Shopping Cart Abandonment: Tips for completing the sales process

Industry Insight

Converting a purchase is the end goal of the sales process. Retailers often spend a lot of time ironing out their back-end operations, fine-tuning the customer experience, training knowledgeable sales representatives and doing market research to ultimately secure the sale.

However, it’s no secret that shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest challenges that many online retailers face on a daily basis. This is especially tantalizing when it comes to eCommerce operations, as retailers can clearly see when a customer looks at an item, puts it in their digital shopping cart and then opts not to finalize the purchase. Although there may be any number of reasons behind this behavior, it’s important for merchants to realize they can optimize the sales process to at least reduce the chances of an order being abandoned.

Here are a few tips that could help retailers encourage customers to see the sales process through and reduce shopping cart abandonment:

1. Make prices more consumer-friendly

This shouldn’t come as any surprise but people don’t like parting ways with their money. That’s especially true in a post-recession era where many customers have been trained to think about their wallet before making a purchase. In fact, as CopyBlogger reported, the part of the brain that is stimulated by pain also reacts when people spend their money. In other words, making a purchase may mentally pain customers.

Obviously, retailers want to make their prices as affordable as possible to appeal to customers.

Additionally, pointing out savings and making them apparent can help reassure customers they are actually spending less money and reduce shopping cart abandonment.

Sometimes, improving eCommerce operations and becoming more efficient can help merchants find areas to reduce costs and those savings can then be passed on to their customers in the form of lower prices. This is a step all merchants should take and modern eCommerce solutions can go a long way toward improving efficiency.

However, sometimes reducing prices isn’t really viable. In that case, CopyBlogger noted a few tricks that can be used to encourage customers to make a purchase they otherwise may have avoided. For example, when prices are listed without dollar signs, consumers tend to respond better. Additionally, pointing out savings and making them apparent can help reassure customers they are actually spending less money and reduce shopping cart abandonment.

2. Offer free shipping

People hate the shipping process. They don’t like paying more for the reasons mentioned above and they hate waiting for items to be delivered. One study conducted by the UPS even found that two of the key drivers of negative recommendations were shipping costs being too high and delivery taking longer than expected. Conversely, the top driver of positive retailer recommendations was free shipping. High shipping costs may impede the sales process.

If it wasn’t already apparent, merchants need to be moving toward free shipping. Retailers struggling to complete the sales process should consider the added incentive of free shipping. Once again, utilizing the right eCommerce solutions can go a long way to streamlining order management and eCommerce operations, which in turn can help merchants reduce costs and pass the savings to customers.

If completely free shipping isn’t an option, retailers could consider setting a threshold and providing customers with free shipping after they hit that mark. That could help merchants drive up average order value while also securing sales.

The sales process is an important one for many retailers, yet it’s an area where many struggle. Although they will never be able to convert 100 percent of visitors, implementing these strategies may help reduce shopping cart abandonment.