4 ways to reduce abandoned carts

Person holding iPhone

By simplifying the purchase process and making a compelling case for the customer to return, online retailers can help to combat shopping cart abandonment.

A YouGov survey of Australian small business owners in April, commissioned by Prospa*, found that after new products and services, the top small business investment over the coming six to 12 months was most likely to be marketing and new sales channels. Both are excellent ways to potentially attract new customers. But before driving new customers into the start of your shopper journey, we’ll take a look at some of the ways to streamline the customer experience that can help them through checkout.  

Recent research reveals that although cart abandonment rates dropped in Australia and New Zealand over the past two quarters, the abandonment rate on mobile is still 87% – representing a strong opportunity for ecommerce businesses to convert a large proportion of customers who are a fair way through the shopper journey. 

Here are four ways to help you get started – two that could make checkout easier and two that may help lure back those distracted shoppers.

1. Introduce one-click checkout

Ditch the multi-step traditional checkout process to make it quick and easy to buy. The ultimate goal is one-click checkout, and Amazon’s game-changing ‘buy now ordering’ is an excellent example.  

If that’s not achievable right now for your business, a good stepping stone can be reducing the number of clicks. Here are a few steps that may help:  

  • Prepopulating previously captured information (such as predefined address details and credit card numbers, with careful data management) can streamline the purchase process. An ecommerce platform such as Shopify can simplify this. 
  • One click between browse and purchase pages reduces click fatigue and creates fewer places for shoppers to drop out. 
  • Guest checkout option speeds up the final steps – consider providing the option of creating an account post-checkout.

2. Offer payment options and make them easy to use

Remove obvious barriers to purchase (“I don’t have Paypal”) and give shoppers the option to choose their easiest payment method by staying up to date with the latest payment options. At the very least, you might want to consider offering: 

  • Credit and debit cards  
  • PayPal  
  • Buy now, pay later (BNPL) options like Afterpay and Zip 
  • Mobile wallets like Google and Apple 
  • Bank transfer options like POLi 

Hot tip: 91% of Aussies used their phone to make online purchases in 2020, so it’s a good idea to review your ecommerce site’s mobile version, and go through the mobile checkout yourself to see how easy it is to use. Test, by asking yourself: 

  • Are fields easy to select?  
  • When you need to enter only numbers in a field, does your numerical keyboard pop up?  
  • Is the navigation intuitive?

3. Retarget customers with advertising

You could consider retargeting potential customers with ads that speak directly to them about the specific items they left in the cart. 

Why? Studies show that retargeting ads have 10x the clickthrough rate of regular display ads, at 0.7% versus 0.07%. 

When you’re setting up your retargeting ads, consider the importance of ‘right message, right place, right time’. Here are some tips for each. 

Right message: 

  • Add a personalised message. For example, think “That party dress could arrive tomorrow” instead of “You left item/s in your cart”. 
  • Consider using dynamic ads, which change to offer content relevant to a specific user. They get twice the click-throughs of static ads, which present the same content to each user. They’re essential if you’re looking to feature the specific products the shopper left in their cart or looked at on-site. 

Right place: Consider whether your products are best suited to run across Google and other websites as users browse, such as on the Google Display Network, or on a social platform like Facebook 

Right time: Always-on retargeting will help your ads reach your users in a timely manner once they leave your site.

4. Send cart reminder emails

In 2020, cart abandonment emails were the second highest converting automated messages at 33.9%. Emails that could help bring customers back to their online carts: 

  • Highlight the benefits of one of the products left in the cart 
  • Include positive product ratings or reviews 
  • Make it easy to buy with fewer clicks 
  • Sweeten the deal with free shipping or a discount code 
  • Offer support in case there was a difficulty during checkout

*YouGov Research Report commissioned by Prospa was conducted online between 19-27 April 2021 on a sample of 260 Australian Small Business Owners/Managers of 1 to 50 employees. 

Need flexible access to funds to improve your ecommerce platform? A Prospa Small Business Loan could help you get there. Apply now.

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