For those with a “must-register” e-commerce solution, cart recovery emails can do wonders in turning abandoned shopping carts into high sales. –But what if your site has registration only as an option, or has no email capture at all? What then?

Actionable Tips

The first order of the day is to make sure they don’t abandon, and to do that, you have to address why they abandoned. We’ve covered this topic recently, with “E-Commerce Marketing: Why Are Your Shopping Carts Being Abandoned”. Today, I’m going to address some of the main reasons, and give you a few actionable tips you can do from the comfort of your own site.

Shopping Cart Abandonment and How to Stop It From Happening to You

There are well over ten reasons why people leave without buying. Some, you can’t do anything about. For the rest, sometimes all it takes is a few tweaks to your buying process:

Their problem: the buying process was complicated

We’ve seen a lot of sites while doing audits. One stand-out point that we often find is lack of structure and direction. Some sites, we couldn’t even figure out how to place an order. How do you have a “store” button and no “buy now” button? For sites like these, abandoned cart percentages are high.

Your solution: Simplify!

  • Offer a “guest checkout” option, for those that don’t want to sign in or register (HomeDepot) OR
  • Show three options: sign in, guest checkout, register (Macy’s) OR
  • Use the Amazon approach: one field, one radio button, one continue button
  • If it doesn’t have anything to do with checking out, more shopping and brand, considering removing it from the check out page (i.e. category links, etc. – see Paypal for an example)
  • Make it easy for buyers to add products, remove products or change the quantity

    Simplify your e-commerce

Finally, avoid “create an account” stops during the checkout process – if they have to have an account to order, make it plan on the product page. If they don’t, wait until after they’ve ordered. Heck  – they’ve already given you their information. How much more time would it take for them to push a button that says “turn this information into an account for me”?

Their problem: the buying process was uncomfortable

I don’t know about you, but I’m leery about who I give my credit card information to. Regardless of what some say, that price is the most important thing, it isn’t; privacy and protection is. For this reason, you need to make sure your site addresses these concerns.

Your solution: Clarity!

  • Don’t ask for information you don’t need to process the request
  • Provide at least three trusted logos (Paypal, for example, or the logo of the security solution you’re using, such as VeriSign)
  • Show the Privacy and Terms of Service links prominently; most probably won’t read, but if they can’t find it, they’ll feel even more uncomfortable
  • Secure options to buy – I hate to harp on Paypal, but seeing that logo gives people a sense of security. Security is Paypal’s brand, yo.
  • Be upfront and transparent about shipping options and pricing, who you are and what you’re about. Make contact details highly visible on the “about” or “contact us” page. (this includes, by the way, your customer service number – I won’t buy if I can’t call)

Their problem: they’re shopping in a hurry

Sometimes, carts are abandoned because the shopper runs out of time. Life got in the way. Unfortunately, what often happens is they can’t find their way back to your site.

Shopping In A Hurry

Your solution: Be understanding, and help them find their way back.

  • When they back out, show a pop up with an offer to email the details to them OR
  • Show a pop up with a bookmarking applet
  • Prominently display a “pressed for time?” call out on your pages, with a “convenient” bookmarking option to come back later
  • Provide a site search for those that don’t have time to browse

Their problem: shipping costs were high

Shocking shipping costs often throw the consumer off and cause them to back out quickly.

Your solution: Transparency and accountability

  • Show your pricing and return processes link prominently on the site
  • Prominently display shipping discounts and free shipping promotions
  • Add a pre-checkout shipping estimate tool – no surprises
  • Be aware of the shipping options you can offer  – you are accountable for the service you use

Test, Test, Test Your Shopping Cart

You’ll find a lot of information online about streamlining your shopping cart solution or making it “abandonment-free”. –And, I hope the tips above help.

However, remember – we aren’t standing there with you. I can’t see your particular site, so I can’t provide the nitty gritty on how to fix your particular situation. Therefore, it’s important to test each change you make. If you receive better results from a change, keep it. If not, don’t keep it just because we say so.

Always test first – and then come back and tell us how it turned out for you!