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Shopping cart abandonment is probably the biggest source of aggravation for e-retailers. It represents thousands of lost opportunities that could have converted to sales. The Baymard Institute states the average e-commerce cart abandonment rate as 68%. Nearly 63% of abandoned transactions are recoverable provided the retailers use the right tactics to win back the customers. What can retailers do to ensure customers complete their purchase and encourage those who stopped midway for various reasons to come back and complete the transaction? How to prevent cart abandonment? Free shipping: Studies have often shown that the biggest reason for cart abandonment is the fact that the net cost of purchase turns out to higher than what the customer expected. Customers often focus on the price of the product alone while browsing items on the site. At checkout, they are faced with an amount that is often Cost of product + shipping costs + taxes and fees. Cutting shipping costs can bring the total cost down and encourage customers to complete the purchase. A Deloitte survey found 68% of holiday shoppers preferred to buy from sites that offered free shipping. Simplify checkout process: Customers do not prefer sites that are too difficult to navigate or require customers to register before making the purchase. A complicated checkout process with too many pages also discourages customers. Present a well-designed, intuitive website with a simple checkout process. Secure payment process: Security is always a concern while making an online purchase. Tying up with popular, secure payment gateways and displaying security logos during the payment process helps to assure customers about the security of their transactions. How to win back lost customers? Emails: Sending emails one to three hours after customers left the site is very effective in encouraging them to return. Initial emails have open rates of higher than 40% and click through rate of 20%. Emails that convey a sense of urgency and provide easy links that take customers back to their cart are helpful. Discounts and freebies also provide additional incentive to return to the site. Retargeting: Customers who have moved out of your website can be shown your ads as they visit other pages. This serves to remind customers of their initial intention to purchase your product and may bring them back to your site to complete the purchase. Other things that can help are • Customer testimonials • Price guarantees • Freedom to edit cart at any point • Variety of payment options. Online sales are expected to grow to $414bn by 2018 covering 11% of all retail sales. Retailers who can control cart abandonment on their sites will be better set to take full advantage of the booming online retail market. References