E-commerce is not easy. Although setting up an internet-based store is more affordable and, in some cases, free, getting consumers to check out your products takes a lot of work. You have to advertise on all social media platforms, create eye-catching digital content, team up with influencers, utilize search engine optimization, and so on.
When the customers arrive at your store, there is no certainty that they will make a purchase. They may browse your catalog and add certain products to their wishlist and cart. However, they will not click the check out button nor will they complete the payment. Some may return to buy the items, but others may not.
Why do people abandon their carts in the first place?
Establishing Trust Between Store and Consumer
Persuading customers to transact with a new brand, especially those online, would not be easy. Most people see it as a risk because they cannot inspect the item until they have paid for and received it in the mail.
With so many scammers on the internet, one can understand why people want to take precautions, but stores can do something in order to assure them that the business is legitimate and they will receive the items they paid for with the quality they expect.
Entrepreneurs should invest in website design services. A sleek, professional-looking, easy-to-navigate online store creates a positive first impression. Consumers do judge a business based on appearance. A website designed by an amateur would likely turn away potential customers.
Another key feature that online stores should have is secure payment methods. Consumers, to make a purchase, will have to input their credit card details as well as other sensitive personal information such as address and contact number. There needs to be some sort of protection in place to prevent hackers from stealing these details and leaking them to the public.
Having SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates encrypts data during transit and in the store. For many, “HTTPS” and the padlock icon in the address bar is a requirement before they make a purchase.
Transparency Sets the Right Expectations
Plenty of consumers have experienced finding an item that they like and with a price tag they can afford only to discover later on that they have to cough up more money because of hidden charges at check out. As a result, they leave the store without buying.
A hidden charge is the most common reason why customers abandon their carts. In the survey conducted by Econsultancy in the United Kingdom, 70.8% of respondents said that they did not complete a purchase because of hidden charges. Around 68.4% of them stated that they would like to see charges on the product page itself to help them decide whether they should make a purchase or not.
While low costs encourage customers to add an item or more to their cart, surprising them with more fees at checkout would not result in sales. It would be better to be upfront with the real price of the item. Your customers would not expect to pay only a certain amount and then be let down when they see that the store wants more of their hard-earned money.
Free Delivery is a Requirement
Consumers are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a product but might balk when faced with a $10 delivery charge.
Nowadays, free delivery is a requirement. In fact, from the same survey, 74.5% of consumers said they abandoned their carts because of high delivery charges.
Offering free deliveries to every consumer would be expensive. After all, some of them will likely return the item and ask for a refund. Many customers recreate the experience of shopping in a store by ordering multiple products, having them delivered to their home, trying all the items on, and then sending back what they do not like.
Many retailers offer free shipping, but only after a customer has crossed a certain threshold. For example, the store will only ship for free if the customer purchases over $100 worth of products.
Discouraging serial returners is a little more complicated. Although most consumers do not do it, the few that do costs the business a lot of money. Creating a policy that states the consequences of returning too many items in a single month or purchase. Amazon, for example, is banning the accounts of consumers who have a record of returning a large number of products.
Consumers Like to Window Shop
Another common reason for cart abandonment does not have anything to do with the retailer. Some consumers have no plan to make a purchase in the first place. They only visited your site to look around.
This is not a problem. You want customers looking at your products anyway. While they might not make a purchase now, they may come back in the future when they have the money or the reason to buy the item.
Certain strategies may convince them to push through with the transaction. Flash sales, free shipping promos, freebies, and other techniques may encourage them to shop, even if they did not intend to.
An abandoned cart signals initial interest from the consumer. It may be frustrating, especially for a fledgling entrepreneur, to see customers not push through with a purchase. Looking at the potential reasons why you are not making sales and making improvements will reduce cart abandonment.