Image: Micro Biz Mag/ Flickr
So you have a high volume of traffic to your website. Great. But how much of that traffic is translating to sales? Website traffic alone won’t generate sales. The amount of traffic you’re getting won’t matter much if they aren’t converting because it is sales that impact how well your business does. As an eCommerce website, you live for conversions. If your website visitors aren’t converting, your eCommerce site won’t make money.
If you aren’t making enough conversions, you need to identify the problem and find a solution fast. Analyze your shopping cart abandonment rates. Cart abandonment is one of the biggest causes of low conversion rates. Cutting it down will increase your conversion rates and have a big impact on your bottom line. One of the ways of doing this is ensuring that your customers have a smooth checkout process.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the common causes of cart abandonment and actionable tips on how to improve your checkout conversion rates.
What is Cart Abandonment?
Cart abandonment refers to when customers add items to their online shopping cart but leave the website before completing the purchase. When an item enters the cart but doesn’t make it to through the transaction, we consider it abandoned. Potential customers initiate the checkout process but don’t follow through to the end. Cart abandonment is also known as abandoned baskets.
To calculate the cart abandonment rate for your eCommerce website, divide the number of completed transactions by the total number of initiated transactions. This will help you to identify the percentage of site visitors who signal an intent to purchase then fall off before completing the process.
2020 Online cart abandonment rate. Image/Statista
According to Statista, the global cart abandonment rate in 2020 was 88.05 percent. Automotive, luxury, and baby products experienced the highest cart abandonment rates. Online retailers face cart abandonment every day and it significantly affects their revenue generation. That’s why optimizing the checkout process is a priority for many eCommerce businesses.
Why Consumers Abandon Their Shopping Carts
There are many reasons why customers add items to their shopping carts then abandon them. Wishful thinking, just checking how much the total order would come to… etc. Regardless of the industry, some of the common reasons why shoppers abandon carts include:
- Lack of Trust: According to the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, online debit and credit card fraud increased by 21 percent in the first half of 2021. €12.2 million was lost in over 143,000 transactions. This is why some customers pull out of online purchases when it’s time to provide their credit card information. eCommerce websites without security certificates are likely to experience high cart abandonment rates because of mistrust.
- Unexpected Costs: Some customers abandon their carts when they get to the end of the transaction and their order plus shipping exceed their expectations. Fifty-six percent of shoppers don’t complete their purchase due to additional costs such as Value Added Tax (VAT) and shipping costs.
- Complex Checkout Process: Complex or long checkout processes can also make prospects lose interest in making a purchase. Some checkout processes are also not optimized for mobile devices yet 45.9 percent of online shoppers in Ireland use mobile devices.
- Lack of Preferred Payment Options: Most of the time, customers have a strong preference of how they would like to pay for their purchases. Research by PPRO revealed that 44 percent of consumers in the UK would stop a purchase if their preferred payment method was not available.
- Low Buying Intent: Sometimes, your eCommerce website isn’t the issue. There are instances of users with low buying intent adding items to the cart then abandon them. While some come back to them later, others are simply ‘window shopping’ and comparing prices. Incentives and special discounts can help get users with low buying intent over the line.
Technical issues and glitches on your website can also lead to cart abandonment. Long loading times, numerous bug disruptions, and low-quality images are some of the issues that can scare away customers from making a purchase. It’s advisable to regularly review and update your eCommerce website to avoid such issues.
What is a Good eCommerce Conversion Rate?
We mentioned that your eCommerce website is only as effective as the number of conversions it gets you. But what’s the conversion rate that you should be looking to achieve? The truth is that the ideal conversion rate depends on several factors such as:
- Type of product
- Size of the business
- Industry or sector
- The average order value
- Device (mobile or desktop)
- Visitor segments
- Whether the business is eCommerce only or has a physical store
Generally, the global average conversion rate is 1.3 percent. In the United Kingdom, the average conversion rate is 1.8 percent. According to Little Data, you should aim for a conversion rate of between 0.2 and 3.3 percent. Anything above 3.3 percent would place you among the top 20 eCommerce websites.
So, how do you achieve the industry average conversion rate? Let’s get right into it!
How to Increase Your Checkout Conversions
The success of your eCommerce website depends on how many sales you can make, not how much traffic you can attract to the site. If your website visitors aren’t making it through the entire checkout process, nothing else matters. Here are some tips on how to improve your checkout conversions:
1. Offer relevant payment methods at checkout
Irish shoppers’ Preferred payment methods. Image/ J.P. Morgan
In every 10 customers, at least four will abandon their carts if they don’t find their preferred payment methods. That’s way too many customers to lose. When optimizing your checkout process, you should take into account popular local payment preferences.
According to J.P. Morgan, 60 percent of Irish consumers prefer debit and credit card payments. Digital wallets such as Google Wallet and PayPal come in second with 21 percent while nine percent of consumers prefer making bank transfers. You should offer flexible payment options such as split payments, payment on or after delivery, and numerous credit providers.
2. Optimize your checkout process for different devices
There are 3.68 million smartphone users in Ireland. The number is projected to rise to 3.8 million by 2024, according to Statista. Additionally, as we mentioned, 45.9 percent of online shoppers make purchases using mobile devices. It can be costly to ignore this segment of buyers when optimizing your checkout process.
Considering mobile device users in your checkout process can help to increase conversions. You should:
- Test your checkout on different operating systems and devices
- Reduce the number of required steps and fields to complete the purchase
- Have clean layouts and large buttons for easy data input
- Opt for in-app payments instead of redirecting buyers to a different page
The longer the checkout process, the higher the chances of them abandoning the transaction. It’s best to reduce the number of steps in your checkout as much as possible.
3. Incentivize your customers
For low intent buyers, you can get them to complete the purchase by offering incentives. Added conveniences such as discount codes, free shipping, and free returns can make the difference between a closed sale and an abandoned cart. You can also implement programs for returning customers.
There are also non-monetary incentives you can use to encourage customers to complete their purchases such as offering to save their payment details for faster checkout on the next purchase.
4. Get rid of the mandatory sign-up
We would all love it if we could get customers to complete transactions as well as create accounts or sign up for newsletters. But that isn’t always the reality. Trying to get customers to become registered site members on the checkout page might be counterproductive. Many shoppers abandon their carts if they need to sign-up before checking out.
Ensure that your marketing intentions do not interfere with the customers’ purchase process. Offer the option of guest checkout then try and collect emails and other marketing information after the purchase is complete. You can also send them an automatic sign-up email with their log-in details after they have checked out successfully. Ask customers if they wish to register in the order placement email or on the thank you page.
5. Perform retargeting and email recovery campaigns
Ninety-eight percent of consumers won’t make a purchase on their first visit to your website. You need to bring them back. This is where retargeting campaigns come in. Through retargeting, you will keep track of your site visitors and display your ads to them as they visit other sites online. You can use platforms such as Google Ads for your retargeting campaigns.
The other option to bring them back is through cart recovery email campaigns. You can set up personalized emails to urge customers to complete their purchase. Recovery emails should include:
- Pictures of the product the customer selected
- Social proof such as testimonials and reviews from other shoppers
- Other information such as guarantees and refund policy
- A strong call-to-action
Other ways of improving your checkout conversion rates include keeping the cart visible at all times, building trust with security badges on your website, offering social proof such as reviews and testimonials, and improving your checkout call-to-actions.
We Are Here To Help…
Many eCommerce businesses lose money every day due to cart abandonment. These tips can help you get started on growing your sales. Our marketing experts have helped thousands of businesses like yourself and we would love to show you how Salt Marketing could skyrocket your close conversion rates. Click below for a free consultation with our experts. I’d like a free consultation.