How to Handle Abandoned Carts (6 Effective Tactics)


How to Handle Abandoned Carts (6 Effective Tactics)

Handle Abandoned Carts to Convert More Customers

About 70% of online shoppers abandon their carts. You know the story. Visitors browse your eCommerce website, examine products, and add items to their cart. Next, they go to checkout. Some even enter their payment information. Then they exit the store before finishing their purchase, leaving a full and lonely cart behind. This doesn’t always mean a lost sale, however, if you know how to handle abandoned carts.

Remember, just because a visitor is on your site doesn’t mean they are ready to buy. Many are “just browsing”, comparing prices, looking for gift ideas, or deciding whether they can really afford the things they want. They may leave an abandoned cart, but the intent was there.

Then there’s the possibility that your checkout process is to blame for abandoned carts. Even a minor hiccup in speed or functionality is enough to lose a customer.

“Start thinking of abandoned carts as another part of the sales process,” says Amit Bhaiya, CEO of DotcomWeavers, “and at the same time, take steps to improve the checkout experience on your website.”

To help you handle abandoned carts before and after they happen, we divided this article into two sections.

  1. How to prevent abandoned carts
  2. How to recover abandoned carts

Each section has 3 effective tactics that you can implement today to handle abandoned carts like an eCommerce wizard. Let’s get started.

Handle Abandoned Carts: Prevent Them

People expect a seamless shopping experience, and if your website can’t deliver, they will go elsewhere. Consider also that 85.65% of cart abandonments occur on mobile phones. While many people start a purchase on a mobile device and finish it on another, it may be the mobile experience itself that interrupts the sale. Here are 3 effective tactics to streamline your sales process and prevent abandoned carts.

Offer Multiple Payment Options. For shopper convenience, we recommend providing at least two payment options. Standard credit card methods are expected, but having a second widely-accepted option, such as PayPal, can boost buyer confidence.

Also, don’t hide fees. Be upfront with your pricing and any extra fees. Adding an extra fee at the end of a purchase feels deceptive to users and breaks trust when they discover they must pay more than expected.

Avoid Shipping Shocks. In 2017, 9 out of 10 customers said that free shipping is an incentive to shop online, and more almost half of the customers expect it. Shipping costs are the last ‘surprise’ before buying, so make sure the price is low enough so that it doesn’t cause an abandoned cart.

There are strategic ways to offer free shipping that won’t lose money, such as a minimum order threshold. With free shipping, it’s likely that you will see an increase in overall order volume and average order value. If you aren’t ready to go all-in, you can always offer free shipping on high-margin items to start.

Improve the User Experience (UX).

Implementing a better user experience can boost conversion rates by as much as 5% or more. But what do we mean by a better user experience?

  • Offer guest checkout. Not everyone wants to create an account.
  • Speed it up. About 27% of US online shoppers have abandoned an order because of a long or complicated checkout. Keep it to one page.
  • Match checkout to your site. A third-party gateway, or even a different background color or font size, can ‘throw off’ the experience.
  • Don’t jump the gun. Ask for user details and shipping information before billing information.

Handle Abandoned Carts After They Happen

Handle Abandoned Carts: Recover Them

Whether a customer just wasn’t ready to buy, or if the checkout process drove them off, an abandoned cart is not the end of things. You can still recover the sale with a variety of marketing tactics. Here are three proven ways.

AdWords Retargeting

Retargeting, also called remarketing, is a tactic that sends ads to people who have browsed your products by adding a cookie to their browser. Google AdWords retargeting uses hard data to target either abandoned cart shoppers or anyone who has visited a specific page that you’ve added the remarketing pixel to.

Facebook Remarketing

Facebook remarketing works like AdWords, but pushes ads to users on social media, rather than Google networks. Simply install the Facebook pixel on your website and set it up to track specific events, such as add-to-cart clicks. If your customer base uses social media heavily, this may be the best choice. You can also combine Facebook and AdWords remarketing for a more balanced strategy.

Personalized Email & Phone Calls

Automated abandoned cart emails are essential, and should be implemented on your site. But to truly stand out from your competition and make your prospective customers feel special, try sending a personalized message. You should still include a direct link to their cart, but make the message your own. When was the last time you received a personal email from a company?

A personal phone call might be the nudge a potential buyer needs to make that big purchase from you. If they’ve abandoned a cart, it’s likely that potential buyers have given their phone numbers.

Handle Abandoned Carts After They Happen

Don’t Forget Content!

Abandoned carts are an inevitable part of eCommerce, but finding creative ways to reach potential buyers is key. Use relevant images and compelling messaging to reel them back in. Test content strategies to handle abandoned carts and see what works for you, because there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach.

For more information about how to handle abandon carts, to discuss a project with DotcomWeavers, or to ask questions, please contact us today!


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