Operating a successful business means finding something to sell that your customers want to buy. Spending money on advertising and staying up-to-date on social media trends will get you brand recognition, but the final (and arguably most important) key to success is closing the sale. Its no different in eCommerce.
While it’s important to price your products competitively, including any shipping costs or taxes, there’s a hard limit to how cheaply you can sell your inventory and still make your business profitable.
Once you reach a sale price your customers respond to, the greatest strides you’ll see in your transactions will be through optimizing your eCommerce experience. Specifically, you want to reduce your cart abandonment rate.
Discovering why they abandoned the sale will help you capture already qualified traffic, which is why it’s important to continuously test and optimize your shopping cart to increase your page progressions.
Abandonment has accelerated, then declined over the last 5 years. How does it affect your business?
Optimize To Reduce Cart Abandonment
It’s a frustrating yet all-too-common problem faced by many ecommerce businesses today. While the popularity of shopping online skyrockets, this also means more options for consumers and more time to view products they may not plan on buying.
This results in a lot of “add to cart” decisions that don’t make it to the purchasing stage. In these type of shopping instances, typically eCommerce businesses have utilized “abandon cart” emails as the method to re-capture these sales.
Abandon cart emails can work well, but to convert at maximum levels need to be associated to a discount. Consider the following ways to reduce cart abandons on originating sessions.
Better Shipping Options
One reason Amazon Prime is so popular is that it offers subscribers free 2-day shipping on anything shipped from Amazon’s warehouses. For customers looking to have something delivered quick, such as last minute gifts, delivery options will be an utmost factor.
Often consumers are disappointed when tracking emails state higher than expected shipping times. Amazon deals with this by making two-day shipping standard for Prime users.
On your checkout page, be sure to list every shipping option available, as well as when customers can expect to receive their items by. Make this information clear.
Don’t just say “two to four business days,” but instead say “By March 3rd” or whenever four business days from the time they order happens to be.
Better yet, answer the shipping question at the product page. Overstock.com gives users shipping times, and prices, directly on the product page. This helps streamline the customer’s purchase by answering their question about shipping before they add anything to their cart.
Make Shipping Free
According to a recent study from comScore for UPS, 81% of online buyers said free shipping or shipping costs played a major role in where they ordered their products.
Shipping costs were a prevalent theme throughout the study as comScore found that nine out of every 10 digital buyers from the U.S. had left their shopping carts due to shipping-related issues.
The aforementioned comscore survey found that one-quarter of respondents did not want to wait longer than five days to receive their orders. But the survey also says that consumers are more likely to be wooed by free shipping than faster delivery times.
As online shopping continues to grow, eCommerce sites might find free shipping promotions their most highly effective sales driver. For most retailers, this means testing free shipping and thresholds as an incentive to buy more.
Further reiterating this theme, fifty-seven percent of respondents surveyed in a BDO USA study said they researched how much they would have to spend to qualify for free shipping before deciding to purchase anything. Users expect it and retailers need to understand that an entire segment of shoppers will eliminate your brand from their purchasing options if not offered.
Using an understanding of your profit margins along with user testing, identify a target sale price where a customer’s purchase will help pay for the cost of shipping them those items.
Streamline Your Checkout Process
Consumers may also abandon their digital shopping carts because of a complicated checkout process, like filling out too many forms. If your website requires them to create an account to complete their sale, new visitors might decide that it’s not worth the effort.
Consumers don’t want to juggle new passwords and worry about potential spam mail from a store they may never visit again. Offering guest checkout, or allowing shoppers to login using something like PayPal or Amazon payments is a must in today’s eCommerce landscape.
You want to make it as simple as possible for customers to give you their money. If you want to sign them to register for your mailing list, give them an incentive to do so, such as a coupon or discount on a future purchase. The reward for a successful signup should be more than just allowing them to pay you.
Find Ways To Bring Them Back
Sometimes, customers might shut down their computer without realizing that they never completed the sale. In this case, sending a reminder email to registered users could help jolt their memory and complete the sale.
Offering an “email me my cart” functionality, even for guest users, can dramatically improve cart completion rate because modern shoppers often browse for products while on the go, and can view these emails almost as a purchase list to return to when they have time to pull out their credit cards.
Never Stop Testing
Optimization of your cart process is an art and a science. The combination of visual changes, trust and security messaging, as well as the optimization of delivery times and shipping costs/promotion thresholds can drive incremental sales to your eCommerce store.
To learn more about how we can help with cart optimization, please contact us for an initial consultation.