually surfing the internet can transform into valuable sources of turnover.
Offer promotional discounts throughout the shop
There are several ways you can use discounts to entice customers to make a purchase: create a popup for a special promotion, offer an absolute or percentage discount for signing up for your newsletter, or clearly display individual product discounts. On the one hand, discounts reduce the chance a customer switches to another shop to compare prices, and on the other, it provides the customer with the added value of snagging a bargain.
Best practice: The online shop from Bio-Zentrale teases the available promotional discount directly in the header, plus on every product detail page in the shop. This way, the customer is made aware of their potential savings in every step of the purchasing process.
Create pressure to make a purchase with limited-time offers (e.g. “Purchase within the next 24 hours and get a 15% discount”). Take the sense of urgency up a notch with Live Shopping; a plugin which creates an active countdown that reflects the number of products left in stock or remaining time until the offer expires.
Remarketing campaigns with Google AdWords
When used correctly, remarketing is an effective way to reach visitors who previously visited your shop. As soon as a customer places a product in the shopping cart, but failed to make a purchase, they are tempted back into the shop by means of targeted advertisements. To use remarketing, the remarketing tag must be added to every page in the shop; this tag is a small code snippet generated in AdWords.
You can visit the Google AdWords Help for more information on how to create a remarketing list.
Next to remarketing ads on Google or Facebook, you can reactivate potential customers with targeted email campaigns. With Shopware, you can easily send personalised content to your prospects using Product and Customer Streams. Both features create dynamic streams using defined sets of criteria in the backend – one for products, the other for customers – and can be displayed at various locations in the shop and in your newsletter campaigns.
You can reactivate your customers with any number of triggers:
- Promotional discounts
- Product bundles offered at a special price
- Free delivery
- Limited stock availability
- Reminder that a product has been left in the shopping cart
- Recommended product suggestions (e.g. “Similar customers also bought” or “You might also like these products”)
2 - Offer free delivery
Shipping costs are and will remain conversion killers. Today, online shoppers expect free shipping and returns. For this reason, you should take the shipping costs into account when calculating the price of the products offered and deliberately make the customer aware of the value added.
Take extra measures to present your products as realistically as possible. The design of the product detail page should give the customer the most important information at first glance, while at the same time provide them with a well-rounded depiction of the product’s features. Descriptive text should always accompany realistic high-quality product images that present the product from every angle.
Best practice: Here Shopware shop Dynafit covers every foreseeable question within one product detail page; an overview which includes the fit, areas of use, benefits and technical product information.
This vivid product description is accompanied by several photos showing the products in worn condition and the exact details of the products.
3 – Simplify the purchasing process
Even one minor technical hiccup is enough to deter a customer from completing their purchase. For that reason, here you need to focus on convenience and reduce friction along every step of the purchasing process (but beware: too many steps will tip the scale). For some retailers, it might even make sense to offer a one page checkout.
The Shopware Community Store contains numerous plugins that allow customers to make purchases quickly directly from the category view. This is particularly suitable for existing customers who are already familiar with the product or online shop.
Very few customers are eager to sign over their personal information, especially for one-time purchases. For this reason, one simple way to reduce abandonment is to allow customers to place their orders as guests. The guest option is already included in the standard version of Shopware.
4 – Secure payment methods
You should have a clear understanding of the payment methods preferred by your customers. This is also true when you’re selling cross-borders; the most popular payment methods in Great Britain differs from those in the Netherlands and Germany. For your customers this also means offering the greatest amount of perceived security and convenience.
5 – Create a sense of trust
You can instil confidence in your customers by prominently displaying security and trust badges throughout your online shop. This is particularly relevant for first-time customers, who are looking for proof of your credibility.
An extensive page describing you and your company also gives potential customers a feeling of security. The Storytelling feature from Shopware is particularly well suited for this. The online shop from Petrol Industries resonates with their target audience by crafting a beautiful story around their products and particular company values.
Other factors that influence consumer confidence:
- Contact possibilities (e.g. service hotline, email address, contact form)
- Clear overview of the return policy
- Chat function integrated in the shop
- Include ratings and seals of approval
There are numerous ways to avoid shopping cart cancellations. With Shopware you have the possibility to identify and track customers who have abandoned purchases directly in the backend; an analysis that includes which products in the purchasing process were abandoned (and how often this happened). Thanks to the identification of the exit pages, you can see exactly which reasons there are for shopping basket cancellations and which adjustment screws you can use in your shop to reduce them.