Online Selling

4 Effective Ways to Prevent Shopping Cart Abandonment

Shopping carts provide an opportunity to capture potential business through avenues like online marketplaces, since they are the stepping stone to confirming the order by existing or new buyers.
Purchase suspension is caused when a customer leaves the purchase mid-way before making payment to complete the order.

When a customer is at the point of sale page on an E-commerce site, unforeseen abandonment or suspension of the transaction presents a veritable challenge for many sellers since it might pose the problem of ‘out of stock’ display to other customers on seller product pages in case of limited stock availability of high-demand products. This in turn, will lead to losing a business opportunity with other customers who are ready to purchase the product but could not do so because of stock unavailability.

The customers’ abandonment of products in the cart may cause stocking up of unsold goods for the seller in the warehouse.

Reasons to Purchase Suspension by Customers

  • An unexpected elevated shipping cost can be the reason that kills the sale, which is the primary reason for abandoning a potential sale.
  • Many customers feel discouraged to complete the purchase when they do not qualify for free shipping. The Free Shipping offer is attractive to 80% of customers who do not want to spend extra dollars in shipping and delivery. They mostly prefer sellers who discount this variable cost from their final bill.
  • A common practice among customers is placing many items in their shopping cart without making the payment in order to wait for the best shipping prices or product price offers by sellers. If they find more attractive discounts and delivery options elsewhere, they will abandon the cart, leaving the purchase incomplete.
  • Another common reason that customers abandon their carts is for saving the products for purchase at a later date for comparative purchasing elsewhere based on discounts and better product offers. Limited stocks or invalid coupon codes also pose the problem of pre-selection and saving in shopping carts, where the customer may suspend the purchase due to unavailability of desired number of products or discount based on coupons.
  • If shipping is too slow, that is the estimated delivery date displayed on the product page or the checkout page is beyond the customer’s expectation, then chances are that the customer would abandon the shopping cart and look for faster delivery options elsewhere.
  • Some customers prefer faster checkout as guests without spending the time in entering extra information on a page. Many E-marketplaces like eBay do offer this option on their portals.
  • If the payment method options are inflexible or limited, customers may feel the need to abandon shopping carts. Some customers prefer part payments such as EMIs whereas others prefer safe online payment methods.

How to Combat Shopping Cart Abandonment by Global Customers?

  • Transparency in Delivery Costs
  • Offering Shipping Offers to International Customers
  • Perform Customer Follow-Up
  • Transparency in Shipping Time and Payment Methods

Let’s understand these methods in more detail in order to reduce the rate of purchase suspension:

Transparency in Delivery Costs

The display of delivery costs on the product page or checkout page gives the customer advance information on what is expected and would help them make a decision of whether the placement of product in the shopping cart.

Providing customers free shipping on options like meeting an Average Order Value or buying a threshold number of products from the seller, will definitely instigate them to consider buying the product(s) and avoid shopping cart abandonment.

Offering Shipping Offers to International Customers

Many sellers fail to provide attractive shipping options to international buyers as a result of which the customers look for other lucrative options and abandon products in the shopping cart. International customers provide means of expanding a seller’s business in an international arena and establishing their E-commerce footprints there.

  • You can try offering a slightly lifted up but free option for international customers in order to increase your brand popularity – for example say US-based clothing and accessories retailer XYZ International Pvt Ltd. offers free shipping for non-US customers at a $170 purchase. At the current dollar to euro exchange rate, 170 dollars translates to 138€, which is under the 150€ ceiling for taxable international orders. This helps customers in Europe benefit from free shipping, while also being exempted from paying extra VAT and customs costs and offers XYZ International Pvt Ltd. an advantage over retailers who would otherwise do not offer free shipping to international customers.
  • Also offering free gift coupons or discounts on next purchase options instead of free shipping may do the trick in case sellers are unable to oblige for free shipping for international customers

Perform Customer Follow-Up

Tracking a regular customer’s product selection in the cart and abandonment pattern would help in following-up with them and retaining such customers.

  • If wish list options are available in the E-marketplace then it prevents customers from using a shopping cart as a wish list, which will lower the seller’s overall cart abandonment.
  • If not, then it will offer sellers the opportunity to communicate with their customer(s) through email within 24 hours based on their order history and buying patterns regarding an opportunity to sell it to them during discounted sale and offers. Also sending reminders of other customer reviews for the abandoned product with the mail could help customers change their mind an initiate purchase.
  • Regular patrons may abandon the shopping cart if they are looking for better products or better offers, offering a discount coupon or a free shipping service may reverse their decision to not complete the order
  • Even when the item gets restocked, sellers will be able to apprise their customers or suggest similar items that they might be interested in. This will make customers revisit the seller’s product page.

Transparency in Shipping Time and Payment Methods

E-marketplaces that are well-established already vouch for seller’s and their goodwill through their streamlined processes and strict guidelines. It is always advisable to push the bar higher when it comes to customer satisfaction in terms of shipping and delivery time and payment method(s) flexibility.

  • Being able to offer same-day or next-day delivery options is a big advantage along with a variety of other options for increased customer satisfaction and retention
  • Giving assurance through a delivery date guarantee and alternate action schemes might help in customer retention and reducing customer call overflow.
  • Certain merchants offer card on delivery options or EMI options along with PAYPAL and credit card options to their customers that gives them an edge over others.

Worth Reading Secrets to Sell Products at Marketplaces.

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