How To Combat Shopping Cart Abandonment?


By Snigdha | January 16, 2018

App Builder Appy Pie, January 16: If you have an ecommerce app you have probably encountered the challenges of shopping cart abandonment. It is an illusive phenomenon that have left quite a few businesses with big losses.

What is Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Shopping Cart Abandonment is when consumers add an item or items to the app shopping cart, but never complete the purchase and abandon the cart. This is quite common in the ecommerce world and even though you might have done everything right to get the consumers on to your app, offered them quality products at great rates and gotten them to add some to their carts before suddenly getting distracted with some movie previews or household chores and forgetting about the cart altogether. This is a problem encountered by big and small businesses alike and is fast emerging as one of the most critical challenges for them.

Why do shoppers abandon their carts?

The shopping patterns and behaviours vary wildly depending on the segment that we are looking at, but there are some clear similarities in the habits and preferences which determine where they finally put their money. While they share certain preferences, they also have some common frustrations which they encounter while making a purchase. So what are the reasons that lead to shoppers abandoning their carts and never coming back to complete their purchase.

1. Hidden Costs Sprung Upon Them

When the consumers encounter any unexpected or hidden costs like extra shipping costs or any other taxes, they are likely to abandon the cart. In fact, 54% of the consumers left because of unexpected or what they considered hidden costs.

2. Forced To Create A User Account Or Login

An ecommerce consumer is looking for convenience, they want to shop quickly and are looking for instant gratification. In such a scenario when an app requires them to create a new user account or login, chances are they are not going to want to do it. 22% of the consumers abandon their carts when forced to create an account or login on the app.

3. Browsing Or Comparing Products To Buy Later

This is one of those reasons that are impossible to eliminate entirely. It is common among ecommerce consumers to add some items to the cart before conducting a research and comparing items on different apps or within the same app.

4. Concerned About Secure Payment On The App

It is a digital era indeed, hence the hacks and frauds have gone digital as well. A digital consumer whether they are new or seasoned would always be concerned about the apps that seem to be a little loose on security. This feeling may come from design flaws like outdated layouts or missing images or even the order process.

5.Confronted A Long & Confusing Checkout Process

Once the consumer has made the decision to buy, they don’t want to wait any longer than is absolutely necessary. If the checkout process is long winding and is confusing for the people trying to complete the process, they might get frustrated enough to abandon the cart.

6. Unable To Locate A Coupon Code

There are some consumers who simply love hunting for deals. When they can’t find a discount or coupon code on your app, they are going to go and look for it elsewhere. As many as 8% of the consumers abandon their carts when they can’t find a coupon code and wait until one shows up.

7. Lack Of Express Shipping Options

Like we mentioned earlier, we are all about instant gratification today and especially when a purchase is time bound like festivals, birthdays, anniversaries and the like. Hence if your app is unable to offer timely delivery, consumers will abandon their carts.

8. Couldn’t Find A Suitable Payment Option

There are certain shopping habits that are developed over time and we tend to stick to them over time. This is especially true when it comes to making online payments. If your consumer is unable to find their preferred mode of payment while making a purchase, chances are they are going to abandon the cart.

9. Confusing Or Unfavourable Return Policy

The commitment to buy a product without a clear idea of return policies is a tough one to make. 66% of the consumers reportedly would agree to paying more in case they are offered more generous return policies.

10. Inefficient Customer Support

In a competitive world, good customer service is what sets an app apart from the others. A whopping 83% of the online shoppers need help while making a purchase at one point or another. And a little over 50% of the consumers admitted that they are more likely to complete a purchase if they get live chat support on the app.

Some Statistics Just For Fun!

  • The average rate at which a consumer abandons their shopping cart before completing their purchase was 81% in December 2017
  • The travel sector is the worst hit and experiences the highest abandonment rate (85%) when compared to any other ecommerce category.
  • While completion rates stand at 13% for the desktops and tablets, mcommerce completion rates are a mere 8.5%
  • The average shopping cart rates on the checkout page is 87% on weekdays and rides even higher up to about 90% on the weekends.

How to reduce or prevent shopping cart abandonment?

As critical as the problem maybe, it is impossible to entirely eliminate it entirely as there would always be some consumers who would abandon their shopping midway. However, there are some steps that you can take to improve the experience you extend to the consumers that may help you reduce the phenomenon of shopping cart abandonment.

1. Build Trust In The Consumers For The Buying Process

The digital consumers are wary of the cyber crimes and other fraudulent activities, and it is upon you as the owner of the service or the app to dissipate these fears by building trust. The consumer is going to be handing over their financial information to you, it is only natural that they are looking for something that they can put their faith in.

Adding an SSL certificate and trust seal contributes to an increased conversion rate. A glorious example here is that of the Central Reservation Service that increases conversions by 30% when VeriSign was added on their page. On the other hand, around 61% of the people did not buy because the logo that they trusted wasn’t there and more than 75% people didn’t complete the purchase because they didn’t recognize the logo.

2. Do Away With Any Price Shocks Or Surprises

Hidden or shock prices are one of the leading causes of cart abandonment. This typically is about the shipping costs that might only be displayed at the end of the entire check out process. To avoid this, one of the most efficient things to do is keeping your shipping prices or additional taxes totally transparent. One more strategy to employ here is to discount or waive off the shipping charges for a minimum cart value.

3. Send Out Cart Abandonment Emails

When the customers abandon their carts towards the end of the checkout process, you probably already have their email addresses. Create an autoresponder that would be triggered the moment they abandon the cart and reminds the consumer of the items that they have left behind in the cart. This can then be followed up with a couple of well spaced out emails within next 24 hours. Design this email well with clear pictures of the items that they have left behind in the cart with a clear call-to-action to go back to your app and complete the purchase. If all else fails, then you can go back later and offer them a discount to nudge them a little.

4. Offer The Option Of Checking Out With A Guest Login

One of the reasons of shopping cart abandonment that we mentioned earlier is the requirement to create an account or a login. This part of the process might be unacceptable to the consumer or might make the checkout process seem longer to them and make them leave without buying. However, the moment you add an option for the consumers to checkout without having to create a login, as a guest user the attitude changes and the process becomes favourable to the consumer. The information you might need, will be at your disposal when they fill out their shipping details which you might offer to save for future orders.

5. Reach Out To Them On A Personal Level

Autoresponders are good but might lack the immediate problem solving skills or the human touch. The moment you receive a notification of abandonment, reach out to them asking the reason for the abandonment, you’ll be surprised by the number of times you can help them solve these problems on your own and help them return and complete the purchase.

6. Analyse & Keep An Eye Out For Funnel Leaks

Google Analytics is THE tool for this! It offers you some of the greatest insights into the behaviour of the visitors on your app. It is better to not assume and actually make the effort to study the consumer behaviour when you want to figure out the leak points in the traffic to your app. Trial and error can prove to be an expensive bargain for your app, instead study the flow of visitors and ask relevant questions. Are foreign consumers abandoning shopping carts due to the shipping options? Are there bottlenecks on some of the product listings that you were unaware of? Are there points of confusion that you had no clue about? When you ask these questions, and seek answers to these, you can fine tune the ecommerce experience that your app has to offer.

7. Remarket What Was Left Behind

In the world of ecommerce, you need to be prepared for at least some people who would inevitably abandon a cart. It is therefore important to have a proper remarketing campaign in place. Remarketing is of absolute importance especially for the ecommerce retailers because if they aren’t remarketing to those who were just about to make a purchase, it means you are effectively limiting yourself to just one opportunity at converting a visitor in one session only – probably something that is impossible in this world of numerous options and low attention span.

8. Make It Easy To Navigate Especially Between The Cart And The Store

It’s important to have a simple navigation process with as few steps as possible so that the customer is more likely to complete a purchase. It has been established that one fourth that is 25% of the visitors abandon their carts due to complexity of navigation. In doing so, one must however consider the natural shopping patterns where it is usually quite indirect, not necessarily efficient, and definitely non linear. Hence the navigation between the shopping cart and the store should be simplified too. Let the customers save and later return to their carts while helping them navigate through the app with intuitive and logical options between the checkout & product pages.

9. Use The Right Visual Imagery To Weave An Engaging Tale

There is no content like visual content and good visual content goes a long way in helping people decide in favour of a purchase. If people cannot determine the suitability of the product or the fact that it will satisfy their expectations and requirements, chances of them making the purchase are thin. It is important, therefore to include multiple, high resolution images of the product from every conceivable angle. Also, include some pictures of the image that depict the product in use and demonstrate its application or handling. Apart from this include a well designed video clip that supports the value proposition and showcases the benefits of the product.

10. Get The Genuine Testimonies From Previous Buyers At Strategic Places

Everyone looks for references when it comes to buying a product, and when these references come in the form of customer testimonials they go a long way in inducing trust in the prospective customers who are just on the fence about buying a product. Keep this in mind and encourage your consumers to add a review about your product. These reviews can then be featured on your product pages while featuring them in strategic spots of other relevant landing pages of your app. Let your customers know who else is buying your products.

11. Offer Free Or Flat Shipping

It is the extra cost above the price of the product that deters the consumers from completing a purchase, hence if you can absorb the shipping costs within the product prices, you can offer free shipping without any qualms. Free shipping is known to not only reduce cart abandonment, but also lead to the consumers spending more than they would have if shipping were charged. Offering free shipping is no mean feat especially for the small business owners as it might eat into their profit. In those situations the following might work pretty well for them.

  • A threshold for free shipping. Instead of offering all the orders for free shipping, you can have a minimum cart value to be qualified for free shipping.
  • Flat Shipping Charges. By offering flat shipping charges the element of surprise is taken out of the picture and your customers go in with full disclosure from you.
  • The third option is to offer discounted shipping. You can offer discounted or really low shipping rates for normal deliveries and can add to the shipping in case the delivery address is really out of the way or for special shipping requests.

12. Make Sure That The Cart Is Clearly Visible

About one fourth of the customers who add items to cart, do so with the intention of coming back later to complete the purchase. When the cart isn’t visible all through the app, the chances of them forgetting about it completely and moving on are higher. However, even a small cart icon which signifies the number of items in the cart would remain in their memory and increase their chances of coming back to complete the purchase.

13. Let The Customer Know That You Are Around

Always be ready to serve the customer. The lack of a visible chat or phone support system, discourages the customer who is facing any trouble or doubts with your app anywhere. Even a dedicated FAQ section goes a long way in dispelling any doubts and increasing consumer satisfaction levels. In case you do not have the ability to offer chat services, a customer care number too works for most people.

14. Make Multiple Payment Options Available

People are creatures of habit and when it comes to money, there is the matter of putting their faith in a particular system. At the time of checkout, if the customer cannot find their preferred mode of payment on the app, they might not feel comfortable with completing the purchase and you lose out on a sure thing.

15. Offer Till Stocks Last & Display The Units Left

Creating a sense of urgency in a customer is a tactic that every business has employed and benefited from. If a customer left an item in the cart and did not complete the purchase let them know that the stocks are limited or if it is the last piece or only 3 pieces left. Knowing that they might not get the product later when they need it, will definitely encourage them to complete the purchase for fear of losing out.

16. Employ Strategic Exit Intent Pop-Ups

Exit intent pop-ups offer an amazing world of opportunities for you, especially if you have never used it. These can be installed on any of the pages and works by detecting when the visitor is about to leave. It is at this moment that a pop up message is sent out to offer a deal or a coupon and tries to lure in the customer who is on the verge of leaving the app.

17. Incorporate A Progress Indicator To Help Them Know How Far They Have Come In The Process

This is a big help. Imagine being in a place where you are walking on with no idea of how far your destination is, anxious yet? It’s the same in case of a visitor on your app too, during checkout, if they can see that they are almost done they are going to stick to the process. In absence of this indicator, their anxiety might get the better of them and they might abandon the cart and move on.

18. Display Image Thumbnails All Through The Purchasing Phase

Of course the customer is not going to forget what they are buying, but in ecommerce like any other shopping experience you tend to covet what you see. Including thumbnails of the products that they are buying reassures them about their purchase as they can see it, just like in the brick and mortar shops.

19. Offer The Consumers An Option To “Save For Later” or “Add To Wishlist” Or Both

When the customer has an option to save something for later or create a wish list, you are increasing their aspiration levels and their chances of coming back to buy that one thing that they want to buy, but probably can’t buy then and there for various reasons. This wish list that the customer creates while browsing through your app, has a way of funnelling into a sale in future.

20. Provide A Reliable Money Back Guarantee Or Other Such Assurance

Customers are known to be willing to pay higher prices for the same item, when they see that the return policies are easy. Online shopping always has that element of intangibility as you cannot hold the material of the product in your hands and feel it. A return policy that is favourable and reliable allays any such misgivings while assuring the customer that they can always change their mind.

21. A Highly Responsive App Is Imperative

An app that takes too long to load is going to frustrate the customer. It is instant gratification that a customer is looking for while shopping online. In that frame of mind, an app that is not so responsive or takes longer than a couple of seconds to load might wear off their patience leading to shopping cart abandonment.

22. Let It Be Easy To Create User Accounts

A personalised customer account is a rich information resource for the retailers and does invoke a certain sense of loyalty and belonging in the customer. However, forcing a user to create an account is one of the leading reasons leading to them abandoning their cart due to the hurdle of going through the process of creating an account. When you request a consumer to create a login, make sure that the process is super-efficient, with minimum steps and never ask for the same information more than once.

23. Minimise Cross-selling On The Check Out Page Or Eliminate It Entirely

Once your customer has reached the checkout page, it is wise to let them quickly complete the transaction. When you offer them anything at the checkout, the chances of them getting distracted by the temptation of finding something better might defeat the whole purpose. If the customer is going to abandon the cart of their own accord, it is one thing, you don’t have to give them a reason to do so.

24. Frequently Review The Process

Take time out to test out the whole process of buying products from your app and experience what a typical customer goes through. When you continuously test and refine the shopping cart checkout process, you would come across many details that might have escaped your attention as a developer.

Concluding Note

While not all factors listed above may be controlled and the success in reducing the abandonment of shopping carts may not be absolute, but it is definitely possible to bring down the numbers substantially. Follow the steps listed above and we guarantee a big change in your conversions and a big hike in the revenues you would be making through your app!

About The AuthorTwitter | Facebook | Google+

The Content Manager at Appy Pie, Snigdha has had a passion for writing since she can remember and feels lucky for making it her career. With a total experience of 11 years, she has dedicated the last 6 years to hard-core content writing and management. She actively writes about all things related to Social Media & more. In her spare time, she would either love to read curled up on the couch or take a bag of necessities (including a good book) and drive off into the sunset.

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