Shopping Cart Abandonment: A Push in the Right Direction

May 22nd, 2013 by

Shopping CartGuiding consumers through the eCommerce conversion funnel is no easy task: over the last six months, an average of 76 percent of sales are lost to shopping cart abandonment. With statistics like this, increasing your conversion rates may seem like an exercise in futility, but the reality is that shopping cart abandonment actually presents you with an opportunity to engage with your customers in a relevant, helpful, and even meaningful way!

According to a Forrester report, the leading cause of shopping cart abandonment is high shipping and handling costs, which lends itself to a fairly straightforward solution. However, in second place, 41 percent of customers abandon their online shopping carts because they were not ready to buy the product. Convincing a shopper that they are ready to buy presents a far more complex challenge for eRetailers than aversion to high shipping costs. Fortunately, there are a number of unique marketing tools and techniques to not only guide a customer’s initial purchase intent, but to leverage an abandoned shopping cart into a sale: re-marketing and social login.

Re-marketing is a useful tactic for directly engaging with a customer who has abandoned their shopping cart, especially via email. There are a number of available platforms that will automatically send an email to a shopper who has abandoned their cart before purchasing. When utilizing email re-marketing, it is important to send the email as soon possible after the shopping cart is abandoned; today’s easily distracted consumers often abandon their shopping carts because they are browsing multiple eCommerce sites at once. In addition to their shortened attention spans, online shoppers are also accustomed to the deep discounts offered by various deal sites, so sweeten the deal by offering a coupon or discount on the merchandise they left in their shopping carts. Email re-marketing is also a prime opportunity to build positive brand association by offering personalized customer service. Pay attention to when your customer abandoned their cart so you can effectively address the why. If they left the sale at the billing & shipping address page, include relevant information about billing address formats, or shipping to a foreign country.

Adding social login capabilities to your eCommerce site not only bolsters your brand’s social presence and influence, but streamlines your customers’ registration processes by allowing them to login using their Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or other social media accounts. Social login gives your customers (and you) an easy way to put their purchases “on hold” in case they want to think it over -- and carries a built-in opportunity for customer engagement through re-marketing. Not wanting to register, complicated or confusing checkout processes, and websites that ask for too much information are responsible for 14 percent, 11 percent, and 12 percent of abandoned shopping cart sales, respectively; social login functionality is an effective way to address all three of those issues. From a consumer research and insight perspective, social networks possess a wealth of data and analytical information that can be used to refine and enhance the user experience.

Shopping cart abandonment doesn’t have to be the end of a sale; for savvy eRetailers, in fact, it’s just the beginning!