Strategies to Prevent eCommerce Cart Abandonment

web development services

Running an eCommerce store is hard — harder than you might think. Not only do you have to attract customers to your store but you then have to convince them to stick around long enough to make a purchase. The odds are not stacked in your favour — recent research suggests that global eCommerce conversion rates are as low as 1.53 percent.

There are a range of reasons why customers choose not to complete a purchase online. Some never have the intention of doing so — they’re simply browsing, in a similar way to how you might window shop in a physical store. Unexpected shipping costs or timelines can also be a deterrent. Customers may also abandon their cart if your site is slow or malfunctions — neither of which instil trust in a consumer.

Fortunately, there are a number of design and development strategies a web development services team can implement to reduce your cart abandonment rate and increase conversion.

Tracking cart abandonment

Before we get too deep into the nitty gritty of how to prevent cart abandonment, you need to understand exactly how big a problem it is for your website.

Cart abandonment rate (as a percentage) can be calculated by dividing the number of transactions completed by the number of transactions initiated and multiplying that figure by 100. Who knows — perhaps your eCommerce site is performing far above the global average?

Strategies to improve conversion rates

Discovered you’re hovering with your competitors around the 1.5 percent mark? It’s nothing to be too concerned about — providing that you understand why people are choosing to abandon their purchases and implement proactive strategies to address the issue. A web development services team may recommend any of the following ideas:

Be transparent about costs
Customers expect to pay a shipping fee — it’s part and parcel of shopping online. What they won’t appreciate are companies that are not upfront about how much shipping costs and whether there are any additional expenses tied into this.

If, for example, your website issues a surcharge for certain payment options, make this obvious prior to customers adding a product to their cart — maybe at the footer of your website or listed underneath the product price. Customers appreciate transparency; it increases trust in your company.

Include accurate thumbnails of a product throughout the checkout process
While a customer is unlikely to forget what they have added to their cart, using a stock image rather than a personalised photo of the exact product they are purchasing can be a source of confusion. They’ll tend to backtrack, check they’re on the correct product page, and may even contact your customer service team to query the issue. It’s a small design strategy that can have a significant impact on consumer trust and conversion rates.

Optimise page speed
Page speed is one of the most important factors that contribute to a positive user experience, whether you’re running an eCommerce site or a social media platform. Users simply don’t have the time or patience for slow websites. In fact, research suggests that website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42 percent with each additional second of load time.

There are a number of strategies you can implement to improve website speed, from optimising images to choosing the right CMS. A web development company in Melbourne can take you step by step through the process.

Prioritise security
By purchasing on your website, consumers are placing significant trust in you. They will be handing over personal information — including their name, address, and contact details — as well as financial details. You must take this responsibility seriously and safeguard their data with appropriate security features.

If you don’t use an SSL certificate, for example, Google is likely to outright tell customers not to shop on your website. Having a web development company in Melbourne take you step by step through the process of securing your website is invaluable from a conversion perspective.

Provide a guest checkout option
Having customers create an account on your website is an excellent way of gathering data you can use to personalise the user experience. However, it should not be a prerequisite for making a purchase. Many potential customers will be turned off by the fact they have to go through an extra sign-up process and may simply take their business elsewhere.

The convenience offered by allowing customers to make their purchase as a guest may actually increase the likelihood that they’ll return to your site — and maybe create an account!

These strategies represent only a small portion of the ways you can convince customers to stick with your site and make a purchase. For more tailored information and recommendations, contact a web development company in Melbourne today.


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