Have you ever walked into a store and seen a shopping cart standing in the middle of an aisle, full of stuff but no one around to claim the products? The scene makes it look like the person had every intention of buying something, but at some point, changed their mind and went on with their lives.
The same thing happens with online shoppers, but much more frequently.
The customer adds an item to their cart, gets you as a marketplace owner all excited about the purchase you think they’re about to make, and then never goes through the checkout process. They leave their cart and their products behind, leaving you without a sale.
There’s no profit in having items inside someone’s cart. That’s the problem. The only way to solve the problem is to figure out how you can reduce abandoned carts in your marketplace.
And that’s what we’re about to teach you to do.
What is shopping cart abandonment?
The idea of shopping cart abandonment is pretty simple. It happens when someone visits an online store, adds items to their shopping cart, and never purchases the products.
You can calculate the metric with a pretty simple formula:
Take the total number of purchases divided by the number of carts created. Subtract that number by 1 before multiplying it by 100. Then, you’ve got your shopping cart abandonment rate.
Need a concrete example? You got it!
Let’s say you have 60 purchases out of 200 carts created. You do 60 divided by 200 to get .30. You subtract that from 1 to get .7 and multiply by 100 to arrive at the final percentage: 70%.
That means only 30% of the carts created turn into purchases, which is actually pretty standard. According to the Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate is 69.82%.
Online retailers and marketplace owners obviously don’t want this to happen, but they can use their shopping cart abandonment rate to get insights into other aspects of their business, like
- Customer experience
- Checkout flow
- Payment processing
Customers don’t usually abandon their shopping carts without reason. They do so as a response to other factors within the ecommerce site.
What causes shopping cart abandonment?
The Baymard Institute’s research also pinpointed the 10 most common reasons for cart abandonment.
- Unexpectedly high extra costs (48%)
- Needing to create an account (24%)
- Too slow of delivery time (22%)
- Customers didn’t trust the site’s security (18%)
- Checkout process was too complicated (17%)
- Hidden total costs (16%)
- Website crashed (13%)
- Unsatisfactory return policy (12%)
- Not enough payment options (9%)
- Card was declined (4%).
9 Ways to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
Reducing your shopping cart abandonment rate will mean more customers actually buy the products they’re interested in. And that means more money in your pocket.
Bringing that number down will require tackling the blockades that stand in the way of completed purchases. Some need to be addressed head-on; others require additional changes that lead to better outcomes.
We’ve got 9 simple ideas that can help you reduce shopping cart abandonment in your marketplace.
Be Transparent with Your Shipping Costs and Other Fees
Nearly half of cart abandonments come from high shipping costs and other fees like taxes or handling. In a world of free prime shipping and other cheap options, it becomes tough to compete when customers get a surprisingly large dollar figure added to their bill.
It’d be ideal to just cut those prices down. That’s the best way to handle the situation, but many online businesses don’t have that luxury. If you find yourself in that category, you can still see a good reduction in shopping cart abandonment by giving the figures to your customers upfront.
This eliminates the element of surprise for your customers, which will simultaneously help you build trust with them. Customers can feel tricked by hidden costs. If you just lay it out in front of them, they still may not like it, but at least they’ll know. And they will have less of a reason to abandon their cart when the time for purchasing comes.
Simplify Your Checkout Page
Online shopping exists to make commerce easier. Customers don’t want complexities. They don’t want additional forms or additional pages to click through. They want their products and they want them quickly.
Your checkout process should reflect this reality. Keep things simple. Keep the customer moving, and get them to the final checkout page as quickly as possible.
Offer Guest Checkout Options
This solution might provide the most guaranteed change in your shopping cart abandonment rate. Nearly 1 in 4 customers abandon a cart because they didn’t want to make an account. Give them an option to checkout as a guest, and they’ll gladly click the buy button.
This can feel counterintuitive since many brands want to build long-term relationships with customers. You might think that gating the purchase helps make this happen, but the data would suggest otherwise.
Customers stay where they have positive experiences. Having a guest checkout option may mean you have to wait a little longer to get their info, but you might have a more sustainable relationship with them in the end if you keep them happy for every stage of their customer journey.
Allow Customers to Create Profiles
The above point doesn’t mean you forego profile creation forever. In fact, many shoppers will want to set up a permanent account so that they do not have to continue typing in the same information over and over again.
You still want to make this part easy, though. Only gather the information you need from them and try to limit the number of fields they have to type in, especially upon creation. You don’t want to scare them away before they even get started.
Let Customers Sign in With Social
This point and the last two sort of build off one another. You want to give your online shoppers enough options so that they can find the piece that works for them. Some will prefer custom profiles. Others will want to continue as a guest. But a third category has become more popular in recent years:
Signing in with social.
It’s often easier just to connect a new profile with an existing account the customer already uses–something like Facebook or Instagram. It also has the potential to up your social proof game if you offer a little nudge for them to share their purchases with friends at the end.
Have Multiple Payment Options Onsite
As the internet grows in sophistication, ecommerce sites have to follow. It’d be easy to think that a simple credit card processor would be the only payment option you needed, but today’s marketplace has a variety of other options.
Think of something like Paypal, which many shoppers use to make their purchases. If your marketplace doesn’t accommodate that, they will very likely find one that does.
Develop a Follow-Up Strategy
Some customers just need a little extra reminder to finalize their purchase. Others could use a gentle nudge. Shopping online is often an activity done halfheartedly, and some customers put stuff in their cart to remind them to come back to it eventually.
Sending a simple follow-up or reminder message will help you push those people in the right direction. You’ll want to be careful with this, ensuring that you don’t seem too pushy or salesy, but if you can strike the balance and guide buyers to make a decision, you’ll see a drop in your online shopping cart abandonment rate.
Make Your Refund and Return Policy Readily Available
Online shopping can feel a bit daunting since you can’t touch the product or see how it fits or looks in person. Customers want to know their purchase is protected, and displaying your return and refund policies is the easiest way to do this.
You can instill trust in your customer base by making these policies readily available. They’ll know that you care about their happiness, not just their money if you have a customer-centric policy that gives allows them to purchase without any fear.
Keep Your Site Running Smoothly at All Times
One of the most preventable causes of cart abandonment comes from faulty websites that bug out at the wrong time. Partnering with a secure marketplace builder will help you avoid these issues so you can keep your site running and your customers happy.
WC Vendors makes it easy to build, launch, and manage a multivendor marketplace that will grow with your business. Our platform has served as the foundation for thousands of marketplace owners who use us to build something reliable and long-lasting. It keeps your site up so you won’t’ ever let your customers down.
Your shopping cart abandonment rate won’t ever get to zero. People will always browse. Shoppers will always think about their purchases and change their minds, but you can greatly reduce how often that happens by making a few simple adjustments to your processes, checkout flow, and site maintenance. This will help keep your customers happy and keep those carts out of the virtual aisles.