By the year 2020, it’s estimated that global ecommerce sales will be worth $4 trillion. That’s more than double the $1.9 trillion recorded last year, demonstrating the burgeoning popularity of online shopping. From Amazon Dash buttons to abandoned cart emails offering one-touch purchases, every effort is being made to encourage sales. Yet despite this, two thirds of internet shopping carts are abandoned.
There are many reasons why the majority of ecommerce transactions aren’t completed. The first (and most important) stage in determining why involves investigating audience behavior. Analytics packages will identify the pages from which people are departing, providing strong clues about their motives. For instance, a high bounce rate on the delivery page could indicate limited delivery options or exorbitant charges are deterring people from proceeding. High bounces on the payment page may demonstrate a lack of confidence in data security. It’s worth offering a Live Chat facility here, which may help to resolve consumer concerns.
Having identified possible causes of lost custom, the process of tackling these issues can begin. Administrative fees often torpedo online ticket sales, so investigate how these costs can be lowered; if they’re being used to leverage profits, it might be worth abolishing them entirely. People will grow frustrated with endless checkout fields, so drill down to the essential delivery, payment and contact information. Perhaps your FAQ page is causing mass departures, in which case you’re probably not answering the questions people frequently ask. Some retailers attempt to ‘lock in’ purchases by removing the ‘go back’ function from checkouts, even though consumers may simply wish to add more items. The only alternative to completing a purchase is to abandon the entire exercise, which will instil negative brand connotations and deter future site visits.
Carts can be abandoned for benign reasons as well. Many people store items in online baskets for future reference or price comparison, to purchase when they can afford it, or because they don’t have a payment method to hand at that moment. Send them an abandoned cart email reminder to encourage order completion, or simply invite them to get in touch if they have any questions. Abandoned cart emails can be used to offer discounts for completion of an order, or to provide updates on pricing and availability. It’s even possible to automate email dispatch after a particular time period has elapsed, for optimum results.
While allowing users to checkout as a guest will prevent registration form abandonment, it’s important to streamline the buying process for repeat customers and account holders. Remember their details through cookies and store previous orders for one-click repeats. Also offer the option to securely save payment data, as few people would be willing to manually enter credit card numbers in a public environment. Finally, mobile lags behind desktop in ecommerce despite dominating in terms of overall traffic. Many brands offer a relatively poor or clunky mobile checkout experience, and even abandoned cart emails won’t win people over if forms can’t easily be completed on a four-inch touchscreen.
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